Lennon's Reef

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I recently noticed little white spots on my four red spot glass cardinals (Apogon parvulus). I treated for internal parasites (more on that later) and when that didn’t work I assumed it might be ich and moved all of my fish (the 4 cardinals, a Helfrich’s firefish, and a pink streaked wrasse) to my quarantine system. I brought the copper level up to 2.5ppm over the course of a few days using Copper Power Parasite Treatment. I checked the level every day with my Hanna copper checker and made sure it never dropped below 2.5ppm. It’s been two weeks since reaching a concentration of 2.5ppm copper and I see no difference in the white spots. At this point I doubt it’s ich. The only fish affected are the cardinals. There are no spots whatsoever on the firefish or wrasse.
Before I moved my fish to my quarantine tank I did notice that one of my cardinals stopped eating. He didn’t eat for several days and I was sure he would die, but the copper seems to have helped. A few days after transferring him to the quarantine system he started eating again. I didn’t change the food I was feeding; the only difference was the copper. The other thing that makes me question whether I’m dealing with ich is the fact that the spots seem to be INSIDE the fish. I can see them inside because of the fish’s clear bodies. I’ve read that ich burrows into the skin to feed, but from pictures I’ve seen online, fish affected by ich are covered in spots on the outside. My fish don’t really have exterior spots, the majority seem to be inside. Before transferring the fish to quarantine I did try feeding them with food soaked in Seachem metroplex and focus to treat for internal parasites but it had no effect. I’m at a loss as to what this could be. I don’t want to keep my fish in copper for any longer than I need to, but at the same time I’m afraid to take them out when they’re still sick. I’ll try to post some pictures tomorrow but they probably won’t help much. It’s very difficult to get the camera to focus on the spots on such a small, clear fish.
 
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Wait a minute...I think I've heard of this before...

I think...and this is a big think, that it might be bacterial or parasitic. I know I've heard of a disease, and it's kind of like a botfly larva. But in this case, it's some sort of bacteria/parasite, and it grows in a cyst-thing inside the body. When everything's ready in the cyst, it ruptures, allowing for secondary bacterial infections. @Jay Hemdal , have you heard of this disease? It's not ich, since that's more of a surface parasite....
 
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Lennon's Reef

Lennon's Reef

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Wait a minute...I think I've heard of this before...

I think...and this is a big think, that it might be bacterial or parasitic. I know I've heard of a disease, and it's kind of like a botfly larva. But in this case, it's some sort of bacteria/parasite, and it grows in a cyst-thing inside the body. When everything's ready in the cyst, it ruptures, allowing for secondary bacterial infections. @Jay Hemdal , have you heard of this disease? It's not ich, since that's more of a surface parasite....

Interesting... I hate to think of my pets having the fish equivalent of botfly larvae inside them but it’s nice to have a possible diagnosis. What are your thoughts in terms of treatment options? I tried feeding frozen soaked In metroplex/focus again today, but of course now my fish are spitting it out despite me using Kent Garlic Xtreme :rolleyes: Maybe I can try API general cure?
 

Jay Hemdal

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Can you post pictures?

If the spots stay in the same spot for more than 24 hours, it isn’t ich.

There are a number of diseases that can form granulomas like this: bacteria, digenean trematodes, microsporidians. All are difficult to treat because they are internal and walled off.
Jay
 
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Lennon's Reef

Lennon's Reef

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Can you post pictures?

If the spots stay in the same spot for more than 24 hours, it isn’t ich.

There are a number of diseases that can form granulomas like this: bacteria, digenean trematodes, microsporidians. All are difficult to treat because they are internal and walled off.
Jay

I checked, and the spots definitely stay in the same place for more than 24 hours. I also noticed that there are no spots on my fish's fins, whereas in images of fish infected with ich there do seem to be spots on the fins.

I attached a photo and a slow motion video of the fish.

Should I still keep the copper level up, or do you think it could be doing more harm than good? If you have any recommendations for treatment options I would really appreciate it!

Fish2.jpg
 

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Jay Hemdal

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I think you're correct - no spots on the fins, and spots not changing location means not ich. These do look like granulomas. These can't be treated with copper. If they are from digenean flukes, there is no worry because there won't be a secondary host to spread them. I see a lot of granulomas in fish during necropsy - they aren't always the cause of death, many are incidental findings. The reason you can see these is because the fish are clear.

Jay
 
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