Fin injury and potential columnaris?

Seisage

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Hi all, I just checked in on my neon tetra this morning and noticed that overnight, he found some way to shred his dorsal fin. Not sure how he managed to do that, but what's the best way to promote healing?

What I'm more worried about though are the two little white patches that have developed on the fin. Those also appeared overnight. They're a little fuzzy, so I worry it's a sudden columnaris infection.

20% water change was done yesterday. The tank gets weekly 20-30% water changes, with water conditioner (Prime). He was fine and active and eating yesterday after the water change. Also active and eating today. pH 6.8-7.0, ammonia: 0ppm, nitrite: 0ppm. GH/KH are around 35ppm. Temp around 74°F.

The photos aren't as good as I'd like, but hopefully you can see the tattered dorsal fin and the small white patches. FYI: the white spot on his little adipose fin is a cyst, not disease. There's also a "white spot" on his head in the second photo, but that's just a scale reflecting light in the photo.
 

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Two questions: tankmates, and when you got him...
 
Two questions: tankmates, and when you got him...
He's the only fish in the tank (yes, I know. I'm working on getting him a new tank and more neons). Just ramshorn snails otherwise. I adopted him and his tank from an acquaintance back in mid-December.
 
I'm not seeing columnaris I don't think... but since all this tankmates died too... (although I remember your co-worker wasn't taking good care of them either?) but perhaps neon tetra disease? He might just be the last, hardier survivor. :(
 
I'm not seeing columnaris I don't think... but since all this tankmates died too... (although I remember your co-worker wasn't taking good care of them either?) but perhaps neon tetra disease? He might just be the last, hardier survivor. :(
I've been wondering about that :(

I ended up researching neon tetra disease last night because he was doing some glass surfing, which he doesn't usually do. I usually take the advice on this website with a grain of salt, but aquariumscience.org has the only actually comprehensive article on NTD that I've been able to find online. My neon does fit some of the characteristics for a mild case, such as a minor spinal deformity and a very slight S-curve to his blue neon line, as well as occasional restlessness, although these are really vague characters that could be caused by plenty of other things.

But yes, I was worried when I got him about all his other tankmates dying. I think I recall the most recent death was dropsy, although I don't know how long before I got the tank that the death occurred. I've been monitoring this guy pretty closely, and he hasn't had any real issues until just now. I'm actually now noticing that he has another small little white patch on his right pectoral fin. It looks similar to the patches on his injured dorsal. Should I just keep an eye on him? I know columnaris can be secondary to both injuries and NTD and can spread and kill quickly, so I'd like to address it soon. Unfortunately, I'll be out of town tomorrow and the next day due to work duties...
 
I've been wondering about that :(

I ended up researching neon tetra disease last night because he was doing some glass surfing, which he doesn't usually do. I usually take the advice on this website with a grain of salt, but aquariumscience.org has the only actually comprehensive article on NTD that I've been able to find online. My neon does fit some of the characteristics for a mild case, such as a minor spinal deformity and a very slight S-curve to his blue neon line, as well as occasional restlessness, although these are really vague characters that could be caused by plenty of other things.

But yes, I was worried when I got him about all his other tankmates dying. I think I recall the most recent death was dropsy, although I don't know how long before I got the tank that the death occurred. I've been monitoring this guy pretty closely, and he hasn't had any real issues until just now. I'm actually now noticing that he has another small little white patch on his right pectoral fin. It looks similar to the patches on his injured dorsal. Should I just keep an eye on him? I know columnaris can be secondary to both injuries and NTD and can spread and kill quickly, so I'd like to address it soon. Unfortunately, I'll be out of town tomorrow and the next day due to work duties...

I want to add a reminder/disclaimer that I don't know much about disease in fish, I've just browsed one of the more respected fish health books in the hobby, so I have zero qualifications to diagnose or anything, this is just my opinion based on some reading, and some experience with things like worms etc, never dealt with columnaris or NTD myself...

But if it's NTD, you already know that sadly the news is that you can't do much, other than humanely euthanise, or wait for the fish to pass. :( then I'm not sure whether the tank would need to be steralised or avoid neons in the future, others would know more.

With Columnaris, it has to the right antibiotic, caught early enough, and death rates are high anyhow, so not good news if it were that either, especially when you'll be away, and chances of being able to get the right antibiotic in one day are pretty much zero. :(

It could be something else too. Whether it's an injury, and I'm less inclined to think that when you see the white dots on him too, and that would be pretty coincidental... but even if it was, I think the only thing you can really do is a water change since clean fresh water boosts a fishes immune system, wish him luck, and update us on how he's doing when you return.

I'm really sorry, @Seisage . I wish I had more optimistic outlook for him, and I hope it doesn't put you off the hobby if this little one does pass away too. You tried, and you at least gave him a better life at the end.
 
I want to add a reminder/disclaimer that I don't know much about disease in fish, I've just browsed one of the more respected fish health books in the hobby, so I have zero qualifications to diagnose or anything, this is just my opinion based on some reading, and some experience with things like worms etc, never dealt with columnaris or NTD myself...

But if it's NTD, you already know that sadly the news is that you can't do much, other than humanely euthanise, or wait for the fish to pass. :( then I'm not sure whether the tank would need to be steralised or avoid neons in the future, others would know more.

With Columnaris, it has to the right antibiotic, caught early enough, and death rates are high anyhow, so not good news if it were that either, especially when you'll be away, and chances of being able to get the right antibiotic in one day are pretty much zero. :(

It could be something else too. Whether it's an injury, and I'm less inclined to think that when you see the white dots on him too, and that would be pretty coincidental... but even if it was, I think the only thing you can really do is a water change since clean fresh water boosts a fishes immune system, wish him luck, and update us on how he's doing when you return.

I'm really sorry, @Seisage . I wish I had more optimistic outlook for him, and I hope it doesn't put you off the hobby if this little one does pass away too. You tried, and you at least gave him a better life at the end.
Yeah...
I'll try another water change today and hopefully that helps a bit, and I'll just keep an eye on him. The only antibiotic I have on hand is API's fin and body cure, which is doxycycline. I've heard it can be effective against columnaris since it's a gram-negative bacteria, which doxycycline targets. I also have aquarium salt, but I'm not sure how useful it'd be here.

And don't worry, this won't put me off the hobby :) I adopted this neon knowing that there were previous deaths, which is why I've been watching him like a hawk. These things happen sometimes. It's sad that we don't have better ways to diagnose and treat fish, but we work with what we have. Fortunately, if it is NTD, I wouldn't have to disinfect the tank, since it only spreads via gut/internal tissues (i.e. when other neons eat a dead neon that had NTD).
 
I too would look at columnaris. It can lurk and break out. And the shape of that dorsal is odd.
Yes, the shape is odd because he injured it sometime overnight, as I mentioned in my first post. It's torn and ragged. I'm not sure how he injured it.

As for the columnaris, I know you don't have antibiotics access up there in Canada, but do you know if doxycycline would be effective? Are you confident enough that it's columnaris to recommend antibiotic treatment?
 
I can't offer any treatments. I haven't had access to antibiotics in far too long to have any expertise.

I have seen fins split with no injury, but an attack from within, and they had that look.
 
I can't offer any treatments. I haven't had access to antibiotics in far too long to have any expertise.

I have seen fins split with no injury, but an attack from within, and they had that look.
Interesting... I guess I'll just stick with the water change and observation for now, then, and reassess if the white patches progress
 
Well, I'm back from my work trip and Jelly (the neon) is still alive and well! The ragged edge of his fin looks a bit better and the weird white patches on it even look slightly reduced. He's by no means out of the woods yet, but I'm glad to see things haven't gotten worse.
 

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