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Pearl Gourami Columnaris??

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish Emergencies' started by Bub, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Bub

    Bub New Member

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    Hey guys! First of all I'd like to make it clear that I'm not new to the hobby and I'm well aware of cycling, water parameters and so on. However over my time owning fish I've encountered very little problems. Which is why I'm unsure as to what is happening with my Pearl Gourami. I'm thinking maybe Columnaris. I've heard that it initially causes a fish to turn pale in the face/fins? Which is why some call is Saddleback disease.

    So first of all some info on my tank:
    Size: 53 gallons
    Temp: 78
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrites: 0
    Nitrates: Always around 5.

    I do water changes once a week, between 40-60%. My water changes and plants are what keep my nitrates quite low. I haven't added new fish to the tank for a few months, the other fish all seem fine and this pearl is not new. He was perfect until about a week ago.

    Until now he was the dominant fish in the tank. He was frankly rather aggressive at times, which surprised me at first as I've always been told they were very peaceful. Since then I've talked to others that have had experiences like this. Nowadays he doesn't move as much (he still moves, he just seems most comfortable near my amazon sword) and he's quite skittish. He dashes away when I come near the tank too suddenly. He still rushes over as soon as I have food and eats his fill as he always has.

    As you'll see in the pictures he has a white patch forming on his face/back. It started off small, so I thought he'd just bumped into something and damaged a scale. But its grown over the last while. If this is Columnaris or something else I'd love to hear your opinions. Hopefully you can recommend some meds to use. I have a cycled 5 gallon quarantine (small I know) that I can move him to if needed. If this is contagious I guess I may have to treat the whole tank, and I'd appreciate a med that is safe with Vampire shrimp is possible.
    20190921_132119.jpg
    20190921_132132.jpg
     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    How long has the fish been like that for?

    Were both pictures taken at the same time?
     
  3. Bub

    Bub New Member

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    It started maybe 4 days ago. But it wasn't too bad. I thought maybe he had banged into something, been beaten up or had his slime coat sucked by another fish (I really haven't dealt with much sickness so I'm in the dark here). But yesterday and today it spread more.

    Both were taken about half an hour ago. They may look a bit different but that's just due to lighting. I didn't get any of the initial patch.
     
  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    The top picture looks like a bacterial infection but the bottom picture looks more like chemical poisoning.

    Did you do anything to the tank just before this started (a water change, add plant fertiliser, anything)?

    When was the last time you cleaned the filter and gravel cleaned the substrate?
     
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  5. Bub

    Bub New Member

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    Interesting! I don't add much to my tank. I do the weekly water changes and use Seachem Prime to dechlorinate. The last water change was on Sunday, so maybe something may have gone wrong? Maybe something accidentally leaked into the water change bin without me realizing, though I'm unsure what could have done that. I don't tend to use chemicals when changing water. The other fish look fine too though.

    I very rarely add ferts as I never remember to. I think the last time I did so was around two-three weeks ago maybe. The ferts were JBL Ferropol and Easylife EasyCarbo. I always make sure to read the instructions and dose properly.

    I cleaned the filter during the last water change. Before that it was maybe three to four weeks, maybe five. Its a canister. I gravel vac every water change. My pleco, banjo cat and vampire shrimp are poop machines so it needs it.
     
  6. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Do you dechlorinate the new water before adding it to the aquarium?
     
  7. Bub

    Bub New Member

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    Yeah. I have a bucket that takes out about 30% of the water at a time. I use prime which says 5ml per 200l. My tank is 200l. Generally I'll do two buckets full of aquarium water per water change. But I end up using 10ml (total) between them rather than 5ml. I prefer to overdose prime, it says it shouldn't be a problem. Each bucket gets 5ml of prime and then about 5 mins later I add it to the tank.

    If you need any more pics I can get more. But as long as it isn't Columnaris I feel a bit better. I've heard copper is needed for that and my shrimp would certainly not be able to cope with that. So fingers crossed on that front.

    I just realized I must have deleted a paragraph in my original post! Oops. Two days before this happened this guy killed my female Gold Pearl gourami. He had been aggressive before I had her, but he has been much more peaceful since adding her. But I woke up one day to her in pretty bad shape, and he chased her when she tried to swim. So I put her in a breeding net, she ended up dying. That was my first loss in quite a while. I had thought that the marks on him were from her retaliating, but its spread more since her death.
     
  8. seangee

    seangee Member

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    Probably not related to your issue but for future reference...

    Use enough prime for the bucket and no more. Seachem won't even say what's in it, many fish keepers won't use it because of that but it doesn't make sense to put extra chemicals into your fish (if its in the water its in the fish).

    Easylife EasyCarbo contains gluteraldehyde which is a disinfectant and poison. Personally I won't use it. There are those that do, usually people who are more concerned about the welfare of their plants than their fish. Be that as it may, it only benefits the plants if used every day - so IMHO its not doing anything for your plants and not worth risking the heath of your fish.

    Just because something doesn't kill fish does not mean that it is not affecting them in the long term.
     
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  9. Bub

    Bub New Member

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    Yeah it is smarter from a financial standpoint to not overdose too. I got into the habit over a year ago to overdose it, but it hasn't done anything bad over that time. I'll use it in more reasonable amounts in the future, its better than the other dechlorinators I've used around here.
    Interesting. I used it more often in the past and it had no ill effects. I doubt its responsible as I so rarely use it and in restricted amounts. Guess it may as well collect dust on the shelf from now on then. Thanks for the info! My plants to fantastic without it anyway.
    True that. Just strange that this is the only fish that has a problem. He's always seemed to be the most dominant/hardy fish too. Guess I should do a water change if there is a possibility that chemicals got into the tank. Would have thought the Vampire would be the one most effected though.
     
  10. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    They might have had a fight and he has developed an infection from being damaged.

    Copper does not treat Columnaris, which is a flesh eating bacteria. To treat Columnaris you need anti-biotics.

    Can you get a photo of him from the other side?
     
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  11. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    It definitely is not columnaris. I would lean more towards a bacterial infection.
     
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  12. Bub

    Bub New Member

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    That does seem quite possible. The initial patches were quite small. Maybe three or four individual patches that only covered 1-3 scales at a time. Now they've all joined up.
    My lack of knowledge of these diseases is really showing here.... thanks for the help.
    Of course. He's actually been hiding the other side from me, so I haven't seen it much until now. It actually seems worse, though it was completely clear of damage/infection initially. The white patch seems to be going around his eye. Oddly when I took a pic of that side hours ago it didn't seem very bad at all.....
    Pic from hours ago:
    20190921_132139.jpg
    Pic from just now:
    20190921_152955.jpg
    Then just some other pics from different angles:
    20190921_153058.jpg 20190921_153103.jpg 20190921_153225.jpg
    Alright thanks for that. Hopefully its still very treatable?
     
  13. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    I normally don’t jump right in to med recommendations but if this is progressing quickly you need to take action. Furan-2 and Kanaplex are good meds. API Furan-2 will treat bacterial infections and Seachem Kanaplex is an antibiotic. They can be used together according to package directions. Easiest to order through Amazon Prime but Pet Smart sometimes has them. Wishing you the best of luck. Keeps us posted.
     
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  14. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    I'm going with a bacterial infection that is not Columnaris.

    If you have a spare tank you can move him into that and treat with a broad spectrum fish medication that treats bacteria, fungus and protozoan infections. See how he goes over a week with medication.
     
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  15. Bub

    Bub New Member

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    Thank you guys so much! Really you guys are a great help!

    I'm not from America though and my LFS doesn't list either of those meds on their website. The only meds I have on me are Esha 2000 and Esha exit. One for "fungus, finrot and bacteria" and the other for ich/velvet. Maybe Esha 2000 may work. If not I'll pop off to the shop and see if they have anything better. I'm not sure if the 5 gallon quarantine would do him better than the 53g?

    I'll definitely update you on how he does. Hopefully it all works out fine... It did seem to move pretty quickly today. Unless it was just the picture/lighting.
     

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