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Columnaris in a very advanced stage. This fish has a secondary infection of septicemia.



Gill Infection

Gill Infection
- suspect pseudomonas/mycobacteria

Gill Infection

Most probably cause - Initial wound from a plastic plant basket
such as water lily planter.


Chondrococus columnaris and Cytohaga columnaris bacteria can cause greyish white growths, similar to fungus on the head area of fish, the gills and the fins. These start as whitish marks before the tufts appear, accompanied by red sores. Eventually the internal organs can be infected.

Columnaris better known as fin rot or fungus. Koi only get fungus 5mins before death remember that one. Columnaris is flexibacter and used to be called chondrococcus or cytophaga before being changed to flexibacter by Leadbetter in 1975.

Columnaris is also known as bacterial cold water disease and bacterial gill disease. These are myxobacters in their common forms.

Do not confuse it with the spores of saprolegnia the cotton wool ball seen on damaged fish.

Without a microscope, Columnaris looks like saprolegnia and is often treated as fungus with no result.

Transmission is through wounds and it favours the mouth and head regions attacking the fins when the bacteria has invaded the fish body wall. The bacteria is present in all bodies of water no matter how clean and well run the system and is a fan of cool conditions spring and autumn.

The disease requires treatment at the onset or it cannot be controlled with ANY method including heat and antibiotics. When looking down a microscope, run to the end of the cover glass and you will see what looks like very small tubular worms - Columnaris does not like the light.

Columnaris means business and take no prisoners 99% of all spring and autumn infection are secondary infections to this disease



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