Video: Columnariosis And How To Get Rid Of It
Columnariosis, or flexibacillosis, is one of the most common fish diseases. This infection is caused by a rod-shaped bacterium called Flexibacter columnaris, which has some of the same symptoms as a fungus. Bacteria live on dead organics, in water, and even healthy fish. To activate, they need hard water, pH above 6 and a high nitrogen content. Fish are especially vulnerable when there is a lack of vitamins and oxygen. The most favorable environment for bacteria is the water temperature range of 28-30 ° C.
The acute form of columnariasis, better known as oral fungus, may explain some of the sudden deaths of fish. External symptoms do not always appear, which makes timely treatment impossible. In this case, the fish dies in 2-3 days. If you do not take timely measures to eliminate the pathogen, fish mortality can reach up to 100%.
Columnariasis appears on the head, fins, or gills, and is especially common on the lips and mouth. It looks like a cluster of small light spots that soon become fluffy and like cotton wool. At this stage, oral fungus is often confused with fungal infections, but its formations are grayish and more grainy and coarse. Compared to other fungi, columnariasis develops more slowly in the fish organism.
Most often, viviparous (swordtails, mollies, platies, guppies) and labyrinth (gourami, lalius, cockerels, macropods) fish are susceptible to the disease. The low oxygen content in the water, its high oxidizability, the increased content of ammonia and especially nitrites, mechanical injuries and too high a water temperature for this species are all factors that can cause an outbreak of columnariasis in an aquarium.
At the onset of columnariasis, the fins compress the fins, their movements become constrained, whitish edges appear along the edges of the scales, then there is a strong muffling of the surface of the fish body. The acute form of columnariasis usually develops in tropical aquariums. Due to the short incubation period and the rapid course of the disease, the diagnosis can only be made after the death of the fish. The chronic form progresses slowly and is successfully treated, but can also kill the fish.
If you find one sick fish, it is best to treat the entire aquarium at once, and not just one. One way to slow down the development of flexibacteria is to lower the pH below 6.0, only gradually so as not to cause osmotic shock in the fish. Sick fish is placed in a bath with phenoxyethanol, chloramphenicol is added to the aquarium (at the rate of 3.5-4 g per 100 l of water, during treatment, the temperature is maintained at 26-27 ° C). After 4-5 days, the drug concentration in the aquarium is reduced by partial daily water changes. To increase the therapeutic effect, it is recommended to add table salt to the water (at the rate of 4-5 tablespoons per 100 liters of water).
You can also use methylene blue and the drug mercurochrome. Antibiotics are used for severe internal tissue damage. Surviving fish may develop some immunity.
For prevention, good maintenance of the aquarium is necessary, especially the control of hardness and acid-base balance.