False Neon Tetra Disease (fNTD)

Common Names: False Neon Tetra Disease (fNTD)
Salinity: Freshwater
Description: Symptomatically, this disease is very similar to Neon Tetra Disease, however it is caused by bacterial rather than parasitic infection.

In the early stages, fish will stop shoaling and eating. This will then progress to changes in pigmentation, fin rot and ulcer-type wounds. Oedema (dropsy) may also be visible as the infection overwhelms the kidneys.

Finally, spinal curvature and neurological symptoms may be exhibited. At this stage, the fish is probably hours from death.

fNTD can be distinguished from true Neon Tetra Disease by its response to antibiotics.
Symptoms: Spots
Treatment: In its early stages, fNTD will respond to antibiotics. Fishkeepers in the US have reported success with the "Maracyn" range of products. In the UK, success has been achieved with prescription antibiotics obtained from veterinary surgeons.

Due to the similarity between this disease and NTD, it is advisable to quarantine any fish exhibiting symptoms and commence treatment during quarantine. If the fish responds to treatment, this can then be extended to the entire tank. The reason for the quarantine is to protect the main tank from the release of spores should the infection turn out to be NTD.

It is important to be aware that fNTD can be an overwhelming infection. The sick fish may not recover, and indeed, the recovery of the fish is the secondary aim of treatment. The primary aim is to determine whether the tank has been infected with NTD or fNTD as that will determine management of the entire tank. Therefore, any significant improvement in the quarantined fish should be regarded as a cue to start antibiotic treatment of the entire tank.

Comments: As with NTD, it is important to dispose of corpses responsibly. It is advisable not to bury them or otherwise enable them to contact untreated groundwater, as this may cause the infection to spread to local fish stocks.

fNTD is most likely to rear its head when fish experience times of stress. Therefore, it is crucial to quarantine new purchases for two weeks before introducing them to the main tank and to only buy the healthiest animals possible.

In addition, the use of the fishless cycling technique will minimise stress on fish placed into new tank setups.
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Submitted By: tiny_clanger
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