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Columnaris, Saprolegnia or something else


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Hello all,

The Issue:

Today I spotted this white patch on the head of my Betta. It's not a fuzzy patch, at least not yet and it's not ick. I'm hoping it could be a scratch but don't know? My background is concrete. The Kohli loach had a similar white patch early on, but it went away. I think the Kohli loach rubbed up against the rock and got scratched. The Betta dose seem to rub against the background when lounging in the Java moss or scrounging around. I've never had to deal with Columnaris or Saprolegnia Fungus. I have no idea how to treat this tank if I have this fungus or some other bacteria. Some treatments work with some but kill others. I assume I can pull the Betta and stick him an a 10 gallon to treat him if need be, but I'm worried about the other fish. Any thoughts? 

The environment:

I have a well established, low tech,  planted, 40 gallon tank. I have two canister filters: one that broke (Fluval 300) so I use it in tandem with my Fluval 307. The 300 is filled with mechanical filtration and the 307 has additional mechanical filtration and I replaced the bio media with Biohome Ultra filter media. I keep the tank at around 78° with a DIY inline heater. The lights are timed (on for 10 hours), and I keep the tank pretty clean and groomed with weekly water changes (RO water/20 gallon water changes). My water tests reveal 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, between 5 and 10 ppm of nitrates (at water changes), my PH sits around 7.2, phosphates run between 0.25 to .5 and GH is about 100 (don't know KH). 

The wild life is an interesting assortment, and was collected over time. Some of the fish were purchased, a few were given to me because my friends didn't know how expensive the aquarium hobby was. So along with the plants, the bio load also includes:

  • Amano shrimp (I started with 15, but I have seen a few babies, so I really I don't know how many shrimp I actually have. There are a lot of places to hide in this tank.)
  • 20 neon tetras
  • 1 Betta
  • 3 Albino Corey Dora's
  • 1 Kohli loach
  • 6 Bumble Bee Gobies (given to me and seem to be doing ok for a non-brackish tank)
  • 3 Otocinclus
  • 4 Boesemani rainbows
  • 3 Hillstream loaches
  • 2 Nerite snails
  • 1 Mistry snail, and
  • 1 Assassin snail to control a Blatter snail problem (not so bad now) 

It is a pretty heavy bio-load for a 40 gallon tank, but again, I keep it pretty clean, and it has been this way for many months. The only bully in the tank is the Betta who chases the Rainbows (once and a while). I am resealing my 70 gallon tank to get up and running to spread the load. That wont be finished until next year.



Edited by dan182
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I would quarantine the betta and any other afflicted fish into the 10g. Make sure there is sufficient air circulation in the tank because you'll need maracyn if it is indeed colunaris, which to me it looks like it is the start of it. In case it is not bacterial, ich-x is also effective in treating fungal infections, with salt. Dosing instructions are Here.


Best of luck, also that is quiet the beautiful tank, I really enjoy the large mound of moss in the back. 

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If could be the start of Columnaris as @Keeg suggested or he could have swim into something in the tank or it could a fungal infection I would just treat the with ick x for now and monitor if the white patches appear on other fish or get bigger on your Betta you want to treat with kanaplex and furan2 if it's Columnaris  the most effective way to treat @dan182


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