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    Pleco Fungus Identification

    Discussion in 'Freshwater Diseases and Health Issues' started by FD_JTS, Jun 13, 2018.

    1. FD_JTS

      FD_JTS Registered Member

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      0AD17509-580F-47A7-B5ED-C93734314628.jpeg 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.
       
    2. Rocksor

      Rocksor MFK Members

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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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    3. FD_JTS

      FD_JTS Registered Member

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      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.
       
    4. Rocksor

      Rocksor MFK Members

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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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    5. FD_JTS

      FD_JTS Registered Member

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      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.
       
    6. Rocksor

      Rocksor MFK Members

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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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    7. Stephen St.Clair

      Stephen St.Clair MFK Members

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      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.
       
    8. Rocksor

      Rocksor MFK Members

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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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