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kerncake233

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Hey guys, new here. Been keeping fish for about 20 years and am so frustrated the last year or so I’m about to abandon ship. I’ll try to give the full story. About a year and a half ago I had a thriving 75 gallon Mbuna setup. Beautiful tank with happy fish. Then, I got the bright idea to upgrade to a 125 gallon and have had problems ever since. During the move about a year and a half ago, a couple of the fish got stressed obviously but all made it until one came down with what I believed to be columnaris or fin/mouth rot. It quickly spread and I vigorously tried everything to cure my beloved Mbuna. After a long battle and numerous antibiotics and treatments, the majority died and the few remaining were horribly sick and I euthanized them.
At that time I took down the entire tank and cleaned everything and drained it completely. It all sat in my garage completely empty and dry in -30 degree weather as I live in Minnesota.
Now, a year and a half later I just set up the 125 gallon again and performed a fishless cycle using Dr Tim’s ammonia. Cycled in about a month, and conditions were pristine. Nice hard water, ph around 8.5, no ammonia or nitrites obviously and very low nitrates. Temp is a steady 77 degrees. I introduced 20 Mbunas from livefishdirect on Tuesday this week. They all appeared healthy but took cover as expected. None would eat or come out and now it is day 4 and same story. However, upon closer inspection tonight it appears that several of the fish have symptoms of the columnaris or fin rot yet again. Could it be that the crap survived on my rock or tank walls with no water in sub zero temps for over a year? I just don’t believe that is possible. I’m so incredibly frustrated that I’m considering just giving up on the hobby. Livefishdirect will refund my money but that’s not the point. I just don’t get it. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. See photos.
 

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JuiceBox52

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Hi welcome to the forum! I am sure some other members more experienced with cichlids will come along shortly :)
 
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kerncake233

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Hi, thanks. I’m pretty certain it’s columnaris. Just don’t know why it’s happened again if my water conditions are superb
 

Retired Viking

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With the stress that the fish had of being transported and having a new environment may have brought it out. I had African Cichlids years ago. I can understand your frustration
 
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kerncake233

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Yeah that’s what I’m guessing.. I don’t know what to do now. No where to get medicine since everything is closed and I really don’t want to spend lots of money on treatment when it probably won’t work anyway. I’ll probably tear it all down again and start over
 

Retired Viking

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Depending on the state some pet stores have stayed open to provide food for the animals. The LFS and Petco here are open for that reason
 

Retired Viking

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I forgot to welcome you to the forum, Years ago I had to deal with columnaris and did not have very god luck, hope you have better.
 
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kerncake233

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Appreciate it. Yeah I didn’t last go around and it’s looking like the same this time. Sucks, was all excited for the new setup. Bam, columnaris. Oh well. Think I can get rid of it after all the fish are removed without draining it entirely and cleaning? Bleach solution?
 
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kerncake233

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Just have such extensive rock work I really don’t want to tear it all down
 

JuiceBox52

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Appreciate it. Yeah I didn’t last go around and it’s looking like the same this time. Sucks, was all excited for the new setup. Bam, columnaris. Oh well. Think I can get rid of it after all the fish are removed without draining it entirely and cleaning? Bleach solution?
Bleach would have to be drained and rinsed well. Maybe a vinegar solution? You would still have to do a few water large water changes but it might work? Or maybe letting the water sit fishless for 2 weeks while doing water changes every day? Not 100% sure what would work but you could try
 
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