Fish don't get depressed. That is a human emotion. Fish get sick.
People think they know how animals work, but they don't. Why do elephants mourn for days after a member of the herd has died? They feel loss, they feel upset ... animals will even starve themselves due to the depression that occurs when a member they love has died or been lost. People who think they know animals are the ones who will be the most surprised.
Anyone can breed fish, but it doesn't mean that you know everything about the species. Same goes for any other animal.
This graphite disease is very similar to a disease us "old school" discus fish breeders and keepers have to watch out for, but we don't call it graphite disease, we would just call it discus disease because we never figured any other species had similar symptoms. Since discus come from a completely different biome, it's interesting we have introduced them, bred them silly, and now we are seeing various similar bacterial-induced surges of symptoms we cannot yet identify.
Within the discus community, I think there is a line of thought it is a Myo. sort of bacteria. Recommend always using gloves, not out of contracting the bacteria, but out of any risk of mutation and cross-species contamination should you come across a large population of rapid skin to skin spread.
In the discus community, we treat with immediate QT, very high temps (up to 94 degs- VERY slowly- not sure if bettas can live at this high temp)- epsom salt, Metro, and what we call intensive support: 50% water change twice a day, offered food thrice a day with cleanup immediately 5 mins later, allowing the fish to remain in QT with other sick fish they GET ALONG with, plenty of SOFT black water conditions (Indian Almond, in this case), Mongolian drift wood, low light, lots of hiding places, etc. Basically... baby them.
Clean water. Clean, clean, clean water. And always remember to redose after water change, so do your math carefully, use pharmaceutical grade meds (become friendly with a vet and actually get prescriptions- real antibiotics are actually about 5 cents every 10 pills!) and you'll save a TON of money by using a vet over the phone since most of them won't see your fish.
Here's a tip: Visit your local vet in person (try a smaller "family run" sort). Explain you'd like some time with the vet without an animal. Meet with them and explain your situation. Most days, they'll schedule a 15-min call and write a "fish-grade" prescription when you need one and you will save a fortune by picking up an antibiotic 2-3 grams of power vs. that commercial crap. Plus you can redose MUCH easier with powder that costs $2-3 vs. $9 for a box that lasts 2 doses.
When I had discus my fish were 600-800 dollars per fish. So my vet was very much obliged to help me. :) Now that I have bettas, we still have a great relationship and the same can work for you too with a good "long" relationship. :)
Also regarding the UV sterilizer... it's also about how LONG the water is exposed to the UV light. If it runs through a longer line against the UV light inside the compartment, then the UV sterilizer is MUCH more effective.
Last edited by Mel Huffman; 08-03-2014 at 04:50 PM.
A few other questions:
1.) Has anyone performed a Fite's stain, Ziehl-Neelsen stain, or Kinyoun stain on scale scrapings, lung scrapings, or fin scrapings?
2.) If found as mycobacterium, the insertion of mycobacteriophage that is both harmless to humans and fish could be a natural way to induce death to mycobacteria without introduction of harmful antibiotics that could create resistant myco-mutation.
3.) Also, if you're interested on myco and water qual, you can view the following on a prelim water study focused on myco: http://aem.asm.org/content/71/10/5719.full
You should start your own thread and post a pic, sounds like he might have a fungus
We can't really be sure it might just be fungus from the description. More description needs to be given. Photos would be indispensible. Please do not start treating for fungus until we know more. If ir isn't fungus and you treat for it he will be weakened and not be in any shape for the correct meds.if you have started a thread, please include all you can describe os his condition and phtos on it.
Unfortunately I think the betta I bought for my daughter has this too. I am posting a picture with flash. I couldn't see the dark tissue around his head until I took this photo with the flash. I have had him about 6 days and he stopped eating after day 3, I bought a larger aquarium, had the water tested, added a filter and a heater and he kept getting worse.
I'm terrified that my little Norbert might have this disease. He looked fine when I left the house today, and then I came back three hours later. He looks like he's slowly turning grey, it seems harder for him to swim, and his eyes look irritated and red. If this disease is going to take him, I hope it happens fast so he doesn't suffer
He's still alive, so what can I do to save him? Can I do anything? It's horrible to watch him this way...