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Old 05-19-2012, 09:26 PM   #1 
Rjb5584
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Bettas dying off--lost 2 already! Please help!

I'm sad to say that we lost both Dink and Prince (see photos in profile albums) in under 3 weeks, and now Whitey Bulger and Jerk are beginning to show the same symptoms that Dink and Prince showed before they passed.

Both Dink and Prince would start sitting on the bottom, only coming up for air before returning to the bottom, or floating in the corner. Both fish stopped eating, and both began getting tail-heavy towards the end. Both fish also developed a slight white fuzz to them, and on Prince, his tail began to dissolve, while Dink's head sort of began to deform a bit. We tried too late with Dink to start an antibiotic course, but we were able to get past the final day of antibiotic treatment with Prince, but he passed anyways. I'm not sure which antibiotics were used, other than that my girlfriend determined it appears as though the disease acts very similar to cotton-wool (columnaris), and so she bought antibiotics that treat for that disease. Further, her mom, a UCLA magna cum laude Master's graduate in ichthyology, believed it to be the same thing when described to her, but to no avail.

All of the chemistry for the water has been normal, and I've been doing regular water changes to keep the water pristine, with none of the water parameters changing from what they normally are. I started Whitey on a salt treatment yesterday, and gave him a slightly more-but-not-quite-double amount of StressCoat, in addition to starting him on the same antibiotics that we tried using for Dink and Prince.


I'm getting exceptionally worried now because not only is Whitey my first (and admittedly favorite now that Dink is gone), but he was bought several months before Dink, Jerk, and Prince, who were all bought on the same day, so I have a feeling it isn't just a bad batch of fry from whomever bred them, in the off chance they were all bred in the same location and same time. It seems like nothing I'm doing is helping, and I really don't want to lose 4 of my little buddies in under a month to the same disease.

Please help!

Edit: Shortly before this all started happening, I started my fish on Hikari Betta Bio Gold, as the local pet stores no longer were selling the Omega One micro pellets. However, I haven't heard of anyone having issues such as this, and remember reading somewhere that the two were nearly identical, which is part of the reason I bought this brand in the first place.

Last edited by Rjb5584; 05-19-2012 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:22 AM   #2 
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Quote:
I'm not sure which antibiotics were used, other than that my girlfriend determined it appears as though the disease acts very similar to cotton-wool (columnaris), and so she bought antibiotics that treat for that disease. Further, her mom, a UCLA magna cum laude Master's graduate in ichthyology, believed it to be the same thing when described to her, but to no avail.
Can you find out what medicine was used?

Does it sound like this:
Quote:
Columnaris can be external or internal and may follow a chronic or acute course. Lesions in chronic cases progress slowly, taking many days before culminating in fish death. In acute cases the lesions spread quickly, often wiping out entire populations of fish within hours. High water temperature accelerate the progression of the disease; however lowering the water temp will not affect the outcome of the disease.Symptoms:

  • White spots on mouth, edges of scales, and fins
  • Cottony growth that eats away at the mouth
  • Fins disintegrate beginning at the edges
  • 'Saddleback' lesion near the dorsal fin
  • Fungus often invades the affected skin
  • Rapid gilling in cases where gills are infected
Most Columnaris infections are external, and present first as white or grayish white spots on the head and around the fins or gills. The lesions may first be seen only as a paler area that lacks the normal shiny appearance of the rest of the fish. As the lesion progresses it may become yellowish or brownish in color and the area around it may be tinged red.

Lesions on the back often extend down the sides, giving the appearance of a saddle, leading to the name saddle-back that is often used to describe this symptom. On the mouth the lesions may look moldy or cottony, and the mouth will eventually become eaten away. The fins will erode and have a frayed appearance as the infection progresses. Gills as affected too. As the bacteria invade them the filaments will disintegrate, resulting in the onset of rapid breathing or gasping in the fish due to lack of oxygen. Less commonly, the infection will take an internal course which often displays no external symptoms. In these cases, only a necropsy and cultures will point to the true cause of death.
For antibiotics, quite a few people suggest using a combo of Maracyn and Maracyn 2. However, I had no luck with this unless I massivly overdosed the betta on it. Supposedly it;s not as effective if you water is hard..or so I have heard. Furan-2 should work as it treats both gram positive and gram negative bacteria (columnaris is a gram neg.)



Triple Sulfa should work as well - although don;t quote me on that.


are you seeing any saddleback looking leasions or pineconning?
I had some females get hit with a disease that seemed like columnaris but I am not sure if it was or not. They quit eating, became lethargic, had a case of the fuzzies, and it looked like something was eating away their scales. near the end they started to pinecone. I am not sure if it was acute columnaris or something else. There is another bacteria that acts very similar but is resistant to damn near everything and I can;t remember what it's called!

First I noticed this:


Which turned into this:


This one got it too but its hard to see due to her coloring.

Last edited by Tikibirds; 05-20-2012 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:38 PM   #3 
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We used Maracyn 2 according to my girlfriend. Thanks for the suggestions on other treatments!

And yes, that looks exactly like what Prince had. Dink was a red dragon, so it was hard to see if he had fuzzies, but his mouth definitely deformed, and franky, may have actually drowned rather than succumbed to the disease.

In both cases, like you said, no matter what we did, it seemed as though nothing would even improve it.

I'll let you know how the Furan-2 works out! Thanks!
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:55 PM   #4 
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LMK if it works.
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:35 PM   #5 
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Tiki, I'm happy to report that both Jerk and Whitey Bulger have survived and are doing quite well. We lost Chex, but that appears to be sudden and unrelated to the issues that WB and Jerk were having.

Thanks a ton! You're a life saver!
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