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Old 01-17-2013, 07:18 PM   #1 
Kaidacat
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Scab/burn on betta's tail?

I recently separated my betta Captain from the other bettas in the sorority when it became obvious that she was being bullied. They all still share the same tank water, but there is a divider that allows water flow.

Even before I separated her, Captain has been looking sick. She still has clamped fin, and I can't tell if some of her fins have been eaten, or fin rot, or what, but her fins don't look good of what I can see. She seems increasingly tired, and yesterday I noticed a green patch on her scales. It *LOOKED* like she might have been getting a different color in, as you could see the texture of her scales, it didn't look swollen or sunken, it simply looked like a patch of green scales.

As of this afternoon, those same scales now look like a grey/black scab that is DEFINITELY swollen and a little rough looking. it really does look like a scab. But here's the weird part: it's on both sides of her tail, in almost the same spot. As if she got her tail pinched and burned or something.

I just did a 50% water change. None of the other fish(2 bettas and 2 tetras, and yes, I know I need more tetras) seem to be showing ANY signs of sickness/stress. Note, a ghost shrimp is the only other creature on Captain's side of the divider. Please help?

Housing
What size is your tank? 20G high
What temperature is your tank? 78F even
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes, 2
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 3(total) bettas, 2 tetras, ghost shrimp

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Flakes and pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Varies between daily, twice daily(morning and evening) and intermittent days for fasting

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? At least bi-weekly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Jungle Aloe Water conditioner (specifically says it helps with stress)

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Not yet

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? Has become lethargic, stopped eating within the past day or so
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Symptoms have varied, clamped fins for almost a month
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Not yet
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Clamped fins and stress
How old is your fish (approximately)? A few months, I bought her at roughly 1/2in long from Petco as a "baby" betta
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:34 PM   #2 
Sena Hansler
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Need a better picture than that to determine anything. Is she gasping? Is there any discoloration?
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:44 PM   #3 
Kaidacat
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Either gasping or breathing quickly. She can no longer hold herself afloat, and is now resting on her side at the bottom of a plastic cup I have floating in the aquarium so that she is closer to the surface. I honestly don't know if she can even swim the few inches to the surface anymore. The greenish spot has spread in the past 3 hours and now covers her entire tail. I'm beginning to fear it might be the blue beta mystery disease because of how quickly it's spreading, and the noticeably more "ashy" appearance. I don't think she's going to make it through the night.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:23 AM   #4 
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I believe you are right... Poor thing! It is sad this has become more and more common... If it had not hit the body I would have recommended KANAPLEX... One of the best ones I have come across.

So, the other fish are fine, which is good. Are any of them blue or a teal/turquoise? And from the same store? I find... The bettas here, any blues from the same store suffered the same sad ending. Stress (IME anyways) was a trigger. Always keep a very close eye on your fish. I check in the morning, and at night. Even with a spawn tank I can see problems easily now :)

I still recommend ordering in some Kanaplex to have on hand... Since a stocked medicine cabinet for the fish is pretty handy!!

If you would like...Rather than having her die slowly, you can try medicating... AQ salt, perhaps, but it's been found to be very resistant to it. Tetracycline is right next to Kanaplex... But if you are unable to get the heavier medications in, you may want to euthanize... It'll be quicker and painless... I use clove oil, which is a medicine often used for tooth aches for people - found in the pharmacy on the shelf or over the counter. Adding a couple drops every 15 minutes, the fish falls asleep... Adding more doses, has them pass away peacefully without feeling a thing.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:35 AM   #5 
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I am very grateful for your help, and while I will keep that in mind for the future, I lost Captain early this morning.

Both other bettas started off brown, but one might be either turquoise or green. She keeps going from that back to brown, to another shade of turq/green. I'm calling her Shift and at the momwnt she aeems healthy.

What do we know about this mystery disease? Is it myco or genetic? Are we still trying to preserve specimines?
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:54 AM   #6 
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I found, in my own experience, with four different bettas from the same store...

My lovely dark blue male, Maine, I had just removed from the spawn tank and he was hit with it. Died within 72 hours.

A steel blue had ich, after being in a divided tank (stressed him out too much). After recovering he was hit with it overnight, and died in 12 hours.

Another dark blue, Shadow, I watched ever so carefully. I KNEW he would have it as at this point I determined stress as a factor, and the disease to be genetic. Indeed one day he was more sleepy... didn't fool me. I watched him like a hawk and saw it start on his fins... I dug out the kanaplex I got too late for Maine, and he survived it in a couple days. A week later his organs shut down...

A teal fella, well he got it at the store, and I got him for free to try and save him. I tried another method, amputation, and unfortunately it was too close to the body, so I did not get all of it. He passed away that evening, 5 hours later.

I can tell you first hand this strain does not affect other bettas. THOUGH if one were left in a sorority tank, died, it could stress out the others, maybe triggering the disease - and we also do not know if it could be passed through consumption (most fish eat the dead). So removing the fish was a very good idea on your part.

However there has been some accounts where something similar has attacked someone's betta, and spread like a contagion. It may or may not be another strain. You would have seen it by now, with your other fish.

None of mine were contagious, one was in a divided tank before getting it. The other, I did cull his entire spawn since that disease I refused to allow to continue on through genetics. Madame never got the disease, even though she was in contact with him before he got it.

We are still trying to get the specimens to be checked out... Ask Sakura about that, if you can preserve the body do so before decay sets in.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:02 PM   #7 
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So we're fairly certain it does have something to do with genetics? At least a genetic strain that makes them weaker to fighting it off?

All my bettas did come from the same petco, but Captain was the only noticeably blue. One I lost to stress and bullying(literally lost, she went into hiding before I could QT her and I found her remains a few days later) and then Captain was never the same after adding the two new bettas, so stress was likely a massive trigger. Has ANYONE had one survive, or do they ultimately all die even with medicine?

None of my other fish seem the least bit stressed out. The two bettas are both lively and friendly, though I do have a grudge against Shift for bullying Captain in the first place.

I did contact her, but she didn't seem too concerned about me contacting someone in the local vet school(if I was busy with school myself). Do you think I should make the effort? Would it actually do any good, or would they just verify what we already know? I currently have her in a jar of tank water in the fridge. Should I be trying to let her dry out?
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:07 PM   #8 
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I will warn that you may want to divide the two bettas, since I have seen many times the after math of "we're fine together" and ending up in "my fish is dying/dead" because one of them will eventually snap...

You will want to use the... formaldehyde which the school may allow if they are willing to do tests on the body.

Shadow almost survived. The disease disappeared, since I caught it very early. However it must have been a huge strain, and his organs failed.

I have not heard of anyone who has had a survivor. So we cannot even know if it can relapse... Like cancer in people may or may not. We never know.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:14 PM   #9 
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As of right now, they're both fairly small and I believe both females. But after Captain and Artemis, I am prepared to separate them if it looks like there might be a problem. I've been watching them like a hawk. They share a 20g high with ample hiding and swimming room, so they should, hopefully, be okay. Hopefully. Still, keeping my eyes on them.

Should I try and get my hands on kanaplex like you mentioned, or would you recommend something else(since it didn't seem to work)?
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:20 PM   #10 
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It did seem to work... Just every betta is different, as is the time difference between each victim of the disease... From 8 to 78 hours difference :) Maybe if I had done something different he would have lived? I'll never know.

I suggest having a ready supply:

Aquarium salt
Epsom salt (fragrance free)
Maracyn
Maracyn 2
Ich guard
Fungal guard
Kanaplex

For me those are the basics, and the most important ones are the ones you cannot get readily in stores... Kanaplex for me I have to order in. Therefore I always have a ready supply of it, since when I need it... I won't have time to order.
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