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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Before I begin, I’d like to say that my concern has a LOT of context behind it, and I would greatly appreciate it if you read everything in my post before answering. It’s the only way to get the full details and really narrow down the possibility of TB being the culprit. On that note, let me also say that it’s very possible, and even (subjectively) likely that it’s not TB, but I was unfortunate enough to have 2 separate but very genuine run-ins with TB in the past that devastated me so much that I entirely quit the hobby for 2 years. So maybe this post is the paranoia talking, but I need all the closure I can get.
I’m going to order the contextual information via a chronological timeline and associate each timeframe with pictures to give you a textual and visual understanding of my betta’s status over the months from the day I took him home up to his death. This way it’ll be easier to pinpoint any possible trends or hiccups that could possibly point to the works of TB (there very well might not be any either, but there are some grey areas that raise my suspicion, hence me asking for a second opinion.)

Mid-October – I impulsively purchased a juvenile crowntail betta that was rotting away in a dusty Walmart shelf, along with a 1.5 gallon kit (filter included but no heater) and other basic essentials, with intentions to upgrade in the near future. The first couple days were not pretty. I far underestimated the amount of water changes needed to keep my betta from taking the brunt of new tank syndrome, and he was in bad shape to begin with. After some struggle and 2 cases of ick, I was able to overcome the new tank syndrome phase and made plans to upgrade him to a 2.5 gal, heated and filtered.


Early November-Mid December – Bought and established a 2.5 gallon (heated and filtered) in early November. Betta handled the transition quite well. Started planting the tank with some hardy plants and added a nerite snail (still alive and well.) Come mid-late November, he was in his prime. Booming with color and activeness. Looks unrecognizable from when I first bought him. I noticed that it was quite easy to overfeed him, however, which I took with a grain of salt since he was still not fully grown. I fed him very small micro-pellets. The instructions said about 3 pellets per feeding, but I found that feeding anything more than 2 pellets at once would balloon him up a bit, and I’d have to fast him for about a day and he’d return to normal (even if it’s the only feeding of that day.)
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The video is of him in his prime, early December.
(Pictures: late November. No signs of sickness, healthy colors, fins, and spinal form. Note the small bump near his tail in the second picture, however. I think this may have been a genetic deformity due to his Walmart origin, and I similarly suspect his sensitive stomach to be caused by genetics as well)

Mid-late December – I return home from college with the betta, snail and plants for winter break. I left the 2.5 gallon in my dorm, and had a newly set up 5.5 gallon waiting for me at home (easier to take the fish back and forth between two tanks instead of lugging one tank around.) I forgot to take his pellets home with me, so I bought some Bettamin flakes at my local Petco, which was the mistake that started it all. Upon feeding the flakes to my Betta, he immediately ballooned up and was uncontrollably buoyant. I dismissed it as another one of his minor swim bladder episodes, but the bloat didn’t go away. My biggest mistake was waiting a few days before feeding him the flakes AGAIN, when he was still constipated. I tried fasting, feeding peas, feeding antiparasitic meds, dosing bettafix, dosing Epsom and aquarium salt, nothing worked. His swim bladder issues were on and off sometimes, and he looked like he was responding to some of the treatments for a bit. Some days he looked like he was completely cured, swimming completely normally for about a day before reverting back to his constipated self (even if I don’t feed him.)
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Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet
(Pictures: the first one was taken the day I arrived home and introduced him to the 5.5 gallon. The second one was taken after the flakes already caused his swim bladder issues, but he was “fake cured” when the picture was taken, which is why he looks completely fine)


January-February – still constantly fasting and trying everything in the books to fix the little guy. He’s beginning to lose his vibrant colors and overall frame, probably due to the lethargically floating on his side all the time and the constant fasting. I still hadn’t figured out/accepted that his swim bladder problem was chronic and a long term issue.
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(Pic of what he looked like by February, notice the shorter fins and color loss)


Early-February – Try a 10-day Epsom salt exposure plan. I put the betta in a 1 gallon heated bowl with a small amount of Epsom salt in the water, doing 100% water changes and replacing the Epsom salt every other day. On the 7th day, I ran it by an experienced betta breeder on reddit who advised me to stop the treatment immediately and informed me that my betta’s swim bladder was simply damaged, and would take months to heal, so there’s nothing I could do about it for the short term. I took his advice, returning my betta into the 2.5 gallon and feeding him 3 days on, 3 days off.
Mid-February – The betta was recovering. I knew it would take at least a few more months for a full recovery, but he was beginning to get more active, exploring all levels of the tank voluntarily and floating on his side noticeably less often. Then I ruined it all one day, by feeding him 2 pellets at once instead of 1. He immediately ballooned up and floated on his side all day. Fasting did little to help. After a number of days I tried feeding him a single pellet, and it ballooned him up again, even worse. Over the next couple days, his belly was growing whiter and whiter, and was increasingly ballooning up by each day despite me not feeding him. He was also starting to float vertically, rather than upright, which was new. About four or five days after I gave him that pellet, he looked so bad he would even float upside down. On his last living night, I knew he was going to pass. His gills were frayed black. He was so disabled he couldn’t eat, despite him trying. He was spiraling around the tank and gave all his efforts just to come up to the surface for air. He died before I even went to bed, as he was in the same exact position I saw him the night before when I woke up the next morning.
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(Pictures of his body. His eyes sort of blackened out after he died, and his gills are black, which I noticed he had developed right before his death.)
So upon posting the pics of his autopsy to reddit, one user seemed dead-set on a hunch that my betta had died of TB, and the swim bladder issues were exacerbated by it. He said that the betta’s spine in the autopsy looks bent, which is a clear indicator of TB. I disagree, since the spinal deformity developed due to his swim bladder issues, but the user kept insisting that it was definitely TB. His hunch was further supported by another user, although the second user was not as imposing and certain. They also claimed that the vertical floating was also an indicator. The first user linked me to a diagnosis chart for TB, and I do have to admit that some of the symptoms match, although they also overlap with many symptoms of SBD. Blackened gills is apparently a symptom of TB (although my betta’s gills turned black only hours before his death) as well as vertical floating. I also notice that in retrospect, my betta didn’t grow very much, which I know from experience is an indicator (then again I only owned him for about 5 months before his death.)
The breeder said that this user’s claims of TB was bullocks, and that his spine was curved from the SBD and not from TB, and that my betta had no other indicators of TB. The breeder also assured me that my betta was showing signs of recovery before his death, which something as progressively destructive as TB wouldn’t allow for. I really want to agree, and I mostly do, but part of me is paranoid to oblivion because of that user’s claim. I’ve had nightmare-like experiences with fish TB in the past, so when the user randomly pinned it on TB of all things, I completely freaked out. According to the breeder, my betta’s swim bladder must have gotten destroyed for good when I overfed him during his recovery, which in turn shut his immune system down, leading to his death. He assured me that fish keepers will immediately jump to conclusions about diseases they've just learned about, and that I shouldn't worry.



I just need a second opinion, if you think it’s possible that it was TB. I saw absolutely no signs of TB other than TB symptoms that overlapped with SBD symptoms and near-death behavior. He did not appear to be wasting or deformed at all before he got SBD in late December, and he did get a bit skinny but I think that’s because I was fasting him more often than not. I have no idea what to make of his spinal problem, but he definitely didn’t have spinal deformities nearly as exaggerated as one’s you see from TB. Also if I remember correctly, TB can take months to manifest and kill the host, but my betta died relatively quickly.
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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I realize you wished to be thorough but please fill out this form. It gives us the most important information. And please embed photos. Many of our members are on devices which do not allow them to go from the forum to image hosts and back.

http://www.bettafish.com/99-betta-f...-out-form-so-we-can-best-help-your-betta.html

The above aside, the breeder is most likely correct that it wasn't fish TB. I always consider the experience of the person giving advice; sounds as if the breeder has it. So many fish diseases have such similar symptoms some people never get past the most glaring one....sort of a "Eureka!" moment. From what I understand, FTB is more than just a curved spine; it is also about lesions, loss of scales and loss of color. It is also not terribly common.
 

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Hi I don't know much about bettas and sicknessess.. Yet.. But my little Asoka looked just like your betta (sorry about his passing btw) before he got sick..
he just recovered from fin rot.. The red you see on him I don't think is color fade because my guy has it too.. He was turning more red (natural color change maybe?) now that he's healed he still is red... Looks like a completely different betta.. Lol
that's him before he got sick
and him about a week after be cured (so pretty healthy and happy) but a different coloring now
As for the betta the betta not swimming properly.. I had a betta named Elsa that was sick at the petshop.. Hoped to rescue him.. But he was the same way wouldn't eat, kinda laid at the bottom.. Or head up and tail down... Seemed like he was recovering for about 2 days . then stopped eating again, noticed his gills swollen.. Died the next day

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Yeah TB is supposed to have lesions...from what I've read about it I also don't think that it lasts for months....it kills the fish much sooner than that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah TB is supposed to have lesions...from what I've read about it I also don't think that it lasts for months....it kills the fish much sooner than that.
that's what i thought, and explained to the user. the user pushed further and looked through my profile to tell me i have TB on my other posts as well. i don't know what's wrong with some people. if i was less knowing i could have euthanized and thrown out everything all because some prick on the internet kept harassing me to
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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that's what i thought, and explained to the user. the user pushed further and looked through my profile to tell me i have TB on my other posts as well. i don't know what's wrong with some people. if i was less knowing i could have euthanized and thrown out everything all because some prick on the internet kept harassing me to
The advice you received just proves it is as Pope said over 300 years ago: "A little learning is a dangerous thing." :-(


History lesson alert!!! "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing" is a misquote.
 
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