So here's the story, I have a sorority 46g with all the females coming from Petsmart & Petco, mostly Petsmart. There were 12 max, number varied through the months, all but 6 were just labeled female Betta when I bought them. 4 were bought the same day while the others were bought at different times since last April. So here's the odd thing, NONE of the ones labeled female Betta are living more than 6-8 months, they will show no signs of a problem & then start showing signs of dropsy & even then they will act normal & eat like piglets. I'll QT, treat with Epsom salts, general cure, etc. nothing has worked to save them. Of the 4 I bought at the same time only one hasn't shown any bloating or pine coning yet but I imagine its only a matter of time. NONE of the female CT's so far have done this so I'm wondering if its because those labeled "female Betta" are a mutt of sorts so they tend to have bad genetics. If I lose all of these girls I'm not sure ill continue with a sorority, if the CT's continue to be healthy I may just have all CT's, right now there are 6 CT's & the oldest has been in there since Aug. 2012. Its just odd to me.
Dropsy, as you probably already know, is internal organ failure. It's not always contagious depending on what causes it... Which can very likely be genetics. Pet store fish are not generally bred to have the best genetics... I think the problem may be where you are getting them. Honestly, with a sorority, I would not recommend getting the girls from a pet store. You can order girls in bulk from online breeders with much better genetics and if shipping is combined, its often not too expensive. I just ordered four with express shipping for $45 but it would have been $20 less with priority... Breeders on this site might give you a discount for being a forum member and they'll often sell them cheaper if you order more than one.
Also, dropsy is generally caused by internal bacterial infections, but can also be caused by an internal parasite that can't be detected in feces. Worst case scenario is something like Mycos... This would probably be more obvious but it is a wasting disease and can take a long time to develop and kill a fish.
I find it a little strange that the CTs are doing better because they are generally more sensitive to just about everything, but I would not be surprised if its just bad genetics from the store. Maybe their CT lines are stronger genetically?
I would at least try some females from a breeder before giving up on sororities... A pet store male in his own tank is not in as stressful conditions as a sorority so one might not get sick from stress as easily as a female in a sorority tank, and bad genetics don't really help that...
Um, I don't know if that was the answer you were looking for but I hope it kind of helps..
Good info. Thank you. Ill wait to see what happens with these girls before I add anymore from a breeder or any other source. It just seems so odd that it seems to be happening in the same time frame, approx. 6 months after I get them & its always the exact same thing. I didn't know CT's were more sensitive, they've kind of become my favorites because of their look. Alright I'll see what happens from here. Thanks again.
Yeah, CTs are sensitive to water parameters, bloating, probably other things that I don't specifically know.
If anything, I would ask Sakura8 to see if she has any other ideas what it might be... But again, it would probably be speculation.
When I had three girls and the power went out causing a temp fluctuation, one developed dropsy and passed away. They were all from the same breeder but I believe that the one who passed away was not from that breeders lines and she had less strong genetics... I'm not sure where Petco/petsmart gets their bettas but I highly doubt that the CTs surviving is coincidental.
It could be genetics or some kind of sensitivity to water parameters. Do you know your ph, gh and kh?
If it was a disease, I would expect them all to show symptoms, but it could be just that those were more susceptible for some reason, or carried the disease longer.
GC isn't a good med for dropsy. I wouldn't have expected that to work. Epsom salts and Kanaplex or Triple Sulfa is what I suggest, or making up a medicated feed. Dropsy caused by internal parasites is where the GC theory probably came in (and in this case the actual cause of dropsy is usually because of secondary bacterial or the parasites are extremely advanced), but then you'd be seeing more symptoms of the parasites. In this case, I would still feed meds.
I do think that bacterial infections are more common than internal parasites when referring to dropsy. In a case where you aren't sure, Kanaplex and Metro mixed should be used, but since they didn't respond to the general cure, I agree that you should get Kanaplex and keep it on hand.
Thank you. I have two right now that i bought at the same time that are presenting a little differently, one clearly has dropsy as she is pine coning all over while the other is bulging on the sides, one side more than the other, with raised scales only in that area. The 2nd girl has been treated for about 3 wks, started with Epsom, then general cure but no change good or bad. The 1st girl just presented yesterday & is currently getting Epsom salt to start with. I wanted kanaplex but when I was at the store they didn't have it so I went with general cure but will be getting kanaplex to have on hand, as I should have it anyways. I don't know its frustrating to not be able to save them.
Yes I can. There's an LFS I need to go to who might have a better selection of meds than the big name stores. I think the one has a better chance as I don't think she has dropsy while the other definitely does but I will do my best with both. Thanks again.
Today I bought powdered Kanaplex & Metro at my LFS. I have one girl who clearly has full dropsy, pine coning all over so she is QT'd & being treated with the Kanaplex. The other, also QT'd & not happy about it, is still bulging out the sides, slightly worse than before & a little lethargic today, only the bulged area has scales that are raised so I am treating her with the metro based on advice from an experienced fish keeper. Fasting both for a couple of days. Keeping all fins crossed for both the girls. I checked everyone else at feeding time & no one else is showing any signs of anything unusual.