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White spots not ich?

Neptune's Neighborhood

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My male GBR has some white nodes on his head and a sort of "patch" of white on the rear next to his eye (left of eye in photo). No other spots on body, fins, or other side of head. He's still active and comes up when I go near the tank and he has appetite.

He's in 20 gal w/ 2 pencil, female GBR
0,0,0 water is great; temp 84ish F

At first I thought it was fungus, but now I'm not too sure. No other fish show signs, he doesn't show injury either. There haven't been any changes in the tank stock for months. If it's ich, I can heat and salt, but if it's something else, I can't identify it. Anyone have an idea?

 

gerald

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I agree - that's NOT ich. Looks like some kind of infection in the sensory pores on the head - maybe bacterial, maybe protozoan, or both.
 

Mike Wise

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Although in ways it looks like the post-eruption stage of Ich, I would expect to see it on the fins, too. It looks like something is attacking the sensory pores of the head (HIH?). I wouldn't expect to see this unless the water values were highly acidic or nitrogen rich.

Maracyn I is Erythomycin - a gram positive antibiotic - not very effective against most (gram negative) fish disease bacteria. Maracyn is Minocycline - a mild gram negative antibiotic - again, not the most effective medicine for fish disease bacteria. Me? I try an antiparasitic like Metronidazole and 2 - 3 water changes/week and see if this changes things.
 

Neptune's Neighborhood

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So I've been treating with metro and 75% water changes, it doesn't seem better. I couldn't get a good shot, but I took video - http://flic.kr/p/fjCaSg

As you can see, he has a large bump on the middle top of his head and 2-3 bumps to each side of the head. Other fish are still unaffected.

Should I switch it up or ride it out? I have kanamycin sulfate on hand, maybe some furan-2 and the maracyns. Anything else I think I'd need to go find.
 

gerald

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Kanamycin might be worth a try. I hate to be the guy who always brings up the M-word, but that might be Mycobacterium, which is incurable but sometimes goes into remission for awhile (months to years). If he dies, and if you want to check for Myco, slit open the belly (immediately after death is best) and look for tan, yellow or brown lumps (granulomas) in the kidney, spleen and liver. You can often see them even without magnification - they look like sand grains.
 

Mike Wise

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If it's HIH, then treatment may take weeks/month to show results. There is no 'instant fix'. I, too like Kanamycin as a gram negative antibiotic for bacterial diseases. It is more readily absorbed into the body by freshwater fishes than most other antibiotics, so it6 tends to be more effective. I use it in combination with Naladixic Acid, which affects bacteria in a different way than true antibiotics. Together they produce a synergistic result.

Now for the cruel facts of life. How valuable is your fish? Are you willing to spend 10-20x more on medications than the cost of the fish in the hope that it recovers? Sadly, in the case of your Ram, it might not be worth it (only you can decide). If it is a rare species that almost never appears in the hobby, then maybe it's worth trying.
 

gerald

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In the cost/benefit analysis, also consider the value to you of learning how to treat and manage fish disease, even if it doesn't work on this fish. Practicing now on an easily-replaceable sick ram might help you save a hard-to-get species later.

Mike - do you have a recommended dosage for the Kanamycin+Naladixic acid cocktail?

If it's HIH, then treatment may take weeks/month to show results. There is no 'instant fix'. I, too like Kanamycin as a gram negative antibiotic for bacterial diseases. It is more readily absorbed into the body by freshwater fishes than most other antibiotics, so it6 tends to be more effective. I use it in combination with Naladixic Acid, which affects bacteria in a different way than true antibiotics. Together they produce a synergistic result.

Now for the cruel facts of life. How valuable is your fish? Are you willing to spend 10-20x more on medications than the cost of the fish in the hope that it recovers? Sadly, in the case of your Ram, it might not be worth it (only you can decide). If it is a rare species that almost never appears in the hobby, then maybe it's worth trying.
 

Mike Wise

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Since the 2 medications work differently, there is no doubling of the toxic effect on apistos. Therefore I use the recommended doses. I often mix them with Metronidozole, too - a rather potent cocktail. It's best to do partial water changes between doses.
 

Neptune's Neighborhood

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He didn't respond to any medication, but he never got better or worse. Was active and hungry the whole time. Then his head started to deteriorate on the 18th and I euthanized him. It was no good, I walked in and he swam up like he usually did, begging for food, yet half his face was gone.

Did not end up using kanamycin, did metro for 5 days no result, did epsom-soaked feeding for a week, no result. QT and metro/praziquental for a few days. The tank mates did not show any effects and I have since moved them all to a new tank, by themselves, still not showing any effects. Perhaps it was genetics..
 

Neptune's Neighborhood

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if you want to check for Myco, slit open the belly (immediately after death is best) and look for tan, yellow or brown lumps (granulomas) in the kidney, spleen and liver. You can often see them even without magnification - they look like sand grains.
Thanks for this. I always worry when I have a fish go with a bent spine, but now I can at least do a spot check on them. Hasn't happened in any of my apisto tanks, usually only platys, white cloud minnows or sparkling gouramis
 

gerald

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That sounds like an infection, not a genetic deformity (unless you mean a genetic immune deficiency against infection, which is possible). In the 80's I had some curviceps whose faces deteriorated like that, but they were still breeding and their offspring grew up fine. (I moved the eggs to a different tank before hatching). I finally euthanized the parents when they stopped eating, but they lived like that for several months with no apparent discomfort. I didn't know how to check for Myco back then, but based on Myco-infected cichlids and gouramis I've examined since then, I'm pretty sure they had it.

quote="Neptune's Neighborhood, post: 79148, member: 11573"] ... he swam up like he usually did, begging for food, yet half his face was gone ... Perhaps it was genetics..[/quote]
 

Neptune's Neighborhood

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That sounds like an infection, not a genetic deformity (unless you mean a genetic immune deficiency against infection, which is possible). In the 80's I had some curviceps whose faces deteriorated like that, but they were still breeding and their offspring grew up fine. (I moved the eggs to a different tank before hatching). I finally euthanized the parents when they stopped eating, but they lived like that for several months with no apparent discomfort. I didn't know how to check for Myco back then, but based on Myco-infected cichlids and gouramis I've examined since then, I'm pretty sure they had it.

Geez. I couldn't handle seeing him like that for very long.

So how likely is it that I need to euthanize the tankmates? What if the tankmates have come into contact with other fish?
 

gerald

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That's your decision. First, if you did not examine the fish's organs for Myco granulomas, then it might not even be Myco. Whatever the disease is, the decision is based on how often you bring in new fish or plants, and whether its a pathogen you can really expect to eliminate and avoid. If I was a commercial breeder keeping only a few species, line breeding and rarely getting new fish, and feeding only cooked foods, then I might choose to euthanize all fish, bleach everything and start over, and pray for Myco-free fish, plants, and water. But in reality, I keep many species in many small tanks, I bring in new fish and plants a few times a year, feed frozen and live foods, and I really doubt there's any way I could sterilize everything that might have Myco on it (it can survive dried out for years on equipment) or keep it from getting back in later. So for me it makes sense to just accept that it's there, and euthanize any fish that show advanced symptoms. It usually hits when they're older, and eventually they all have to die from something.

So how likely is it that I need to euthanize the tankmates? What if the tankmates have come into contact with other fish?
 

gerald

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Bummer ... that seems to be the fate of many mass-farmed rams. Go to any pet shop with a tank full of rams (not obtained from a local hobbyist breeder) and you'll almost always find a few with rapid breathing, puffy eyes, sensory pit infections, red nostrils, fecal mucus, or some combination of those symptoms. Let us know what (if any) treatments you try.
 

Neptune's Neighborhood

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These are from a pretty well known breeder, they probably caught whatever it is through a hitchhiker on a plant..
Not going to try anything, if she gets better, she gets better. If not, I put her down and... cut her open?
 

gerald

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Speaking of "cut her open" I recently got this neat little Veho USB microscope (basically a web-cam with a microscope lens) for taking pics of things as small as 1/2 mm. The optics are not too bad for only $35 USD. At the highest magnification, the VMS-001 model field of view is 2 mm wide, and you can select the pixel resolution from 320 x 240 up to 1600 x 1280. There's also a VMS-004 model with higher magnification for around $55. The stand is not very good, so I made a better one with a block of wood, a long machine screw, a couple hex nuts, and PVC fitting. Next time I have a diseased fish to examine, I'll be able to post pics of fine details. So far I've taken a few shots of Moina and Ostracods - will post those in a new thread when I get a chance. I dont want to derail this thread any farther, but I think the Veho is going to be a handy tool/toy for disease diagnosis and identifying tiny critters.

http://www.amazon.com/Veho-VMS-001-Magnification-Discovery-Microscope/dp/B001ACKIUO/ref=pd_sim_p_1
 

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