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Otocinclus White ~2Otocin fuzzballs random spots

Vengified

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Not quite sure what's going on with my oto. He is one of three, the only one of three, to show these "fuzzballs" on his back. I'm not sure if its columnaris, or something else? It doesnt seem to match what I can find of columnaris either. I noticed one spot, a few days ago and thought maybe an injury with healing/fungus, so I left him be thinking it would be more stress to mess with him. Today, there are a few more of these fuzzballs, so I decided to isolate him, just in case, but I have not done anything besides put him in his own tank, and add some algae wafers. He was surprisingly easy to net too.

Tank Info: 20g high, cycled for ~5 months, had otocinclus ~4.5 months. Ammonia 0 / Nitrite 0 / Nitrate 10 / pH 8.0 / Temp 78°F(25.5°C) (checked just before moving Oto) Shares tank with 2 other Otocinclus, 2 ghost shrimp, 15-18 RCS, 1 male honey gourami, 2 female honey gourami, and 4 guppy (2 adult, 2 juvenile ~3 months old) None of the other creatures in the tank, show any symptoms of any kind of illness whatsoever, all feeding and behaving normally. One male and one female gourami have been in tank for a few days now, new additions, but have not seen any of them show any sign that they even realize otos exist. Tank has several plants, and 2 medium, 1 large driftwood. And a BOATLOAD of snails, only 2 on purpose, nerites. Aquaclear 50 filter and UGF w/Maxijet 600 powerhead, airstone volcano bubbler. No chemicals used in tank besides Prime w/water changes. W/C day is Sunday now (today is Friday).

Hope I put in enough info. Not sure what to do, whether to use methylene, or tetra lifeguard, or melafix, salt, nothing, what? Pics below, any advice appreciated. I know it's not good to put an oto in a tank that isnt "mature" but I dont want it to spread an illness to all the other fish, even if it means losing him.





 

Colin_T

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It is not Columnaris.
Columnaris is a flesh eating bacteria that starts on the mouth/ lips and rapidly spreads over the face and bottom jaw, killing infected fish within a couple of days of the white lips first being noticed.

The fish is producing excess mucous because something is irritating it, either poor water quality or protozoan parasites. If this started just after you introduced the 2 new gouramis, then I would say it is a protozoan infection brought in with the gouramis.

I would do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate each day for a week and see if it helps. If the white patches go after the first water change then it is a water quality issue. In which case do the 75% water change and gravel clean each day for a week, then do it once a week from then on.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

If the white patches stay after the water change, then it is a protozoan infection and will need treating. Depending on what else is in the tank, you can try raising the temperature to 30C (86F) for 2 weeks (increase aeration when you do this), or just use a medication designed to treat protozoan infections like whitespot. This is not whitespot but whitespot is a protozoan parasite and anything that treats whitespot will treat Costia, Chilodonella & Trichodina, which is probably what this is.

Check the directions on the medication and see if it mentions anything about dose rates for scaleless fish (otocinclus). If it does not have directions for use with scaleless fish, only use the medication at half strength.

To work out the volume of water in the tank:
measure length x width x height in cm.
divide by 1000.
= volume in litres.

When you measure the height, measure from the top of the substrate to the top of the water level.

Wipe the inside of the glass, do a 75% water change, a compete gravel clean and remove any carbon from the filter before treating the fish. And increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise the oxygen in the water.

There is a calculator/ converter in the "How To Tips" at the top of this page that will let you convert litres to gallons.

edited to add, sorry, I didn't even notice this was vengi's thread. I answered this one before the other.
Just do some big water changes and gravel clean the substrate and see how it looks in a few days.
 
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Awesome! Thank you @Colin_T you are here to save the day yet again!

I moved the Oto to his own tank, as I said earlier, just in case it was something contagious. I can either leave him in it (it has a seeded filter, from the 10g, gravel from 10g, a pipe to hide in from 10g, and a heater, with brand new, treated water, which was temp matched to main tank he came from), so, if he is in now CLEAN water, that does have BB in the filter, this should be similar to a 100% WC correct? If that is so, then if its water quality, it should be apparent by morning for me right? And if not, then I can leave him in his QT tank, and treat him accordingly?

If it is water quality, what quality could it be, causing just him harm, and no one else? I did test water before I took him out, just to be sure, cuz j didnt wanna remove him, and stress him, if it was water quality, and everything looked normal. I know its cant be copper, as I have several shrimp and snails, and shrimp are berried still. So is there something else I should be looking for, if he does get better in this new water?

And if the gouramis brought in a protozoa, I am guessing they aren't showing symptoms because they are not under stress, and thus a weakened immune system, as the one oto is showing? Or is it just that they will eventually succumb to this, and havent yet?

I know generally, bad stuff exists in all aquarium environments, it's just the way it is, but most fish have a strong enough immune system to keep it from harming them, right?

*** Not sure if the text seems like I'm contradicting your diagnosis, (as my wife sometimes says my text is hard to get a read on emotion), but I am NOT! I am sort of sure about the immune system thing, and speculating on the clean water thing, and genuinely not sure on the water quality thing. Despite being cautious of internet advice, I trust your expertise whole heartedly! :)

THANKS AGAIN!
 

Colin_T

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Yes, moving the fish into a new clean tank with 100% clean dechlorinated water, is like doing a 100% water change and a complete gravel clean. And if it is a water quality issue, you should notice a difference in a few hours. So go beddy bies, have a good sleep and check them in the morning. And make sure you have a cover on the tank. Fish sometimes freak a bit when put into new tanks and they can jump out.

The gouramis could be more resistant to protozoan infections because they are younger or have been exposed to them earlier in their lives. The Oto could be older and not as physically fit and more likely to succumb to protozoans due to that. Scaleless fishes are also more sensitive to diseases, poor water quality and gunk in the gravel because they don't have scales to protect their skin.

If there is a lot of gunk in the gravel, and there could be due to the snails, the Otos will develop symptoms first because they have no scales and live on the substrate, whereas the gouramis have scales and live in the top half of the tank, well away from the gunk in the gravel. Quite often it is the gunk in the gravel that irritates the skin and causes the reaction and excess mucous. So even if you have no ammonia or nitrite and the nitrates are low, the crap (and that's what it is) in the gravel can irritate their skin and cause them to produce excess mucous.

If you had copper in the water the shrimp and snails would probably die and you wouldn't have protozoan infections because copper kills protozoans, shrimp and snails :)

Back to immune systems, each fish is different even compared to others of their own kind, in the same way people are all different. Older fish will usually have a weaker immune system and fish that are malnourished will too. Fish living in overcrowded tanks or in bad water will be stressed and that also weakens their immune system. In addition to overcrowded tanks and poor water quality, there is usually more harmful micro-organisms to infect the fish so they get a double whammy so to speak. They get stressed from overcrowding, poor water quality and higher numbers of harmful pathogens in the water.

In your situation I think it is more likely to be gunk in the gravel that is stressing the catfish and moving it into a clean environment should help. But give it 24 hours and see how it goes.

Make sure the fish gets lots of plant matter and has driftwood to chew on. They need this to help digest their food, and to feed the beneficial bacteria living in their intestine. And the intestinal bacteria help with the fish's immune system.
 
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Ok. Thank you again @Colin_T ! As usual, you are a TREMENDOUS help, and I cant express how much I appreciate it!

I had been doing WC and HEAVY gravel vac every day, or every 2 days max, until last weekend, when I got rid of and/or moved the majority of the fry/juvie guppies, and then did a SUPER HEFTY gravel vac, Sunday, and havent done any since, as only feeding one meal at night, one frozen cube of omega one super spirulina brine shrimp (in the auto defroster feeder).

I am still considering/planning out, removing the UGF, as I dont know if it's even effective, since when I tried to do reverse ugf, it just shot gravel around in the first 3 inches from pipe, and nothing else, I think it may be full of gunk, despite my vacuuming down to the plates each time. I kinda wanna do sand substrate also, for a more natural look. Someday maybe.

... If I could just convince my son, who's tank it's supposed to be, that spongebob and crew dont belong... :rolleyes:

In either case, everything you say about the oto, gravel junk, snails, etc, seems to be sound knowledge that I just hadn't acquired yet, but now I got it! I'll check him out in the morning, and update on whether he is showing signs of being better, or still showing fuzziness. The tank does have a cover on it, and I also put a sheet around the whole thing, to make it dark for him. Fish feel safe in the dark right? Especially Otos?
 

Colin_T

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For the most part, fish and animals generally calm down when it's dark. You don't have to cover all the sides but the back should always be covered with something. I don't normally cover the sides or front.

... If I could just convince my son, who's tank it's supposed to be, that spongebob and crew dont belong... :rolleyes:
Sponge Bob is cool and has a place in every aquarium :)

To get the gunk out from under the undergravel filter plates, push the gravel cleaner down so it touches the filter plates and keep it pushed down on them until the water comes out clear. Then lift the gravel cleaner up and move it somewhere else. You can also put the HOB filter intake tube down the undergravel filter's uplift tube and let the HOB filter suck the gunk out from under the plates.

If you keep both filters running you can use the HOB filter as a spare cycled filter that can be put on a hospital/ quarantine tank if you ever need one.
 
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Well, bad news. Bilbo the oto is still fuzzy. So apparently the clean water wasnt the solution, or the gunk in the gravel wasnt the cause, or the whole cause in either case. Poor thing looks so weird and probably doesnt feel well at all. I did a water change again this morning, and like last night, I put stress coat in with the water change, and prime, just a few drops each. I'm not sure if the "Jungle Fungus Clear" will do anything, as it's for fungal and bacterial, and it's either blue or green. I put in maybe 10% of one of the fizz tablets, which should be a pretty minor dose, as I was doing a 25% tablet for Sophie, and he was fine with it, even if he didn't make it, I dont think it was the medicines fault.

I have to go to the stupid county fair today... :mad: I hate the fair, and the smoke is AWFUL because of all the fires, but my son always wants to go, and his grandmother insisted we go.... so I guess I have to. But if I need a different product to treat him, and anyone knows what it is, the store that has meds, is open til 6pm my time, its 12pm my time now, so I have 6 hours.
 

Colin_T

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If the clean water hasn't improved the condition then it has a protozoan infection and needs something that treats whitespot or other protozoan infections. Malachite green will do the job but only use half strength because it's a scaleless fish (catfish).

Fungal and bacterial medications won't do anything to protozoan infections.

You could also try raising the temperature to 30C (86F) for a couple of weeks and that might do it without medications. Salt will treat it too but not so good for Otocinclus catfish.

-------------------
What's a fizz tablet?
 
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This is what I put in, as it's all I have at the moment, besides melafix:

Jungle TB630W Tank Buddies Fungus Clear Tablets, 8-Count https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002561WY/?tag=ff0d01-20

- a fizz tablet is just a tablet that you drop in and it fizzes, like alka seltzer. It has blue in it. I guess I'll have to go find something here in a bit.
 

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What are the ingredients in the Tank Buddies Fungus Clear Tablets?

If it contains Malachite Green (aka Victoria Green) and Formaldehyde or Acriflavine then use it at half strength. the Malachite Green will kill any protozoan.
Wash your hands with warm soapy water after using it because Malachite Green is carcinogenic.
 
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Ok. Got Jungle Ick clear. Contains Victoria green and acriflavine, says to use half dose on scaleless, the other two options simply said DO NOT USE on scaleless. Plus they didnt have either of those ingredients. One had malachite green I guess.
 

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It is not Columnaris.
Columnaris is a flesh eating bacteria that starts on the mouth/ lips and rapidly spreads over the face and bottom jaw, killing infected fish within a couple of days of the white lips first being noticed.

The fish is producing excess mucous because something is irritating it, either poor water quality or protozoan parasites. If this started just after you introduced the 2 new gouramis, then I would say it is a protozoan infection brought in with the gouramis.

I would do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate each day for a week and see if it helps. If the white patches go after the first water change then it is a water quality issue. In which case do the 75% water change and gravel clean each day for a week, then do it once a week from then on.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

If the white patches stay after the water change, then it is a protozoan infection and will need treating. Depending on what else is in the tank, you can try raising the temperature to 30C (86F) for 2 weeks (increase aeration when you do this), or just use a medication designed to treat protozoan infections like whitespot. This is not whitespot but whitespot is a protozoan parasite and anything that treats whitespot will treat Costia, Chilodonella & Trichodina, which is probably what this is.

Check the directions on the medication and see if it mentions anything about dose rates for scaleless fish (otocinclus). If it does not have directions for use with scaleless fish, only use the medication at half strength.

To work out the volume of water in the tank:
measure length x width x height in cm.
divide by 1000.
= volume in litres.

When you measure the height, measure from the top of the substrate to the top of the water level.

Wipe the inside of the glass, do a 75% water change, a compete gravel clean and remove any carbon from the filter before treating the fish. And increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise the oxygen in the water.

There is a calculator/ converter in the "How To Tips" at the top of this page that will let you convert litres to gallons.

edited to add, sorry, I didn't even notice this was vengi's thread. I answered this one before the other.
Just do some big water changes and gravel clean the substrate and see how it looks in a few days.
Sorry Colin, but that info on Columnaris isn't entirely correct / complete to me.
Symptoms depends on the strain of Columnaris (saddleback disease, false NTD for instance are Columnaris bacteria-infections).

I don't know if this is btw but it certainly could be to me.

Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-G925F met Tapatalk
 
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Sorry Colin, but that info on Columnaris isn't entirely correct / complete to me.
Symptoms depends on the strain of Columnaris (saddleback disease, false NTD for instance are Columnaris bacteria-infections).
Does columnaris (false or any of the possible types you know of) ever start off with a few small patches, (the size of the lead in a pencil), and then more small patches of the same size show up in other random places? I ask, because all the pictures I could find of columnaris, showed one continuous white spot, either small, or covering half the fish, I assume depending on progression?

I ask because my oto had a couple randomly located spots, then the next day, had a few more. I didn't separate him the first day, cuz I thought it was a possible injury, and wanted to see if it would heal without removing him.

I am treating him now, with Victoria green, and acriflavine, for protozoa, and he seems to be getting better. The white fuzz is disappearing, and he is appearing more active, and skittish when a light is shined on him, like his normal behavior. I believe @Colin_T was correct in his diagnosis, but it is always good to be equipped with as much knowledge as possible.:)

EDIT: To add that he has only had the medication in his tank, for 12 hours, and is showing vast improvement, so whatever it may have been, the medication is VERY effective!
 
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