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Thread: White stuff on the head

  1. #1
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    Ratin Rahman

    Default White stuff on the head

    One of my discus has these white stuff coming out if its head. I do regular water changes and medicate with Melafix, aquarium salt and occasionally with Seachem Paraguard,
    I also add Seachem equilibrium after each water change since I use RO water. The water is crystal clear.
    Tia
    Ratin

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    Registered Member bluelagoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: White stuff on the head

    How much water do you change and how often. Crystal clear water can have a lot of nasties in it. Not sure if it's an injury or the beginning of head in the head, Try to fill out the questionnaire. http://forum.simplydiscus.com/showth...lease-complete

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    Moderator Team LizStreithorst's Avatar
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    Default Re: White stuff on the head

    I'm afraid it is hole in the head. They say the treatment is metro but IME this never heals.
    Mama Bear

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    Registered Member bluelagoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: White stuff on the head

    It usually leaves a scar. There are two species of Hex. One is able to live outside the gut, hence HITH or lateral line disease. But both look almost alike under the microscope.

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    Default Re: White stuff on the head

    Quote Originally Posted by LizStreithorst View Post
    I'm afraid it is hole in the head. They say the treatment is metro but IME this never heals.
    I agree with Liz, the way is to control the outbreak by way of more waterchanges and oxygen.

    Cliff

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    Default Re: White stuff on the head

    DISEASE QUESTIONNAIRE


    Problem

    1. Please explain the problems with your fish. When did you notice the problems and did anything unusual happen that you think started them?

    5.5 inch discus, started having white potruding out from its head. I recently added 4 baby (2.5 - 3 inch) Stendker discus fish from Discus hans, about 2 weeks ago. Also about 3/4 months ago one of my fish had died after I quarentined him, no symptoms, just wont eat. Before that when I first got the discus in March of this year, this affected fish and another little one were sick. I quarentined both of them and both survived. The little one had visible symptom of HINH. It went away after aggresive treatment.


    2. Symptoms (i.e. turning dark, excess slime, not eating, clamped fins, flashing, darting, clamped gills, white/yellow/green poop, hiding, headstanding or tailstanding, white on tips of fins, rotting or fungus, blisters/white zits on fish, bloated, cloudy eyes, wounds).

    Turning a little dark, peppering and stripes visible. Wont eat but participated in feeding gathering. Hides in the corner other times. It seems her head is a bit swallowen right now. But no holes in the head.

    3. What medications/ treatments have you already tried and what were the results. Include dosage and duration of treatment.

    6 capful of paraguard the first day, salt (not teh full dose), Melafix (two capful). Adding a one capful everyday after that. Also added 5 capful of API super ick cure at the beginning of symptom (since I didnt have another anti fungal med at the moment), and two table spoons of aquarium salt.

    Tank/Water

    4. Tank size and ages, numbers and sizes of fish.
    supposed to be 90 gallon but when I measured the volume it came to be about 78 gallon total including sump. three 5.5 inch, two 4-inch, one 3.5 inch, four 2.5 inch


    5. Water change regime (What percentage and how often).
    Usually twice a week

    6. How long has tank been running? Is it bare bottom? If you have substrate, what type and how deep is it?
    7 months. No I have some sand only in the back where plants roots are forming, front section bare. About 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep.

    7. Do you age your water? If you do for how long and what is the ph swing.
    No, straight from Ro filter. pH is usually 7.

    8. What type/brand water conditioner do you use? Do you add it to the tank or aging barrel? How much do you use?
    None

    9. Parameters and water source;

    Unfortunately I dont have an API masterkit (other than NPH, Nitrite) at the moment, just test strips. I just measured, pH is about 6.4, everything else is normal (Nh3 0, Nitrite 0, No2 0, Gh, kH seems low - cant figure out the exact measure from test strips)

    Note: Water Parameters are important in diagnosing problems within a tank. If you don't own test kits for the following information, you can purchase them, test your parameters and post this info as soon as possible.


    - temp _____84-86

    - ph _____6.4

    - ammonia reading ____0

    - nitrite reading ____0

    - nitrate reading ____too low

    What type of water or combinations of water sources do you use? If it is an RO/tap/well water mix, please list percentages in the mix.

    - well water ____none

    - municipal water ____none

    - RO water ____all


    10. Any new fish, plants or inverts added recently.

    yes two weeks ago, didnt quarentine

    11. Please tell us what you feed your fish and how often. This can be critical information for solving the problem so be as specific as you can.

    Red blood worm in the morning, , Mysis shrimp with spiriluna in the evening. One cube each time. With a very small amount Omega one Discus pallet and Ocean neutrition flakes filled with neutients

    12. Include any pictures or videos you have which shows the symptoms. If you can't add them to this post, please provide a link to them.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Ratin3; 09-18-2021 at 02:45 PM. Reason: forgot to mention something

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    Moderator Team LizStreithorst's Avatar
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    Default Re: White stuff on the head

    The big question is what percentage of water do you change twice a week. As far as I'm concerned the fish with hole in the head is a gonner. Like Cliff said, the goal now is to keep the others from getting it. It doesn't sound like a cross contamination problem to me, but I suppose I could be wrong. Please test your water for a pH swing. You do it this way: fill a cup with fresh water and test the pH. Then put tap water in a bucket, add a bubbler and test the pH after the water has bubbled for at least 12 hrs then test it's pH. A pH swing of more than .4 can be stressful to fish over time and lead to disease and parasites.
    Mama Bear

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    Default Re: White stuff on the head

    Today I did a 30 % water change and dosed a full dose of Metro, and two table spoon of salt, and nothing else.

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    Default Re: White stuff on the head

    I usually do 10+ gallons of water, and the total water content in the tank excluding the sump is 63 gallon so thats 17% water change per week. Sometimes I do the water changes all in one session on a Saturday and sometimes when i have time, I will do one bucket on a Saturday another on an wednesday. As far as measuring ph swing in fractional value, what test kit do you use to measure ph with that kind of precision? A digital ph reader?
    Last edited by Ratin3; 09-19-2021 at 09:13 AM.

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    Default Re: White stuff on the head

    Ratin, from an infectious disease perspective, why is this fish still in the DT. You indicated that you have a QT, seems that should serve as a HT for this fish as well. Given that the underlying cause is almost certainly HITH treating the entire DT does not seem worthwhile.

    In studies on fish with HITH various bacteria can be cultured from the base of the lesions. Given that this is so raised and the (what I assume is) pus is coming out due to pressure, in a human (with which I am much much more familiar) this would be a furuncle. Almost always caused by a gram positive bacteria and this would usually require drainage.

    I would recommend full course of Metro (check the forums here for dosage as it is usually higher than recommended on the packaging) in addition to high dose salt which would kill your plants with daily > 50 % water changes and replacing both the salt and metro. Switch to metro impregnated food if the fish survives and resumes eating. Temperature is debatable as you want it up for hex and down for bacteria. Metro covers some gram negative bacteria but not gram positive so need to add a second treatment. I would use amoxicillin or cephalexin, but I treat humans, curious about what others would use. Given that the fish is probably a loss I might even try to extend one of the drainage puncta on the edge of the mass with a very small scalpel incision and see if I got blood or more pus. If pus, push gently from the other side of the bump to get out as much crud as possible.

    Also with your current regimen, you are always going to be susceptible to pH crashes due to a very low kH. I really doubt your nitrates are too low to accurately measure especially with the black algae, you might want to invest in a better testing system. I have Hanna as I hate colors but their nitrate unit costs 250, which I have not bought. How do you know when to replace your RO filters?

    Just FYI, Melafix is tea tree oil and to whatever degree it works would be more indicated for recent transfers to prevent secondary infection of scrapes, abrasions. Also paraguard as a treatment rather than prophylactic, needs to be dosed daily for 2-3 weeks but again antiseptic, not as strong as an antibiotic.

    Final point as a disclaimer. I am a retired physician so have a fairly good grasp of infectious disease and have been reading extensively which provides the source of the above opinions. Currently due my social situation I have dry empty aquariums so this is not first hand (haven't kept discus since college 30+ years ago) and so if any of the gurus with real world experience suggest I am way off base I would listen to them not me.

  11. #11
    Moderator Team LizStreithorst's Avatar
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    Default Re: White stuff on the head

    Ratin, Although you are changing enough water for most fish Discus are different. They're river fish and are used to a constant supply of fresh water. Most of us here change 30% daily. We use pumps to make changing that much easy on us. If you watch videos from breeders in Asia during water change you see 100% daily WC with the fish flopping on the bottom! They don't use any filtration at all. These are the beautiful fish we buy so the approach obviously works. I think if you had been changing 30% daily all along I don't believe that you would be having this problem. I honestly don't believe that you will save this fish. The hole in the head is very advanced and it's hard to cure even if you get on it right away. I understand you trying, though. I certainly would have back when I didn't have 20 years of experience.

    Most folks use the API tests to check their water. It's what I use. I believe they sell the pH only test but they also sell a Master Test that will give you results of ammonia, nitrate and nitrate as well. These are very accurate tests. I know that my LPS tests water for free. I don't know that all do, but if they do it would be an option and you would have to spend nothing. Just put a sample of your straight tap in one clean small container and a sample of the aged water in the bucket in another and take it to the store.

    Most additives like Melafix and others do nothing of value. Clean stable water is the key to healthy Discus.
    Mama Bear

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    Default Re: White stuff on the head

    Liz, if you were in the mood to try despite long odds, would you treat the DT or move the fish to a HT?

  13. #13
    Moderator Team LizStreithorst's Avatar
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    Default Re: White stuff on the head

    I would put the fish in QT and treat it with Metro at the rate of 500 mg per 10 gallons until a month after the fish appeared to be cured. 75% WC daily on this fish. The water should be pristine. On the community tank would go to 30% daily to prevent this from happening to the other fish.
    Mama Bear

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    Default Re: White stuff on the head

    excellent advice, thanks.

  15. #15
    Moderator Team LizStreithorst's Avatar
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    Default Re: White stuff on the head

    You're most welcome.
    Mama Bear

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