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Old 12-29-2009, 10:34 AM   #1 
Yuuki
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Ongoing finrot or fungus?

After dealing with this for nearly FIVE MONTHS now, I still haven't figured out what it is or how to deal with it.

My crowntail nearly always has thin, white strings coming from the ends of his rays. It looks like white hair, but when it falls off and floats around the water... it looks more like mucous. And a few of the thinner rays occasionally get covered in a white film; this stays for a week or so, falls off and leaves that ray shorter. The white strings also seem to slowly make his rays shorter.


Now, during all this... he has acted normal. However, he seems to be slowing down now, he's not quite his normal self. Still eating and pooping, but I think this stuff is finally getting to him.


Over the past 5 months I have tried:

-The simple salt, heat and clean water: No results.
-Maracyn 2: Got rid of this stuff, but it came back 3 days later.
-Tetracycline: Same as the Maracyn.
-JFE: Seems to control it somewhat.
-Maroxy: Again, controls it somewhat. (Basically meaning I see less of the white gunk while using this.)


His tank:
-5 gallons.
-Cleaned 100% once a week. (Currently doing 50% changes in between these.)
-Ph is a stable 7.6.
-Ammonia is 0.
-Heated to 79 degrees.
-Currently using Aquarium Salt at a tablespoon per 5 gallons.


I'm at a total loss, and honestly... almost ready to give up on him and just see what happens. Any ideas of what's going on here? Anything else I can try?
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:03 PM   #2 
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My crowntail has the same thing, exept it's green not white. I gave him a salt bath and it worked, but a week later it came back.
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:38 PM   #3 
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Sounds to me like a columnaris due to the fact that you are saying there is rapid fin loss and stringy white material found on your betta. This is a bacterial infection that is similar to a fungus. This bacteria is said to desire higher temperatures in the high 70s...lowering the temperature is said to help reduce the growth as around 76 and higher is where it reproduces the best. It is best NOT to heat the tank higher then normal just in case it is this bacteria, because you are improving its ability to grow rather than impairing it. (heating the tank up is useful in parasitic removal in their non dormant stages). As the fins fall off a release of this bacteria occurs; therefore, more frequent water changes should be done to keep the bacterial population low.

I don't know if you can find this product but in my fish health course I have learned about columnaris and at the moment I am reading my chapter on it. For non food fish it says that Furanace or also called "furanase" is the best product to try when the onset of the bacteria is severe, as it has been proven the most effective of all treatments. My text book says to Treat at 1.5mg/L for one hour for 1 to 3 days...but the bottle you buy it from will probably have a specific dose on it for that product.

I personally have never used this product, but the text seems to say it's pretty effective, but you have to be careful with the dose it says.

ref: Textbook of Fish Health - Dr. George Post

Last edited by JamieTron; 12-29-2009 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:33 PM   #4 
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I actually said that the fin loss is slow... he's lost very little finnage over a 5 month period. Columnaris would have spread and killed him by now. I'm certain there is ZERO chance that this is Columnaris.

Columnaris is also more patchy and generally doesn't start or stay strictly on the fins. Plus, I've already dosed two antibiotics that would've cured it.



For the longest time, I thought it was a problem with my water. But I've since gotten 3 more bettas and none of them are having this issue. Is it possibly something wrong with his slime coat?
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:55 PM   #5 
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I think you should post a picture, is this possible?

I don't think you should rule out columnaris completely...where did you get your info on it? A lot of aquarist descriptions are general and do not go into great detail about most disorders. You should always read extra info besides just web pages..science articles and books give better descriptions on disorders. I have covered it in most of my aquaculture course and it is not always how you described above. A lot of our Arctic char we raised had this disorder and half of the cases it did not start at the mouth...and it definitely did not kill all of them quickly, most were euthanized before they died on their own. Slime like gunk in the tank is common with this disorder...it is quite nasty.

It could be a fungus but real fungus is pretty rare in an aquarium unless there was initial injury or illness causing a weaken immune system, the hyphae of a fungus have to be able to penetrate the skin in some manner. Technically a lot of your other treatments would have worked for fungus as well. With fungus it could have been a problem with the slime coat, yes. That is a possibility, when conditioning water in the tank the conditioner also usually has some stuff to help the mucous coating of the fish, which should help a little.

But if you really don't think it's this bacteria, I don't know what else to say...it's either fungus or columnaris that I can think of. Either way it is probably due to a compromised immune system on your betta's part, try to strengthen his immune system with clean water and a well balanced diet.

I don't have any other treatments in mind, the ones you used and the one I suggested are all I know of...but keep researching I guess.

But you should really post a photo though if you can
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:52 PM   #6 
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I've got an older photo of this stuff up on another site... let's see if I can find it.


I've been lowering his temperature some to see what happens. It was 77 all last night, going to drop it down to 76 tonight. So we'll see if this stuff is just as bad, worse, or better in cooler temps soon.

The only thing I can connect this to... is a change in my water conditioner. I started seeing this stuff about a week after changing from NovAqua+ to Aquasafe. My petstore stopped stocking the NovAqua.


As for a picture, this is the best I've got of his fins:


That was... 2 months ago. That's the worst I've seen it get, and that was the only time it was actually visible on camera. The usual strings of it are much thinner, not so clumpy and not gray. They're really only visible from certain angles and in certain light.

I'm sorry if I'm a little snippy... I've just been at this so long that it's really driving me insane.

Last edited by Yuuki; 12-30-2009 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:59 PM   #7 
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Oh that's okay, I understand

I have been reading my book over the day trying to find anything that seems the same...no luck atm. I'll ask my boyfriend tomorrow what he thinks, he majored in aquaculture, I only minored so he may have a better idea. If I see my lab insrucor I'll ask him about it as well.

I'll try to help you figure it out, hopefully someone will know

It could be due to the change hrmm, I have never really had to switch before so I am not sure what effects they have hrmmm
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:36 PM   #8 
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hey do you know if there are chemical differences between the water conditioners? have you looked at ingredients if they have them and how they differ? If they are the same we can probably rule out that as the cause, but if they are different perhaps that could in fact effect your little guy.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:54 PM   #9 
Yuuki
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Sadly, NovAqua doesn't have it's ingredients listed anywhere, so I can't compare the two. Eh, I guess I'll buy a bottle of it online and see if it helps to change back to that.

Cooler water seems to make this stuff worse. It's very thin strings in warmer water, but in cooler water... I get what you see in the picture I posted. It looked very similar to that this morning.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:14 PM   #10 
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JFE seems to have this under control again. It's still there, just not as bad. He seems to be acting like his normal self again. But that will change as soon as I have to take the JFE out again.

Another bit of information I skipped over. Every week... he grows this little white spot on his left pectoral fin. It's about the size of a spot caused by ich, but I'm certain it's not that. It always grows in the same exact spot, stays there for about 5-6 days, falls off, and then comes back a week later. Don't know if that is connected to this stuff or not, but I figured I'd mention it.


I've ordered a bottle of NovAqua+, it should be here around... Thursday. Guess we'll see what happens.
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