Bacterial Tufts & Viral Nodules

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Humblefish

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Bacterial Tufts

So, I borrowed this terminology from Dr. Charlie Gregory: https://www.aquaveterinarian.com

It basically refers to white growths on the fish that are bacterial in nature. They oftentimes start out looking like Ich (or sometimes as small as Velvet) and then look more like Lymphocystis nodules as they grow in size. Bacterial tufts can be skinny, wiry looking white growths or look like raised thicker white dots.

Two ways to distinguish these from Ich trophonts:
  1. Bacterial tufts will remain on a fish for > 7 days. Ich trophonts typically disappear within 7 days.
  2. Bacterial tufts will protrude outward from the fish, and dangle off and sometimes even get blown by the flow. Ich will appear to be just under the epithelium (outer skin layer).
More from Dr. Gregory: Paracanthus "hippo" tang and naso family tangs commonly get vibrio bacterial tufts when stressed from poor water chemistry or fish aggression that look a lot like cryptocaryon. Most common difference is tufts do not appear on eyes, are usually along lateral line or face, and of course stain as bacteria and not visible as protozoans under microscope.

Viral Nodules

To complicate things even further is fish will sometimes get viral nodules as well, and they can look exactly the same as bacterial tufts!! Again, Lymphocystis nodules are the closest comparison: Lymphocystis

Treatment

No medications should be used. I've found that just keeping the fish in clean water, utilizing good nutrition and food soaking Vitamins/Beta-glucan seems to clear both in time: Vitamins & Herbal Remedies

Hippo Tangs seem to be most susceptible, especially right after they come out of copper (probably because it suppresses their immune system).

Photos

1990DD00-C0D9-46E2-B0A0-217FD61672D1.jpg 21DDBAAA-5659-475E-A1CE-6D86B8CC63ED.jpg Pyramid 1.jpg Pyramid 2.jpg bt.jpg btside.jpg IMG_0055.jpg B1174AB0-697B-43BD-9470-5E5A10132A7A.jpg 1610216576930.png

Below is a video of a Tiger Angel with virus nodules:



And the associated skin scrape:

IMG_0583.jpg
 
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Gentlefish

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Well thank you. I have been pondering this issue in October. Pyramid with ick, then copper and prazi. In observation after, I could never fully understand the nodules that impressed as non infectious. Fish is all healed up by now by the way. Thanks for the post!C0334A9A-08B5-4DA8-987A-5728A1569401.jpeg
 

inetjnky

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I believe a new pyramid I just received has this very thing. It’s been getting worse since I noticed it. Fish is still eating and swimming as usual. Hoping it just goes away soon on its own.

Can this spread to other fish?
 

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inetjnky

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Thanks. I have selcon and beta glucan ordered and arriving tomorrow to start lacing their food with. I have a new batch of QT fish arriving this week. Ugh.
 

Gentlefish

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Thanks. I have selcon and beta glucan ordered and arriving tomorrow to start lacing their food with. I have a new batch of QT fish arriving this week. Ugh.
I love my 2 Pyramids. That said, they are prone for infections. I had to battle flukes and ick and lost 2 to neobenedenia. I can not speak for your vendor, but in hindsight I wished I had done a freshwater dip earlier. Once in display they are great. You can never get them to stop eating.
 

Humblefish

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Water quality is such a broad term.

Do you mean Total Dissolved Oxygen? Nitrates and phosphates? Ammonia? Dissolved organics? What defines “poor quality” of water?
Good gas exchange, low organics, clear water, reasonable NO3 + PO4 levels. I don't worry about phosphates with fish, but I do try to keep nitrates between 10-20 ppm, if possible. All other water parameters are listed/discussed here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/

For example, not everyone realizes that fish need calcium for bone development. So, I would just maintain any FOWLR with water parameters needed for a reef aquarium as outlined in that article. Not excessively so, but within reason.
 

Miami Reef

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Good gas exchange, low organics, clear water, reasonable NO3 + PO4 levels. I don't worry about phosphates with fish, but I do try to keep nitrates between 10-20 ppm, if possible. All other water parameters are listed/discussed here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/

For example, not everyone realizes that fish need calcium for bone development. So, I would just maintain any FOWLR with water parameters needed for a reef aquarium as outlined in that article. Not excessively so, but within reason.
Thank you. I did more pondering and I found another thing that counts as “good water quality” - medication-free water. My bristletooth tang looked fine when purchased. During and after copper is when this lympho came up. I wanted to share some pictures and a clear video

0D83FA7D-7620-46A1-A979-6D665CABABBC.jpeg

Edit: watching the 3 second video is so worth it. You can see a clear lympho on the fin. It’s impossible to miss it.
 

inetjnky

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@Humblefish in your vitamins and herbal remedies thread you mention alternating selcon and beta glucan every other week. Is that still a recommendation while there’s an active outbreak of these viral tufts? I’ve been adding about 5 drops of selcon and half a tab of beta glucan at each feeding (twice a day). Too much?
 

Dierks

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Is that still a recommendation while there’s an active outbreak of these viral tufts?
Yes it is, the reason for this is because beta Gluten actually does better when you provide it on the every other week schedule. It boosts the body, but the return on investment diminishes. So the way around that is doing the every other week trick. Hope that helps!
 

Hydrolisk

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Aftet encountering this for the first time I had a hard time doing a visual diagnosis. Here is video when I was first really taking a look thinking of what it could have been.
 

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Miami Reef

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Question. If a blue tang has bacterial tufts. Will copper make them go away? Because during copper treatment my tang had 0 spots but they appeared afterwards. So I want to know if theoretically putting the fish back into copper would make the spots temporarily go away?
 

Dierks

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I believe its part of the healing process for some fish. So if you were to put them back in, you would just have to deal with it again when they came out. Not sure anyone has every tried this though as you are correct, you dont see the Viral Nodules in copper. (At least I dont think I can recall seeing them)
 

Mattvdb95

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Has anyone had viral noodles/ bacterial tuffs only last a few days instead of longer than 7? My regal tang is still getting one of these on and off for about 4 days at a time and then it disappears. It's no where near as bad as when she was in copper for 10 day's though. I'd say she's getting a little sick from the sand bed constantly being disturbed by my new diamond Goby after the sand was left uncleaned for 2 months during QT.
 
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