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Old 12-26-2012, 10:59 AM   #241 
LittleBlueFishlets
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Originally Posted by LebronTheBetta View Post
The gray will always appear first on the fins, correct? What if you cut out the infected part? Or will it be too risky and life threatening? There's no cure for this disease at all. Maybe taking the infected part away will somehow "rid" the disease from the fish?
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Originally Posted by LebronTheBetta View Post
Oh, okay. Dang it. /: So there's no possible cure at all? And can this happen to other fish? (Sorry if I missed it in the thread, I usually look at first and last pages.)
It's caused by a strain of Mycobacteria. The progression is very rapid. My new HM went from fine, to lethargic, to gray fins, to death in two days.... By the time the visible symptoms appeared, it was too late.

Mycobacteria, in general, is difficult to "cure," and this strain appears to be very aggressive.

Since it's bacterial, it can be spread to other fish. For some reason though, blue bettas seem to be most affected. In one of the previous posts, someone mentioned this might have something to do with the pigmentation of blue bettas. Something about their blue coloration makes them particularly susceptible to this strain of Mycobacteria.

(I'm wondering if OTHER colors are also affected, but maybe the symptoms are different. If the disease is slower-progressing in the other colors, there may be different signs. But this is just speculation on my part.)

I found a good article on Mycobacterial infections in fish: https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/even...factsheet/231/ (Published November 2011)

The article states: "Mycobacterial infections of all fish should be considered non-treatable. Although there are some research reports of aquarium fish responding to antibiotic therapy, individual fish have not been cured of the disease. Symptoms may resolve temporarily but often reappear when antibiotics are discontinued."

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 12-26-2012 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:53 PM   #242 
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I was perusing a copy of Amazonas magazine today and while reading an article entitled "The Endangered Cichlid Fishes of Lake Victoria, East Africa" came across a very small bit of information that may be pertinent to this discussion.
The gist of the article is that many of the cichlids from Lake Victoria have become extinct in the wild, and only exist in a breeding program that has the goal of maintaining viable populations of these fish.
One of the roadblocks to this program is that several "species have been diagnosed as carrying a potentially disease-causing Mycobacterium." The article goes on to say that young fish can manage the disease, but once senescence sets in their immune systems weaken, which often leads to disease, and that there is no Known cure for Mycobacteriosis.
One of the goals of the program is to reintroduce breeding populations of fish back into the wild, but the Mycobacterium presents an issue in that if it is not endemic to Lake Victoria they can't release possibly contaminated fish.
So, and this is stretching a bit, this disease may be from cichlids brought from a very closed environment and introduced to the hobby by breeders.
Or it may be the other way around, the Mycobateium may be from the hobby and there is a risk it might be introduced to the lake.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:18 PM   #243 
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Originally Posted by LittleBlueFishlets View Post
I think one of the issues is that the symptoms can vary a lot, which means it may not apparent that a fish is suffering specifically from Mycobacterium infection.

According to information in the link I posted above, bleach is NOT effective at killing Mycobacteria. It has a waxy coating that protects it. To kill Mycobacteria, a disinfectant, such as Lysol, is needed.

(This has me worried, since I think my male HM died from this. I cleaned the tank with bleach, and put my new HM into it. He became ill last night....)

But I still don't understand why this would affect primarily BLUE fish?
I got some new info so I'll be quoting several posts I think. Bleach will not kill it. Scraping the mineral deposits off and cleaning with HOSPITAL STRENGTH lysol type products ONLY!!! House lysol will NOT kill it. Let set for several weeks dry and you will be fine. Decor can be cleaned as long as it is not porous (is that spelled right???).
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:25 PM   #244 
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I'm afraid this fast-moving disease IS mycobacterium because there is a positive lab result. It is NOT fish TB though. According to one of my sources, there are supposedly only two strains of mycobacterium that affect aquarium fish, m. marinum and m. fortuitum. However, that particular source, while still offering outstanding advice, is also slightly out of date (published in 1998). Another more up to date book says there is also mycobacterium chelonae.

According to this book, any of the three mycos can cause the symptoms that we identify as fish TB (the wasting, the spinal deformity, the ulcers). There is an average incubation period of roughly 6 weeks before the onset of symptoms.

Although we have a positive diagnosis, I'm still very much perplexed by the symptoms caused and by the targeted fish. I feel like some more research still need to be done. What if we are facing a new strain of myco that exhibits entirely different symptoms? As Callistra noted, myco or fish TB is usually a slow-moving, wasting disease. This comes on and kills in usually 24 hrs.

It doesn't appear to be the "rot" that is killing the fish. Rather, since myco attacks internally with granulomas that attach to the stomach walls and other organs, it would appear an inner battle is taking place that we don't know about until it reaches critical. If a granuloma bursts and the infection reaches the bloodstream, this may cause the rapid downturn that we see. The rot or necrosis is most likely a side effect of the internal organs dying in what is probably an unpleasant manner.
EXACTLY!!! (not yelling :D). What we are seeing is basically the body giving up the fight.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:34 PM   #245 
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Oh I see where she said it was nontuberculous mycobacterium now.. She also said it wasn't confirmed because she didn't pay the cost for testing.. so I guess her fish has some strain of mycobacterium.

Just because the fish that had the rot also had a mycobacterium disease doesn't mean that was the bacteria that caused the rot. It's very common for fish that have NTM (and TB) to also contract secondary infections because of a weakened immune system. Reading back I also see Coppermoon said the rot was a secondary infection.

Until we get a bunch more people confirming that mycobacterium is present in every single case of this I still highly doubt that's the case because it is completely uncharacteristic of the disease process

And again I would like to reiterate despite Coppermoon's insistence, there is a cure for mycobacterium, it's just a long process and there's no guarantee of recovery. Especially in the case of Coppermoon's still healthy but potentially infected fish.. I'd be doing 2 weeks of Kanaplex with Vitachem and seeing how it turns out, instead of just assuming all the currently healthy stock are going to die.
ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS!!! THIS CAME FROM THE FREAKING LAB!!! I'm not posting heresay...this is what the LAB TECHS told me! My fish were EXPLODING WITH IT AND I WAS TREATING WITH Kanaplex!!! What I didn't confirm was the STRAIN OF MYCOBACTERIUM...THE FREAKING LAB SAID IT WAS MYCOS!!! Guess they don't have a clue what they are talking about......

Email DIRECTLY FROM THE LAB:

Our findings are as follows:

Number of fish received: 5 live, 1 dead on arrival
Number of fish examined: 5

Gross external examination:
Mild lesions on body (1 of 5 fish)
Moderate apparent necrosis and severe ragged appearance of fins (5 of 5 fish)

Microscopic examination:
Heavy granulomas on skin scrape (1 of 5 fish)
Mild gill congestion (1 of 5 fish)
Mild excess mucus surrounding gills (4 of 5 fish)
Mild telangiectasia of gills (1 of 5 fish)
Light (2 of 5 fish) to heavy (2 of 5 fish) granulomas in liver
Light (2 of 5 fish) to heavy (2 of 5 fish) granulomas in spleen
Heavy granulomas in posterior kidney (3 of 5 fish)
Light (2 of 5 fish) to heavy (1 of 5 fish) granulomas in stomach
Heavy granulomas in intestine (2 of 5 fish)
Light granulomas in testes (1 of 5 fish)

Acid fast benchtop stain of skin, liver, and spleen: Positive

Bacterial cultures of brain and posterior kidney of 5 fish: Negative at 48 hours
Note: Brain and kidney were cultured for the presence of systemic bacteria other than Mycobacterium. Piscine Mycobacterium species often require 30+ days before growth is present in culture.

As discussed by phone, acid fast benchtop stains indicate presumptive Mycobacterium sp. and identification of myco species will not be pursued. (Tissues containing granulomas have been preserved and will be archived for ~1 month if you decided you would like to pursue speciation of myco.)

Excellent information on myco can be found in the publication “Mycobacterial Infections of Fish” (publication SRAC 4706 at https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/event/viewAllSheets/). Information on depopulation and disinfection is included in the pub. (Be aware that there is a lot of inaccurate information on mycobacteria (and other diseases) in fish on the internet.) For disposal of your fish, there is really no great way, other than maybe incineration, which is obviously difficult for most people. However, since you’re dealing with a relatively small number/mass of fish, after you euthanize them (if using MS-222, give them plenty of time to ensure they are dead!), you could soak them in full-strength bleach for several hours. Although it will not penetrate the fish well enough to “disinfect” the myco, it may help at least with some surface bacteria. You could then neutralize the bleach and place the fish into double- or triple-bagged, heavy duty ziptop bags and place them in the garbage.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:47 PM   #246 
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Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
What I am not understanding... Is this bacteria only able to affect blue betta splendens? Others coming into contact are not affected?
My last fish with any blue is on his way out, I expect he'll be gone when I get home, though not certain whether or not it would be the disease.. Any pictures of how to do necropsy and what to look for? Or anywhere to send the fish for a reasonable price (in Canada)?
All my fish (event the ones in the 55g at work) are infected. Not all fish will show signs of it, but will be carriers. I have 2 Serpae tetra are showing signs of having it. I have not yet nuked the 75g as I have been working on my fish room. One step at a time...lol.

It is not limited to blue fish. I've had a yellow get it, and it moved fast. She was spawned with a male that was sent to the lab. She came down with the rot quickly....now was she exposed before that...most likely she was born with it. I had been keeping all my breeders in the 75g in the stick on barracks, so her parents were most likely exposed...if they were not the carriers themselves.

My last fish to show signs was my BEST male (PK...yes blue). Started out as a whole in his ventral and with in a week, his FACE rotted off!!! I'm serious, I noticed 1/2 of his upper lip was gone (at this point I still had no idea what I was dealing with), and I had a new VERY eggy female and attempted a spawn. I assumed she did it to him, so I pulled her. Tank had IAL in it so I didn't add any other medication. About 3 days later, I noticed he didn't eat. I looked at him and he had the rot. I pulled him out and jarred him with meds, 2 days later his entire upper lip was gone. from here it was lower jaw...it was horrible! He died with in 12 hrs of this. I attempted to keep him alive for the lab. He was the dead fish in the email post...
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:44 AM   #247 
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We are marine/fresh importers plus a quarantine centre for 3 major airports around London.
We had a batch of Malawi electric blues come through the quarantine all had this strain of infection.
They all died within 36 hours and the spores were evident throughout the whole body of the fish, not only the fins.

My Daughter is a marine biologist and vet, they did extensive lab tests but it was a strain of infection that did not compute as a regular strain, but showed signs of a cross strain.
I will not go into lab test results but my daughter did not have time to research any further.
We disinfected the quarantine tank an refilled it as we normally do.
We had some Discus through quarantine that all looked well, we placed them into the tank, within 2 weeks we lost the lot due to the same infection,,,identical to the photos,,
But the tank had been disinfected with hospital grade cleaning fluid??????

We had to end up steam cleaning the Quarantine tanks and equipment to rid us from this terrible disease.
It is extremely virulent.
Thought that I would share this info.
Hope you never encounter this, we are experts with over 30 years experience and it caught us out badly.
Ray
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:18 AM   #248 
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I have two blue females that I adopted yesterday one passed away this morning the other one looks just like this only I thought it was from being eaten by the frogs and other fish that were with her. I have the other female in a tissue and I was getting ready to bury her. What should I do??? And I have another blue male that's my friends who is perfectly healthy but their tanks have been beside each other. What should I do to make sure he's safe??
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:24 AM   #249 
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Just keep an eye on him. What worked for me, with Shadow (who later died of organ failure but did survive this) was KANAPLEX. Always check on your fish... Morning, and night. If something seems off, especially if you feel he could be attacked by this disease, such as I knew with Shadow when 3 other fish I had from the same store, all blues, passed away from it (different times)... I kept a closer eye on him and caught it hours after it started.

The most common sign I found between them all, was lethargy. They would act as if they were sleeping, sleepy, or just plain lazy. They weren't. It was a very early response to "something is wrong". That is why you should always make sure your fish is absolutely healthy... Makes it easier to know when something is seriously wrong.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:50 AM   #250 
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Just keep an eye on him. What worked for me, with Shadow (who later died of organ failure but did survive this) was KANAPLEX. Always check on your fish... Morning, and night. If something seems off, especially if you feel he could be attacked by this disease, such as I knew with Shadow when 3 other fish I had from the same store, all blues, passed away from it (different times)... I kept a closer eye on him and caught it hours after it started.

The most common sign I found between them all, was lethargy. They would act as if they were sleeping, sleepy, or just plain lazy. They weren't. It was a very early response to "something is wrong". That is why you should always make sure your fish is absolutely healthy... Makes it easier to know when something is seriously wrong.
The two girls I adopted, I did so because they were acting sick, here they are http://www.bettafish.com/showthread....51#post1392651 I don't have that medication on hand and it will take a few days for me to get it. What should I do with my tank if she does pass away???
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