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how to treat epistylis

anewbie

Active Member
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512
I introduced some cherry barbs to my 120 and there has been an out break of epistylis (and likely some sort of more deadly bacteria infection). Most of the tetras have died, the pleco and angels are showing no symptons and the clown loaches are covered in what I believe is epistylis (picture attached). THe tank is a bit over 100 gallons.

This brings up a secondary topic how to qt fishes. The cherry barbs themselves are fine and showing no sympton - how can i prevent this sort of thing in the future? The duration of time has been 1 month since they were introduced - they are the only fish added in the past year and this is the first disease out break i've had.

Picture of loach:
Clown3
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,211
Location
Germany
I introduced some cherry barbs to my 120 and there has been an out break of epistylis (and likely some sort of more deadly bacteria infection). Most of the tetras have died, the pleco and angels are showing no symptons and the clown loaches are covered in what I believe is epistylis (picture attached). THe tank is a bit over 100 gallons.
It could be Epistylis. The only therapy I know is salt in relatively high concentration (0.4-0.5%), which is not a very good idea to be used on loaches. As no other fish are affected Ich can be ruled out.

This brings up a secondary topic how to qt fishes. The cherry barbs themselves are fine and showing no sympton - how can i prevent this sort of thing in the future? The duration of time has been 1 month since they were introduced - they are the only fish added in the past year and this is the first disease out break i've had.
Sometimes fish introduce pathogens not all fish can get (e.g. dwarf gourami iridovirus) so checking the source for anything that could be transmitted is the most important precaution. Scaleles fish like loaches, eels and catfish are especially prone to Epistylis.
Otherwise strict hygiene measures (separate maintenance equipment and disinfecting hands) are also helpful.
But preventing such a transmission actively... only if you can test all new additions for all kinds of parasites at the vet.
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
512
It could be Epistylis. The only therapy I know is salt in relatively high concentration (0.4-0.5%), which is not a very good idea to be used on loaches. As no other fish are affected Ich can be ruled out.


Sometimes fish introduce pathogens not all fish can get (e.g. dwarf gourami iridovirus) so checking the source for anything that could be transmitted is the most important precaution. Scaleles fish like loaches, eels and catfish are especially prone to Epistylis.
Otherwise strict hygiene measures (separate maintenance equipment and disinfecting hands) are also helpful.
But preventing such a transmission actively... only if you can test all new additions for all kinds of parasites at the vet.
So basically it is hopeless. Yea i can't use salt on the loaches; I've been trying kanaplex and some ick medicine (at 70% recommended dosage); there are cory in the tank as well as zebra loaches and they seem unaffected. Guess I'll do another 70% water change tomorrow. Kind of painful given the tank size. If the clown loaches do end up dying is there anyway to make it safe to add new clown loaches at a later date ?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,211
Location
Germany
I've been trying kanaplex
Which is to be expected to not work. No indication against this.
some ick medicine (at 70% recommended dosage)
Which one? I heard it could work if it contains formaldehyde.
there are cory in the tank as well as zebra loaches and they seem unaffected.
Hmmm... they also do not "cuddle" as much as clown loaches do.
Guess I'll do another 70% water change tomorrow. Kind of painful given the tank size.
Even more painful loosing the loaches, as those are quite big specimens. Takes ages to get them there.
If the clown loaches do end up dying is there anyway to make it safe to add new clown loaches at a later date ?
Besides the classic "no host, no parasite"-paradigma... no. I would try after at least 3 months without any signs of that stuff on other fish, but do an extra long quarantine so they are not too stressed when moved into the tank.
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
512
Which is to be expected to not work. No indication against this.

Which one? I heard it could work if it contains formaldehyde.

Hmmm... they also do not "cuddle" as much as clown loaches do.

Even more painful loosing the loaches, as those are quite big specimens. Takes ages to get them there.

Besides the classic "no host, no parasite"-paradigma... no. I would try after at least 3 months without any signs of that stuff on other fish, but do an extra long quarantine so they are not too stressed when moved into the tank.
The kanaplex is for bacteria infection that they likely have. It might be useless but that is the logic. My reading is that the disease is feeding off the bacteria and it is the bacteria that actually kills the fish. Worse most of the article i read indicate there are no external symptons to identify the bacteria infection when this happens.

I'm currently using Kordon's rid-ick since that is what i had; i've ordered a small bottle of hiraki which has m. green.

Yea they are around 4 years old - around 5 1/2 - 6 inches. I'd prefer they don't die; well in general i never feel good about a fish dying but i really try to treat these fellow well so I'm not over joyed with the situation.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,211
Location
Germany
The kanaplex is for bacteria infection that they likely have. It might be useless but that is the logic. My reading is that the disease is feeding off the bacteria and it is the bacteria that actually kills the fish. Worse most of the article i read indicate there are no external symptons to identify the bacteria infection when this happens.
So starving them out. I did not know this. An inline UV-sterilizer would be probably the better option. You would have to sustain the antibiotic conditions for quite a while and it could throw the whole system off. A UV is not attacking the fishes systems like the antibiotics would.
I'm currently using Kordon's rid-ick since that is what i had; i've ordered a small bottle of hiraki which has m. green.
Both are not sold here, so I can only go by what they say on the websites. The hikari might work, but also be bad for scaleless fish.
Yea they are around 4 years old - around 5 1/2 - 6 inches. I'd prefer they don't die; well in general i never feel good about a fish dying but i really try to treat these fellow well so I'm not over joyed with the situation.
Friend of mine had to give away a group he had for 8 years (including one he had for 17 years), but they ultimately outgrew his tank (150x50x50). They were all between 15 and 24cm.
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
512
I'm getting a tank that is 12ft long 3 ft wide for these guys - so i hope i can keep them for a long long time (if they make it). The suggest was to put kanapex in their food; i could try a uv inline - i'd have to order one that fits the canister filter - you really think that is the way to go ?
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,211
Location
Germany
you really think that is the way to go ?
Frankly, I do not. But if it's about getting bacteria from the watercolumn to starve out the Epistylis, this is for sure the best option that doesn't require putting the strain of antibiotics on the fish and the biological filtration.
Choice is your's, still.
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
512
Frankly, I do not. But if it's about getting bacteria from the watercolumn to starve out the Epistylis, this is for sure the best option that doesn't require putting the strain of antibiotics on the fish and the biological filtration.
Choice is your's, still.
Lets start over; what do you recommend? Rereading the thread it sounds like your commendation is to basically cross my fingers and hope it works out but maybe i misread something. Normally you would recommend salt but that is not recommended for the loaches; the ick med might help but you don't seem to recommend that. You don't really like the idea of putting antibiotics in the food - i could just cross my fingers and hope for the best but I'm not hopeful.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,211
Location
Germany
No, you misread it. I have come up with plausible ideas, but I do rarely recommend things I do not have tried in this exact situation.
I have treated Epistylis on various fish, I have treated loaches for many ailments. But I haven't treated Epistylis on loaches. The med and the UV are both feasable solutions with a certain likelihood to work. I named the pros and cons.
But in the end I cannot recommend what I am only estimating to work. It's your decision to make and you have obviously done more research than I have since I had to deal with it last time. So probably now you are at a point of being better informed for this situation than me.
 
Last edited:

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
512
Well the UV is a new idea i had not considered - finding one suitable for the tank is the hard part and i'm not sure if there are negatives - i'm also concern that time is short and it took too long for me to realize what was happening (esp since the barbs themselves are not showing any ill effect). I'm also concern that the treatments i have used are not great for the tank and I don't want to over-react. The UV has the advantage that i'm not putting more chemicals in the water - if i can find one that will do more good than harm.
 

MacZ

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,211
Location
Germany
Your train of thought works out. Then by all means try it if you think this is the option checking with most of your concerns.
 

anewbie

Active Member
Messages
512
I did order a small UV system; 13 watt and will install it today however i did some reading which suggested to be effective at killing larger organism you would need a 50 watt unit that cost significantly more. Still i figure it can't hurt. Two of the clowns have had their white dots clear so maybe the meds helped a little - but one is still definitely in bad shape and the others are not exactly acting normal. I did a 70% water change today - so they will get three of those this week - not sure if i will add more ick med - guess i'll take it day by day and observe them - they are mostly hanging out where the current is strongest - the out flow from the fx 6. Not sure what exactly that means.
 

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