Posted: 2011.01.03(Mon)18:36 Post subject: Salt Bath for Cory?
Last ditch effort for melanistus cory with some type of virulent white growth on his mouth that is eating his head. Some white on dorsal area makes me think colmnaris.
I had family emergency and missed three water changes-
72 US tank amazonian biotope very planted; nitrate 40 (still getting it down from 80 plus). Ammonia and ntrite zero, temp 78. pH steady 7 KH 3. I use well water treated with potassium chloride in the softener.
8 assorted small tetras
1 large angelfish
1 med clown pleco
No other fish affected, I know the water quality is the major factor. I treated with nitrofurazone for 7 days and it didn't touch it. Suspect columnaris and need advice- salt bath the affected fish, add salt to whole tank, what??
Any help appreciated! _________________ "You can't predict, you can prepare"
Are you sure it's columnaris? If only one fish is affected and it hasn't died yet, I would suspect something else. (perhaps fungal... perhaps he injured himself).
Do you have a quarantine tank? If so, I'd put him in there and do waterchanges on a daily basis. If not, I'd do water changes on your main tank on a daily basis. _________________ Dumpster Tank Nano Fish Mbuna
I don't know what it is, but nitrofurazone has worked on fungus and bacterial infections like a charm every time I have used it; it's both gram negative and gram positive; I am stumped here. I do know that not only was Melafix useless, it wiped out 12 harlequin rasboras overnight.
I always thought salt was a no no for corys but apparently I was only reading anecdotal testimony, not science. I personally have never used it with corys.
I just love these guys and hate to lose a single one. I'm setting up a 10 gal tonight and hoping the move doesn't knock him off.
Thanks for your reply- what is your take on salt in freshwater, corydoras in particular? _________________ "You can't predict, you can prepare"
I doubt very much that it's columnaris. Usually, that affects an entire species, for example in your case I would expect all of the C. melanistius to come down with it. Has another fish been affected?
A virulent white growth on the mouth that is eating away the head sounds like barbel erosion that has progressed to the final stage. I doubt very much that you will be able to save this cory. However, I don't want to discourage you from trying because it would be interesting to see if a treatment in QT would help.
I think you need to work on reducing the nitrates in the main tank and perhaps keep an eye on that angelfish. If it attacked the cory's barbels, that could well have been the start of this disaster.
Potassium chloride is a salt, as you must know, so adding more salt to the water will not really help anything. Historically, according to some well-known aquarists, corys have reacted very poorly to added salt in the water. In my experience, corys do very well with Melafix, but some fish do not - especially, top-dwellers.
Thanks for the input Deborah.
I did a 40% water change last night bringing nitrate to about 20. Installed a quickfilter and thoroughly rinsed (in aquarium water!) all the filter media, vacuumed gravel, and will do another water change tonight.
Sadly, I think you are right about a lost cause here; the necrosis is almost to his eye on his right side and I am thinking of euthanizing
If it is from injury why did nitrofurazone not help?
I have never seen this before; I had another cory get caught in the filter and rip off half his barbels recover (twice!).
I don't think the angelfish was guilty of aggression- it's alone in there to eliminate breeding behaviours and because it has proven itself safe with even very small fish.
Any (new) thoughts on best way to euthanize?
Cheryl _________________ "You can't predict, you can prepare"
Cheryl, the maintenance you did last night sounds good and will help, in general. Just wondering, do you use a Python to change the water?
How deep is the gravel? I prefer sand for Corydoras, and a very shallow layer at that (maybe 2 cm deep) but it's not impossible to keep corys successfully on gravel if it is not too deep and is cleaned regularly. Even when gravel is kept very clean and the particles are round and smooth, it is still quite an effort for the corys to root around in it comfortably. Barbels are sensory organs and not mini backhoes! Barbels are not meant to push bulky gravel around, but I don't want to go into that too much here. If you could just tell us a little more about your gravel, what size particles, how deep, and about any other decor in the tank, that would help. It may be too late for this little cory but the tank's future life is still bright.
I can't tell you why the nitrofurazone did not work. I will not use such products anymore, and haven't needed to for years. In my experience, such products do more harm than good. They are strong and harsh and are probably best used by those who import/export a lot of fish and are dosing many at once. I really can't advise you with OTC remedies like this.
I CAN say that Melafix is a very good product and I use it frequently, mostly to acclimate fish but sometimes for torn fins (due to chasing and fighting) or sometimes just to settle down a new batch of fish. I don't always use the full dose; it depends on the fish. It's tolerated very well by bottom-dwelling catfish, in my experience.
I have used the anti-bacterial agent erythromycin successfully on a few occasions, usually the brand known as MYACIN, and the fish seem to tolerate it well. I just assume I know which bacteria I am treating! There is always one group of fish, it seems to me, that reacts poorly to even the mildest of "meds." One time, I did have to consider the gram positive/negative thing because I had no idea what the fuzzy white stuff was. I used erythromycin and then tetracycline, on that occasion.
When I bring in a new loricariid (suckermouth) catfish, a wild-caught specimen, there is almost always a reaction against our treated tapwater. To combat this, I use homemade blackwater extracts and keep my aquariums parasite-free. Disease is not an issue.
This approach is not for everyone and it's the most useful with those fish from the so-called blackwaters of the Amazon or Southeast Asian streams and waterways. However, even whitewaters have humics and dissoved organic substances in them. No clearwater habitat is quite like our sterile tapwater! I always add a little organic extract to the water.
So, for the fish you want to keep, you may need to adjust your water very slightly towards the organic end. A few pieces of wood and a bit of leaf litter would be a good start.
As to euthanasia, I'm a bit against it - especially for small fish. If I have an old fish and I see it's starting to go, I just leave it be. For a languishing fish, I just let them live out their life and die in peace, in the tank. The other fish do not attack it until it's gone, and then it's usually consumed overnight. This is not the way everyone does it, and it's not the policy of this website. It's just what I do. If I had to euthanize, I'd freeze the fish in a little aquarium water and leave it in the freezer for several weeks.
ps: for your cory that recovered from his barbel injury, I have seen many corys recover their barbels if only the barbel is affected and no other bacterial infection gets a foothold. You must have kept your water very clean on that occasion. Very clean water and maybe a bit of Melafix is a good way to go, but if you believe the Melafix was responsible for killing off the harlequins, then you won't want to use it. I am very surprised and not a little skeptical, to be honest! Rasbora harlequins swim at mid-level and are not top-dwellers, in my experience. Therefore, it's hard to see how the Melafix killed them, unless you used too much? Or hit them directly? Accidentally? _________________
Deborah, thank you for your caring concern.
I do use a python, have for years. Don't know how I managed w/o it!
I use very small rounded edge gravel about 2 inches in front sloping to 3-3.5 inches in back. I have two large peices of Malaysian driftwood and lots of java moss, java fern, crypts, and some weird red things sprouted from bulbs. lots of organic matter, obviously too much. I don't use blackwater extract anymore as the driftwood gives me brown water conditions and lowers the pH. I normally have a clean tank this just got neglected while I was away
I feed the corys pellets so it is easier for them to feed and most often they are hanging out in the foliage or shoaling back and forth quite happily. I have three that are 7 yrs old
I'm never using Melafix again as I have no other reason for my rasboras' demise. I use whatever med I think through research will work the best for whatever malady I am treating. I don't use anything very often.
I just don't like the not knowing what it is that is literally eating him _________________ "You can't predict, you can prepare"
I just don't like the not knowing what it is that is literally eating him
I agree with you 100%! As the barbels erode, various opportunistic bacteria try to take hold. If they aren't headed off - such as with clean water and anti-septic treatments, as the erosion is discovered - then a true infection sets in. As the bacteria infested tissue dies, the secondary infections begin - usually some sort of fungus crops up. Without a microscope, it would be very difficult to tell a bacterial infection from a fungal one, at this point.
I wish we could do more but obviously the infection is well underway and probably untreatable. If you still want to try treating the cory in QT I'd use erythromycin to start with and see how that does. At least, he will not be very uncomfortable during the treatment.
Otherwise, except for the gravel being a bit deep, everything you describe sounds great. The weird red things sprouted from bulbs might be one of the Nymphaea lilies? Are the leaves arrow-shaped? Anyway, it sounds nice and your healthy corys are aging so it doesn't sound lke things need to be improved.
ps: Just wondered about the Python on that size tank. I use one on a 75 gallon (284 L) and it's fine but it drains very slowly. It's no good for siphoning up small particles, either. _________________
I don't use the Python for draining/syphoning it is too slow. I use a regular syphon into buckets then water my plants everyone wants to know what fertilizer I use and in summer my tomato plants are 7ft high.
The mystery plants now have a name! thanks!
Cheryl _________________ "You can't predict, you can prepare"
in these cases this is what is best gently remove as much of the infected tissue with cotton wool pads.then making sure to follow instrutions on bottle dilude
povidone-iodine this iodine is a very good antibacteral antifungal agent.place on wound then put on a coat of mouth ulcer med's like oral gel to act as a osmotic barrier while it heals still treat water with other meds to kill pathogen in the water and tank and do as many water changes as possable at least 1-2 a day if not more useing water condishiner every time. _________________ Even experts make the simplest sometimes dumb mistakes.Learn from them.
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