Strange mark on Otos head

Majsa

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I bought 6 otos 3 or 4 weeks ago and things didn't turn out as I'd hoped, have lost 3 until now. These remaining otos seemed quite alright (one is too thin to my liking but he's still there), but now the biggest oto (she had a really round belly at some point so I assume it's a female) has developed a strange w-shaped mark right between her eyes. It looks like it's made of really small light-coloured dots and it is rather symmetrical, as if following some anatomical structure (armour plate?). I think I first saw it on Friday, and it hasn't changed much, maybe got a little broader and more "oto-coloured" instead of whitish. The fish remains the most active and the best eater of the three, not showing any signs of discomfort. Now that I also see some short brown hairs coming out another otos nostrils (is this normal, or just dirt?) I wonder if everything is OK.

The first picture is from a couple of weeks ago, when she didn't have the mark. The second picture is from Saturday and the last one from yesterday (the one from above). I'm sorry for the bad quality, I don't have a decent camera!

What could this be, any ideas? The otos live in a 45L tank (I have a journal here) together with 3 clithon coronas, no other tank mates (unless you count the limpets and the copepods...).
 

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Majsa

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We are almost a week further and it isn't getting any better, unfortunately, despite just finishing 5 days of Voogle. The mark has grown a little bit and is almost touching the eye, though the eye doesn't seem to be affected. The fish is still acting normal (as far as I can tell) and likes to browse in the leaf litter. I just saw another oto have two small white spots on its back. These don't look like ich or velvet but I wouldn't know for sure...I am now doing a 50% WC every other day (it's a relatively new tank - 2,5 months old - and every 3-4 days has been the longest interval until now).

Any suggestions? It shouldn't be a big deal to move the snails to a bucket for a while (I have a spare sponge filter in this tank I can grab) if the fish can be treated in the tank. I have ParaGuard and Fluke-Solve, and the local pet shop sells Esha products, just have no idea what to do and don't want hit-and-miss...
 

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MirandaB

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It doesn't look fungal to me but a bath in Methylene blue would rule that out if it doesn't stain it,you'd need to do that in a separate container though.
It wouldn't hurt to run a course of esha 2000 which is relatively mild or you could try the Paraguard first.
 

Majsa

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Unfortunately I lost the two other otos, almost without a warning within 24 hours by Thursday morning. I was planning to start Paraguard in the weekend but gave up the idea, with just one fish in the tank. It's the fish with the lesion and it has not gotten any better nor worse.
Well now I am thinking to try it anyway, there isn't much to lose here is there...I will try with (half a dose) Paraguard first as I already have it and it appears to be better tolerated by snails than Esha, so I wouldn't need separate containers.
I just hate losing fish. I have oto's in another tank where they have to compete for food with amanos (and tetras), and I liked the idea of a tank where they can hang out with peaceful tank mates...
 

MirandaB

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Never had a problem with snails or shrimp using esha products myself.
It seems to be very hit or miss buying otos as they're wc,then are usually starved for transport so they're on the back foot from the start.
I usually give it a good couple of weeks so I can observe them in the shop tank,checking they've got nice rounded bellies before buying any.
 

Majsa

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On their website they say nearly all Esha products are safe for snails, but Esha 2000 seems to be an exception ("may kill aquatic snails" - https://www.eshalabs.eu/europe/faq.html). These are totally different products but it reminds me when I killed two horned nerites last year, I put them back in a tank which had been treated with Flubenol two months (!) earlier. It took me days to realize why they weren't moving, and it was too late :facepalm: Don't want something like that to happen again. But I can still try Esha later if Paraguard doesn't work, I'd then move the snails.

Any idea why you lost he other two, I'm unsure if I haven't read something correctly.

I really don't know...I had had them for a month so I thought they'd make it. The thinner one I could more or less expect but the other one looked fine (maybe the two tiny spots were a clue of some internal issue). They went quite fast, weren't even hiding.

It seems to be very hit or miss buying otos as they're wc,then are usually starved for transport so they're on the back foot from the start.
I usually give it a good couple of weeks so I can observe them in the shop tank,checking they've got nice rounded bellies before buying any.

I think that's it, they were probably not too well to start with.
 

Andrew Butler

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I can still try Esha later if Paraguard doesn't work,
I will try and find the information sent to me and question them on it again to clarify. If you were to move the snails then Carbon should remove any remains as far as I'm aware - remember how wrong I likely was earlier though, :rolleyes: Sorry.
 

Andrew Butler

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Hi @Majsa just had a quick look and the UK version contains/contained slightly different ingredients, than the German version at least.
Last time I spoke with them was January 2019 as I kept getting them sent from Amazon without UK instructions.
They told me that all boxes sold in the UK must contain 'approved by VMD' and if it doesn't then it shouldn't be sold here, ingredients differ due to legal issues.
I have noted your location so this isn't of much use to you I know, maybe worth dropping them a message, I found Facebook the best way of getting a response from them.

This is the UK ingredients list I was told in January 2019 for Esha 2000
eSHa 2000 contains in the UK: Ethacridine lactate, Copper Sulphate and Proflavine Hemisulphate.
 

Majsa

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Hi @Majsa just had a quick look and the UK version contains/contained slightly different ingredients, than the German version at least.
Last time I spoke with them was January 2019 as I kept getting them sent from Amazon without UK instructions.
They told me that all boxes sold in the UK must contain 'approved by VMD' and if it doesn't then it shouldn't be sold here, ingredients differ due to legal issues.
I have noted your location so this isn't of much use to you I know, maybe worth dropping them a message, I found Facebook the best way of getting a response from them.

I hadn't thought of that, but it does make sense.
 

Majsa

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He's just come back to me,he's not used it for a while but never had any problems when he did and he says the Dutch website says it's ok.

Thanks Miranda! I can't find the website he's referring to, but after a quick search on Dutch forums I get the idea that apple snails are the most sensitive, others less. Probably I'd still move the snails, just in case, but it's good to know they won't drop dead when I put them back 😀 But let's see first if Paraguard is doing anything, I'll give it some time. I added half a dose yesterday and today 3/4, dosing after daily water changes now.
 

Majsa

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An update after dosing Paraguard for 2,5 weeks. The oto has been getting better but really, really slowly. I stopped dosing yesterday, I am not sure if that was the right thing to do but time will tell I guess. The whitish "stuff" seems gone but what's left...holes? It is also difficult to see whether the infection is gone and the skin just needs to repair itself, or if there are issues still. The oto is acting normal, and pooing a lot, which must be a good thing.
I'd like to get the oto some tank mates but she needs to be better first.
 

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