Please help. My tank has an columnaris infection

Zanki

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I need help. My tank has a columnaris infection and it's going through my tank like crazy. I've lost nine fish in a week or so and I want to save the others. Over night I lost three, only one was showing signs of the infection. I've tried the Interpet anti bacteria and the anti fungus and neither have had any affect (At first I thought it was a bacterial infection as one fish just dropped with no symptoms, I dosed the tank with that first. Then I thought it was cotton mouth, hence the anti fungal). Everything I've googled has come up saying I need to use antibiotics, but under UK/EU law, the products used in the US to save their fish cannot be imported legally. I need something I can leave in my tank as the symptoms are showing up an hour or so before they die, before then the fish appear healthy and normal. No hiding, rubbing themselves on things, no weird patches on their bodies etc. So far it's only going through my female bettas (I've lost six of my nine) and my danios (I've lost three of my nine). The other fish, loaches, otos, plec, rainbow fish, shrimp and snails seem unaffected.

My tanks parameters are:

Ammonia 0

Nitrate 30

Nitrite 0

Tank is 40gal long, low tech planted tropical. I've dropped the tank temperature down to 22c. Done water changes before dosing the tank with meds. Removed the required filter media etc.

Please help. I've had my tank seven years. I've lost fish I've had for years and it's devastating to have to keep burying my little buddies every other/day.
 

alto

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Columnaris disease in fish: a review with emphasis on bacterium-host interactions
  • Annelies Maria DeclercqEmail author,
  • Freddy Haesebrouck,
  • Wim Van den Broeck,
  • Peter Bossier and
  • Annemie Decostere
Veterinary Research. 2013 44:27

https://veterinaryresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1297-9716-44-27

This review article is hosted on several sites, some of which include full access

Without access to meds that have proven Columnaris activity, optimum water conditions are your best bet
You’ve already decreased temp, which is good
Softer water will also improve survival rates (pick up some RO to dilute with tap if you’re in a hard water area)
Slightly acidic pH also seems to benefit fish over Columnaris
Increase surface movement - ie anything that optimizes oxygen levels in water is beneficial to fish as C invades gill tissue
Vacuum substrate as much as possible
Rinse all filter media, clean filter hoses of any sludge

I’d use activated carbon to remove any medications that have been added - they will only act as fish stressor
(& most sequester oxygen)


AND remove any possibly infected fish to a separate tank (or food safe bin) set up with bare bottom - they will act as a significant infection source
I’d actually remove all Bettas and Danios, also consider rainbow isolation (though I’d keep them separate from the Bettas and Danios)
Be very careful not to cross contaminate from isolation tanks, back to main tank - separate nets, water change equipment etc - also have a physical separation between tanks

At this time, sounds like the fish you are losing are among those species that are more “sensitive” to C infection/higher mortality (even with suitable medications etc, there is always some % mortality)
 

Edvet

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Allow me to add a small excerpt of the linked test

"Potential impacts on human health resulting from the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria and the associated risk of transfer of these resistant traits to the environment and human-associated bacteria are also a major concern [137]. Declercq et al. demonstrated the in vitro multiple resistance of F. columnare strains originating from ornamental fish toward several clinically important antibiotics, such as quinolones and tetracyclines [138]. The results obtained in this study appeal for less prudent use of antimicrobials especially in the ornamental fish industry and therefore urges to limit their use and to focus on the development of alternative curative and preventive measures against columnaris disease."
 
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I've just successfully treated this with Esha ndx after a failed attempt with another med. Improvements seen after 24 hours :) from my research it has the right active ingredient, and is order able from Amazon!
 
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August 2018 Cultivating Ecosystems: Microbial Communities in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems

Ryan Bartelme University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

https://dc.uwm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2750&context=etd



Flavobacterium columnare will be used as a model opportunistic pathogen, since F. columnare infects most freshwater fish (Lafrentz et al., 2012). Suboptimal rearing conditions, such as low dissolved oxygen, high ammonia levels, elevated nitrite levels, or overstocking are often associated with outbreaks of F. columnare in aquaculture (Lafrentz et al., 2012).


To assess consistency among freshwater RAS microbiomes, we compared the microbial community composition among six aquaculture and aquaponic farms. Community assemblages reflected site and source water relationships, but some sequence variants classified to Flavobacterium, Cetobacterium, and the family Sphingomonadaceae, were common across all facilities.
 
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Columnaris, like many other pathogens, is a naturally occurring opportunistic bacteria in fish tanks which flourishes in the right conditions. Up the water changes significantly. Clean your filters, siphon the substrate, etc.. That'll reduce the load that's now booming in your tank and overwhelming the fish.
 
Last edited:

alto

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I've just successfully treated this with Esha ndx after a failed attempt with another med. Improvements seen after 24 hours :) from my research it has the right active ingredient, and is order able from Amazon!
:confused:

Esha ndx is an anthelmintic (rumoured to be levamisole) so won’t have an effective activity/protection against Columnaris which is a bacterium, and a sticky one at that

Abstract from above linked review article

Flavobacterium columnare (F. columnare) is the causative agent of columnaris disease. This bacterium affects both cultured and wild freshwater fish including many susceptible commercially important fish species. F. columnare infections may result in skin lesions, fin erosion and gill necrosis, with a high degree of mortality, leading to severe economic losses. Especially in the last decade, various research groups have performed studies aimed at elucidating the pathogenesis of columnaris disease, leading to significant progress in defining the complex interactions between the organism and its host. Despite these efforts, the pathogenesis of columnaris disease hitherto largely remains unclear, compromising the further development of efficient curative and preventive measures to combat this disease. Besides elaborating on the agent and the disease it causes, this review aims to summarize these pathogenesis data emphasizing the areas meriting further investigation.




From https://www.eshalabs.eu/europe/products/esha-ndx.html
eSHa-ndx is an anthelmintic for ornamental fish in freshwater AND seawater aquaria. It works against parasitic nematodes like Anisakis Camallanus, Capillaria, Pseudocapillaria, Eustrongylids, Oxyurids e.a. This product also kills Planaria and non-parasitic nematode worms.
 
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:confused:
Esha ndx is an anthelmintic (rumoured to be levamisole) so won’t have an effective activity/protection against Columnaris which is a bacterium, and a sticky one at that
It's finally clicked why this isn't making any sense... I tested camallanus worms. My apologies... I apparently can't read!!
 

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