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rocmills

Battling Mouth Rot

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Wow. This morning Luc looked beautiful, but the tank water was getting a bit yucky (now that he is eating more he is, naturally, pooping more!)... so I did a 75% water change after which I noticed that somewhere along the line he bashed is face again and now has a big red spot on his bottom lip and some streamers. :(

Tested the water after change:

pH: 7.6

Nitrates: 10

Nitrites: 0

Amm.: 0

Gh & Kh: 180

Initially treated the water with Amquel+ but when I noticed the new boo-boo and streamers I added some StressCoat. Did not salt the water this time around... should I go ahead and do that?

I added a small bag of bio-max to the filter as well.

--Roc

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Trinket, if we are certain the columnaris is gone is Luc then the only problem he is facing now is bad water in the hospital tank, right? The pH crashes are what's causing the streamers and making him smash himself into things and open the wounds again.

I got to wondering last night... would it be better for Luc if I put him back in the main tank which has more stable water (except for the Nitrates which are still a bit high)? At least then he is in better water and I only have to treat the one tank instead of two. Obviously, I would only reintroduce him to the main tank at a time when I can sit downstairs with them and keep an eye on the group interaction for a few hours to make certain no one is picking on him.

Of course, when I went downstairs this morning to check on him, the pH was still a little low despite me using the Buff It Up last night... and then, while I was feeding the iguana I heard a loud crash and turned around to find Luc throwing himself out of the water and bashing his mouth against the lid of the tank again. By the time I got over there to give him a good lecture, his whole mouth looked like hamburger again. I added another dose of Buff and some Stress Coat right away, but it's so raw and red and ugly now, I'm back to feeling discouraged again.

I'm thinking it's time to bucket Luc and give the whole hospital tank a PP treatment or at least a good scrubbing down. Not that that will affect my pH problems, but it couldn't hurt, right?

--Roc

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Of course, when I went downstairs this morning to check on him, the pH was still a little low despite me using the Buff It Up last night... and then, while I was feeding the iguana I heard a loud crash and turned around to find Luc throwing himself out of the water and bashing his mouth against the lid of the tank again. By the time I got over there to give him a good lecture, his whole mouth looked like hamburger again. I added another dose of Buff and some Stress Coat right away, but it's so raw and red and ugly now, I'm back to feeling discouraged again.

Oh no! How frustrating that must be! Just when you think things are finally better.

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Acupunk,

Thanks for the sympathy. I was one day, just one friggin day, away from putting him back in the main tank. Now I'm hesitating and doubting myself. What if the columnaris isn't really gone? I don't want to make everyone else sick. That's why I was thinking of a PP dip before reintroduction to the main tank... but I don't want to put him back in there when his mouth is looking so bad. Guess I should pick up some Pimafix since I don't want to medicate him again so soon (plus, i'm out of the Binox that fixed him up last time).

When I visit the lfs tomorrow (presuming i'm not too sick) I'll check out live plants for the main tank and some Pima for the hospital tank - and maybe even get a larger filter for the hospital tank. If he's not going back in the main tank, he should probably have a better filter than what is on there now.

--Roc

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I suppose the main trouble with re-introducing him is going to be if you need to medicate again. You can't medicate a tank with healthy fish. The more stable water would definitely help Luc. No doubt about that. I am not 100% sure on the transmission style and likelihood of this kind of infection. I cannot say for sure you would not have some probs with perhaps a milder infection being passed on somwhere along the road. The original columnaris bac is highly contagious you see. On the other hand unless you have been incredibly careful about avoiding net/syphon tank cross contamination you may well have already without knowing it introduced the virus or bacteria and the fish have all accomodated it and have some immunity to it by now.

I would go with the Melafix (never used Pimafix) and keep the Binox at hand since that worked well and then just rely on a topical application . Perhaps bio-bandage would be a good one (meth blue and neomycin) rather than hp.

I don't think the PP will work again because Luc has not shown any positive response from any of the disinfectant type treatments where he has shown improvement with antibiotics.

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I figured I would clean the hospital tank and then refill and have it ready to go if and when I put Luc back in the main tank - this way I have someplace to put him back again if things don't go well on the reintroduction.

And, nope, I hate to say that I have not been a good fish keeper when it comes to possibilities of cross contamination. I have used the same vac on both tanks, same nets, same water testing test tubes. It never occured to me, until I read something elsewhere on this board a while back, that I could cross contaminate that way.

Yes, plan to buy some more Binox if I make it out to the store tomorrow. Binox, plants, possibly a better filter for the hospital tank. And Mela not Pima, okay.

Where might I find this bio-bandage? I'm sure I haven't seen it at 'smart or 'co as I've looked for a product like that from the beginning. I'll check the Foster and Smith site since I was going to order some Prazi Pro from them anyway.

--Roc

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Hers's apic of what you are looking for. Powder or gel based.

P1030463.jpg

It is runny stuff and meth blue stains everything so you need to wear latex gloves to use it. Plus you only need the tiniest amount. Otherwise use according to directions. It contains neomycin sulfate which is a very powerful bactericidal antibiotic.

Sounds like a good shopping list. How is your arm healing up, don't forget to look after yourself too :)

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Ah, thanks for the photo. Will definitely have to order from F&S as none of the stores in town carry that kind of thing... I've looked and looked.

The arm itches and hurts, but doesn't seem to be getting infected (which is a miracle for me because staph loves me and even my paper cuts usually get infected). Treating with neosporin several times a day.

Got my plants soaking in a PP dip right now, got another filter for the hospital tank and a bottle of Melafix. Binox is only available at a store across town and I barely had enough oomph this morning to make it down to the corner lfs. Luc does look better this morning, though, the streamers are gone at least.

I'm going to leave him in isolation for another few days at least, then will probably put him back in the main tank if he hasn't hurt himself again and then pray for the best.

--Roc

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Okay, I drained all but maybe a half inch of water from the hospital tank, scrubbed it out first with the fish sponge. Cleaned all the gunk out of the old filter, using tank water. Set up new tank with extra bio-max and no carbon, treated new water with Amquel+ and Melafix - added some ice because the tap water is extra warm today.

The hospital tank now has two HOBs on it filtering over 400 gph on a 20 gallon tank that probably only has 18 gallons in it.

After water change tests:

pH: 0

Amm.: 0

Nitrites: 0

Nitrates: 10

GH & KH: 180

So, for the time being, the water parameters are good, right?

Luc's mouth still looks horribly awful, but not a freshly red as it was when he first did this. Since the low pH is what is causing the streamers, how high can I go with the pH? I have this huge thing of Buff It Up and I really don't want to see Luc keep hurting himself, so I plan to keep an extra close eye on the pH level... but if I can take it up higher than 7.6, I would like to. Any advice?

--Roc

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As long as you have zero ammonia the pH can be quite high. Mine has been as high as 8.5. It's around 8 now in most of my tanks. I prefer it a little high in a stable tank because the bbs -and my fish -seem to flourish in a higher pH (and bbs die back as the pH drops or water gets acidic).

Main 2 warnings :Ammonia is double toxic at high pH. Also a pH plunge is more serious from a higher start point.

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The pH test is so quick and easy, doing it often isn't an issue. My test kit only reads up to 7.6, but I can get a high end kit as well. So I will keep an eye on pH and ammonia, and see how things go.

--Roc

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Hospital tank this morning:

Amm.: 0

pH: 7.6

Nitrites: 0

Nitrates: 5

GH & KH: 180

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I got the bio-bandage and the prazipro and have been treating the hospital tank for flukes, two doses down, one to go. Cannot imagine how to use this bio-bandage, so it hasn't been opened yet. I also haven't started another round of the Binox treatment as I wanted to wait for the prazi to have it's chance, first.

I had the opportunity to speak with a fish vet a few days ago and I told him all about our long battle with Luc and the columnaris. He did not disagree with anything we have done thus far, but he did suggest that in addition to the columnaris and (former) pH issues, that maybe the mouth bashing was a result of parasites. He said that if the prazi and the next round of binox didn't do the trick, I could bring Luc in for a scape and he would see if there were, in fact, other parasites present. This would run about 80 bucks, and I only wish I'd found this guy a few months ago. He's about 30 minutes away, and I don't know how I would get Luc there without overly stressing him or risking oxygen deprivation in this heat. The car has a/c but when it is 110 outside and the car has been sitting in the sun all day, the a/c barely makes a dent in the heat.

--Roc

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That's great that you had the chance to speak to a fish vet! $80 isn't wonderful, but it's not too bad either. I was actually just reading new posts and I saw your post on another thread and it reminded me to seek out this one to see how you were doing and see if there was still any more face bashing. It's so great that he is stil hanging in there after all this time, and great that you are too. Good luck. Get better Luc!!

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Thanks, Country, as usual I appreciate all the moral support I can get.

I've kept Luc in lights-out mode since the weekend. Finished his PraziPro treatment for flukes and have started another course of treatment with the Binox. He is eating well, though he doesn't seem to care for the special food I bought at GFC, he just eats his normal crisps. Added another filter to the hospital tank and the water parameters are holding steady. He looked pretty good this morning - but everytime I say that he turns around and bashes himself a few hours later. I'll see what he looks like when I get home from work tonight. He is due for a 50% water change and a second dose of the Binox this evening.

--Roc

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