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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

This is my first post in this forum, but unfortunately it's not a happy one this time. Can anyone identify what is wrong with my fish below and let me know what I should do? I have a 180 gallon cichlid tank with a mix of mostly Malawi cichlids, a few Tanganyikans, catfish and loaches. I've had a 75 gallon cichlid tank for years and just a couple months ago I upgraded to a 180 gallon, which came with some of these nice fish. The tank has been very healthy so far. I do about a 25% water change every week and only add Prime and salt to the water. My ammonia and nitrites are zero and my nitrates stay about 10-20 ppm for the most part. Ph is 7.4 and temp is always 78 degrees. The other fish look healthy and I have both Convict and Calvus fry, so I assume the water quality is good. The only recent change I've made is that I removed the mother Calvus and her fry and put them in a 10 gallon tank that sits side--by-side with the display tank and shares the same water with a pump/siphon setup. I don't have a quarantine tank and don't know how to treat this in the tank with the other fish.

Here are some photos:

1: Placidochromis Milomo
Skin from eyes forward, top to bottom of head, is damaged and almost looks like a burn or something, plus he has a hole in is right fin that looks funny and other fish have the same type of hole.




2. Don't know what fish this is
The bottom fin has the odd inflamed hole and the top of his tail fin looks infected.



3. Protomelas Insignis or Protomelas Spilonotus Tanzania, not sure
The top rear of his dorsal fin is inflamed and red, which it's not usual, and his tail is starting to get it, too.




4. Blue Cobalt
Bottom lip area is red and inflamed.




5. Not sure what type of fish this is
Similar fin inflammation along bottom of dorsal fin.



Thanks for any advice anyone can give!

Thanks
Todd
 

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I'd say at least part of the problem is aggression. The fish in the last two pics are lurking under the surface which is a symptom of a victim fish.

What is the complete stocking list? Some of the fish you have named may not be ideal in the same tank together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. So far, though, I haven't had any aggression issues. And, if it is aggression, don't a lot of the spots look like something other than injury? I will post some of the names that I THINK are in the tank. I'm not that up on fishes' proper names. I will say that my Dophin now is showing signs of the same thing on his tail and top fin (see below).

Here is a list of what I think I have just from some sites I've looked at:
Placidochromis milomo
aplochromis moorii Blue Dolphin
Aulonocara Dragons blood
Protomelas taeniolatus Red Empress
Yellow labidochromis
Metriaclima callainos blue cobalt
cyphotilapia frontosa
Altolamprologus calvus
Synodontis multipunctatus Catfish
protomelas insignis
Protomelas Spilonotus Tanzania
Nimbochromis fuscotaeniatus
Bristle nose pleco
3 Rubber nose pleco
2 Clown Loaches
5 tanganikan catfish
Two Eartheaters
Aulonocara baenschi Sunshine Peacock
Rocio octofasciata Jack Dempsey



Thanks for anymore input you can offer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just a little additional to my last reply. The fish that you see at the top just happened to be there when I took the photos. They have not been hanging at the top or acting any differently, so far.

Thanks.
 

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The face problem does not look like an injury. The fins could be an injury originally that became infected or fungused (is anything fuzzy?). The redness is also a symptom...septicemia? Those issues I don't have much experience with and will leave for other member's responses.

The cobalt's lips look like aggression. And I've never had a mbuna go to the top for a picture...only for food. Or the lurking (occasional) fish. The vertical posture is also an indicator. Aggression, I DO have experience with, LOL.

So first cure the face/fin problems. Then look for the original cause. Hope it all comes out well. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input. I didn't even think about this until just now, but I had a new fish about a week or two ago that was fine when I got it in the tank, and it got picked on (I think). After a few days, he had some tattered fins and I put him in a small breeder cage in the tank to protect him. Then, I noticed that his tail just basically fell off and then his mouth got swollen and puffy with cottony looking stuff around it. I put him in a 10 gallon tank with some "Jungle" brand infection medicine and he died a couple days later.

I don't know if this could be the same thing... it looks different, but I just remembered it.

In my situation NOW, the only fish that has some fuzz is the one with the messed up face. His upper face has some of the cottony type fuzz on it.

The Cobalt has been staying at the bottom of the tank and in the middle most of the time.

You say to first resolve the face/fin problems. Any suggestions on how to do that?

Thanks!
 

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The problem is I don't know how to diagnose the face/fin problems. Bacterial is one med, and fungus is another med. Since tomorrow is Christmas Eve and you may not be able to get meds after tomorrow, I would probably get some Maracyn and Maracyn-2 to have on hand. That should work for bacterial issues. You can use them simultaneously.

Meanwhile, hopefully a member experienced with that face issue and/or fungal infections will post and rule in-or-out fungus.

Best I can do. :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for answering that. I've seen that medication mentioned a lot. I'll probably go get some tomorrow until someone can provide some help!

Thanks!
 

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no. I just know it will eat your fish basically.
They can last a couple weeks, and then you come look and one day they are dead.

get that polygard stuff at least, you should see it retreat back.

btw that M-1 and M-2 wont do jack to this.
 

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I'm just headed out for the holiday so I only skimmed your post but what it sounds like to me is Columnaris which is often referred to as mouth fungus HOWEVER it is not a fungus it is a bacterial disease caused by a bacteria that normally resides in your tank harmlessly until the fish comes under some kind of stress and then it can kill fish fast, a few hours, or slow, a week.

Members have had success using maracyn and maracyn-two on Columnaris. Here are some other antibiotic options for you: kanamycin, Furan 2.
Before you treat:
do a partial water change of 30-40% using the prime dechlorinator. Siphon the gravel. Add aquarium salt, (sodium chloride ) at the rate of 1 tablespoon per five gallons. Dissolve it first and add it gradually.Increase water movement if you can by adding a jet. Adding the salt and increasing water movement will help prevent the bacteria from adhering to the fish's skin--it's not a cure on its own but it will help.
Reduce temp to 76--this slows the growth of this bacteria
Feed fish sparingly until the tank stabilizes.

Some members have reported success against columnaris by doing a salt dip, (different than just adding salt). For directions on how to do this refer to this article:
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/c ... isease.php
(and yes, he's not crazy about using antibiotics)

Sorry for the loss of your fish. Once this bacteria gets going it can be hard to stop but it's definitely stop-able and while you may or may not lose more fish what frequently happens is that the tank stabilizes and the remaining fish come through just fine. It is possible to lose an entire tank to this so taking action asap is important. If nothing else do the extra water change, temp reduction and addition of the salt. And really siphon the gravel well.

Best of luck in turning things around. :)

Robin
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Robin, I think you may be right. I looked up some stuff on Columnaris and it seems pretty close to what I have. I had already dosed with Pimafix and Melafix and added some extra salt, but after reading your post, I added even more salt. I'll re-evaluate and re-read this tomorrow when Santa is a little more sober...

THANKS! Wish me luck!

Todd
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I'm still dosing every day with Pimafix and Melafix, and I started Triple Sulfa yesterday. Do you think that is the right course? I've lowered the temp to 74 and added salt, too. Seems like it's slowed the spread, but hard to see any improvement yet. I've already lost four really nice, large fish... very frustrating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hello. I have stopped the Columnaris, I think. I lost about seven nice fish, but I think I probably saved the rest of the tank from dying off. I eventually removed four of my nicer fish that hadn't died to a 40 gallon hospital tank, added a tablespoon of salt per five gallons, ran a five-day course of Marcyn 2, Pimafix and Melafix, plus fed Jungle Food with Antibiotic in it. Seems that the disease stopped spreading and the fish are doing ok, but I have fish damage that I don't know how to repair or get to heal. I have one very large Peacock that completely lost his talk and much of his dorsal fin, and the tail and dorsal area is left with nothing but raw meat, it seems. I also have two other fish that have less damage, but still have raw areas. They have been raw for a couple weeks and don't seem to be healing over. I've used Stress Coat, Prime and salt, hoping to speed the process... If anyone has any input, I'd appreciate it. I'd like to get them back in my display tank, but I'm scared to yet.

Here are some photos:











 

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My experience was the meds would heal the spots so the fish looked perfect, but then as soon as the meds were stopped, the spots came back. Sorry, I don't know how to make them go away permanently. I treated over many months and used several meds, some with several courses of treatment without success.

Here is what I tried in case it helps others:
Maracyn and Maracyn2 simultaneously. This worked best.
Kanamycin
Triple Sulfa
 
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