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FAQs on Freshwater Sporozoan Parasite Disease (Cnidospora plus ("Sporozoans", Microsporidea, Mixosporidea, Cryptosporidea...), Pleistophora ("Neon Tetra Disease")

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Related FAQs: Freshwater Protozoan Parasite Diseases, Diagnosing/Identifying FW Protozoan Diseases, FW Fish Parasitic Disease 1, & FAQs on: Diagnosis/Identification of Parasites, Internal Parasites, FW Parasite Treatments, Freshwater Protozoan Parasite Diseases, Diagnosing/Identifying FW Protozoan Diseases, ( Ich/White Spot Disease, Freshwater Velvet, Sporozoan Parasites, Whirling DiseaseHexamita/Octomita in Freshwater Systems,) & Cichlid Disease, African Cichlid Disease, Aquarium Maintenance, FW Infectious DiseaseFreshwater MedicationsAfrican Cichlid Disease 1, Cichlid DiseaseBetta Disease 1

Neon tetra disease?       8/10/15
Hello, again!
Thanks for everything the other day!
I guess a follow up on our previous conversation would be good.
I now have the African cichlids living in the fridge case i told you earlier, arranged some rocks and sand and two small powerheads making water turbulence, Ph is 7.7 and water quality tests are good so far.
I didn't get the Acara; clerk at the lfs (the one i told you has severe issues) knows me and knows what i have in my tanks and when i told him what i wanted the Acara for told me that it would be too risky, as it would probably bully the glass catfish and stress everyone while looking for a territory. Just then when evaluating i noticed they had ... boesemanni rainbows! They had just arrived yesterday so i got 5 of them; A safer option i guess.
They are now being quarantined in a 10 gal, they are very small and have not developed their brightest colors (that or they are heavily stressed, cant tell).
I also noticed a sale on neon, cardinal and black neon tetras. There were actually just 5 neons, 3 cardinals and 2 black neons, and i actually have seen these guys sit in their tanks for about 3 weeks without anyone taking them. I got all of them.
Since my temperature range is in the meeting points of the upper for neons and lower for cardinals i guessed that maybe i could keep them together, am i right?
<Yes; with a "middling" range of temperature... the mid to upper seventies F.>
now, i searched for black neons but haven't found much.
these guys are all in my second quarantine (i have a few empty small tanks i got very cheaply just in case haha).
This quarantine, however, has a few hardy plants i can remove whenever i need to medicate (ferns, Anubias and hornwort). It is an 8 gallon with ph 7.1, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are 0,0,5, wasn't running with a filter but i took an extra sponge from the catfish tank and an air pump thing into an air diffuser.
Its been a day and all the fish seemed fine, however, noticed today that the cardinals aren't eating, and whats more one of the neons is hiding in an upper corner, hidden by hornwort and just blankly staring at the glass without eating or moving much. The rest of the neons, black neons and cardinals are hanging together and feeding well (except for the cardinals, which don't show interest in food).
First thing that comes to mind is neon tetra diseases for the neon, but these guys have been at the lfs for about 3 weeks, shouldn't he have died already if he does have NTD?
<Likely the "odd behavior" is simply from being moved to a new setting>
shouldn't the other fish be infected and displaying symptoms as well? Im a bit puzzled here, all the fish seem well fed and display normal coloration. Also thought about stress but im very paranoid about diseases.
I sincerely hope you can help me, thank you very much in advance for your time!
<I'd "do nothing" at this point. Bob Fenner>

marks on Black Neon tetra       8/10/15
Dear WWM Masters,
<Howdy Dev!>
Thanks a ton for the incredible service you provide to let us take better care of our charges. Much appreciated.
<Glad we can share>
The attached picture is of one of my shoal of 8 Black Neons. Any idea what the markings might mean? Others do not have anything similar. They are 4 months in the tank, no change in appetite or behaviour.
<Yikes.... Remove and isolate (or... destroy) the affected fish.... This appears to be an incidence of "Neon Tetra Disease" (Pleistophora, a Microsporidean)... yes, does infests other fishes.... Not curable (at this point)>
This 'warm water' tank is 30X15X12(H), about a year old, filtered by a 500l/hr HOB packed with ceramic and bioballs and a similar flow internal power similarly packed. NH3, NO2, NO3 0,0,<10; pH 7.3, kH 3, TDS 150, tankmates 6 Sterbai Cory, 4 each of Rummynose and Cardinal tetras, 1 male Pearl Gourami and a Red Lizard Plec. Crypts, Anubias, Java Fern, floating
pennywort and duckweed, Indian Almond leaves, submerged roots, river stones, caves, sand substrate. Temp is now above 30C from an Indian summer.
It has a laminar flow fan blowing across the surface, no artificial lights.
20% weekly water change, feeding from Hikari Micro pellets, sinking wafers, Ocean Nutrition Brine Shrimp plus and Spirulina flakes and Tetra bits.
Freeze dried bloodworms occasionally. I dose K2SO4 as per EI and Seachem Flourish Comprehensive and Iron.
Should I be concerned?
<Yes; and sorry to be the bearer of such bad news. DO search re the terms above... this could be another Microsporidean, Protozoan, even some worms.... As usual/always I (and I'd go far to say many other WWM Crew)
state simply what we would do given similar/same circumstances. NOT worth waiting... isolate or euthanize this black Neon>
Thanks again.
Devakalpa (India)
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: marks on Black Neon tetra         8/11/15
Dear Bob,
Thanks for the inputs. I shall act accordingly.
<Ah, good. Please keep us informed; send along your observations. BobF>

Re: marks on Black Neon tetra         8/17/15
Dear Bob,
Apologies for the delay in updating. I went the clove oil route the day I heard from you, it seemed to be the safest (but tough) option.
Since then no signs of contamination yet; the remaining Black Neons, Cardinals and Rummy Noses are doing fine.
<Glad to read>
Thanks again
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

big black spots on fish
I have asked the guys at the local fish shops and searched the web and still haven't found anything that sounds similar to what my fish have.
I have attached a photo of one of the Columbian tetras with a large black spot on it and it appears to be under the scales which are not raised one of the fish has the spot on the base of it's caudal fin and another had it on its mouth and the other fish has the marks on the middle of its body.
<It doesn't look familiar to me at all; the usual "Black Spot" of the hobby is a pond fish problem, and rarely spreads because of the lack of the intermediate host it needs to complete its life cycle. As such, you usually let the thing die off naturally, and then the pond fish are fine.>
I have lost at least 15-20 of my Columbians to this so far.
<This is unusual.>
Do you have any idea what this could be and how I can treat it as I don't want this getting onto my larger fish and killing them as well.
<If it's only killed the Columbian tetras, by guess would be only other Hyphessobrycon are vulnerable, perhaps other characins. The use of a UV steriliser might help inhibit spread of the free-living stage. Would suggest euthanising, preserving in alcohol the next seriously ill specimen and having a microbiologist examine the fish (you vet will help you here, if you don't have contacts in a suitable university or path lab). Isolating the school of Columbian tetras in a quarantine tank equipped with a UV steriliser would also be a good idea, and you could treat with strong systemic anti-protozoan medications (e.g., Metronidazole) to see if that helps, but typically medications that treat the free-living stages (e.g., Ick medication) have little/no impact on the parasites within the body tissues.>
Thanks in advance
<Sorry can't offer much more/better advice. Perhaps Bob knows more? Have CCed. Cheers, Neale.>
<<There are some Microsporideans, Sporozoan parasites that are show as such... not currently treatable. RMF>>
Parasitized Metynnis - 06/27/07 Hello, Wet Ones! <In England, "Wet Ones" are moist towel things used to wipe babies' bottoms when changing their nappies (diapers). So, not normally something you call someone.> I have a silver dollar, Metynnis argenteus, that I think is parasitized. He was in quarantine (30 gal w/ air stones and Whisper III OTB filter) for 2 months, along with several rainbows, some hatchet fish, and some neon tetras. All appeared well in quarantine. We moved these fish to our 150 gal show tank about 4 weeks ago. After about 3 days we lost one of the hatchet fish to causes unknown. Four days ago we noticed a whitish spot on the side of the silver dollar and a similar one on one of the hatchets. The hatchet passed the next day. The silver dollar is still feeding well and swimming just fine! The white spot is diminished, but this dark spot just showed up. I've included three pictures. What is it!!! <Well, I can't see anything particularly worrying in the photo. Treating the tank with anti-Whitespot would probably be wise though, just in case. Hatchetfish are uncommonly sensitive fish, especially when recently imported. Once settled, they become a bit more robust, but the smaller species (Carnegiella spp.) never really become "hardy". Do bear in mind hatchets seem to need a lot of food to stay healthy, while silver dollars require at least some greens in their diet. Observing these two guidelines should help in the long term.> Branon <Cheers, Neale> <Mmm, an anomalous "Sporozoan" incident methinks. RMF>

Urgent!!! Help PLEASE!!!!! Angelfish fry deaths 9/26/05 We have been breeding Angel Fish for approx. 6 yrs now.  We have come across a problem we can't seem to find a remedy for.  All our fry are dying within 3 days of hatching and never seem to come up to swim.  We have quite an elaborate system set up in our basement.  Each tank having its own filtering system (to avoid cross contamination from other tanks) and a large holding tank where the water is filtered, heated and tested before use in changing water in the fish tanks themselves.   Currently we have 1-150gl tank, 9-70gl tanks, 1-35gl tank, 3-30gl tanks and 4-10gl tanks.  Our 10gl tanks are the ones we use for fry hatching away from the parents.  We are on a well water system.  3 months ago we had a lab come out and test the water in the well.  All came back within normal limits with Iron (Hard water) being just a tad on the high side of the normal, but still within the normal limits.   Our batch that hatched 2 days ago were all found dead this morning.  Out of no where it almost looks like white dust floating all in the tank.  What ever it is, they appear to be floating/swimming on their own.  Not so much as ONE fry is left anywhere to be found.  Only these white specks.  Is it possible, that when the well water is brought up to temp in a tank, it wakes up some kind of "bug" (for lack of a better word) that is killing our fish??  Have you ever heard of anything like this before or are aware of anything to correct this problem.  We are quickly running out of Angels here and it is becoming very frustrating.  We have checked and double checked all levels in tanks, holding tank and well system and can't seem to come up with any reason our fry keep dying off. >> I would have to guess, but it is likely that you have a parasite on the loose in your tanks that is not affecting the adults. Best guess would be Cryptosporidium which is famous for killing fry. You can treat the water with general antiparasitic medications and see if this resolves the problem, after that you should check to see if there is maybe some heavy metals in your source water that are affecting the fry. Good Luck, Oliver

Neon Tetra help needed  - 03/28/06 Hi. <Hello>  I have 5 neon tetras, 3 Zebra Danios and now 3 Fancy Guppies (1 female and 2 male) with about 7 fry hiding (mom died)<Sorry to hear that>.  When I bought my Tetras they were all fine until the next morning.  1 had lost its color from midway on back and was swimming funny (like it was drunk).  It has now regained its coloring and swims better.  However, it goes in fits of twirling about (fast circular movement; head down) and other times I can't tell which one it is in the school.  What is wrong with it (maybe got injured on the way home)?  I grew up (25 years) with Tetras (as well as the other types) and have never seen anything like this.  Do I need to remove it from the tank or is it ok to leave it in there?  Thank you, Karen in Georgia. <First, remove the Neon to another tank. What you describe, to a large degree, mimics "Neon Tetra Disease"; loss of coloration, erratic swimming behavior. I've not come across any information that describes the return of color to a fish once it's been infected, though, which makes me wonder, to be honest with you. There is a "false" version of the disease which is bacterial rather that Sporozoan in its cause but it would be virtually impossible, outside of a laboratory, for you (or I) to discern the difference. Since NTD is spread to other fish so quickly and with such fatal results, you should treat this as a "worst case" to protect your other pets. Unfortunately, there is no known treatment for NTD although some claims of success have been offered; none conclusively, I'm afraid. Maintain your water parameters in the main tank to protect against any spreading of whatever this may be. Best of luck to you, Karen. Tom> Myxosporea?  Myxosporidians? - 03/14/2005 Hi Bob, <Actually, Sabrina with you today.> I have read/searched through WWM and have been unable to find much regarding Myxosporea. <Mm, try "Myxosporea", "Myxosporidea", "Myxosporidian"....  And try via Google, as well.  And, especially, try here:  http://www.fishdisease.net/ .> I had 3 black phantom tetras, 3 cardinal tetras, a male Betta and a Pleco in a 10 gallon tank.  (probably slightly overcrowded but frequent (25% 5-6 days) water changes has kept the water quality very good. <Can't attest to bioload, as I don't know the tank size.> Anyway last week  I had a fish (bp tetra) start showing all of the swimming signs of Myxosporea but none of the other symptoms.   <Myxosporea are simply a group of Sporozoans, protozoan parasites of fish....  I wonder if you're thinking of the Myxosporidean Myxosoma cerebralis, or "whirling disease"?  I'm not certain that tetras are susceptible to this....  Uh, in any case, what were the symptoms you saw?> He succumbed to wounds sustained in an attack by the Betta which I happened to witness (lost an eye, severe fin damage).   I was not quick enough to get my net and rescue the poor fish.  Anyway now that I have carried on for a while I was wondering how I should deal with this so as not to start an epidemic and lose all of my fish to this slow but fatal disease.   <Are you seeing any symptoms of any sort in any of your other fish?> I have a 3 gallon "hospital tank" plus another 1 gallon jar that could hold the Betta if need be.  I am fairly new at this hobby and do not want to fail miserably within the first year.  Thank you in advance for the help and keep up the good work on your site.   <And thank you for your kind words.  Hopefully a little more information will shed some necessary light, here.> Scott (Ottawa, Canada) <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Gold veil angel rams I recently purchased 5 gold veil angel rams from my LFS.. they normally get them twice a year and are gone as soon people realize the store has them in stock so I decided to go on ahead and buy them even though they seem to have what looks like as an internal parasite or tumors or something of the sort.  besides.. at this point I'm curious just to know what exactly is wrong with them and how to properly treat them or if it's even at all possible to treat them. the "tumors" as we'll call them are about 2-3mm in diameter, oval shaped and brown or gray in color.  you can see them through the body of the fish as they are somewhat translucent.  they don't show any signs of struggling.. they are responsive to stimuli, they eat regularly and are all housed currently in a 5 gallon quarantine tank with no substrate and a sponge filter as you would find in a fry tank.   they are currently being treated with a 1/4 teaspoon of paragon every other day with a 2-3 gallon water change every fourth or sixth day.  I've had them for about a week and they don't seem to be getting any better, but they aren't getting any worse either.  I was wondering if this really could be a parasite or infection and if I'm treating them with the proper medication.  I have also given them a salt bath using freshwater salt but could only do this for around a minute or so before they were beginning to float on their sides.. I thought I was sure to have killed a couple doing this but I quickly moved them back to the 5 gallon tank and to my surprise they all lived and returned back to their normal state.  if you have any suggestions I'd really appreciate it.. even some background information on the fish would be great as I know they are relatively new to the stores, or at least here on Oahu.. in fact.. this is the only LFS on the island that ever gets them.. hence why I thought I may risk buying these ones.  I have called the LFS since to check about the rest of the fish to find that they too aren't getting any better either. < Many of these parasites that infest the body of the host are difficult to treat because the tissues of the fish prevent the medication from getting to the parasite. The other problem is when the parasite dies then this dead thing starts to decay and rot inside the fish. Sometimes these things are parasites that have numerous hosts. They start out in a snail and then invade a fish. The fish gets eaten by a bird and excretes the eggs of the parasite that then hatches and lives in a snail for a while and starts the cycle all over again. I would quickly try and breed the rams and start a parasite free generation.-Chuck> thanks again Jonathan

Nalagram & neon disease Bob,     The reason I'm contacting you is that there seems to be so few people that have used Nalagram on this disease and have a good report. It seems the more I study up on it , the more conflicting things I come up with; all the way from curable to tear it down and start all over from a sterilized scratch.    I have a lightly populated 140 gal. heavily planted tank. The fish, really, are secondary to the plants. Did you use the product in a planted tank ? And if so-- did it adversely affect the plants ? Any information you could give, or advice on how to use this product in my tank would be greatly appreciated. I have 6 packets of the Nalagram tabs on their way. So far, only one of 16 Neons is displaying the disease.             Thanks for any advice you might e-mail me,                                            Bill Mandeville <This compound, Naladixic acid, a quinolone, has been used with mixed results by me, and others... more mixed in more recent years... It does/should not adversely affect plants, unless so much is used for so long as to alter your water chemistry severely (through biological processes/collapse)... On contemplation, thought I might have the time to put into a more complete set of statements about this malady, its "cures"... and the Upjohn co. product... Instead, please read through "the Krib" archives of The Aquarium Gardeners Association for this.  

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