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Old 06-08-2013, 08:19 PM   #1 
Goodbettabest
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3 dead & 2 more sick - no idea what is killing them!!!

The deceased:

Shredder - developed swim bladder issues a couple of weeks after i got him. No other symptoms. SBD went on for several months then he died.

Fax: No symptoms at all. Perfectly fine in the morning then clamped and pale in the afternoon. Anal fin twisted into what is best described as a dreadlock. Two days later he died. Don't know whether it is relevant but i had just put a live plant in with him 5 days earlier which had been in a community tank at my LFS . Still no sign of disease on plant.

Butterscotch: on going sbd issues & problems with constipation . Also developed finrot . Died after a long bout of constipation .

The sick:

Genghis: my favourite boy is now sick all of a sudden he has developed SBD & torn fins. Don't know if it is fin rot or caused by dragging his fins along the bottom of the tank because he can't swim properly. He is not bloated & has no other visible symptoms. He is in a filtered and heated 5 gal tank with twice weekly water changes. One water only & one with gravel vac. The SBD seems to be a very common theme. All their waste looks to be normal but could it be an internal parasite or bacteria causing them all to get sick & die?

Cho : bad fin rot. Had it when i bought him but has flared up again with red edges on the fins. No SBD thank goodness.

These guys get religious twice weekly water changes and i am very careful not to over feed. They are all in 4 or 5 gal tanks.

Any ideas what could be wrong?
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:34 PM   #2 
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I went through a period of time very similar to this.

The disease you are describing sounds similar in all cases but different too. I would definatly begin an Epsom salt treatment... 3 tsp/g predissolved. It's unlikely it will cure the underlying disease, but it will help sbd, is completely safe, and may help the fish purge out any internal parasites (a real possibility in this case), as shown in a recent study.

I am going to say that this is probably bacterial or parasitic in nature. Kanaplex is the antibiotic I would try first.

I would contact LittleBlueFishlets and sakura8.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:49 PM   #3 
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Could you fill out the form below for Genghis and Cho? I know you provided some information, but this will give us more info and could be helpful for determining what to try to help them. (Answer what you can. Leave anything else blank.)

Also, can you post pictures of them?

What medications do you have on hand? (I'm hoping you say Kanaplex, one of the furan or sulfa antibiotics, and an antiparasitical!)

As Matt suggested, I'd start by adding Epsom salt. It should help Genghis' SBD, and may possibly help with Cho's fins.

Epsom salt treatment: There are several ways to add this. Here's one:
  1. Put some of their tank water in a cup. Dissolve Epsom salt at a dosage of 1 teaspoon per gallon. (For example: 4 gal tank: use 4 teaspoons Epsom salt.) Make sure the Epsom salt is completely dissolved.
  2. Over the course of an hour, slowly add the dissolved Epsom salt to the tank.
  3. Wait at least 12 hours. Repeat the above process. This will take you to a total dosage of 2 teaspoons Epsom salt per gallon.
  4. Wait one day (24 hrs). Repeat the above process. This will take you to a total dosage of 3 teaspoons Epsom salt per gallon.
  5. After this: when doing water changes, predissolve 3 teaspoons Epsom salt per gallon into the new conditioned water. Do water changes as usual. This will allow you to maintain a dosage of 3 teaspoons Epsom salt per gallon, for the duration of the treatment.
  6. You can treat with Epsom salt for 10-14 days. (If the SBD is chronic, you can use a lower dosage for a longer period of time.)

Do you share equipment between tanks? If so, this could be cross-contaminating the tanks. I recommend that each tank have its own set of equipment, so that bacteria/parasites aren't spread to other tanks.

If the Epsom salt doesn't help, you may need to use an antibiotic and/or an antiparasitical.

Here's the form to fill out:
----------------------------
Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 06-08-2013 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:07 AM   #4 
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I went through something similar recently with my ladies - developed dropsey but lived for months- tried kannaplex/furan/metrodozinal combo and it did nothing at all.

I wish you luck.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:32 PM   #5 
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My responses in red.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBlueFishlets View Post
Could you fill out the form below for Genghis and Cho? I know you provided some information, but this will give us more info and could be helpful for determining what to try to help them. (Answer what you can. Leave anything else blank.)

Also, can you post pictures of them? Pics attached

What medications do you have on hand? (I'm hoping you say Kanaplex, one of the furan or sulfa antibiotics, and an antiparasitical!) I have tri-sulfa tablets. I gave them both a dose yesterday for the fin rot. My LFS has never heard of Kanaplex, we do not have some of the mediations in Australia that you guys have over in the US.

As Matt suggested, I'd start by adding Epsom salt. It should help Genghis' SBD, and may possibly help with Cho's fins. Will epsom salts help Genghis seeing as his SBD is not caused by bloat?



Epsom salt treatment: There are several ways to add this. Here's one:
  1. Put some of their tank water in a cup. Dissolve Epsom salt at a dosage of 1 teaspoon per gallon. (For example: 4 gal tank: use 4 teaspoons Epsom salt.) Make sure the Epsom salt is completely dissolved.
  2. Over the course of an hour, slowly add the dissolved Epsom salt to the tank.
  3. Wait at least 12 hours. Repeat the above process. This will take you to a total dosage of 2 teaspoons Epsom salt per gallon.
  4. Wait one day (24 hrs). Repeat the above process. This will take you to a total dosage of 3 teaspoons Epsom salt per gallon.
  5. After this: when doing water changes, predissolve 3 teaspoons Epsom salt per gallon into the new conditioned water. Do water changes as usual. This will allow you to maintain a dosage of 3 teaspoons Epsom salt per gallon, for the duration of the treatment.
  6. You can treat with Epsom salt for 10-14 days. (If the SBD is chronic, you can use a lower dosage for a longer period of time.)
Do you share equipment between tanks? If so, this could be cross-contaminating the tanks. I recommend that each tank have its own set of equipment, so that bacteria/parasites aren't spread to other tanks. I have been using the same equipment for each tank but went out yesterday and bought separate equipment for each tank so no more cross contamination will occur.

If the Epsom salt doesn't help, you may need to use an antibiotic and/or an antiparasitical.

Here's the form to fill out:
----------------------------
Housing
What size is your tank? Genghis 5 gal; Cho 4 gal
What temperature is your tank? Both 82 deg
Does your tank have a filter? Genghis yes, Cho no.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes. The tanks tend to stay at high temps naturally because I live in the tropics but heaters are there ready to kick in just in case
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Nil

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqua one betta pellets & occasionally frozen bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once daily occasionally skipping a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? twice weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 40-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress Coat

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0 - other parameters unknown as I am waiting on my full test kit to arrive
Nitrite: unknown
Nitrate: unknown
pH: unknown
Hardness: unknown
Alkalinity: unknown

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Cho - progressive fin rot; Genghis - no change to appearance
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Cho - no change to behaviour, nice & active; Genghis - basically he struggles to swim. lays on the bottom of the tank or on the plant leaves. When he swims it appears like his fins are too heavy. No other change to appearance
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Cho - ongoing battle; Genghis several days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, dosed with tri-sulfa tablets (contains Sulfadizine, Sulfadimidine, Sulfamerazine as the monosodium salts)
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)?
Unknown - both store bought

I have attached pics of both the boys. Cho still has a little bit of blood on the end of one of his fins today but not too bad. Genghis is moving around a bit but is basically just skimming along the gravel. I have noticed him eating some kind of cottony stuff that has grown on his log ornament. Is that bad? One of the pics of Genghis was taken a couple of days ago when he could still swim. i've attached that pic so you can see the tears on his fins.

Pics of Cho are first...
Attached Images
     
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:54 PM   #6 
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OK, thanks for the additional info!

1) I would switch food to a high-protein pellet.
Foods that contain a lot of grains (wheat, flour, soybean, corn, etc) can be constipating and lead to buoyancy issues.

Aqua One Betta Pellets ingredients: Fish Meal, Soybean Meal, Flour, Wheat Flour, Lecithin, Fish Oil, Multi Vitamins, Minerals.
On this forum, the two most often recommended pellets are New Life Spectrum Betta pellets and Omega One Betta Buffet pellets. Both contain a high percentage of quality proteins.

(I have a HM with chronic constipation that leads to buoyancy issues easily. I switched him to Omega One, since that's what was available locally. He's been much better since.)

2) Genghis:
I would try Epsom salt even though he doesn't appear bloated, as it often helps resolve swim issues. It's also gentler on them than medications, so I like to try it first. Start with 1 teaspoon Epsom salt per gallon. Hold him at that dosage for 1-2 days, and fast him too. If he poops during this time, you can feed him a pellet.

If he's still struggling to swim after 1-2 days, increase it to 2 teaspoons per gallon. Wait at least one day, then if he's still having issues, increase to 3 teaspoons/gal. Epsom salt will not harm any live plants. Look for pure magnesium sulfate. (Also called magnesium sulphate, or magnesium sulphate heptahydrate.) Make sure it has no dyes, perfumes or other additives.

3) Cho:
Fin rot is often caused by gram negative bacterial infections. The sulfa drugs are effective against this type of bacteria. So hopefully, he'll be better soon.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:32 PM   #7 
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Thank you so much for the advice. I have started him on the Epson salts today. Dumb question but do i keep dosing the tank daily without doing a water change or should i also be changing the water each time i re-dose?
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:38 PM   #8 
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Dont keep addiing epsom salts. Hard to put in words properly (I'm tired, ok), but lets say you are dosing Epsom salts at 1tsp/g and you do a 50% wc, add in half as much Epsom salts. (1/2tsp/g)

So no, do not keep adding Epsom salts.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:55 PM   #9 
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No worries, thanks so much Matt & LittleBlueFishlets, your help is really appreciated!
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:58 PM   #10 
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You could premix the Epsom salt into the new water, at the dosage that you want. Use this premixed water for your water changes.

For example, say you want him to be at 2 teaspoons Epsom salt per gallon.... Add this amount (2 tsp/gal) to the new water that you're going to use for the water change. Then, do your water change. This will automatically provide the correct dosage.

Salts do not evaporate, so if you use this method, you'll never need to add more directly to the tank.
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