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Old 12-15-2012, 08:54 AM   #1 
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Location: South Carolina
Is this fungus? How to treat?

Hello all!

Sorry for just blurting in here, but I have a problem with one of my females that is currently in QT for a sorority.
Just so we get all the info out there: I am currently QTing 5 females for a sorority in a well planted 55 "community" tank.

What size is your tank? QT in their cups
What temperature is your tank? room temperature about 75F
Does your tank have a filter? no**
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no**
Is your tank heated? no
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

** as they are QT in their cups, they receive twice daily 100% water changes.

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? (thawed) frozen blood worms, omega one tropical flakes
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1-2 times daily


How often do you perform a water change? twice daily
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Seachem Prime

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.6

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? declined/see below
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? declined/see below
When did you start noticing the symptoms? immediately after purchase
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? keeping water pristine
Does your fish have any history of being ill? new fish
How old is your fish (approximately)? purchased about 1 week ago

One of my girls was already acting off when I first got her, although I had not noticed that at the LFS.
She is very lethargic, just hanging right there below the surface, clamping, pale, quite disinterested even in defrosted blood worms. Today I also noticed some "dusting" on her, I think this may be fungus?
I never had a fish with fungus, so I am not sure if this really is what that is.
I also am not sure how to treat for this? I'm already keeping the params in check, but she still declined, so I don't think that pristine water quality is doing any good for her so far.

EDIT: And I am not sure how important this is, but she did jump out of her cup earlier after I took the photo/s and failed to put the lid back on. I never ever had a betta or any fish jump (I'm keeping fish for almost 5 years, got my first betta 1.5 years ago).

Things I have on hand in my fish medicine cabinet is salt, pimafix, melafix, metronidazole powder and metro-meds.
I found info that this might be columnaris, but I hope it's not. A columnaris infection wiped out 85% of my angelfish stock half a year ago within 60 hours; only with luck, a harsh 10hr HP bath and double doses metro I could save my (now) only remaining angel :(

Here is a photo from a few days ago, and one I took just an hour ago. You can see how much she has declined within a week :(
The other four females are doing great. Very active, very hungry and feisty, just the way I like them. But little red sure is not doing well :) :)



Thanks a lot for any kind of help, I really want to get this girl to pull through! :)

I know she was only 99 cent at Petsmart's sale, but I don't just want to give up on her
It breaks my heart to see her this unhappy.

Last edited by number20121; 12-15-2012 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:29 AM   #2 
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Your QT cups are probably 70 degrees or cooler

From the 2nd photo you posted.... it looks like she's "dusted" in ICK.
  • Put all the cups large plastic storage box that can accommodate all the cups like the picture below. Fill the thing with water and drop some sort of heater in there. You can float the cups too.
  • You want the cups to be about 78-80 degrees.

If the "dusting" is what I think it is.... 24 hours from now, you should see the ick on the red betta start to pop out.

If she's got it, there's a good chance all your bettas are infected with it.
  • This is one of the biggest negatives of buying tropical fish during winter. There's a good chance the fish you bring home are already semi-sick. So QTing them is essential.

Doing 100% change 2x a day is I think is unnecessary. Once should be fine.

Keeping the cups 78-80 degrees is more important for now.
  • What kind of fish do you have in your 55G tank?
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:43 AM   #3 
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It doesn't look like a fungus to me. Wouldn't ick spots look bigger and more defined like salt grain? I wonder if it is velvet. Good luck. She is adorable.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:06 AM   #4 
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I agree, it does not look like ich to me. I have dealt with that (in my goldfish and neons) once before and it looks different.

When I google, velvet seems a bit more like it. So how to treat this?

MSG: The other fish in the community are otos, peppered corys, black neons, bloodfin tetras, 2 platies and a single angelfish.

Maybe I am jinxing myself but I have never had a betta had a problem with tetras. My male currently shares his home with neons and glowlight tetras, and there are no issues. Of course I know all bettas are different and if one of the girls acts up she will have to be re homed.
But the 55g is relatively lightly stocked with mostly plain looking tropicals.
Lots of live plants (anubias, cabomba, italian vals, floating anacharis, giant hygro, aponogeton, crytpts, swords) of course, some drift wood as well. The plants are filling in nicely since I started dosing flourish excel and will probably have grown another 25-50% by the time I add the girls (my new cabomba is currently filling 20% of my tank. Originally it filled about 15%, that was a week ago.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:19 AM   #5 
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Ick is just a guess, but if it's velvet.......

You still need to bring up the temperature of their water to at LEAST 78-80 degrees to treat for ick/velvet.
  • I've used 86 degrees & higher for treatment.
You can't VISUALLY spot the parasites till they're at their adult/final stages.
  • The only time my bettas mimic photo #2 is when they're cold. Clamped fins is one method for fish to conserve heat.
Incubate your betta and see if anything changes/hatches.

Your other fish should be compatible. The only one I would worry about is the ANGEL possibly attacking the bettas.

Last edited by MSG; 12-15-2012 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:23 AM   #6 
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Thanks, I'll try that!

I think the angel should be ok. He is quite docile and leaves all the other small fish alone as well. I honestly am more concerned about the girls possibly harassing HIM. :D
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:35 PM   #7 
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I don't think heating alone will cure it. Usually meds with malachite green or copper are used to kill it. Also I read somewhere that in a free swimming stage velvet needs light to survive so it is recommended to block out light during treatments.
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