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Fungal Infection On Black Moor

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Hi all, long time no talk! I am sorry to post under these circumstances when I haven't been around in ages, but Bart, my black moor is sick. Jeana727 and Kissy are co-parents to this moor, so they will be worried too!

First the basics:

Ammonia 0

Nitrites 0

Nitrates 30 (today is water change day)

Ph 7.0 and stable

Two 3-inch telescopes in a 20 gallon tank

290 gph with Whisper in-tank filters

Fish/tank/cycle all 2 years old with nothing new added

Eat Omega One soaked pellets, spirulina, krill, peas and occasional other veggies

Only additives are Prime and crushed coral in the filters

Change 25-40% of water weekly depending on nitrate levels

Important note, in case it matters, their tank is INFESTED with algae-like all over the sides and in the filters. I gave up trying to get rid of it and thought it might help with nitrates so I just leave it usually.

My black moor has some sbd issues and sometimes gets floaty after eating. This has been going on for 1 1/2 years or so, and sometimes when he floats too much he will get small white patches on him that eventually go away-they are flat patches though, nothing cottony coming off of them, That happens all the time and does not worry me since I have discussed it here before and it always goes away. Today when I looked in the tank I saw that two of the white patches that were flat yesterday have developed cottony puffs on them, looking like fungus. One area is on his tail and one is on his left fin. I will try and get a pic later but I will have to take him out of the tank to do it because of the algae.

I know that columnaris can look like fungus too, and have considered it, but would that be likely in an established tank with healthy fish, nothing new added? They do not eat live food and there are no new fish or plants in two years, and both are healthy. My calico telescope, the tankmate, looks totally normal and appears healthy. My moor is otherwise acting normally-swimming, eating, pooing, etc. other than being floaty occasionally. So I am thinking this may be an actual fungus? I have never treated fungus before so not sure what to use, if anything, or if I should just try salt first? Also note that the ph has been stable, so this is not likely to be slime coat coming off.

If anyone can answer back with a possible fungus med that would be great-I want to get to the pet store before it closes tonight. I know I may not NEED a med, and it is great if I don't, but I want to try and have it on hand if it ends up being needed. I have some Maracyn, but would prefer not to use that since it will probably kill the cycle-are there fungus meds that don't kill cycles? I do have a qt tank available as well, but would rather leave him in since space is an issue. I am going to try and get a picture for y'all... Thanks!

Edited by jen626

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Best I could get:

Picture of him fron the side where of course the line on the container is blocking the tail fungus-but on his dorsal fin you can see the flat white spots that he often gets.


You can kind of see the white blobs on his tail here:


And here if you look closeup you can see the tail spots pretty well-on the fin that is closest to the lower part of the picture:


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Hi Jen, nice to see you -

These spots, there are a few things they could be and a lot depends on how they feel combined with how the fish is behaving. If you rub one of the spots with your thumb and forefinger does it feel very hard and crusty or does it feel soft and squidgy- or just slimy?

The three main possibities as you have listed are; small isolated bacterial colonies that tend to affect weaker fish - possibly columnaris family; fungal growths that will look fuzzy up close; or epystylis parasites. Its difficult to differentiate without a magnifying lens at least and a microscope at best.

I have dealt with similar white fungal spots on my black moor. I removed her to a container and gently scratched off the spots with a clean finger nail. They came off completely. But hard to see in the water after. Then I applied a coating of iodine. But a PP paste is even better or hydrogen peroxide if you have it.

This method means you can return the fish to the main tank without using water born meds. Its a good start. If the spots come back then you may need a more viscious treatment program but this is what I would do first. If the spots do not rub off easily, then they are not fungal spores BUT they will still benefit from the h.p disinfection. This kills bacterial colonies dead on impact.

You'll then have to focus on getting the nitrates lower and keeping vigilant about the algae reduction. Algae is great in so many ways but it does harbor bacteria because it is left undisturbed- the exact conditions bacteria and waterborn fungus prefer.

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Thanks Imogen! Nice to talk to you too!

I like your idea. I have not tried touching it yet, but will do what you suggested in the morning. I am also going to work on the algae, I don't know why this particular tank has such an issue with it. I have three other tanks that are algae-free. It always scares me to remove too much if it at once. In fact, today i was going to start messing with it, and that is when I noticed the fungus or whatever it is. So tomorrow I will clean off two sides of the glass, remove the ornament and bubble wall to de-algae them, and maybe replace one sponge and one filter pad from the filters. I have tons of ceramic noodles in there so I am not worried about changing out one sponge. Does that sound like a good start? I didn't know that about the bacteria living in the algae!

Bart is acting pretty well other than the spots, so I am not super worried. Other than being a bit floaty yesterday, which is normal for him, he is acting just fine. Ity took me 10 minutes to catch him for the top picture I took. You can see how nasty the algae in my tank is from the pics-brownish algae on the glass, mixed with green in some places and the filters are full of green algae. I hate it with the passion of a thousand suns. :blowup:

Thank you so much for your help, I will try the hydrogen peroxide in the morning, and find out what the spots feel like and keep you posted!



Edited by jen626

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Mission accomplished Jen ? Or didn't work ?

Cutting back the algae sounds like a very good plan - if you imagine how easy it is for the longer tail fish to sweep their fins on the tank sides and so on, easy to pick up whatevers going round from there! If these are not fungally spores that come off easily witha light rub, then we'll have to rethink. The dorsal fin spots, looking again, could well be a kind of waxy viral dermatitis which clears up very well with a slowly raised temperature, but those 2 tail fin spots do look more fungal and may come off.

Just as a reminder, although I think you have probably done a topical application before, heres a link where I tried to explain the procedure to another member whose fish had some tail problems - post # 11, at the end of the thread.

Topical application of HP.

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Thanks for the link Impgen, this actually was my first topical application! I actually did the other morning though, and I forgot to post back. Sorry about that!

The white stuff came right off with only a flat whitish patch left after the hp application. It felt kind of slimy I guess, although it was hard to feel since it was such a small area. I did not really get a good swab with the ho ojn the little spot on his fin though, it is so close to his gills I didn't want to take the chance. He is still acting totally healthy and the cottony stuff has not returned.

I am thinking about getting aheater for that tank...ny other fish (commons and comets) have always been kept at room temp and done fine, so I have always just monitored my telescopes, and so far they have been ok. Maybe not for the upcoming spring and summer, but next winter maybe I will get a heater for Bart and Lisa. Unless you think it would be beneficial now? How does a heater affect algae though, if it increases it I may definitely wait!

I did some of the algae cleanup on the glass. Stangely, I think my fish heard me talking about it because that night they ate a ton of it, something they hadn't been doing much for awhile. Hopefully there are no bad bacteria in there that affect them from eating it. The worst part of the cleanup is coming though-the filters. They are chock full of green algae, and the filters are Whisper in-tanks and not very easy to clean. I guess I will pull the sponges and cylinders and keep them in some tank water and then just clean the filter bodies with really hot tap water. I will probably do one at a time though, I am so nervous about disturbing the cycle. I will also probably replace one of the sponges too, rather than trying to get all the algae out of it, but we'll see. Getting the algfae out of the bottom of the filters will be the hardest part because there is no direct access. It is my own fault for letting it get so bad. I hate meessing with this tank because it is the only one I have that does not have ph issues-same tap water but the ph stays stable in this tank (with crushed coral), so I never like to mess with it.

Anyway, I am blabbing as usual! Thanks so much for your help and hopefully Bart is on the mend!

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