True fungus, what to treat with?

True fungus, what to treat with?

Postby aquagrrl » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:05 am

I believe one of my seahorses has been infected with a true fungus. I was under the impression that this is somewhat rare in marine fish, but I looked under the scope and it looks similar (though not identical to) Saprolegnia images I'm finding online. What I'm seeing is what appears to be a cluster of cells in the center with hairs sprouting out of it. I have photos but the camera cord is missing, will post when I find it.

The appearance on the seahorse is like a grey haze around its body - which is another interesting thing, I thought fungus would attack open wounds and in small clusters, this appears to be over the entire body.

The back story is that on Friday, I woke up to the ph crashing in the tank housing this seahorse. I had to leave for work so I grabbed water from a different tank into a temporary tank, removed the livestock from the main tank and into the temporary tank with an airline. I then added an airline to the problem tank, and left work work. Due to a hundred different reasons, I couldn't address the temporary tank issue until the next day, and when I finally got everything under control and them back in their tank, one of the two seahorses had this grey film. Barely noticeable. But as the day went on it became denser. That's when I siphoned a bunch off and looked at it under the microscope.

I'm not sure what to do to treat. At the moment, I'm doing a treatment with quick cure, which is malachite green and formalin. Its been just over 24 hours and no improvement, possibly worse. (The seahorse is otherwise behaving normally and eating well). I'm not sure what else I should do.
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Re: True fungus, what to treat with?

Postby aquagrrl » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:45 am

Pics

Image
(notice haze/fuzz)

Image
40x

Image
100x

The pictures aren't great, I was using a point and shoot and holding it to the microscope, it was all I had.
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Re: True fungus, what to treat with?

Postby DanUnderwood » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:03 pm

I am not an expert on fungal issues!!! Rarely see it on seahorses. Usually after antibiotic therapy. I am not entirely sure if this is a fungus. Looks more like a filamentous algae to me. I would expect a fungus to be more dense and patchy. Filamentous algae can be common on seahorses, often found on WC. In aquaria, it most common with a high organics or low flow or a combination of the two. You can test this by taking pantyhose and cover your fingertip and very gently wipe away an area. If it removes easily and doesn't come right back, it is most likely algae. I do recommend wearing gloves.

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Re: True fungus, what to treat with?

Postby aquagrrl » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:55 am

It doesn't wipe away. I thought I'd try physically removing it when I first noticed it. I was pretty sure it wasn't algae, but whatever it was; either bacterial or fungus, I figured he'd have a better chance if there wasn't a high load of it. I can suction a little off with a pipette, that is how I got the photo, but it just doesn't come off that easy. It also developed with he was in darkness (well ambient low light) for a day, so it came on quick and it came on without much light. I agree, I thought it would be more patchy if it was a fungus, but its not.

The one thing I can think is that it might have been caused by a drop in temperature. I didn't have a heater in the emergency tank and the water dropped to 68-69. From what I've been reading, many aquatic molds take hold in cooler temps. I have him at 72 right now; I don't want to invite a bacterial infection, but if the low temperature is responsible, I don't want to make it worse. (72 is what I normally have them at). His mate doesn't show any signs. He acts normally so far, but I really don't want him to be eaten alive by a fungus.

Staring at the pictures some more, I noticed what looked like a spore which I didn't see the first time. I digitally enhanced it to make it clearer:
Image

It looks a lot like:
http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi ... egnia.html
Now, I realized saprolegnia is freshwater, but my assumption right now is that its a fungus with a similar appearance and behavior. Thoughts? Am I crazy?
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Re: True fungus, what to treat with?

Postby Diane_B » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:50 pm

Tami - I'd use nitrofurazone. I know it's mostly an antibiotic, but it works wonders for freshwater fungal infections.
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Re: True fungus, what to treat with?

Postby aquagrrl » Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:03 pm

Thanks Diane. The quick cure cleared it up after 3 days, thank goodness (He's one of my favor seahorses!). If it ever shows up again though, I'll try the nitrofurazone, I don't like how harsh malachite green is so your treatment would be much better!
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