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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Cichlid Forum,

Hoping someone will be able to help.

Yesterday I received 18 Mbuna (6 yellow labs, 6 yellow tail Acei and 6 red zebras) all approximately 5cm. These are my first African cichlids although I've been keeping cold and tropical freshwater fish for a long time. All arrived healthy except for one yellow lab which looked like it had a missing pectoral fin with some tissue damage surrounding the wound. I assumed it was transit damage and as she was able to swim okay and wasn't being harassed by the others, I left her in the main tank with pimafix and melafix overnight. This morning she was doing worse so I moved her to a hospital tank with a cycled filter but she died about an hour later. Once she was dead, I could see that the pectoral fin wasn't missing but there was a horrible looking ulcer underneath it. The rest of the mbuna look perfectly healthy and are colouring up nicely but I'm worried that this might be something contagious that may affect the rest of the tank. As is always the case in the UK, it's almost impossible to get antibiotics easily here but will do if they're needed.

The tank is a mbuna only, 4 foot, 55 gallon (182 litre) which used to be a tropical community tank - set up and fully cycled for 8 months: Ammonia 0 ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, Nitrate 20 ppm (this is what comes out of my tap) and pH 8.2. Temperature is 26 C. The only fish in the tank are the 17 that remain from yesterday's shipment.

I've posted a picture of the ulcer - probably don't look if you're eating.

Appreciate any help - thanks in advance.
 

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Google columnaris and see if it looks like your fish. Large lesions on the sides are typical, starting out white and ending up looking more like raw flesh. Did you send a pic to the vendor upon arrival? If not send this pic now in case you need to get refunds.

Columnaris is very contagious. Try Kanaplex overnight mail and best of luck with your remaining fish.

Acei are large for a 55G and don't save fry from the tank since labs and estherae crossbreed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for the advice. I've looked at columnaris and it does look very similar to pictures of advanced infection. I've seen this before in tetra but it looked more like a fungus - earlier stages I guess. I'll order some kanaplex now and hope for the best..

Pictures already sent to the vendor yesterday but no response just yet. Regarding the Acei, I've got a 90 G currently cycling so they'll all be in there within the next couple of months... if I can get them through the infection.

Thanks again for the quick response.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
DJRansome said:
Google columnaris and see if it looks like your fish. Large lesions on the sides are typical, starting out white and ending up looking more like raw flesh. Did you send a pic to the vendor upon arrival? If not send this pic now in case you need to get refunds.

Columnaris is very contagious. Try Kanaplex overnight mail and best of luck with your remaining fish.

Acei are large for a 55G and don't save fry from the tank since labs and estherae crossbreed.
Quick update DJ. Seems that your hunch was right, so thanks for your help. I wasn't able to get Kanaplex in the UK so decided to watch and wait - the rest of the tank soon started developing the same symptoms as the yellow Lab. I managed to get hold of some oxytetracycline for human use and dosed carefully with that. Everyone is now fighting fit. Thanks again.
 
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