Need help diagnosing/ treating thick white spots more

nisimic

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Hi all,

This is my 1st thread here and unfortunately it is a question about some disease that I struggle to diagnose and eliminate for several months but it enhance further.

Some images attached and any help on diagnosis and suggested treatment is most appreciated.

During April some unclear white spot or two appeared on the lemon tang, around its gills.
I strted treating with chelated Copper sulphate I had, but it didn't seems to help (later I realized I didn't get to therapeutic levels due to old copper test kit).
~1 week later a belleni got filled with white spots and died within a few days.
- Other fish were ok for a few weeks but started to have many white spots (the 2 tangs) or thick white spots every few .
- The lemon tang later got self cleaned from any spot but strted ro have holes in the head, which are getting worse.
- 4 Clown fish (percula) are totally clean and healty all these months.


In between I used various tretments as detailed, with no success so far.


Aquarium type: Fish-only, including:
1 medium heniochus butterfly
1 small Auriga butterfly
1 small lemon tang
1 small Blond Naso tang
1 very small nabarachos angel
4 Percula Clown fish

Water volume - 120 us gallons net (80 in tank + 40 in sump)

Filtration type - bubble magus filter roller + perlon wool after it.
Bubble Magus Curve 7 proteine skimmer.
(Just added Oxidator type A a few days ago, after reading some good reviews here, hoping it can helpwith healthier tank)

Lighting - simple 4*28 watt led modules (3:1 white:blue)


The aquarium have been established before 7 years, but it had no fish for ~2 years and then gradually reestablished with fish about a year ago.

Water quality
Temp: 27°C (with cooler)
pH: 8.0
Salinity: usually keep low as 1.017. For the last few months I keep it even lower as 1.012 due to problem.
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: ~100ppm
Phosphates: ~10ppm
Copper ~2.5+ ppm (Copper Power)

In-depth information:
* Respiration rate of affected fish - ~ 80-100
* The affected fish are all swimming and still feeding well.

Remedies/ tretments I have tried so far:
* hypo salinity of 1.012 since April.
* beginning of May - Esha Trimarin and then Esha Oodinex (3 days tretment each, per its protocol)
* 29/5 - added 21ml Praziquantel, after I suspected the unclear white spots might be some worms.
* 17/6 - removed ~99.9% of the gravel and added 6 oz Copper Power (to ~2.5 ppm or a little more, tetsted with new API kit) .Copper level seems very steady since then.

* 28/6 - got the fish out and had 2 dips, 4 days appart, with Blue Life "Rapid Fish Quarantine" set (each set includes formalin dip and methylan blue dip, applied 45-60 minutes dip of each).
- In between these 2 dips the fish were in small quarantine for 4 days (also medicated with Copper Power)
- The main display tank was heated during these 4 days up to 40.2°C for a few hours, hoping to kill remains of parasite (in case it is Cryptocaryon - per disinfection method in Roy P.E. Yanong - University of Florida "Cryptocaryone irritants Infestions..." page 9)

* 1/7 - After the water cooled back to 27°C, the fish were returned back to the display tank and I added 0.5 oz Copper Power (~2.5+ ppm)
- Also added 20ml Xback (weekly) to restore the nitrifying bacteria

Rremark - I couldn't keep the fish further in QT as I had to leave home for a week. On 11/7 I saw the problem got worse.

Sory for the long thread,
Many thanks for any help/ suggestions!
Nissim

IMG_20220714_215737.jpg IMG_20220714_011543.jpg IMG_20220714_011231.jpg IMG_20220714_011357.jpg IMG_20220714_010128.jpg IMG_20220714_005932.jpg IMG_20220714_011455.jpg IMG_20220714_011154.jpg IMG_20220714_011320.jpg
 
Reef Chasers Aquaculture

AydenLincoln

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I think it’s lymphocytis or flukes (possibly mixed with something else because the spots are so different on some fish) that being said tagging the #fishmedics will get a good answer. And that’s a really low salinity to be running for that long…and sometimes adding so much medication/trying so many treatments just stresses the fish out more and may make a problem worse just my thoughts.
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Welcome to Reef2Reef!

Thanks for the detailed report.

From the products you are using, I presume you are in the EU? I'm not as familiar with those products as the ones in the US.

All of those invertebrates in your tank are plastic replicas, correct?

You've been running hyposalinity alongside other treatments. This increases the stress in the fish. One manifestation of that is "mucus plugs". These are larger, benign spots on the fish as a reaction to irritants in the water. Some of the spots seem to be those, but I can't account for that many spots on that many fish.

When did you last lose a fish?

Jay
 
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nisimic

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Welcome to Reef2Reef!

Thanks for the detailed report.

From the products you are using, I presume you are in the EU? I'm not as familiar with those products as the ones in the US.

All of those invertebrates in your tank are plastic replicas, correct?

You've been running hyposalinity alongside other treatments. This increases the stress in the fish. One manifestation of that is "mucus plugs". These are larger, benign spots on the fish as a reaction to irritants in the water. Some of the spots seem to be those, but I can't account for that many spots on that many fish.

When did you last lose a fish?

Jay
Hi Jay and thank to you and
AydenLincoln for your responses!

I am from Israel and I buy most of the equipment/ medications from the US (e.g. Copper power, food and water tests) but also from Germany/ Netherlands (e.g. filter media, vitamins, some medications https://www.eshalabs.com/products/)

Yes, this is fish only tank and these "invertebrates" are plastic (used to have much nicer setup but I took most out with the sand for the copper treatment).

I was not aware for the aspects of long term hypo salinity (just coloration etc.)
Is there some further info on
"mucus plugs".
Remark - The bigger thicker spots appear only in the fish with larger scales (angele and butterflys) and it seems like getting between the scales, while the tankgs had only more "classic" white spots and the clowns had none.
The Auriga also has something griwing around his mouth.

Only fish I lost was a Belleni ~ 2.5 months ago.

Based on your remarks about the hypo and my use of large number of medicatios, I consider doing a larger water replacement (third?) and keeping only the copper at ~2.5ppm and slowly getting the salinity to 1.015?
Should I expect/ hope for the "mucus plugs" to start disappear on its own after a while?

I would appreciate your further comments and suggestions,

Many thanks!
Nissim
 

Jay Hemdal

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Hi Jay and thank to you and
AydenLincoln for your responses!

I am from Israel and I buy most of the equipment/ medications from the US (e.g. Copper power, food and water tests) but also from Germany/ Netherlands (e.g. filter media, vitamins, some medications https://www.eshalabs.com/products/)

Yes, this is fish only tank and these "invertebrates" are plastic (used to have much nicer setup but I took most out with the sand for the copper treatment).

I was not aware for the aspects of long term hypo salinity (just coloration etc.)
Is there some further info on
"mucus plugs".
Remark - The bigger thicker spots appear only in the fish with larger scales (angele and butterflys) and it seems like getting between the scales, while the tankgs had only more "classic" white spots and the clowns had none.
The Auriga also has something griwing around his mouth.

Only fish I lost was a Belleni ~ 2.5 months ago.

Based on your remarks about the hypo and my use of large number of medicatios, I consider doing a larger water replacement (third?) and keeping only the copper at ~2.5ppm and slowly getting the salinity to 1.015?
Should I expect/ hope for the "mucus plugs" to start disappear on its own after a while?

I would appreciate your further comments and suggestions,

Many thanks!
Nissim

Here is some limited text I wrote on the issue of mucus plugs:

Idiopathic mucus plugs/cones: Fish sometimes develop excess mucus that excretes from the
producing skin cells and rather than spreading out along the body, rises up as a cone or a plug. These
presumable develop from some sort of skin irritation. If you do a skin scrape on them, all you see is
mucus. They do show up on dark colored fish more often, probably because the contrast makes them
easier to see. The cause(s) for this is unknown. In some cases, they just go away, in other cases, the fish
dies - but in those cases, it is probable that there was a secondary issue. There may be some correlation
between copper sulfate use, or a reaction to a previous skin infection. There is also some strong
correlation between this issue and the species of fish; surgeonfish, tetras and Anabantids are all known to
develop this. Many people misdiagnose these mucus plugs as Cryptocaryon or Lymphocystis, but the
plug or cone shape to the mucus is diagnostic to some degree.



Based on not having lost any fish in the past 2 1/2 months, I don't think that these spots are a result of any acute disease process - ich, flukes, bacteria, etc. would all tend to progress to the point where the fish dies or they get better due to some treatment...these diseases typically don't just stay constant like this.

Copper is often the root cause for these spots in tangs and surgeonfish. Perhaps copper in conjunction with hypo causes more fish to develop this issue?

Of course, all of this is speculation. Normally, I would catch one of the fish and do a skin scrape and look at the material under a microscope to try and confirm what the issue is.

Jay
 

AydenLincoln

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Here is some limited text I wrote on the issue of mucus plugs:

Idiopathic mucus plugs/cones: Fish sometimes develop excess mucus that excretes from the
producing skin cells and rather than spreading out along the body, rises up as a cone or a plug. These
presumable develop from some sort of skin irritation. If you do a skin scrape on them, all you see is
mucus. They do show up on dark colored fish more often, probably because the contrast makes them
easier to see. The cause(s) for this is unknown. In some cases, they just go away, in other cases, the fish
dies - but in those cases, it is probable that there was a secondary issue. There may be some correlation
between copper sulfate use, or a reaction to a previous skin infection. There is also some strong
correlation between this issue and the species of fish; surgeonfish, tetras and Anabantids are all known to
develop this. Many people misdiagnose these mucus plugs as Cryptocaryon or Lymphocystis, but the
plug or cone shape to the mucus is diagnostic to some degree.



Based on not having lost any fish in the past 2 1/2 months, I don't think that these spots are a result of any acute disease process - ich, flukes, bacteria, etc. would all tend to progress to the point where the fish dies or they get better due to some treatment...these diseases typically don't just stay constant like this.

Copper is often the root cause for these spots in tangs and surgeonfish. Perhaps copper in conjunction with hypo causes more fish to develop this issue?

Of course, all of this is speculation. Normally, I would catch one of the fish and do a skin scrape and look at the material under a microscope to try and confirm what the issue is.

Jay
See Jay always has the best answers! :D
 
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nisimic

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Here is some limited text I wrote on the issue of mucus plugs:

Idiopathic mucus plugs/cones: Fish sometimes develop excess mucus that excretes from the
producing skin cells and rather than spreading out along the body, rises up as a cone or a plug. These
presumable develop from some sort of skin irritation. If you do a skin scrape on them, all you see is
mucus. They do show up on dark colored fish more often, probably because the contrast makes them
easier to see. The cause(s) for this is unknown. In some cases, they just go away, in other cases, the fish
dies - but in those cases, it is probable that there was a secondary issue. There may be some correlation
between copper sulfate use, or a reaction to a previous skin infection. There is also some strong
correlation between this issue and the species of fish; surgeonfish, tetras and Anabantids are all known to
develop this. Many people misdiagnose these mucus plugs as Cryptocaryon or Lymphocystis, but the
plug or cone shape to the mucus is diagnostic to some degree.



Based on not having lost any fish in the past 2 1/2 months, I don't think that these spots are a result of any acute disease process - ich, flukes, bacteria, etc. would all tend to progress to the point where the fish dies or they get better due to some treatment...these diseases typically don't just stay constant like this.

Copper is often the root cause for these spots in tangs and surgeonfish. Perhaps copper in conjunction with hypo causes more fish to develop this issue?

Of course, all of this is speculation. Normally, I would catch one of the fish and do a skin scrape and look at the material under a microscope to try and confirm what the issue is.

Jay
Thanks for the important info Jay!

Does doing some (1/3?) water change sounds reasonable as next step?
to achieve:
- lower copper level
- get rid of some of the other medications leftovers (will also lower nitrate and phosphate)

Then gradually increase salinity (to what value?) And observe closely?

Anything else to consider?

Regards,
Nissim
 

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