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Old 10-14-2013, 05:22 PM   #1 
LittleBettaFish
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Lifespan of velvet without host?

As anyone who reads my journal knows, I have had lots of problems with oodinium/velvet with my wild bettas for a couple of years now. It is a recurring problem and one that is highly frustrating for a diligent fishkeeper such as myself.

Anyway, I have been trying to figure out if anyone knows how long this parasite can survive without a host.

It seems answers on the net have been varied from 24 hours right up to 3-4 weeks even in tropical conditions.

I have quite a number of plants in a tank where the fish have died, but appear to have been infected by velvet. If I had money I would simply throw them out and purchase new plants, but I am broke and it is a lot of plants and so I would like to use them in another tank if I could.

Right now the tank has been empty for a number of days at a temperature of around 25 degrees celsius. I was considering doing a course of protozin on the tank just to kill off any free-swimming dinospore that might be remaining.

If anyone familiar with this parasite has an answer for me that would be great. It's doing my head in as it is, and I don't want to run the risk of infecting a perfectly healthy lot of fish.
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:50 PM   #2 
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Velvet can use its chloroplasts during dormancy to survive, but in a full blown infestation, the parasites get their nutrients from the host and are NOT dependent on their chloroplasts.It is also noteworthy that it may resists drying. Empty tanks, nets, even dried nets, scrubbers, and hoses can transmit infection from one tank of fish to another.

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Old 10-14-2013, 06:02 PM   #3 
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Yeah I thought as much. It is a pain in the butt to deal with. I originally got it in one of my tanks when I used to share equipment and then I spread it to nearly every tank in my fish room.

I thought I cured the initial infection after weeks of treatment and black-outs, but I think not every single parasite was killed as it has been a recurring problem ever since, particularly in tanks with fry. I read somewhere that minor infections can survive in the gill membrane basically unseen until the fish is stressed and then it turns into a full-blown infection. So I think this may be the case in some of my tanks.

The species of wild betta I keep are particularly vulnerable to velvet so that also doesn't help.

At the moment I don't share equipment between any tanks. I have individual buckets/siphons for each and wash my hands in very hot water and soap if I have been touching an infected tank.

It is extremely tiring to have to deal with this and so I might just chuck the plants outside in a tub pond and not put them in contact with any of my fish.
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:26 PM   #4 
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It can be really hard to deal with. You my have to break out the big guns like copper sulfate or acriflavin (as much as I hate saying that)
If you try copper sulfate or acriflavin do not use Prime as your water conditioner.

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Old 10-14-2013, 06:33 PM   #5 
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Ah interesting to hear you mention not using Prime. I have been using a copper sulphate/malachite green medication but I do also use Prime as a water conditioner.

I know copper can be more toxic in lower pH water but honestly at this point the fish are dying/being euthanised regardless so I am willing to take the risk.

What is it about Prime that makes it bad to use with the copper? Just so I can know what conditioner to use during treatment. I have a locally produced conditioner here but that is very similar to Prime and so don't want to be doing the wrong thing by using it.

I've been dealing with it for about a year now (on and off). If I can find a way to eradicate it completely (a pair of fish I really like and their fry have it presently) it would be so good.
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:27 PM   #6 
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Originally Posted by LittleBettaFish View Post
Ah interesting to hear you mention not using Prime. I have been using a copper sulphate/malachite green medication but I do also use Prime as a water conditioner.

I know copper can be more toxic in lower pH water but honestly at this point the fish are dying/being euthanised regardless so I am willing to take the risk.

What is it about Prime that makes it bad to use with the copper? Just so I can know what conditioner to use during treatment. I have a locally produced conditioner here but that is very similar to Prime and so don't want to be doing the wrong thing by using it.

I've been dealing with it for about a year now (on and off). If I can find a way to eradicate it completely (a pair of fish I really like and their fry have it presently) it would be so good.

Prime is a reducing agent and chelates the copper, it will reduce or eliminate Malachite Green depending upon the amounts in the water.

Do not use Prime with Copper Sulphate, any of the dyes, Acriflavin, Formaldehyde and some antibiotics.

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Old 10-14-2013, 07:46 PM   #7 
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Thanks for the heads-up in regards to not using Seachem Prime. Is there any brand of conditioner I can use for the duration of a treatment with any of these things that won't have an affect on the medication?
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:25 PM   #8 
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Hydrogen peroxide is an effective dechlorination agent for free chlorine.
Sodium thiosulfate will still react with copper sulfate but is safe with dyes and antibiotics
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:23 AM   #9 
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Let me clarify this I'm not saying done use Prime just done add it directly to the tank with Meds
If you use Prime as your water conditioner do it at 1/2 dose in a container before adding to aquarium.

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Old 10-15-2013, 03:08 PM   #10 
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Thanks for the further clarification. I never just add it directly to my tanks when doing water changes anyway.

I will use the 1/2 dose as you've recommended.

Thanks for all your help. It's quite difficult trying to find certain information online and I think I've scoured every single site that even so much as mentions the words oodinium/velvet trying to find out how to get rid of this frustrating parasite.
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