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Thread: Columnaris treatment

  1. #1
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    Default Columnaris treatment

    Owing to being too lazy to rush to a fish store at 10 pm when none are open, and being unwilling to let a fish die, I got creative when I found columnaris on my australian rainbow fish. (I had lost one australian and one neon rainbow in this tank, and one corydoras catfish, and attributed the rainbows to pH, and the catfish to simple fungus due to a scrape on a rock. Well when I saw the saddle back "off color" on my rainbow I sort of remembered all of the above.

    I bought the rainbows and catfish at the same time, only fish in the 55 was a small albino pleco before them. Granted I haven't seen him lately but I rarely do. so I was quarantining them together in this 55. Until I moved the 3 remaining green cories in with my older green cories, once part of a large breeding colony that got old.

    Which means I had 2 tanks with columnaris exposure. Rather than hitting my ancient books i hit the internet, and in an obscure forum I found a 2006 post suggesting that the bacteria is gram negative (meaning tetra cycline or minocycline are better choices than erthro mycin) and that the alternative treatment was a salt treatment similar to one used for ich by some fishkeepers. Well I've not been a big fan of the salt treatment for ich, but I did manage to track down Fish Pharmaceuticals about a month ago and got 2 big jars of quinine phosphate. I thought I was getting quinine sulfate (which is what their CryptoPro retail product was) but I have learned that whatever they sell works like magic.

    So I doped the rainbow fish immediately, 1/4 teaspoon per 10 gallons, dissolve in water before adding. When they were alive in the morning I dosed the catfish tank, which also has 3 small plecos and about 20 fancy guppies in it. I didn't have time for the 25% water change before redosing every 24 hours, but I did manage a 25% water change last night before dosing them both. (I delayed a dose on the catfish tank to get them on the same schedule) And so far, I haven't lost a fish. For Ich this treatment is 10 days. guess I could give him a call and find out how long I should use it for columnaris, but I think 10 days is a good place to start. I was careful not to share nets or siphons with the other tanks, which is part of why those daily water changes are not happening. If I'm going to lose fish I'd rather limit the numbers
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  2. #2

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    from my readings in the past, I read that metronidazole is a good thing for columnaris as well.



  3. #3
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    It might be, and I had it, but I wasn't willing to experiment with it when I had this stuff to try. Quinine is really interesting stuff. and the fish are still doing great
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  4. #4
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    And my columnaris treatment only postponed deaths. All of my newly purchased green corydoras catfish have died, the last 2 after I finished a 10 day run of quinine. I still have my old 3 members of my green cory catfish colony but also almost all the guppies from that tank have died, I have 2 left. and 3 algae eaters. From the rainbow tank I haven't seen the algae eater in months, small BN pretty good at hiding, but all the australian rainbows finished dying, and I only had 2 dwarf neon rainbows left. so I moved them and the catfish and 3 of the baby plecos that were in with the cats, and the last 3 guppies to a 10 gallon on my kitchen table. Found an old jar of tetracycline fish food and I'm feeding that and treating with melafix as the chief symptom seems to be what appears to be fin rot, and one of my older cories isn't looking good. His tail and top fin both show deterioration. So I'm on filtration, heater, melafix and tetracycline feed for gram negative bacteria. Fingers crossed. I need to heat up the empty tanks, but I found 2 more algae eaters in the cory tank, left them there to see what happens, going to change out all the water on that one tomorrow I hope. Now that I have a hose I won't have to use on other tanks for a week or 3. Might do the same for my 55, then kick the heat up, toss in fish food to support the bio filter and cook some bacteria
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  5. #5

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    I tried the heating up the tank on my 1st go around with columnaris. let the tank sit for months with nothing in it. when i decided to stock it again, I saw the dreaded columnaris show its face again. after that I boiled everything that could be boiled, through away all the plants, cleaned the tank and filters with bleach, through away anything that could not be boiled or cleaned with bleach. I let that tank sit for about a month. now it is restocked and have not had an instance since.



  6. #6
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    Well I am not losing fish on the kitchen table. The 10 gallon has a cultured clean sponge filter, a corner filter with zeolite, fairly large one, I'm treating with melafix and feeding a tetracycline feed which is ancient, that jar is 20 years old. I have lost one of the sickest guppies. Watching and waiting. Left 2 plecos in the little 20 gallon tank. I am not sure by a long shot that this is columnaris. I also am not sure what it is, but I think it came in on the catfish. although I did lose 2 australian rainbows fairly early on. I only saw saddleback symptoms on the 3rd australian rainbow. The others had no marks at all, no fungus appearance, just dead. But also flighty, fearful. Years ago enteric septicemia was very common in the trade. It didn't spread at 83 degrees and above, but it didn't die either, as soon as fish moved out of my warm quarantine they became contagious. Spread mainly by consuming dead fish. Infected liver, kidneys and brain. The treatment that worked in the late 90's was this antibacterial feed with tetracycline. Although eventually the bacteria mutated and became immune. I don't know what I am treating, I am just treating and observing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    good news about enteric septicemia, if it has no hosts for 24 hours the bacteria dies. http://everythingfishy.com/fishnote.html
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  7. #7

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    good to hear about the kitchen table tank doing well. I hope the worst is gone.



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    I want to know what I am treating but so far they continue to do well. Having to monitor nitrites closely, as fairly heavily stocked for a sponge and a corner filter.
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    2 small albino bristlenose pics hid in the 20 gallon. I removed one dead today and moved the living one to the kitchen table tank. Whatever this is it kills guppies fastest. There are living snails in both tanks but otber than that no fish. What would happen to bacteria if I flooded a tank with co2?
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  10. #10
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    It is not columnaris. what came in on either the catfish or the rainbows, probably the australian rainbows, was probably enteric septicemia. I did lose one of my older catfish today, the reddish internal mottling that goes with septicemia. (kitchen table bare tank is MUCH easier to see a sick fish in.) the guppies exposted to this died fast, so I've run the 20 gallon empty for a week, I heated it up and fed it to keep bio filter, did 100% water change yesterday, going to put some of my poor colored guppies in to check cycle and see if they die.

    Septicemia has to have a host. 24 hours empty, the tank is basically clean and this one has been empty much longer. I still don't know if the algae eater is alive in the 55, but I haven't seen in months.

    treating with Tetra antibacterial feed with tetracycline. and the catfish that died was beginning to sicken in the 20 before I moved him. Enteric septicemia is temperature sensitive and stops multiplying at about 82 degrees. The rainbow tank was at 76 so it spread like wildfire in it. The catfish tank was also cool. the tank on the kitchen table was warmer til that large water change I did yesterday, probably contributed to the catfish worsening, he looked dead yesterday after I had refilled the tank. He wasn't, until today. had a red splotch on abdomen though
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