Schmorty Posted July 14, 2020 Share Posted July 14, 2020 Hello all, I'm currently on the back half of a Columnaris outbreak in my display tank. The tank is a 75 gallon planted with lots of crypts, swords, anubias, bucephelandra, and java fern. The tank is only a few months old. I recently moved cities, and had consolidated three smaller tanks worth of fish and plants into the one tank. I had all the fish for between 6 months and 2 years with no major disease issues previously. However, in hindsight, I'd lose the occasional fish with Columnaris-like sypmtoms before the move, but the cases were isolated and only happened once in a while. In the new setup, I wasn't as good at testing water as I should have been, and although the filter could process ammonia properly, I let the nitrates build up faster than my water change schedule and plants could handle. Therefore, my fish were exposed to 80+ppm nitrates for a prolonged period of time, and I believe this and the stress of the move and new municipal water combined caused a lapse in their immune systems and left an opening for the disease to take hold. I started treating with Erythromycin in the water column once I noticed my platies had white lips and my pearl danios had grey splotches. I soon had mass die-off of my corydoras after I started treating. Within two weeks, my 17-strong school was down to 2, as well as a couple of lost platies, ember tetras, and danios. I stopped the Erythromycin after 10 days of treatment. I haven't been sure what to do next. The die-off has slowed down to about 1 fish per week. I'm thinking about taking all the fish out and putting them in quarantine tanks treating them with salt or whatever med works better. A 75 is expensive to treat, and most of my favorite fish have passed. I don't want to go nuclear on the 75 since I have a significant investment of time and money in the plants. I'm wondering if letting the tank sit for a month or two without fish would be enough for the virulent strain of Columnaris to die out and be safe for new fish. I'm looking for people's input on handling Columnaris, as well as how to handle a diseased tank with loads of plants. And I hope people take away that testing nitrates is important, especially in a newer tank, even if you're an experienced hobbyist. My own research has indicated that Columnaris lives in almost all aquatic environments, and it's a matter of how virulent the strain can become and how well a fish can fight it off. It can kill rapidly or slowly. My corydoras are probably a good example of the the rapid death, where the bacteria latches onto the gill tissue and inhibits a fish's ability to breathe. The slower death comes about in many ways, and I don't have as good of an understanding of that. 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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