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FishDeals.com | Aquarium Fish Disease Identification, Diagnosis & Treatment
 
Cotton Mouth - Identification & Treatment
(Also known as: Columnaris, Cotton-Wool, Cotton-Mouth, Flexibacter, Mouth Fungus)

Major Sick Fish Diseases:

Much has been written on the topic of stress & disease, below is summary to help guide you throughout Cotton Mouth prevention and identification. Please feel free to send any comments or suggestions to Ask An Expert.

 Ask a Question in the Sick Fish Stress & Disease Forum

Name: COTTON MOUTH
Symptoms:
  • Loss of appetite
  • White spots on mouth, scales, and fins
  • Cottony growth on mouth
  • Fins disintegrate beginning at the edges
  • Looks like a small cotton ball

  • Symptoms of Stress & Disease
  • Cotton Mouth General Description
    Mouth Fungus is so called because it looks like a fungus attack of the mouth. It is actually caused from the bacterium Chondrococcus columnaris. It shows up first as a gray or white line around the lips and later as short tufts sprouting from the mouth like fungus. The toxins produced and the inability to eat will be fatal unless treated at an early stage.
    Cotton Mouth Treatments
    Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Melafix heals open wounds & abrasions, treats fin and tail rot, eye cloud, mouth fungus and promotes regrowth of damaged fin rays & tissue. Will not adversely affect the biological filter, alter the pH, or discolor water. Safe for reef aquariums and live plants. For use in fresh or salt water.
    $8.99
    Hard to treat, but not impossible. Like any disease best caught early. There are commercial products available to treat cotton mouth. Also change the water daily 20% and use a regular dose of salt in your tank.
    Cotton Mouth Prevention
    Usually this comes in with the fish directly from the pet store, or shipment. Because the bacteria thrive on organic wastes, it can be controlled by regular water changes and vacuuming of the gravel. Proper diet and maintaining good water quality in general will keep the fish from being stressed and therefore susceptible to infection.
    Image Gallery of Cotton Mouth
    No Pictures have been Submitted, please send one, Ask An Expert
    Cotton Mouth Frequently Asked Questions

    Have a Question, please post one here, Ask An Expert

    #ImageDisease TitleTop 3 Symptoms
    1. Ammonia Poisoning
  • Red streaking on the fins or body.
  • Purple or red gills.
  • Fins are torn & jagged.
  • 2. Anchor Worms
  • Tiny white-green or red worms in wounds.
  • Frequent rubbing or "flashing".
  • Ulcers may appear.
  • 3. Black Spot
  • Small black speckles on body.
  • Frequent rubbing or "flashing".
  • Small black smudges on fish.
  • 4. Cataracts
  • White or grey "foggy" eyes.
  • Eye looks like it has a slime coat.
  • Tendency to bump into things.
  • 5. Cotton Mouth
  • White "Cotton like" fungus on the mouth.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • White spots on mouth, scales, and fins.
  • 6. Curved Spine (Fish TB)
  • Curved or Crooked Spine.
  • Lesions on the body.
  • loss of scales.
  • 7. Dropsy
  • Huge, Fat, Bloated Belly.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • Scales almost popping off.
  • 8. Fin Rot
  • Fins turn Jagged or whitish and die back.
  • Fins look like they were ripped off.
  • Fish is not eating.
  • 9. Hole in the Head
  • Hole in the head.
  • Small sore on head.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • 10. Ichthyophthirius
    (white spot or ick)
  • Small white "salt-like" pimples on fins & body.
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.
  • Frequent rubbing or "flashing".
  • 11. Neon Tetra Disease
  • Restlessness.
  • Whitened areas deep into the fishes' flesh.
  • Spine may become curved.
  • 12. New Tank Syndrome
  • Sudden Death.
  • Cloudy Water.
  • Unexplained Death.
  • 13. Oodinium (velvet)
  • Fine grey-gold to whitish 'dust' on the body.
  • Very rapid gill movement.
  • Scratching or flashing.
  • 14. Parasites (External)
  • Large ugly sores on body.
  • Skin looks grey in patches.
  • Fish swim aimlessly.
  • 15. Planaria
    (white hairlike worms)
  • Small White Hairlike Worms.
  • Tiny, Wiggley Worms often found in the substrate.
  • 16. Pop Eye
  • One or both eyes protrude from the head in an unusual fashion.
  • 17. Skin / Gill Flukes
  • Fish gasps for air at the water's surface
  • Gills open and close rapidly
  • Gills are covered in mucus
  • 18. Swim Bladder Disease
  • Erratic Swimming Position
  • Loss of equilibrium
  • Fish will be unable to maintain buoyancy
  • 19. Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Scoliosis (Curved Spine)
  • Reduced Growth
  • Anorexia (Lack or Loss of Appetite)
  • View Symptoms per Vitamin
  • References/Further Reading

    The Manual of Fish Health
    Dr. Chris Andrews, Adrian Exell and Dr. Neville Carrington.
    New Jersey: Tetra Press, 1988

    Handbook of Fish Diseases
    Dieter Untergasser
    Translation by Howard H. Hirschhorn
    T.F.H. Publications, Inc., 1989


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