Improving the water quality may take care of it, Josh.
Try doing daily or every other day partial water changes with a good quality declorinator for the next week or so. Siphon the gravel. Check and make sure that the filter(s) are running strong and that there's no build up of waste on the media. Improve water movement by adding a jet or additional filter.
If they still have the spots after a couple of weeks then you may need to treat with an anti-fungal med. Also if the spots seem to be getting worse or the fish stop eating or become lethargic then you may need to treat, but I would definitely take steps towards water quality improvement first. I bet it will clear up pretty easy.
Just wondering, because your problem sounds a LOT like what I'm seeing on our severums: cotton "bubbles" or nodules on the extreme ends of the anal and pelvic fins.
Sounds worse than it is. One has a tiny nodule on each pelvic fin (total of two)... the other has a single one at the very end of his anal fin. Seems to be an opportunistic kind of thing growing on preexisting abrasions. I've been keeping a close eye on them for about a week. Nothing's spreading, and the nodules seem to be getting smaller, just very very very slowly. Water quality is great (as far as tests tell me! ). Filtration is good. Lots of big water changes.
Would salt and a temp increase help speed up the healing process? I'd like not to medicate if I don't have to.
Does salt (added slowly, of course) crash the nitrogen cycle bacteria?
got worried about possible columnaris and started treatment for that. No change in 4 days. Fish still acting fine.
i did do a large water change before i started treatment. This is however my dirtiest tank and i also ordered another filter for it (currently only have a AC50 on a 40 gallon breeder. i just ordered a eheim 2215).
i have also noticed an aggressor in the tank. i wasnt really looking for one before as they are all juvenile and all lack color, largest fish is 1.5 inch S. fryeri which is the aggressor.
so since this may after all just be a fungus should i stop the columnaris treatment and do the water changes.
Last night, I began slowly adding aquarium salt,and increasing the temperature. I also added an airstone to help keep the O2 levels up. This morning things are looking better, cotton nodule is significantly lessened, but one of our severum's pelvic fins looks like the very tip might fall off. I think I waited too long before doing something. I felt awful for letting him down. Kicked myself the whole way to work.
As for your fish, if it's "cottony" and hasn't worsened, it could just be an opportunistic body fungus working it's way into an unhealed scratch. I'd cease medicating for an illness that isn't there (unless the columnaris meds also treat fungus). Try aquarium salt and higher temps, and if that doesn't do it help, use meds for body fungus.
I would finish up on the Columnaris treatment and then just focus on improving water quality. That's a good idea to have the second filter on the tank, not only for the added filtration but also for the water movement. A 40 breeder is a long tank so all of the water may not be reaching the filter--could have some dead spots.
There's a few meds that claim to treat both bacterial and fungal infections. Triple Sulfa and Lifeguard are two.
But as I said, I think I'd finish up the Columnaris treatment and just focus on improving water quality. Try doing daily or every other day partial water changes for the next couple of weeks and see if there's any improvement with your fish.
Ryan: salt, (sodium chloride, regular table salt without additives), will help with a number of fish ailments but not all of them and you have to use it in the correct amounts for it to be effective.
In the case of bacterial infections salt, (1-2 tablespoons per five gallons), may help prevent the spread of the bacteria by not allowing the bacteria to attach to the fish's skin. I'd be caustious about raising the temp with suspected bacterial infections since some bacteria will get stronger/grow faster in warmer temps.
There's an article in our library on Columnaris that suggests doing salt baths to stop a bacterial infection--so that's worth checking out. With salt baths you dip the fish in a small amount of water that has a high amount of sodium chloride added to it.
The addition of salt will NOT hurt your biological filtration.
well last night i lost one fish from this tank....it wasnt one with a nodule. so i dont know what happened there. when i got home from work i noticed him hanging out by himself and 2 hrs later he was swimming upside down.
i think there may be some improvement tonight.. the first fish i noticed the nodules on have slightly decreased in size.
it is funny that only one of the 3 species i have in this tank is showing any spots.
i have 8 ps. acei ngara, 7 S. fryeri, and 8 Hap. sp. ruby which are the ones showing these fin spots.
i added a sponge filter and my eheim 2215 arrived and is also now running this should improve the water movement. once i am done with this course of treatment i will do so water changes also.