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Hi all. There have been strange little patches of white around the mouths of some fish in one of my tanks for quite a while. At first I didn't think it was columnaris, and I still don't. What struck me as odd as that it only developed in the mouths of some fish in the tank, which made me think it was more of a condition than a disease.

From what I understand about columnaris, it will kill fish very quickly. But this has been going on longer than 6 months, and it hasn't affected the fish in any way I've observed. They've gone on eating fine, spawning, etc.

I did some research on melafix and decided to go ahead and try treat the fish, figuring it wouldn't do any harm (compared to more toxic treatments).

One of my early theories was that it might have come from the fish attempting to scrape algae off the shale in the one tank. Because it's just kind of a white ring around their lips. The shale has rough edges, and all of the fish in the tank are mbuna, which are known to scrape rocks.

Do you have any idea of what this might be, and how I should deal with it?

Thanks!
 

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White lips are common among mbuna and not a cause for concern. Scraping rocks and even more likely...lip locking during fights. As long as injuries are not extensive and no one lurks under the surface and/or behind heaters and filter intakes this sounds normal.
 
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