Pleco Fungus Identification

FD_JTS

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Jun 13, 2018
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Jacob Silva
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I have a 53 gallon aquarium with three juvenile sunshine cichlids, one striped raphael catfish, one green phantom pleco (L-200), and one leopard cactus pleco (L-114). I went on vacation for a week and had my fish taken care of by someone else. Upon arriving home, I noticed my water wuality had drastically fallen. My ammonia and nitrites were at zero while my nitrates had risen to around 60 ppm. I had examined each fish and noticed white spots on my L-114. I did a 50% water chane immediately and removed all detritus from on top of the sand as well as in the sand. Today, I tested the nitrates and was met with 10-20 ppm. I plan on doing a 10% water change and siphoning out all detritus every day for two werks as well as dosing the entire tank with Primafix and Melafix. It would be much appreciated if someone could ID this fungus so that I can determine if my planned course of action is sufficient enough to nurse my aquarium back to health.
 

Rocksor

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Nov 28, 2011
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"Fungus" is generally gram negative bacteria so a gram negative antibiotic is required. Seachem Kanaplex is a good one to start with since it is readily skin absorbed. Have it on stand by if the infection gets worse in the next 3-4 days.
 
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FD_JTS

Feeder Fish
Original poster
Jun 13, 2018
3
0
1
22
Real Name
Jacob Silva
Gender
Male
"Fungus" is generally gram negative bacteria so a gram negative antibiotic is required. Seachem Kanaplex is a good one to start with since it is readily skin absorbed. Have it on stand by if the infection gets worse in the next 3-4 days.
Unfortunately, the growth has gotten slightly larger since I discovered it on Monday. If you don’t mind me asking, why do aquarists call these growths fungal infections if it is actually a gram negative bacterial infection? Would you recommend I carry out my planned treatment as well as acquiring Kanaplex in case that doesn’t work? Also, I would love to know the mortality rate for issues like this. It was quite obviously caused by poor water quality, and that has since been fixed. I feel as if I have caught it early so I personally believe I have a strong chance of healing my L-114.
 

Rocksor

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Nov 28, 2011
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It looks like fungus!

It's not a high mortality rate if caught early enough. If it gets worse tomorrow, start treating with kanaplex. 4 days is enough to see if the Pimafix and Melafix are working.
 
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FD_JTS

Feeder Fish
Original poster
Jun 13, 2018
3
0
1
22
Real Name
Jacob Silva
Gender
Male
Understood. Will the Kanaplex harm my biological filter? I understand that without cultures of the bacteria in the filter media there’s no means of determining whether or not the system will crash from this antibiotic, however, I’m hoping you can share how it altered your nitrogen cycle if at all.
 

Rocksor

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On a fully cycled tank I never had issues. So I assume that kanaplex can't kill the autotrophic bacteria faster than they can replace themselves. On a barely cycled tank, I suspect you will have issues getting that tank to cycle.
 
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Jul 2, 2017
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Adam 201
Research "Columnaris" and compare the growth to the examples. If it is Columnaris, it's likely one of the less lethal strains, AJS-3 or AJS-4, otherwise your Pleco would be dead by now. The above listed antibiotics probably apply in your situation.
 

Rocksor

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If it is columnaris, I would do the following:

Temperature no higher than 75F (or lowest temperature that fish can take for treatment period) and dissolved salt at 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons to prevent further growth.

Treat with Seachem Kanaplex (Kanamycin Sulfate) and API Furan-2 (nitrofurazone).

If you have Walmart nearby, Jungle Fungus Clear contains nitrofurazone. If you can't find nitrofurazone, then you could possible substitute a sulfa product like API Triple sulfa or Seachem Sulfaplex.
 
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