Resident Aquarium Nerd
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
I'm sorry about your fish. Paw-Talk hasn't been working on my computer for the last couple of days so I'm just seeing this topic now.
It looks like a Columnaris infection which is sometimes called a fungal infection (even though it's not actually a fungus). Columnaris is a bacteria that especially thrives in warm, still water. It also loves hard water with a high pH so it would be a good idea to test your water parameters (it's important you do this anyway since you want to make sure that ammonia and nitrites are at zero while the nitrates are low).
Since it likes warm water, you may want to lower the temperature a bit if you were keeping it on the high side (above 75). Aeration is extremely important so I would add an air stone during treatment. Columnaris infections often pop up in times of stress which includes poor water conditions. Keeping the water really clean will help...do daily water changes. In fact, I would start treatment by doing a 100% water change (or as close to that as possible).
Aquarium salt will definitely help so add some if you have it. If you don't have any, it's really easy to get and inexpensive. Maracyn is probably the most useful antibiotic for treating Columnaris but if it's not available then your petstore should be able to help you pick out something. Most medications that claim to treat fungal infections will actually cure Columnaris. Binox (by Jungle) is another effective one that comes in a powder form. It'll actually treat some fungal infections, too.
The key to treating this disease is clean water, good aeration, and lower (I wouldn't go below 74, though) water temperatures.
Melafix will not treat this disease so I wouldn't use it.
"We weep for a bird's cry, but not for a fish's blood. Blessed are those with a voice."
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