Cotton fin fungus can be caused by a variety of issues. If you are evaluating your tank for cotton fin fungus, it is important that you start by evaluating each potential contributing factor. Only then can you address your problem and get rid of the condition entirely.
Cotton fin fungus is, as the name suggests, related to the presence of fungi in the tank. If you care for your tank and provide proper conditions, you shouldn’t have to worry about it at all. Nevertheless, even in the cleanest of tanks fungal growths can be present – this is particularly true if your tank was once in poor condition. If it was there once, it will likely never be eradicated.
Even if you have fungi in the tank, there’s a strong likelihood that you will never know about it. Fish are often able to keep growth at bay if they have healthy immune systems. If, however, they are somehow compromised, there is a good chance that you will begin to notice the appearance of cotton fin fungus and its related problematic symptoms in your tank.
Often, all it takes is one vulnerable fish for the condition to swoop in and begin causing problems. Even if you do a good job of maintaining your tank, fish that are old or suffering from some kind of injury can easily contract the fungi and eventually begin to cause problems for everything else in the tank, too. Fish that are frequently bullied or subjected to behaviors like fin-nipping are particularly susceptible.
That being said, poor water quality is one of the most common culprits for this disease. A tank that is improperly maintained will give the perfect environment to the opportunistic fungi.
You will need to control for oxygen, temperature, and pH to make sure your water is set at the ideal parameters for your fish. Keep in mind that the cleaning chemicals you add to your tank – as well as your filter – should be right on point to make sure your water continues to be a friendly environment for your fish.
When you clean your tank, so with the health of your fish in mind. Water changes should be done partially and not wholly – you don’t want to remove all the water in your tank when you’re trying to create a conducive environment for your fish. This can shock the immune systems of your vulnerable fish and lead to a range of problems. Instead, you should engage in a regular cleaning routine that involves all parts of the aquarium -including the filter – but without removing all of the water at once.
Finally, cotton fin fungus is an opportunity breeder, hunting down any organic matter in the tank and then using it as food. Because your aquarium often plays host to lots of decomposing material, it creates the perfect climate for fungi to proliferate. If you have any old food, dead fish, or other decomposing matter in your aquarium, you need to thoroughly clean it out so that fungi cannot grow.