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Old 05-28-2011, 05:45 PM   #1 
jenwif
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Crowntail with velvet?

Information about my crowntail betta:

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Tank: Aquatic Nature Cocoon 6 = 31,5 l (8,4 gallon) with live plants and shrimp gravel (small rounded black grains). No tankmates yet.
Temp: 27-28 C (80 – 82 F), heater.
Filter: Eden 501 outer canister filled with foam filter pads, that green stringy stuff (both mechanical) and efhi substrate (biological). Tank is fully cycled and I’m careful not to disturb the filter media. I have angled the outflow so it should not bother him, there’s only a slight current in the water and he can hover effortlessly anywhere he wants.
Water parameters: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 40 nitrate (I have a lot of plants, trying to aquascape, and fertilize so this is sufficent). PH is 7.5 – 8 (which I know is quite high but I rather have him grow used to it then start messing with it). KH is a stable 6 and GH is 8.
Chemistry: I treat the water with Sera Aquatan befone water changes (which I do once a week, about 30%) and a little Tetra SafeStart. Occationaly I use Easy Life liquid filter media because it makes the water crispy crystal clear, and it also promotes fish health.
Food: Ocean Atisons Betta food, 3 pellets in the morning and 3 in the evening and every other day he gets a small pinch of bloodworms, dapnia or cyclops for lunch and sometimes instead of a pellet meal. I fast him sundays and monday morning he gets half a boiled deshelled pea instead of breakfast. He gobbles up everything he is served.
Age: About 6 months according to the store. Seems about right, he doesn’t look very old. I’ve had him for 2 months of those 6 and his fins have grown considerably since then. He's a real beauty normally.
Behaviour: He has been quite a character from day one, he is super friendly and not afraid of anything – investigates everything I do in the tank closely, even to the point that you have to make sure ha has’nt swam into your hand/net/whatever before you take it out. Bites my arm to, scares the heck out of you if you're not prepared! Greets me every time I enter the room and engage in the begging dance.
He is always swimming around seemingly happy and invent new ”games” like making loops around the heater, surfing the filter flow or testing new tunnels between the plant stems. Builds bubblenests as well.

----

And now my little guy is sick! I was heartbroken to see him just lying on the gravel for three days, he only went up for air and to eat – then he immediately sank back down and looked out of it. A lot of times I was almost certain he was dead. His swimming seemed a little strained, but there was no problem as to orientation like SBD.

I stopped feeding him after the first day and tried to diagnose it, but it’s really hard. There’s no parasite visible to the naked eye, but his eyes are a bit cloudy and I imagine they are popping out a bit more then normal. He wasn’t bloated, scales and fins where normal.
It is not ick, fungus or dopsy according to my research. Only things I feel it MIGHT be is a bacterial infection or velvet. The last one is hard to tell though, because he is naturally torqoise-blue with a metallic sheen, and he has had little rust-colored patches on the pectoral finns since I got him.

Also, when I bought the medicine later on and mentioned it might be velvet to my LFS they said they’ve never seen a betta catch that, only other species. I live in Sweden (I am swedish, so please excuse spelling/grammar errors), and I’ve learned keeping bettas is not nearly as common here as it is in the states. When I googled ”velvet” in english instead of swedish I found that it is in fact NOT unusual for a betta to get. But the pictures of bettas with velvet, and the description of the ”gold grains” put me off it. I can only se some rusty patches on him, no grains except for his nomal coloring with shimmering blueish-green.

Anyway, I couldn’t stand it, so I eventually put him in a hospital tank (with a heater set a little higher then normal) and started medicating with esha 2000 which is broad and should cover bacteria, fungus and finrot. I also added aquarium salt, the recommended dosage with sick fish, and half an indian almond leaf on the surface. Turnes the lights completely off. No effect, he just kept lying there.

After taking photos of him with the flash on I noticed that the rusty patches is now on his belly as well, and some on the cheeks. I rushed and bought Protozin instead, and when adding the initial dose to the water (I diluted it in a jar of tank water before) he started twitching a bit and rubbing his belly on the glass floor. No darting around, just a slight twitch in his body.

And when 12h had passed I had my old betta back! I’m 3 days in to the cure and he is swimming around the hospital tank, eating and begging, flaring at the camera and building bubble nests like there’s no tomorrow. There is still a little twitch now and then, though.

But, now I’m scared to eventually put him back in his tank. Was is velvet, or something else? In that case, is it still in the old tank waiting? How do I know
if the velvet is gone? He still has the rusty patches on him, they have not decreased, should’nt they disappear? Any other advice?

Please help a dedicated betta mom! I’m sorry the text is so long, I didn’t want to miss anything. He is my first betta and it gave me such joy that he was happy and healthy with me (he lived in a d*mn jar at the LFS). As you can see, I’ve put a lot of work into making a good home for him.

Here’s some pictures of him in the hospital tank, taken today. The last one is without flash (so you can see why I had problems finding anyting):
http://bayimg.com/kAiIjaAdF
http://bayimg.com/kAIikAadf
http://bayimg.com/kaIIlAadf

And this is before he got sick:
http://bayimg.com/kAiIOaadf




Thanks so much/ Jennie
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:10 AM   #2 
jenwif
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Here's another pic of his belly. It MUST be velvet, right?

http://bayimg.com/gaIkGAadf
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Old 05-29-2011, 12:37 PM   #3 
turtle10
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That definitely looks like velvet to me. I am not sure what you should do about his main tank. I think the only way to truly disinfect it would be to completely clean the filter and replace the filter pads, though that will ruin the nitrogen cycle. Clean everything in very very warm water as good as your can also.

Somethings that stood out to me:
-Though sometimes recommended, peas should never be fed to Bettas. Bettas are carnivores and should not eat vegetables. It will do more harm than good. Daphnia is a better option.
-Also, 40 is very high for nitrates. Nitrates should be lower than 20 ppm.
-I noticed you said no tank mates "yet". Does this mean you are planning on getting some? If so, the only tank mates possible would be some shrimp or snails.
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:34 PM   #4 
jenwif
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Thank you for your advice.

I know bettas are carnivores...but everyone, and I mean everyone including people who breed bettas, told me that they should be fed half a pea once a week. It's supposed to help clear the digestive system since bettas easily get constipated, works like a sort of fish laxative. So I'm ambivalent on that one.

As I said, I know nitrates are high - but I tested the water the day after I fertilized, and it usually goes down to 15-20 after a day or two. Even so, 40 should not be toxic. I have A LOT of plants, including ground-covering ones, and with just the betta in the tank they need extra fertilization once a week. I use PMDD btw, I'm not on CO2 yet.

I was planning on getting him some shrimps (hence the shrimp gravel) later on. Even though he'll probably munch on some of them. My LFS wanted me to get a couple of otos, but I think it's rather small for that plus my betta seems to be the kind who likes it alone (he is flaring and trying to pick a fight with everything from some leaves to the thermometer).

Anyway, I'm also leaning towards completely taking apart the main tank and disinfecting it. Darn it, took almost 2 months to cycle it :(
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:38 PM   #5 
turtle10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenwif View Post
Thank you for your advice.

I know bettas are carnivores...but everyone, and I mean everyone including people who breed bettas, told me that they should be fed half a pea once a week. It's supposed to help clear the digestive system since bettas easily get constipated, works like a sort of fish laxative. So I'm ambivalent on that one.
Daphnia is a much better, safer, healthier alternative to peas and will clear the system just as well

As I said, I know nitrates are high - but I tested the water the day after I fertilized, and it usually goes down to 15-20 after a day or two. Even so, 40 should not be toxic. I have A LOT of plants, including ground-covering ones, and with just the betta in the tank they need extra fertilization once a week. I use PMDD btw, I'm not on CO2 yet.

I was planning on getting him some shrimps (hence the shrimp gravel) later on. Even though he'll probably munch on some of them. My LFS wanted me to get a couple of otos, but I think it's rather small for that plus my betta seems to be the kind who likes it alone (he is flaring and trying to pick a fight with everything from some leaves to the thermometer).

Anyway, I'm also leaning towards completely taking apart the main tank and disinfecting it. Darn it, took almost 2 months to cycle it :(
Ugh, I don't even know what to tell you about the tank. Having had to cycle myself, I would be pretty annoyed if I had to restart it.
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