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Old 05-16-2013, 04:51 PM   #1 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Suspect velvet on the tank. Do you recommend copper sulfate?

I acquired 4 young platies (about 3 cm long) and put them with my Betta some days ago. Today, I have seen one of the platies showing some sort of shiny white with a rainbow glare (like oil on the surface of water) on the upper half of his body and and though his overall mood looks fine, he is eating less than the others. My betta doesn't look different in appearance, but his fins are starting to get clamped.

Given the description it seems to me that velvet is the cause and I want to treat the fish before it gets worse. I read copper sulfate is an effective treatment but some fish are sensitive to it. Do you know if Bettas or Platies can tolerate copper? Which is the recommended concentration (on copper basis) for treatment? I have access to reactive grade copper sulfate and I can prepare the solution on my own.

Info about my tank.

Size: 10 gal
Temperature: 26 ºC, with a heater.
Filter: Elite Stingray 10
Aeration: half of an Elite air pump for 20 gal with a valve to lower the turbulence.
Community: four small platies and a male Veil Tail.

Food: for platies, Tetra Min or Tetra color (although my Betta actually likes those flakes!)
For Memín (the betta), betta pellets, freeze dried bloodworms and ocasional live Daphnias and brine shrimp.
I feed the platies twice a day and Memín once a day.

Plants: two Elodea.

Water change: 50 % capacity twice a week because the filter isn't probably fully cycled (I do vacuum the gravel, which acumulates sunken flakes).
Additives to water: BettaSafe for chlorine, an additive for plants (mostly oligoelements and iron), a low concentration of aquarium salt and a little of a pH reducer (the active agent being phosphoric acid) to bring the pH to about 7,2).

Water parameters: I haven't been able to get aquarium water testers so I ignore nitrogen parameters on my tank. I know the following parameters on my water because I happen to work at the lab that performs the tests:

Hardness:169,19 mg CaCO3 / L
Calcium hardness: 135 mg CaCO3 / L
Alkalinity:190 mg CaCO3 / L

Yes, now I know I should have quarantined the new fish. I will have the ammonia tested soon.

Last edited by javert; 05-16-2013 at 04:52 PM. Reason: added air pump capacity
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:30 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Rhode Island
Hmm that doesn't sound like any Velvet I've come into. Can you get any pictures of this please? Your Betta might be clamping because he's stressed of the newcomers is all. Did you take him out and then put the Platy's in? He'll feel like they are intruding on his territory if he was in there before they were.

Also Platy's will get big and they are very messy so you may have to do twice the water changes to keep the tank nice. I had two in there once temporarily and I was siphoning up their poo two weeks after they were gone! Just a warning is all :) Also you should take out any uneaten food right away, it's just going to contribute more towards the ammonia which can be unsafe for your fish.

But otherwise, Velvet looks like a gold dusting. I'll attach one of my girls who had velvet and you can see how the gold part looks.
(Ignore the white dots, their just air bubbles since I had just changed the water out)

If it looks like that, then it's Velvet
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:50 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: minnesota,usa
a good way to tell is to turn the lights out and use a flashlight to inspect them. sometimes velvet is harder to see on light colored fish. you more than doubled your tank inhabitants, do lots of water changes until you bacteria colony has a chance to catch up.remember that the colonies use more oxygen than the fish do. so make sure you are properly aerating the water column. cut feeding back to once every two days to avoid ammonia poisoning. a couple of questions. first what is your ph without the ph reducer?and do you add salt for any particular reason?
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:35 PM   #4 
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Location: Rhode Island
^ Good point Sandybottom, I rather skipped over those parts! >< my bad.
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