Flesh eating bacteria???

FishForums.net Pet of the Month
🐶 The Poll is Open! 🦎 Click here to Vote! 🐰

syren

New Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
25
Reaction score
18
Location
Oklahoma
Title is an attention grabber, I know, but I am back again after having minimal issues with Grosso! (insert massive sigh here)

I got sick of the 10 gallon shortly after experiencing back to back canister issues and it almost killing him, so shortly after I upgraded to a 36G and things have been great!! (Until now)

(To preface, I have been out of town for the past week and a half, so he has been set up with his timed feeder, timed lights, and was very comfy prior to us leaving home.)

I came today to find the exact opposite!!! Half of his face is missing! Not sure if this is fungal, bacterial, parasitic, a combination of the three or a tumor but I need some advice ASAP. Doesn’t not appear to be traumatic injury as there is a large lump on one side of his face (looks like an ulcerated tumor or parasitic hole) but his lower jaw bone is completely exposed and the skin appears to be peeling off. (He’s also been in this tank for almost a year… so to hurt himself now??? Can’t put it past him though.)

Tank info: well established (almost 1 year) 36G convex that is planted. Heated to 78, 55G capacity canister modified to slow down output so current isn’t too strong, and an air stone with air pump along the back of the tank to allow adequate agitation. Contains live plants, dragon stone/lava rock, sand/gravel mixture with plant substrate fertilizer and spider wood. Water parameters are good: 60-120 general hardness, no nitrate/nitrite, no ammonia, ph 8-8.5. Filter is functioning as normal(tubes are getting a little dirty but maintenance was scheduled for next week). Activated carbon, bio balls, sponge, etc.

I immediately switched him over to a hospital tank, 25% his water 75% fresh water from the pet store. Added almond leaf extract, large dose of stress coat, vitamins/minerals for the water, and MelaFix (not my favorite but I wasn’t sure what to add because of the severity and that it was a large open wound.) His hospital tank is heated to 80 degrees and has an air stone and silk plant for him to rest on (angled so it sits close to the surface). Hospital tank is 3G. was scared to add aquarium salt for fear of it burning the large wound on his chin. He doesn’t appear to be using his gills at this time (surface breathing) but he is active and swimming. No interest in food (frozen blood worms, normal pellets, garlic soaked food, etc.)

What do I do here?? What meds should I use, if any at all? Is he past the point of saving??? Thanks ahead of time for the help. Hopefully we can pull the little man through once more. He’s cheated death before, maybe we can do it again.

He is housed by himself (what a spoiled fish he is. 36G all to himself) so no tank mates to fight with. Tank itself is clean, some algae on arrival home but nothing insane and mostly attached to the spider wood. Need to get co2 set up to help combat it but I have been able to keep it in check with weekly cleanings.
 

Attachments

  • ADDDFFDE-770D-481C-9D2E-3166E270B3F5.jpeg
    ADDDFFDE-770D-481C-9D2E-3166E270B3F5.jpeg
    180.7 KB · Views: 52
  • 7DD46EA7-9586-4EEE-9A09-9021FEE16E5A.jpeg
    7DD46EA7-9586-4EEE-9A09-9021FEE16E5A.jpeg
    179.7 KB · Views: 49
  • 0FB0AB75-6E51-42AF-BEFC-971A01311468.jpeg
    0FB0AB75-6E51-42AF-BEFC-971A01311468.jpeg
    164.2 KB · Views: 47
  • 02B5600E-13FE-4F61-B268-3890D164E09F.jpeg
    02B5600E-13FE-4F61-B268-3890D164E09F.jpeg
    170.2 KB · Views: 43
OP
OP
syren

syren

New Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
25
Reaction score
18
Location
Oklahoma
Not that I think. I thought it may be too strong for him at first but he was able to swim away from it with little to no issue. I considered adding a sponge in it but with how easily he handled swimming by it I didn’t bother.
 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    358.7 KB · Views: 27

TwoTankAmin

Fish Connoisseur
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
5,211
Reaction score
1,187
Location
USA- NY
I would not have added either the Stress Coat nor the Melafix. I am not a fan of either. But the Melafix is probably the lower risk.

I would hope the fish would heal itself unless it gets a secondary infection- either fungal and/or bacterial. These you would have to treat. Clean water and the ability to heal is all I would look towards at this time. Now for the caveat. To heal the fish has to be able to eat. If it cannot, I think it will not make it. That means you will have to decide if you can allow it to die slowly or to euthanize it. It is also possible to find mediated food which contains an antibiotic. This may be a more eefective way to medicate in some situations.

I am not familiar with your fish, so the name does not help. But, consider this re bacteria. If you have ever had surgery and were awake when they wheeled you into the O. R., you will have noticed it was a bit chilly there. That is because cooler is better in terms of combating a lot of bacteria. So you may want to turn down rather than increase the temp. However, what I mean here it to set the temp to be in the lower part of its normal temperature range rather than the upper end.

A cooler temp. tends to make fish a bit less active and that means more of its energy goes to healing rather than swimming. Finally, I save a few of my fake plants saved from when I went to live many years ago. I use them in an H tank, where appropriate, so the fish can hide. This can help reduce stress levels and that can help it heal.

Finally, the most likely meds to have on hand (or easy to run out and get) would be an anti-fungal and a broad spectrum antibiotic. But do not use them unless you see problems. If you have to treat, consider lowering the water level in the tank. The less water involved the smaller amount of medication you have to add. This can save a lot of money. ;) Also lowered level makes the return agitate the surface more and that helps keep the water well oxygenated.

Oops, one last thing. If you are medicating and have to change water, you needed to replace the amount of medication removed in the outgoing water. You need to replace that amount after the new water is put in. However, if this happens on a day when another dose of a medication is called for, then just do that day's full dose after the water change is done.
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
36,309
Reaction score
20,793
Location
Perth, WA
It doesn't look like Columnaris so that is great.

It looks like a physical injury that has happened recently because there is blood on his chin.

The white dot on the side of his face by his eye is excess mucous the fish produced to cover an injured area.

I would use clean water and salt, and get some live food (brineshrimp or daphnia) for him.

If it goes white and fluffy or become more red and inflamed, then get a broad spectrum fish medication that treats bacteria and fungus. But salt should stop that from happening.

You can also post more picture if it gets infected.

-------------------
WHAT TO DO NOW.
Wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge. This removes the biofilm on the glass and the biofilm will contain lots of harmful bacteria, fungus, protozoans and various other microscopic life forms.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week. The water changes and gravel cleaning will reduce the number of disease organisms in the water and provide a cleaner environment for the fish to recover in.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. Wash the filter materials/ media in a bucket of tank water and re-use them. Tip the bucket of dirty water on the garden/ lawn. Cleaning the filter means less gunk and cleaner water with fewer pathogens.

-------------------
SALT
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt) or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria, fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
 

Alice B

Fish Addict
Joined
Feb 20, 2022
Messages
965
Reaction score
807
Location
Fort Worth, TX
Melafix should not be used on anabantids because it clogs the breathing tube. One dose may be safe, but I lost a bunch of pearl gouramis, not to the fin rot I was treating, but the melafix I was using to treat with. I would use salt instead
 

GaryE

Fish Aficionado
Joined
Oct 14, 2011
Messages
3,351
Reaction score
5,002
Location
Eastern Canada
I would say, simply, melafix should not be used. It smells good and makes us feel like we're on the case, but it does very little to help, if anything.
 

Most reactions

trending

Staff online

Members online

Top