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Old 02-28-2014, 02:04 PM   #461 
Kiara1125
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Yes, euthanize him. Put him into a small cup and put a lot of ice cubes in there. As they melt, he'll "fall asleep" and then die peacefully. I always use this method and I find it better than letting them suffocate in clove oil.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:18 PM   #462 
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No need to euthanize him if you don't want to, he'll most likely be dead within 24 hours and if a mistake is made during euthanasia it can cause the fish to suffer far more than if it died naturally. I recommend the clove oil method or ice shock- I know other members may recommend other methods, bus as someone who breeds and has euthanized a lot of fish I find those methods to be the fastest and most humane.

Sterilization- Throw out anything porous or alive (plants). Empty the tank, and spray everything with 70%+ rubbing alcohol.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:50 PM   #463 
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He was dead when I got home. This is an aggressive killer. I buried him in my garden because I couldn't bear to just toss him in the trash.
Sunday I will strip the tank, boil the driftwood and the gravel, alcohol the tank... What about the filter? And what about the two cories and all the shrimp?
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:09 PM   #464 
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NanaBeams - This is the stickied thread on this disease. We're calling the fast-moving version "Graphite Disease," as the fins turn gray (graphite) colored. The color spreads upwards towards the body, and the fish usually dies within 24-48 hours.

The disease itself is caused by Mycobacteria, a type of bacteria that is resistant to medications. Two breeders, Coppermoon and Basement Bettas, had fish diagnosed with this. You can read about Coppermoon's fish earlier in this thread. (Basement Bettas created a separate thread, which is no longer available to us, as the discussion became somewhat heated.)

Here is an excellent article about the disease: Mycobacterial Infections in Fish.

The only way to know for sure if a fish has Myco is by analyzing the body and internal organs, and looking for changes such as "granulomas" (areas of inflammation or small nodules). For the most part, I don't worry about Mycobacterial infection in my fish. It can cause a very nasty infection if it penetrates the skin, however. If you're concerned, you can wear gloves when doing water changes or working with your fish. (It can't penetrate through latex, nitrile, rubber, etc.)

To disinfect equipment/supplies: bleach is NOT effective. If you can submerge the equipment in boiling water, that would work. Hospital grade Lysol will kill it, but household strength will not.

If you can't use boiling water and don't have Hospital-grade Lysol, scrub off all organic material or deposits. Then soak it in 70% or higher concentration of ethanol (ethyl alcohol) or rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol). Let it air dry. Rinse well (with hot water). UV light is also effective, so I would try to let the object air dry in the sun for several days.

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 02-28-2014 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:13 PM   #465 
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SHADEPIXIE - While the only way to know for sure if a fish is infected with Mycobacteria is via a laboratory analysis, your fish very definitely displays the classic signs of the disease.

Therefore, I would treat this as Myco, and take precautions for yourself and your other fish.

Wear gloves at all times when you are working around the tank. Wash your hands using soap and hot water when you are done. (Do this even though you're wearing gloves.) Avoid sharing ANY equipment or supplies among tanks, if you have more than one.

I would throw out anything that's porous. (Gravel, decorations, artificial or silk plants, etc.) Disinfect anything that's not porous via the disinfection protocol that I outlined above.

I highly recommend reading this article for more information.

If he's still alive, you may want to try treating with Kanaplex (kanamycin sulfate), on the possible chance that it's something else. Or, you can just let nature take its course. Disinfect or throw out everything.

Also, be cautious about your home. Mycobacteria can survive long periods of time, even on countertops or in sinks. Take precautions for yourself, anyone else in your home, and your other fish.

If your fish dies, wrap the body in paper towels or newspaper. Then put it into a ziplock bag. Seal it, and put it in the trash. Or, you can burn the body, if you prefer. If these options bother you, then do something to memorialize him, such as donating to your local humane society, planting flowers or a tree in his memory, etc.

Edited to add: Your post was added while I was writing this long reply.... Myco can survive in soil. So I wouldn't have buried him. Burning or isolating in plastic are better options.... But what's done is done. I would throw out the gravel and driftwood. They can harbor the bacteria for a very long time. Better to toss anything like this and get new stuff, than to risk infecting other fish (or yourself).
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:58 PM   #466 
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Originally Posted by LittleBlueFishlets View Post
SHADEPIXIE - While the only way to know for sure if a fish is infected with Mycobacteria is via a laboratory analysis, your fish very definitely displays the classic signs of the disease.

Therefore, I would treat this as Myco, and take precautions for yourself and your other fish.

Wear gloves at all times when you are working around the tank. Wash your hands using soap and hot water when you are done. (Do this even though you're wearing gloves.) Avoid sharing ANY equipment or supplies among tanks, if you have more than one.

I would throw out anything that's porous. (Gravel, decorations, artificial or silk plants, etc.) Disinfect anything that's not porous via the disinfection protocol that I outlined above.

I highly recommend reading this article for more information.

If he's still alive, you may want to try treating with Kanaplex (kanamycin sulfate), on the possible chance that it's something else. Or, you can just let nature take its course. Disinfect or throw out everything.

Also, be cautious about your home. Mycobacteria can survive long periods of time, even on countertops or in sinks. Take precautions for yourself, anyone else in your home, and your other fish.

If your fish dies, wrap the body in paper towels or newspaper. Then put it into a ziplock bag. Seal it, and put it in the trash. Or, you can burn the body, if you prefer. If these options bother you, then do something to memorialize him, such as donating to your local humane society, planting flowers or a tree in his memory, etc.

Edited to add: Your post was added while I was writing this long reply.... Myco can survive in soil. So I wouldn't have buried him. Burning or isolating in plastic are better options.... But what's done is done. I would throw out the gravel and driftwood. They can harbor the bacteria for a very long time. Better to toss anything like this and get new stuff, than to risk infecting other fish (or yourself).
Thank-you so much for your advice. Also to @mattsbettas and @kiara1125.
Could the driftwood harbour the bacteria even if I boiled it for a good period of time? The gravel should be ok boiled, it's not standard gravel but a decorative aggregate made of tiny smooth pieces of glass. I'm only trying to be thrifty because I cannot afford to buy all new things. I need to try to re-use as much as I can.
Here's another thing: The other fish in the tank with him are totally fine and behaving normally, as are the shrimp. If they are infected, why aren't they getting sick? Am I supposed to kill them?? I'm debating on riding out the infection with the few fish/shrimp I have left. I would eventually like to divide the tank and have two bettas in there, but that isn't looking likely at this point.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:31 PM   #467 
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Yes, you can definitely boil the glass 'gravel.' The driftwood, well, I'm more hesitant - but boiling DOES kill Myco. Perhaps just boil it for a longer period of time than the recommendations (see below). To ensure that the Myco is dead, I'd boil everything for at least 30 minutes, or longer. (I'm paranoid. I'd boil the driftwood longer, just to be sure.)

I'd continue to monitor the tank. I would NOT kill the other fish or the shrimp. It's possible that he did NOT have Myco, but had some other disease. The gray coloration on the fins meant the tissue was dying. This is a symptom of Myco - but it doesn't mean that it's the ONLY cause. (In other words, he may have had some OTHER disease/illness, not Myco.)

For now though, I would not add a new Betta to the tank. I'd consider the tank and it's current occupants as "quarantined" for now. I would quarantine any new fish too.... So if you get a new betta, just keep him separate until you know that both he and your current fish are healthy. (I would QT everyone for 4 weeks.)

Here are some disinfection via boiling protocols for you: "Most bacteria are sensitive to moist heat (121C for at least 15 min) (Footnote 17). Mycobacteria are easily killed by heat (> 65 C for at least 30 min)."
Source: Mycobacterium - Pathogen Safety Data Sheet (from Pfyffer, G. E. (2007))

Last edited by LittleBlueFishlets; 02-28-2014 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:49 PM   #468 
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Originally Posted by LittleBlueFishlets View Post
Yes, you can definitely boil the glass 'gravel.' The driftwood, well, I'm more hesitant - but boiling DOES kill Myco. Perhaps just boil it for a longer period of time than the recommendations (see below). To ensure that the Myco is dead, I'd boil everything for at least 30 minutes, or longer. (I'm paranoid. I'd boil the driftwood longer, just to be sure.)

I'd continue to monitor the tank. I would NOT kill the other fish or the shrimp. It's possible that he did NOT have Myco, but had some other disease. The gray coloration on the fins meant the tissue was dying. This is a symptom of Myco - but it doesn't mean that it's the ONLY cause. (In other words, he may have had some OTHER disease/illness, not Myco.)

For now though, I would not add a new Betta to the tank. I'd consider the tank and it's current occupants as "quarantined" for now. I would quarantine any new fish too.... So if you get a new betta, just keep him separate until you know that both he and your current fish are healthy. (I would QT everyone for 4 weeks.)

Here are some disinfection via boiling protocols for you: "Most bacteria are sensitive to moist heat (121C for at least 15 min) (Footnote 17). Mycobacteria are easily killed by heat (> 65 C for at least 30 min)."
Source: Mycobacterium - Pathogen Safety Data Sheet (from Pfyffer, G. E. (2007))
You are wonderfully patient with my thriftiness. I am going to leave the tank as-is for now and just keep up with my regular water changes and monitor the two cories for at least 3-4 weeks. If it is Myco, would the cories be affected in the same fashion?
I am certainly not planning to add a betta until this is all sorted.
I should add that I work in a medical facility and have access to pretty good disinfectants. When I decide to deep-clean and divide the tank for new bettas I am going to use Savlon and Cavicide, etc, as these are indicted as Myco-killers. I may even try soaking the plants in Savlon and see if they survive. It will be a Myco-killing experiment.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:16 PM   #469 
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Hospital grade disinfectants that kill/inactivate Mycobacterium tuberculosis? You're all set then. If they can possibly leave a residue though, I would be sure to wash it off prior to reusing the items.

I don't have experience with cories, however:

"All fish are susceptible to mycobacteriosis, though some species seem to be at greater risk than others..... Fish in the families Anabantidae (bettas and gouramis), Characidae (tetras), Cyprinidae (barbs, danios, koi and goldfish), and some members of the Cichlidae (including freshwater angelfish) may be more prone to the infection.....

Mycobacterium causes a chronic disease, usually characterized by wasting. It should be suspected when fish are in poor condition and also have scale loss, skin ulcers, or a history of reproductive problems. Occasionally, deep hemorrhagic skin lesions will be seen in addition to the more common superficial lesions...."


Source: https://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm/getF...factsheet/231/
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:49 PM   #470 
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NanaBeams - This is the stickied thread on this disease. We're calling the fast-moving version "Graphite Disease," as the fins turn gray (graphite) colored. The color spreads upwards towards the body, and the fish usually dies within 24-48 hours.
Right, I know that it is stickied, but I was referring to a proper stickied information thread on the mycobacteria itself with current info, plus proper handling and care as the main post. The first post in this thread is still saying that it is suspected to be columnaris and you have to sift through 40 pages to understand what is going on and really have to dig for recommendations. It should be updated at least to be more straight forward. This thread is more of a discussion, rather than tutorial, if you know what I mean. I saw a thread solely on diseases and treatments, so I was wondering if there was a version of that for the mycobacteria, that's all. :)
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