View Full Version : Mycobacteriosis, aquarium hygiene and live foods

Will- in - Oz
01-21-2017, 01:19 AM
I would like to hear the communities thoughts on some evidence from Zebrafish research. Is some of the mystery of Mycobacteriosis being unravelled through this research? Should it translate into how we manage our Discus?

Just to get my language straight:

Mycobacteriosis = Fish MB or incorrectly Fish TB
Mycobacteriosis is caused by Mycobacteria, an opportunistic pathogen living in most aquaria. It is waiting for the opportunity to infect our discus, and other fish.The most common pathogenic species of Mycobacteria in discus are probably M. marinum, M. chelonae and M. fortuitum.

Interestingly, all those little critters in our tanks too small to see are munching away on bacteria in our biofilm, including the Mycobacteria. Zebrafish research shows that if Zebrafish eat the mycobacterium munching zooplankton/ciliate Paramecium Caudatum they are much more likely to get Mycobacteriosis than if they just ate the bacteria placed in a gel food.

Have you seen your discus pick at/eat biofilm?
Why have a quarantine period but then feed live foods?
What do California Black Worms feed on? Zooplankton?
Do you feed live foods?
Without aiming for sterility, should we clean away gross (visible) biofilm?

Does this research translate into Discus keeping?


The attached photo shows Mycobacteria marinum (pink) living inside the single celled ciliate Paramecium caudatum (blue). The image is from the research article:

Peterson, Tracy S. et al. “Paramecium Caudatum Enhances Transmission and Infectivity of Mycobacterium Marinum and Mycobacterium Chelonae in Zebrafish (Danio Rerio).” Diseases of aquatic organisms 106.3 (2013): 229–239. PMC. Web. 21 Jan. 2017.