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Old 09-06-2012, 05:09 PM   #1 
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Exclamation Bettas dying in mass, no apparent cause -- HELP!!!

A few months back, I got a group of female bettas, and three males. The males are all in different tanks, of course, and the females numbered six in a very well-cycled, well-planted tank. Constant checks showed all to be well, and all my fish were living in total harmony.

Until maybe two weeks ago.

First, our favorite female, Katniss, died. No cause was apparent. Checking the levels of ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, all that kit stuff showed no apparent reason. Our favorite female, a beautiful green delta, had died for no reason and I could do nothing about it.

Next was almost all the females in rapid succession - only two remain, as healthy as ever! The levels are still perfect, not a single thing awry, and the corydoras catfish show no illness whatsoever. However, a few placostimi have died as well. One female showed mild signs of what may've been pop-eye, but it was only barely noticeable and we hadn't even gotten the chance to give her a treatment before we lost her.

Next was a gorgeous, gorgeous black orchid crowntail male, with no causes apparent other than weeks of lathargy - Severus had been healthy enough except for that and refusing to spawn(We'd gotten him to with our dear Katniss once).

Now our dragonscale Tobuscus is near the edge of death. He appears to have ich, but I have never heard of it killing a fish, and we've given him a salt bath every day for at least three days now, and it just won't go away. He lays at the bottom of the tank, on his side, and can't even get all the way up for air in a half-full tank which we planned to spawn him in. We now have him in a shallower cup full of medicine in hopes that it could help him. Toby is the only one who has any outward signs of disease, and that is small, white specks all over him. We simply cannot figure out what on earth has killed five fish in a week.

The only thing is a high ph of 7, but it's fairly stable. Other than that, everything is all fine.

Please help us.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:17 PM   #2 
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Toby has just died.

We'll miss you, Tobuscus.

I still desperately, desperately require help. I have got to know what's happening here. I can't stand the thought of losing my only other male to this - He seems as healthy as they come, thought - or either of my last two females.
I need to know what's happening.

Last edited by Kess; 09-06-2012 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:54 PM   #3 
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Be careful here, because from what I've heard if you have fish dying en masse with no apparent reason you could have reason to suspect tuberculosis. There are sometimes other signs of TB, but I've been reading up on the different diseases trying to diagnose one of my own fish and the bits about TB freaked me out so much I read pretty much everything I could. One of the things that is said if you have a bunch of fish just going mysteriously belly up, suspect it at the very least. Have you double and triple checked everything? Is there a possibility some foreign contaminate got into your tanks that could have killed them?
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:56 PM   #4 
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also fill this out :

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?

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

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?


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)?
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:57 PM   #5 
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:29 AM   #6 
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Fish TB can strike with no apparently symptoms. even until the time of death of fish. Keep the healthy fish very isolated. Some are known to be somewhat immune to this. Do not mix utensils.
has any fish had a crooked spine or abnormalities after death or shortly before?
I sent an email to OFL about fish TB a few months ago.. this was her response..
With mycobacteriosis or fish TB-it is ever present in the tank-some fish can be asymptomatic carriers....anytime you suspect active TB in your tanks-its best to get that fish out and destroy it-burn it, bury it, toss in the trash.....make 50% water change and improve nutrition to keep the other fish immune response up to help prevent them from getting it

Be sure and wash you hands really, really good after working with the tank and fish....this is one of the few things we can catch from out tanks and if you have any open wounds or immune compromised yourself-wear glove or have someone else take care of the tank....

I was askin her about my apparently healthy looking minnows who would suddenly develop a crooked spine and drop dead within three days. one of them never exhibited symptoms.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:03 AM   #7 
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Washing hands may not be enough precaution, because if you have any sort of injury even a torn cuticle it can get in your bloodstream. The bacteria can live for a long time in many conditions.. Which is why all supplies and infected tanks should be not used or destroyed.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:03 AM   #8 
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Thank you all very much. Thanks for telling me about the risk Of getting it from the fish; that all sounds about right. In fact all the fish showed a curved spine after death. The odd part is the fact that no Cory cat has been effected, so I think I will take all the fish out, change most of the water and hope it never happens again. How does this thing get started? Food, carriers?
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:14 AM   #9 
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I'm so sorry this happened.
If you think thats what it was- I would contact the store you got these bettas from and let them know.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:22 PM   #10 
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We think we know exactly where the infection came from - a new set of plecos we had bought. One of them died THAT EVENING. Let's hope this won't happen again - just finished at two pet stores looking for females to replace our list ones so our two can be put together again, though we probably need to replace all the gravel and decor in the tank.

As it turns out, I am pretty sure I saw three or four, side-up with a bent spine... I am not sure if I am just paranoid now, this has always been here, or if something is really wrong with several spawns in the area.
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