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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After some lengthy research and a lot of help from Kim it looks like I'm battling a round with Columnaris, both internal and external.

I have lost two fish already, and 7 more are now showing the signs of the external Columnaris. I went to my LFS to buy and Maracyn was $24.99 for 8 tablets and Maracyn II was $27.99 for 8 tablets. I went ahead and bought 2 packets of each for a grand total of $106 + tax. If I order the stuff online I will be getting it sometime next week; Wednesday at the earliest, with more like a Thursday/Friday being the actual delivery day. If I drove into the cities we're looking at 1.5-2 hours each way, I work hard during the week days and I do really like to relax on the weekends.

Right now I'm looking at it like this, I have almost spent more on medication then I have on fish, and from what I have been reading treating Columnaris is rather difficult. Even though I am new to fish keeping (2 or so months) even the advanced aquariumists lose entire tanks to it.

So here are the options I am looking at, let me know what you guys would do if you were in my shoes.

1. Treat with Maracyn and Maracyn II but drive into the cities to get more of it at cheaper prices
2. Treat the tank with what you have and hope for the best
3. Order some more online and hope I still have some fish alive by the time it gets here
4. Stop the treatments, cut your loses and treat the tank once all the fish have died off

In all honesty, I'm leaning towards #4 and here is my rational behind it.

(a) I have kept this tank, like my other, in pristine condition, my water quality is excellent and my nitrates rarely even see double digits. I have worked hard to keep it like this so I wouldn't get something like Columnaris

(b) So far I have spent a lot on the medication for Columnaris and there isn't really even a good chance it will work, if I spend even more money on it there isn't a guarantee that it will work.

(c) I have been told of fish that have survived Columnaris in such bad shape that they had to put them down in the end. So if I keep throwing money on Maracyn and Maracyn II, and some fish do pull through they may be in such bad shape that the only human thing to do is to put them down in the end.

So if I do go ahead with #4 I do have some questions:

1. Should I let the fish die slowly off from it or should I put them down humanly?
2. Does it affect plants? So far I haven't noticed anything and my plants are budding still.
3. How long should I wait before adding fish again to this tank?
4. How long does Columnaris linger in a tank?

Sorry for the long post, I just want to do what's best. Any and all input is welcome.
 

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I'd start with #2. If you begin to see good results, continue treatment.

That is, unless you're really wanting to get different types of fish. If that's the case, then net the fish, knock them out with clove oil, and kill them with vodka. If there are specific fish that you want to keep, net them and treat them in a smaller tank. It will be less expensive to treat them that way, and you can more easily monitor them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
3 more to the death count as of this morning.

Actually when I went to go net the 3 out I found 6 more bodies.

So make that 9 more as of this morning.

An entire school of blood fin tetra has been wiped out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just walked past my tank and found 2 more dead bodies.

Any input guys, I really need to know if I'm making the right move here. I'm a newb, and while I haven't had any losses due to poor water conditions or tank cycling my inexperience really comes through when dealing with illnesses.
 

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Was the tank fully medicated with the recommended treatment Friday and Saturday? How many fish are left with no symptoms? How long does it take to show improvement when fish are receiving the recommended treatment? Are the sick fish being treated in a hospital tank?

If all fish are showing symptoms and being treated in the main tank and have been receiving the full recommended dose for a period of time sufficient for them to show improvement (and no one is), then I'd say put them to sleep using clove oil and freeze them. Otherwise I'd probably keep trying.

Unfortunately medical treatment always seems to cost more than the pet. A free cat costs hundreds of dollars in vet bills annually. I've spend hundreds of dollars on fish meds too, especially Metronidazole.

It is extremely unfortunate that you had to deal with an illness like this as a newby...it's enough to put you off fishkeeping altogether! I don't know the answer to your other questions, about the plants and how to get rid of the illness in your tank.

Good luck!

How does one get Columnaris? Was it the source of your fish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't consider my fish on the same level as my dogs and cat. And while I think that way keep in mind that I do religious weekly water changes to keep my nitrates in this tank below 10ppm and have already spent over $100 on just this medication.

So far I have lost 2 pairs of Apisto's, 4 Bolivan Rams, 10 Bloodfin Tetra, 4 Bolivan Rams, 2 Clown Loaches and 3 Gold Barbs.

It's interesting as I have another school of Priscella Tetra and I haven't lost a single one of those.

One gets Columnaris from poor water conditions, I however got it from introducing a fish to my tank without quarantining it (I didn't have a quarantine tank setup, from here on out I sure will).

The speed at which this kills is simply amazing I must admit, it's insane.

Let this be a lesson for everyone, get a quarantine tank...it will save you in the long run.

My only question is that this tank has live plants, how do I go about getting this tank safe again for fish without uprooting all my plants?
 

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Sorry you aren't getting the answers you need here. Have you tried posting in the illness section? I think I would remove the Prisella tetras and try to save them in another tank but put the others down. I'm glad you are thinking about starting over and hope you get some answers about the plants and how to clean the tank of the disease.
 
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