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Old 09-11-2011, 08:44 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Virginia
What the...

I've recently moved my Aquabid orchid male in to the QT tank for unknown tail damage while living in my heavily planted tank. His tail is quite frayed, although he shows no signs of fin rot. As a side note, his all-black coloration has turned red in some areas, but none that have mysteriously dissapeared. That may not be relevant, but I wanted to give all the information I had.

A few minutes ago I fed him (and the female whose also in the tank) and he did the oddest thing I've ever seen a betta do. He ate his Omega One pellets without hesitation, swam idly near the top, and then expelled/coughed a white slimy fuzz looking substance from his gills. There was quite a substantial amount of it, too. There doesn't appear to be any more in there from what I can see, and he appears fine, although not terribly active.

The only other detail I can provide is that the tank is currently being treated with Methylene blue and a light dose of aquarium salt to aid in the recovery of his fins and combat the unkown illness.

Anyone have any ideas as to what this could be, or suggestions on how to combat it? I'm beyond baffled, and beginning to become worried. Thank you very much in advance for any insight offered.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:50 PM   #2 
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First off.. males and females will kill each other. They may be fine for a short while, but they don't live together. They need to be in their own tanks.
The red could be him changing colors.. sometimes they do that over time. If it's spots or streaks, it could be
Septicemia(Red Streaks)
•Symptoms: Bloody red streaks across the body and/or fins, lethargic, loss of apetite, clamped, gasping for air, bloated, ulcers.
•Treatment: Septicemia is caused by an internal bacterial infection. From what I’ve read, it can be due to compromised digestion as a result of rapid drops in temperature. Since Nitrite poisoning can also cause red streaks, check for that first. I do not know if it can be treated conservatively as I have never tried. Though it is not contagious, isolate sick fish. Perform daily 100% water changes. Treat with API Tetracycline, API Erythromiacin, Mardel’s Maracyn II OR Jungle’s Fungus Clear/Eliminator. If you are treating with something that does not contain Metronidoxole then combine the treatment with Jungle’s Anti-Parasite pellets. During treatment, use 1tsp/gal Aq.Salt and Stress Coat (as directed on bottle) to help prevent secondary infections.

But if he showing no other sign (and you didn't list any so it's highly doubtful that is it), may just be his coloring. I would stop the blue and salt... salt can hamper the growth of fins, it's used for the rot itself. Stress coat helps regrowth. And medicating fish that don't need it will get them sick.

The food thing.. I've seen other fish do it, I don't believe it's anything to worry about. Sounds like it's his pellet particles that he may have swallowed too fast and had gotten air when he swallowed them, expelling the particles as he "breathed out". Unsure if internal parasites causes that.

But seriously.. I would separate them asap..
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:16 PM   #3 
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I knew I should have included the words "glass divider" in my post... Of course they're separated. I learned long ago that males and females cannot co-exist when I began breeding and foolishly put them in a tank together for experimental purposes. In my defense, I was about 14 and didn't research things very much.

I've seen the red streaks, too. This is simply a change in coloration that I'm thinking is irrelevant. Black Orchids have a tendency to do that, so I hear. I just put it in case it was a key symptom of some ailment I'm unaware of.

I actually wasn't aware that salt hampered the development of fin growth, but will definitely be reading up on that. It makes sense, I guess the frequently used word combination of finrot and fin healing merged in my head, leading me to believe it aided in the recovery process of mangled fins. May I ask why you recommend discontinuing the use of Methylene blue?

Your food theory makes a lot of sense. I believe he gobbled two pellets at once when he coughed out that substance, so you may be right. I don't think internal parasites are expelled from the gills, atleast from what I've heard.

Thanks a ton for your swift reply, I'll be sure to keep you posted on his progress!
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