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Old 10-13-2010, 04:07 PM   #1 
cillianeris
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Fungal Infection?

My friends got me a betta for me after I took a gruesome standardized exam to replace my old fish (long story short, he jumped out of his tank during one of the very few instances when I left the lid off). This was only five days ago.

This new fish Tiberius seemed to be fairly active when I first got him, and he seemed to be just his cheery old self last night when I went to bed. However, when I woke up this morning, I found a large patch of pale grey/white on his back and near his tail. It is not fluffy or fuzzy. His top fin seems to have clamped together and he barely moves. He also chooses to stay only at the surface.

Now here's my set up:
He is housed in a five-gallon tank (friends got this for me with the fish) by himself. It has a filter but no heater. I have been monitoring the temperature, however, and it has always been steady around 80 degrees. Since he seemed like he barely had the energy to move, I turned off the filter so avoid further turbulence in the water that may exhaust him more; I hope that was the right thing to do.

Since like I said there's a filter, and I've only just gotten him, I haven't had the chance to do any water changes yet. I had planned on doing that tomorrow actually.

I usually feed him Hikari's betta pellets (about 3-4/day), which both Tiberius and my previous fish seemed to enjoy. I have also fed him a freeze-dried bloodworm once since I've gotten him as a treat. He seemed to like it fine.

I suspect that Tiberius has some sort of fungal infection from my very superficial knowledge of betta diseases (my previous fish was completely healthy for the 11 months I've kept him), but there's no fuzz growing from his white/grey patch. I tried to take a picture, but it doesn't quite show, and I would rather not stress him further.

What is wrong with him? What should I do? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:11 PM   #2 
vaygirl
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I think columnaris can start as a patch on their back, kinda like a saddle? You can google it to see if it matches up.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:32 PM   #3 
cillianeris
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Not sure how helpful these are, as my camera leaves much to be desired, but I did manage to snap some pictures without resorting to
flash photography.

The white patch covers a large part of his back and behind; it seems like he can't move that part of his body either.


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Old 10-13-2010, 05:18 PM   #4 
Adastra
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That's the saddleback pattern often identified with columnaris--he probably was sick before you got him. The best thing to do would be to find some way to lower the temperature--bacteria become extremely active around 80 degrees. Is there a cooler place you can keep him where he would be around 76 degrees?

I would put him in a different container with fresh, dechlorinated water and purchase a broad spectrum antibiotic for gram negative infections, such as API's Triple Sulfa, Seachem's Kanaplex, or Mardel's Maracyn Two. Before treating your fish with antibiotics, I always recommend reading this article: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa084 it will help you understand how antibiotics work, how to use them responsibly, and the risks involved.

You will want to do this in a different container, such as a rubbermaid/sterilite plastic storage bin (2-4 gallon containers of this variety are only $3 at target or wal mart), because antibiotics will ruin the bacterial colony in your filter.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:18 PM   #5 
cillianeris
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Thank you so much for the help, but unfortunately it was too late for Tiberius as he passed away sometime during my exam in the last hour or two.

I guess my question now is how to properly disinfect my tank/filter/decorations so that my next fish (probably way down the road) wouldn't get sick.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:25 PM   #6 
Adastra
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You can simply scour the tank with hot water and let everything dry out, since you don't want to get a fish for awhile. If you want to be extra careful, I prefer to use potassium permanganate to disinfect if I feel the need to use chemicals, the fun thing about it is that you can tell the strength of the solution based on the intensity of the color--dark purplish pink for about an hour will kill just about everything--then simply rinse with hot water, fill up the tank, add an overdosage of dechlorinator and let it sit for awhile. The dechlorinator will detoxify any PP residue. Pour it out and rinse one more time really well before you set it up to put your fish back in. You could do the same thing with a mild bleach solution, but I perfer PP because it's easy and doesn't have that awful smell.

When you're considering getting another fish, you should set up the tank and do a fishless cycle on it before you bring your new fish home. It's easier than the fish-in method, in my opinion, and is gentler on the fish.

Last edited by Adastra; 10-13-2010 at 11:29 PM.
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