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Vibrio Infections

Vibrio is a bacterial infection that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.  Unfortunately, I’ve dealt with it twice with no success.  However, I’ve learned more each time, so hopefully this will help someone else.

Vibrio is a gram-negative bacteria that infects fish, invertebrates, etc.  It can cause gastroenteritis (abdominal issues) and sepsis/septicemia (serious infection that usually enters the bloodstream and causes death.)  When I first encountered Vibrio, it was with three Anthias I had in quarantine.  At first, I thought the wounds were from fighting, but I soon realized I was dealing with something much worse.  On February 9, 2013, all three were healthy and happy.

Trio of Anthias on February 9, 2013

Trio of Anthias on February 9, 2013

Within ten days, I was down to one final anthias, and it had a red wound on its side.  It died the same day.  Unfortunately, as a hobbyist, I am not equipped to study fish pathogens, but given the signs/symptoms, my best guess is Vibro-induced sepsis.

Anthias with Vibrio-induced Sepsis

Anthias with Vibrio-induced Sepsis on February 19, 2013

After the last anthias died, I looked back through the photos and disease progression (after thoroughly bleaching everything).  I started researching Vibrio and decided I would treat future fish infections with Nitrofurazone (brand name Furan-2), a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is especially effective against certain gram-negative bacteria.  Well, unfortunately I had that sort of luck.

A good friend received this female Watanabei angel covered in black turbellarian worms and Amyloodinium (marine velvet).  So, I decided to rescue her for my friend on March 28, 2013.  I’ve included my fish log just for my own memory’s sake.

First night…(Thursday, March 28, 2013)
– Acclimated
– Freshwater dip w/ methylene blue @ 30 minutes (worms seemed gone)
– Placed into QT tank w/ formalin
– No appetite
– Gasping at surface…breathing rate around 180 breaths/minute

Second night…(Friday, March 29, 2013)
– Freshwater dip w/ methylene blue @ 10 minutes (velvet lessened)
– Placed into new QT tank w/ formalin
– No appetite
– Breathing slowed to ~70 breaths per minute
– Noticed lighter patch on her left side
– Very twitchy

Watanabei Angel

Watanabei Angel on March 29, 2013

Third night…(Saturday, March 30, 2013)
– Freshwater dip w/ methylene blue @ 10 minutes (skin nearly clear)
– Placed into new QT tank w/ Furan 2
– No appetite
– Breathing is good
– Patch worsening…grows noticeably larger w/in hours
– Very twitchy

As mentioned above, I dosed with Furan-2 (60mg Nitrofurazone and 25mg Furazolidone per 10 gallons tank water) in the quarantine tank and followed the manufacturer’s instructions (Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc.) hoping to knock out the infection that was causing the white patch.

Fourth night…(Sunday, March 31, 2013)
– Added second dose of Furan 2 as per instructions
– No appetite
– Breathing is good
– Patch is really bad…might’ve hit the blood stream?
– Noticed second patch starting
– Very twitchy

Angel showing Sepsis on March 31, 2013

Angel showing Sepsis on March 31, 2013

On March 31, 2013, I also contacted Bob Fenner of www.WetWebMedia.com for advice.  He recommended a “subcutaneous injection (intramuscular) of Furan, Sulfanomides,” but unfortunately, this treatment was beyond my skill level.

Sepsis Progression on April 1, 2013

Sepsis Progression on April 1, 2013

The sepsis progression was somewhat slower than with the Anthias (they died within two days of showing a white spot).  But, the infection was obviously worsening.  Unfortunately, Furan-2 treats topical infections, and it does not treat internal infections.  I ordered SeaChem’s Kanaplex (Kanamycin Sulfate), which treats internal infections.  It is also safe to use with Furan-2.  Unfortunately, it did not arrive in time.

Sepsis Progression on April 3, 2013

Sepsis Progression on April 3, 2013

On April 3, 2013, the infection had spread through the fish to the other side, and I decided it was best to euthanize the fish.  I then thoroughly bleached and dried all equipment used.

Lessons learned:  I will continue use of freshwater dips with methylene blue for a shorter duration (5 minutes) followed by immediate quarantine with both Kanaplex and Furan-2.  The freshwater dip with methylene blue helps treat a variety of fish parasites/issues.  Parasitic infestations (like the marine velvet the angel had) can lead to bacterial infections (like Vibrio), so fast treatment with antibiotics is essential.  But, I just hope I never encounter this again!

 

 

 

 

 

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