Mouth or Fin rot (Columnaris disease): A Quick Guide

Mouth or fin rot

Mouth or Fin Rot in fish is caused by bacteria. Below is a quick overview of the fish disease.

Mouth or fin rot (Columnaris disease)

What is mouth or fin rot?

The foot or fin rot or “Columnaris disease” is sometimes called mouth fungus or mouth rot called.

The English name for this disease is Cotton-Wool Disease or Saddleback Disease.

In aquaculture, this disease is widespread among trout; in aquaristics, it mainly affects viviparous species.

The mouth or fin rot is caused by the bacterium Flavobacterium psychrophilum (synonym: Flexibacter columnaris ). Mixed infections with other types of bacteria can also occur.

In most cases, the causes of this disease are poor housing conditions or stress factors. Although the pathogens are usually found in almost every aquarium, they cannot harm healthy fish.

How to identify and treat FISH MOUTH ROT

Mouth or fin rot (Columnaris disease) Symptoms

First you have to recognize exactly whether this is really the disease. Very often the mouth and fin rot in the initial stage is confused with the mutual eating of fish that form territory. There it can also happen that fins are eaten by other fish. In the case of mouth and fin rot, this has other reasons. The disease is caused by bacteria. Unfortunately, many aquariums contain these bacteria, but the fish have taken good precautions with their immune systems. Only when this system becomes unbalanced can this disease break out.

Usually this happens due to some stress factors. Be it new fish or wrong water values. Sudden changes in the pelvis can also lead to it.

The mouth and fin rot can mainly be recognized by the initially whitening spots on the fins. 

Milky white spots (similar to mold) form on the fins, on the edges of the scales and in the area of ​​the fish’s mouth. The fish also appear apathetic and “stagger” through the water.

In addition, these freak out and usually turn red in the trunk of the fin. The behavior of the fish also indicates that it is a disease. They rub against objects and often have no appetite. 

If the mouth or fin rot or “Columnaris disease” is not detected and treated early, it can spread over the entire body of the fish: ulcers form, the lips of the fish are destroyed and the fins decompose down to the fin rays .

A distinction is made between a chronic and an acute form: in the chronic form, white areas slowly form and gradually become larger. If the affected fish are not treated, they will die. In the acute form, the white spots spread very quickly and the fish die within a very short time.

Make sure you look out for the following symptoms so that you do no misdiagnose the disease:

  • Fins fray
  • Fins turn white
  • The core of the fins looks inflamed
  • Fish scrub
  • Fish tend to be sluggish
  • Bad eating behavior

Mouth or fin rot (Columnaris disease) Preventive measures

  • correct water values, regular partial water changes
  • the stocking density should be low, and new arrivals should first be observed in a quarantine tank
  • good water filtration and ventilation
  • species-appropriate, varied diet for the fish
Fish tuberculosis

Mouth or fin rot (Columnaris disease) Biological treatment proposals

If foot rot or fin rot or “Columnaris disease” is detected early, it can usually be treated successfully: frequent partial water changes until nitrite is no longer detectable. Also feed the fish varied and rich in vitamins. Avoid stress.

If this does not help or if the disease has progressed too far, it is imperative that you seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian.

How to Cure Fin Rot the EASY Way!

Mouth or fin rot (Columnaris disease) Medication

The mouth or fin rot is resistant to many different antibiotics (multi-resistant). It is therefore IMPERATIVE that a qualified veterinarian should be consulted.

Mouth or fin rot
Mouth or fin rot

Parts of this article were taken from Wikipedia and is under the commons attribution license.

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