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Old 03-02-2011, 02:48 PM   #1 
BlacksmithJAM
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Royal Blue Betta- Diagnosis?

I have had 2 Blue Royal Betta for 3 years now. Sushi and Sashimi (male and female respectively). This morning Sashimi passed away from conditions I tried to use different methods to help her with. Sushi suffers from buoyancy problems, but this happened when we moved him to a new elevation.

Sashimi was a very very active blue female Betta. I went on a business trip last month for 3 weeks, leaving the Bettas in the care of my wife. When I returned home, the water was nasty and algae had built up. The bowls were 2.5 gallon. I immediately changed out their water and cleaned their bowls (I have done the same before and it always cheered them up). This is the first time that the bowls have hit this level of ill repair. When I had them back into their bowls, Sashimi was lethargic. She was slow to eat and was staying at mid-level of the bowl.

I kept an eye on her and tried several different methods to try to sure her of any possible illnesses. She slowly digressed to staying at the top of he bowl, and a long strand of white "stringy" material appeared from her bowels. It was 3" in length and she developed a white fuzzy spot between her gill and mouth. She lost the majority of her deep blue color and turned gray within 2 days. This development was 2 days ago, and last night she stayed vertical at the top of the water. This morning I found her in her favorite sleeping spot, but she had passed away. I have never seen anything like this, nor found anything to explain it.

Any clue of what this was and how to treat it? I will not replace her for some time, but when I do, I wish to know what I can do to save them.

Sushi does not suffer from the same issues and he is very active, even though he has SBD, which is not curable. He eats fine and still works on his bubble nest from the leaves of the plant. He can not stay at any level of the water, but sinks to the bottom. He swims and retrieves floating food. but when he stops, he sinks. He uses the leaves of the plants that float near the top to work on his nest and will swim down to bottom to sleep.

Both of these Bettas were the most active and interesting Bettas I have seen. Sashimi was very active and did interesting tricks (something I have never seen a Betta do).

I Know water temp is very important, but we did not use a heater pad, but they never showed signs of water temp problems, nor poisoning.

Blacksmith
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:56 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Welcome to the forum and sorry you are having problems.....

Sometimes when a fish goes from really bad conditions to fresh clean water suddenly....it can cause nitrate and/or pH shock issues.....especially with older fish with compromised immune response from poor water quality and/or too low or high water temp.....

When I hear the sign/symptoms of excess slime and fuzz after a water change-this make me think that maybe not enough dechlorinator was used or some type of irritant was in the water....sometimes back to back 50% water only changes with a little extra dechlorinator will help or rule the water out as the problem

With the male-have your tried Epsom salt for his swim bladder problem? sometimes it can help, however, you did post that it was genetic related? or not curable? making me think that perhaps he has suffered from swim bladder since you have owned him.....

A few questions....what is the water temp, how much and how often do you make water changes, additives used, filtration, live plants....

Again welcome to the forum and sorry for your loss.....
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:44 PM   #3 
BlacksmithJAM
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Water temp stays around 74-78 (winter months it is around 74-76, summer 76-78)

We use the top fin water treatment and let the water age for 1 week before use (with a live plant with Bacteria Pack inside and replacement stones) before it is used to change out the water. it is changed 1 time per week with ~25% change 3 days before the 100% changing. I have not used a dechlorinator or another form of water treatment besides the Top Fin water treatment. I have not used a water tester to check the water either. The only time the water was not changed on a schedule was while I was on my business trip for 3 weeks. I may have rushed the changing of water, but it was sitting for 4 weeks (not fresh tap water).

For the male Betta, All of his brothers and sisters suffered the same problems when they were moved to different elevations. He did not have Bladder issues until I moved him from 500 feet to 1000 feet. The brothers and sisters died very quickly when the caretakers moved them up to 2,000 feet (valley to mountains). The female did not react the same way, as she was store bought. The male was from a breeder, the female was bought to match color and to be side-by-side tank partners (not for breeding and in separate tanks).

I do not use a filter system nor air stone? I have 2 different types of Living plants (one large round leaf and one with bacteria pack that is long leafed...sorry I do not remember the names ATM).

I have a treatment tank that I used to try the Epsom salt treatment for 8 days, with no improvement in manners or condition.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:07 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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How much Epsom salt did you use and did you add any tannins with the Epsom salt treatment....with some swim bladder issues- long term higher doses can sometimes help make them more comfy and its good for the live plants...lol.....it almost sounds like a blown swimbladder and true not much you can do.....

Even with the water aging for a time-the change/swing with nitrates/pH can be an issue and with the older Bettas it seems to be harder on them IME
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:26 PM   #5 
BlacksmithJAM
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For Epsom treatment, I used 1/2 ts for the half gallon tank. I did not use Tannins or other additives when I did the treatment. I can try to treat him within his home tank, with a controlled change of water.

As for the symptoms of the female, I am wondering about the white "stringy" material that was ~3" long from her bowels. I tried to remove it, but touching it caused her to "freak out" which is not her normal reaction. I left it be hoping that whatever it was would pass. But she developed a white fuzzy spot near her gills and mouth and passed away within 2 days of the material showing up. Morning time 2 days ago the stringy material appeared, that night she had the spot near her mouth. I am wondering if it was a form of a internal parasite.

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Old 03-03-2011, 09:16 AM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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Try higher dosage of Epsom salt 2tsp/gal along with 100% water changes for about 10 days.....easier to treat in a smaller QT like container that can be floated in the heated tank to maintain water temp in the 76F range

Tannins-I only use naturally dried and fallen from the tree-Oak leaf (10-12 crushed/gal) But-Indian almond leaf will work (1-med/lrg crushed/gal)

I pre-mix my treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-add the Epsom salt and tannins-so that the Epsom salt can dissolve and tannins can steep-the longer they steep the more tannins released the darker the water the better the Betta likes it....shake well before use and use this pre-mix treatment water for the 100% daily water changes in QT.....

To me the slime on the female sounds like her reaction to an irritant of some type...either chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals, poison of some type, toxic substance that fell in the water...etc.....nitrate and/or pH shock....external parasites can cause excess slime production.....
Long stringy substance coming from her vent-could be sloughing of gut flora, internal parasite, however, fish nearly always have internal parasites and they will shed them on a regular basis, when a fish is near death some worms will expel themselves to look for another host....hard to say what you seen...but I don't think that was the reason for her death per se.......
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