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Old 06-18-2011, 02:35 AM   #1 
omgitslph
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Question The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Columnaris

Or what was thought to be Columnaris. Basically a few days ago I noticed some white stuff on my betta, Blue Eyes Black Betta, and treated him with some Primafix and called it a day. Fast forward and I notice it back so I clean his tank and it got a bit worse. So I took pictures of it and posted them to my other thread for my other betta. It got worse through out the night and was diagnosed as Columnaris so I ran to the store this morning to buy some Maracyn I & II only to find out that the package uses a 10 gal tank for treatment (why a hospital tank would that large is beyond me). So instead of risking me trying to dose out what would be a good dose in my mind I cleaned out a 10 gal tank that was out of commission for a few years and got him in there. I went to work without treating him so he wouldn't get too stressed. When I got home I saw he was magically cured! What was it? Was this really Columnaris? Should I still treat him with the Maracyn I & II still? Basically what should I do from here as I'm confused?

Housing
What size is your tank? Originally 1 gal QT tank, but moved into 10 gal QT tank for treatment.
What temperature is your tank? 78-79
Does your tank have a filter? No.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? No.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 4 pellets once a day.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? 1-2 a week (yeah, I have to bump it up a bit x_x)
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? AQ Salt.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Didn't test anything.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Covered in white filmy stuff.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Few days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Primafix, then nothing.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.
How old is your fish (approximately)? About a year.

Pic from when I first noticed.


A few hours later.


No pic of it being completely cleared up.
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Old 06-18-2011, 03:50 AM   #2 
LeroyTheBetta
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I really don't have advice nor enough experience to say what is/was on your fish..... but my first thought was either a fungus or excess slime coat sloughing off. If you say it's all gone now, my GUESS is excess slime coat.

Just wondering.... you said you add aq salt when you do water changes. Do you add salt all the time so that your fish is always in salt? I believe salt actually promotes a bit of extra slime coat as it's a bit of an irritant to the betta.

And just a suggestion, but instead of feeding once a day, 4 pellets, I'd maybe feed 2 times a day, 3 pellets each meal. So, instead of one bigger meal, he gets a couple smaller meals which will be easier on his digestive system. Just like humans, a several smaller meals is healthier than one or 2 big ones.

Anyway, hopefully he's all better now! Also, those are fantastic, clear photos of your fish!

Last edited by LeroyTheBetta; 06-18-2011 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:40 AM   #3 
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My fish had columnaris (Zippy) and she looked like that at first but then it got all fuzzy and it got really big. If it went away, it probably wasn't columnaris. It was probably just a fungus or something. We'll keep our fingers crossed that was all it was!
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Old 06-18-2011, 01:31 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeroyTheBetta View Post
Just wondering.... you said you add aq salt when you do water changes. Do you add salt all the time so that your fish is always in salt? I believe salt actually promotes a bit of extra slime coat as it's a bit of an irritant to the betta.

...

Anyway, hopefully he's all better now! Also, those are fantastic, clear photos of your fish!
I just started the salt after I did the last water change (due to it coming back) since I just bought it for my other fish. So I don't think it was that, but who knows. I'm just convinced he was faking sick to get a bigger home now. I'll watch him for about a week or so and then make that his permanent home and maybe section it off for another fish since I'd feel bad moving him to anything else have he has tasted the freedom known as 10 gallons.


and thanks. :D i use a Nikon D80 with a 18-135mm lens so I can get those close up shots. I'm a photo nerd as well as a fish nerd. :)
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:39 PM   #5 
Here Fishy Fishy Fishy
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FYI: Salt will cause the flexibacter columnaris to 'lose its grip' on the fish... literally! You may have caught it early enough... watch for signs of internal infection. Keep the M1 & M2 handy, just in case (they should be used together, btw... and the salt treatment can continue for up to ten days).

Good luck! :D
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:30 AM   #6 
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Okay well it's starting to come back weeks later. :/ I just noticed it right now as I'm going to bed. I'll check on him when I wake up before my dentist appointment. How do I get rid of extra slime coat on a fish to make sure it's that before I start dosing out Maracyn I & II out on this poor fellow.

Will post pics if needed, but they're hard to see since he's in a 10 gal and now a 1 gal hospital like last time.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:36 AM   #7 
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Well, whatever it is it's persistent... Stress and excess salt can make bettas slough their slim coating. How long have you had him on Aq.Salt? Are you still using it? I noticed that you don't have a heater, was there a big temperature shift recently? What is the water change schedule (when he was in the 10gal and in 1gal)? When was the last time you changed his water (in 10gal and 1 gal)?

There are medications that help bettas with milky or shedding slime coat but water changes and a dose of Stress Coat should be all you need. In the 1 gal, perform daily 100% water changes for now.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:12 AM   #8 
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Been using AQ salt since the start of this thread, so 2 weeks.

No really big temp shift here since it's summer. He will have a heater as of today though. I just bought one a few days ago for him. :)

Water changes in the 1 gal were kept to every other day for the most part. I might of skipped ._.

Since the 10 gallon move (he's still chilling in there. About to get a partner and a divider if I deem him safe.) he gets a 50% change once a week and a 100% change once a week.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:41 PM   #9 
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Heater added. Currently heating up to a constant 80 degrees. :)
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:58 PM   #10 
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What concentration of salt are you at?

I would set the heater to 78* just in case it is bacterial. Bacteria thrive at higher temps and 78 is still perfectly comfortable for a betta.

How does it look today? Better, worse?
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