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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just set up my new 150 gallon tank and moved my cichlids in. All seem ok except for one of my Rotkeil Severums. Its developed something like white protrusions on its head above the eye and I'm concerned. *** never seen this on any of my fish before and worried it may be 'Hole in the head'? Also concerned that its lips are pushed forward as per photo. Other concern is that it can pass to my other fish. Any comments especially as to what this can be would be much appreciated.


Super Moderator
1,861 Posts
Sorry your fish is ill!!

I think this might be flexibacter columnaris based on your observation that the lips are thickening. Are the white protrusions fuzzy like?

I did a search on this problem and found a lot of suggestions for treatment but the following is what seemed to work well for a well known hobbyist - notho2000 on this forum though the post below was from another forum

"Columnaris (flexibacter - gram-negative)) I just pulled a large male Paraneetroplus breidohri from the brink of death. Start treatment right away by:
1. isolating the fish, making sure to use cooler water (~75F) and increase aeration.

2. Using a combination of Kanamycin (specific to gram-negative), and furazolidone/nitrofurazone (treats gram-positive (secondary infection) and gram-negative as well (Furan-2 from API) added to the water in the recommended dose. Also, even though kanamycin is absorbed through the skin of the fish, once he starts eating, soak some food in kanamycin and get him to ingest it.

3. Don't give up. It may take a week or so for improvement to be noticed (ie may get worse before it gets better).

4. If secondary fungus appears, I use methylene blue and/or pimafix. Also salt (1 tbsp per 5G) is effective against flexibacter too. Your case is going to be severe and if not treated, it's just a matter of time (can be sickeningly quick) before death occurs."

Some aquarists recommend treating the entire tank but if you caught it early enough, you may just be able to quarantine the fish in a suitable size aquarium. It is important to lower the temperature to avoid escalating the infection so consider also lowering the temp in the main tank and increase substrate vacuuming as well as water changes.

Keep us posted on your results and remember to act quickly as this bacterial infection is virulent and can kill within a couple days.
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