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Old 07-22-2011, 12:42 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Unhappy Help!!! Betta has mold on fin!!

I know it's not really mold, but that is what it looks like. it has a white puff of furry looking mold like gunk on his fins. I was treating for fin rot and next thing I know, his tank is cloudy and he has this stuff on him. I was treating with MELAFIX... recommended by the professional HS drop out at the pet store that was busy changing the rodent bedding.... and I also added a live plant at the same time... hmmm sounds like a bad idea thinking back on it... anyways, I need to know what I can do for my finny friend whom we have had for atleast three years now. He is still eating and playful... but I know this is gonna be tough. So please, I need to know what I can do. Step by step is good. Oh, and his home is a little kit tank.. 1.5 gal, with little bubble filter system and light. Not much smaller than my apartment, and much bigger than the little cup he came in. I am aware that he should upgrade to a two bedroom, but right now not possible. I will try to attach a picture... excuse the poor quality, but it is the white-ish snail egg looking glob on the bottom of his fins... He is in a jar right now because I am soaking his entire tank in vinegar... help?

Last edited by Ringo; 07-22-2011 at 12:49 AM. Reason: unable to add pic... but I belive it may be cotton wool syndrome...
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:52 AM   #2 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Pluto, North Carolina [ mountain region ]
first, NEVER. take pet store advice, ALWAYS confirm it here. they rarely ever know what they're saying or doing D:
I think that's the one that can be deadly to them :/
though it may not be. you should post this in the disease and emergency, not chat. they can help you a lot more.
you also NEVER use medicine unless it is the completely and total ultimate LAST resort. fresh water would have cleaned the fin rot right up fine and safely, or FRESHWATER ///auqarium/// salt by API if it was REALLY needed.
this new thing sounds like a fungus. I'm searching for the proper name.
clean water and API's /fresh water/ /aquarium/ salt sounds like a good place to start though. read the directions on the package. it must be fresh water aquarium salt, nothing else. I'll update with more in a bit ^-^;

also do you have tank info? size, water treatment, how much water you change during a typical water change and how often?
do you know levels like ammonia by any chance? ^-^;

it may be called cotton wool disease but I'm not positive.
"Your description sounds like you may have cotton wool disease, which is very serious and needs to be treated promptly. Cotton wool is produced by a Gram-negative bacterium called Flexibacter columnaris (it's a bacteria not fungus) Keep the water clean and it is suggested in my betta book here, to add fresh water aquarium salt."

also do you know the water temperature? is it heated? if it's not heated and you don't know the temp, try to get the room temp. it will be lower than room temperature, but I'm not sure how much. it gives a base idea at least.

Last edited by inkrealm; 07-22-2011 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:04 AM   #3 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Pluto, North Carolina [ mountain region ]
"Flexibacter columnaris


Also known as; Cotton-Wool, Cotton-Mouth, Flexibacter, Columnaris, Mouth Fungus.


Often mistaken for a fungal infection because of its mold-like lesions, Columnaris is a common bacterial infection in cultured fish, particularly livebearing fish and catfish. Its name is derived from columnar shaped bacteria, which are present in virtually all aquarium environments.

When fish are stressed by poor water quality, poor diet, or even handling and shipping, they become prone to bacterial infections. Columnaris enters the fish through the its gills, mouth, and even through small skin wounds. The disease can spread rapidly in nets, holding containers, food or any number of other means. It is highly contagious.

In chronic cases, lesions will appear slowly and can take many days before killing your fish. An acute infection can spread quickly and will often kill off an entire fish population, sometimes within a few hours.The disease progresses quickly in high water temperatures but, unfortunately, lowering the temperature will not prevent the eventual outcome. Columnaris can be both external and internal.

External Symptoms:

White spots ( paleness) will appear first on the mouth and the edge of fins and scales. Later the lesions become brownish/yellow and may have a red tinge around them.
The mouth will form a growth that looks like cotton (or moldy looking) which eats away at the infected area.
The fins begin to erode from the edges inward.
The area near the dorsal fin will develope a lesion which has the appearance of a saddle.
The affected skin becomes covered with fungus.
The filaments in the gills begin to erode and the gills start to move rapidly trying to obtain oxygen.
While less common, the infection can be internal which displays no external symptoms.


Change water
Vacuum gravel (bacteria thrive on organic wastes)
Add aquarium salt (enhances gill function)


Quarantine new fish for two weeks
Maintain high water quality
Provide fish with a nutritionally balanced diet
Always disinfect all equipment before each use to avoid spreading the bacterium.
Remember, a proper diet and maintaining good water quality in general will keep the fish from being stressed and therefore reduce its susceptibility to infection.

Last edited by inkrealm; 07-22-2011 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:13 AM   #4 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Pluto, North Carolina [ mountain region ]
if you get more info or need any more help, please feel free to post here or in the disease and emergencies forums, I hope this is useful, I've never dealt with this illness myself D:
please keep us posted if you can on how the little guy goes :D <3
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:48 PM   #5 
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if it's JUST on his fin, don't freak out. do a 100% water change if you can, and add a little aquarium salt, one teaspoon per gallon premixed in a cup and slowly added over the course of an hour or so. that should get rid of it right there. happened to Cup a few times when he'd rip a fin and i'd not catch it. x:
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:38 PM   #6 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Bee tee dubs, because Im too lazy to read these huge posts and replies...

MELAFIX does not treat anything.

Melafix can help heal wounds once the injury/disease has been cured with other* medicines.

Melafix does not and will not treat or cure columnaris, fin rot, etc. They need gram-neg medicines. Melafix is melacula oil (sp?), aka tea tree oil, an antiseptic.

It WILL*, however, help regrow fins, scales, etc if they have gone missing. Melafix should be administered in 1/4 the dose or less for labyrinth fish, as per my own research and experience.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:19 PM   #7 
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Location: Louisiana
...any chance its just a case of Ich?
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:27 PM   #8 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Ich is many dots all over the fish, this is "fuzzy" and almost glob-sounding in nature, like flex.
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:31 AM   #9 
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stop do not use vinigur, go directly to wall mart or the nearest fish supply shop and get some treatment for this problem, cant think of what its called but its there in the fish isle cheap and is very effective it clears it up pretty fast. viniger could very well kill the fish
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:15 AM   #10 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Using vinegar to clean a tank (when done in a partial vinegar/water mix) is fine. Rinse it over and over, and its fine.

it sticks less and remains in the tank less than a dillute bleach solution to clean a tank.

It is fine, actually.
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bacteria, poor water, sad, sick, unhealthy

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