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Creamsicle Molly Developing White Chalky Area


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1544162384_ChalkyMolly2.JPG.c082a2f46e3d44b728e74797ef2c808f.JPG351201642_CHalkyMolly3.jpg.fef00a068b5e64b04d822c389c71023c.jpg1115603425_ChalkyMolly.jpg.5dc14b4ee23f719b1f11063bb3c37b23.jpg(Posting this here rather than under Diseases because I'm not sure it's an illness.)

I have three creamsicle mollies.  QT was lengthy as the med trio did not fix what ailed them. Eventually, they had Expel-P and Maracyn 2 and I turned up the heat in the tank to 82. Then they finally got fatter and got rid of the spots and after nearly 2 months in QT went into the main tank at the end of August.

Not long after that, one of them started to look chalky on his head. Nothing fuzzy, just instead of shiny scales he was turning chalky white. The fish behaved as usual--hungry, active, same as the others. I googled and found a couple of posts where people were saying one of their creamsicles had this happening and no ideas why. From then until 2 weeks ago, all was well. Though his white patch wasn't attractive, it also didn't look like an injury or like it was spreading on him or to others.

Two weeks ago, the chalky molly was missing twice at roll call and I found him hiding in the plants when everyone was eating. I had also seen him being very actively chased by another molly and the  endlers several times that day. I put him in a hospital tank. The white area looked the same as always, but he looked kind of ratty and thin. I did another round of Paracleanse, then some Expel-P and Maracyn 2. In the hospital tank, he ate well and behaved normally after the second day. 

Monday I added him back to the main tank. By last night, he was hiding in the plants again and did not come out to eat in the AM.

Back into the hospital tank he went this morning. I don't know how to proceed. I don't know if this chalky area is part of an illness--and what kind of illness would impact him alone and not the other mollies or guppies in the tank over the course of almost 4 months? Or maybe it's not an illness and it's just a weird color change in some creamsicle mollies and his being thin and hiding is due to something else.

Would appreciate any insight.

Water parameters in the tank he came out of: 

Temp: 75

Nitrate: 25

Nitrite: 0

GH: 300

KH: 40

pH: 6.8






Edited by PineSong
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Could be columnaris. Being you treated with Maracyn 2, I would consider trying either:

1) Kanaplex+Furan 2 (Very tough to find, though you can still get Nitrofurazone, the active ingredient.)

2) Triple Sulfa or SulfaPlex....also rather tough to find.

Maracyn 2 is usually a solid "plan B" if the above don't work, since it also treats gram negative bacterial. Our resident expert, Colu, would be a great source for any additional info.

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On 12/22/2021 at 8:53 PM, quikv6 said:

Could be columnaris. Being you treated with Maracyn 2, I would consider trying either:


Thank  you. You know, when I read this post I thought "Hmm, wouldn't columnaris have spread to the other fish or have wiped this guy out by now, if it has been present since September?"

But in Googling it, I came across this article: https://cflas.org/2014/03/27/treating-columnaris-or-body-fungus-not-a-true-fungus/

and this makes me think I could have a chicken and egg situation with this guy being at the bottom of the pecking order between the three mollies and also being constantly chased by the Endlers--maybe he is low on immunity because of those things and that's why it's flaring up him and nobody else, or maybe he is susceptible to columnaris for some other reason and the other fish harass him because he is ill.



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I am not 100% sure that Columnaris but just in case it turns out to be Columnaris he how I treat using kanaplex and jungal fungas clear fizz tabs containing nitrofurazone together following this treatment schedule replace furan2 with jungal fungas clear fizz tabs  as furan2 has been discontinued you could try aquarium salt 1 table spoon for 1 gallon Frist  if the white patches are getting worse or you notice white lips then you might want to consider antibiotic treatment I  suggested


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On 12/23/2021 at 4:58 PM, Colu said:

I am not 100% sure that Columnaris 

Thank you, Colu for those instructions. I am going to add some more salt since I have that, and keep him on the maracyn 2 while I try to find those meds.

I don't know if this adds to the confusion or not, but when I removed him, his right eye was bulging way out. This morning when I left for work it was not bulging so I thought perhaps I had just been panicked and over-noticing. But today I saw a video I made yesterday and his right eye was definitely bulging way out. 

Here is a photo from today, I had to take him out of the hospital tank to check his eye because the water is very cloudy from meds. It's confusing because his white areas look just like white scales, not fungus-y or fluffy. But if he was just turning white there, why the pop eye and hiding? 


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  • 1 month later...

Just a follow up: one month later and this molly is still alive and living in the hospital tank looking... no different at all.

Over the course of this time, he has been treated with Maracyn 2, Maracyn, Ich-X, Salt, and Kanaplex. He has not had another episode of pop-eye but his chalky white scales look the same. They have never appeared raised, or fuzzy, or in any way wound-like. They are just plain white. He has a good appetite but doesn't look particularly sturdy.

During his time in hospital, there were two times when he had a single platy from another tank as a roommate for a week getting antiobiotics after an injury. The platies both recovered promptly and were returned to their tanks, so whatever is going on with him did not impact them.

I'm unsure about returning him to the main tank because he is at the bottom of the pecking order of the other mollies and the Endlers in that tank are pretty vigorous in harassing the mollies. I'm afraid the extra stress will do him in.

So, we're at a standstill, but he's okay.








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