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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wish to spread awareness about a disease that has struck several times in the recent months. It moves very, very, very fast, often killing within 12-24 hours. Nothing is known about this disease except that it is a bacterial disease that causes rapid and acute tissue necropsy and that it seems to strike blue bettas in particular. Several people are working on identifying this disease, including veterinary student DarkMoon17, but WE NEED YOUR HELP.

If you have a betta who develops the following symptoms or dies, please DO NOT DISPOSE OF THE BODY. It is very important that we have a body to send in for a necropsy. Several people have volunteered to take the bodies to local universities or veterinary clinics near them. All we need you to do is save the body and contact DarkMoon17 or me immediately.

The symptoms of this disease are:

* graphite gray or near black tissue necropsy that spreads from the bottom of the fins upward to the body within hours
* sudden loss of mobility as the swim bladder is affected
* death or conditions so severe that they require euthanasia within 12-24 hours, occasionally as long as 36 hours

The betta will look something like this:
Blue Feather Organism Fish Tail


There have been speculations about what it is, including suggestions that it is an acute strain of columnaris, but NOTHING IS KNOWN FOR CERTAIN. PLEASE DO NOT post speculations about what this disease may be unless you have been able to identify the disease through lab work. Such speculations only cause aggressive debate.

Any and all cooperation is much appreciated as we work to identify this disease so we can figure out a way to combat it. Thank you very much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Thanks, purple. Wonder if formaldehyde works. Most veterinary clinics or universities should have that, right?

Pitluvs, what if someone had to put a betta named Mustard in the fridge? :shock: Too weird. "Where's the mustard?" "Next to Mustard." "Whaaat?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Preserving the Body For Testing

Here is what DarkMoon said about preserving the body.

"We would need the fish to be preserved in a formalin solution. You can get a container fornbiopsis from your local vet. The vet may suggest a place to send it or if the person is close to a vet school or college campus they can see if there is anyone there willing to do a me necropsy on it. If not, my father (veterinary pathologist-studies diseases & makes medications) said that he would do a necropsy if possible."
 

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Im not sure if this is the same thing.... but I just wanted to post it up just in case there is similarities since during the time it was going on no one stepped up to assist me

Avenger started showing symptoms of what I at first though was inflamed gills with slight finrot
it quickly became obvious it was more than that, the tips of his fins were a light gray, his gills continue to have problems as I had him, he would go through bouts where he just stopped moving and would just sit there, either floating at the top or bottom for days, often he would refuse to eat shortly before, during, and after these bursts. His fins would occasionally out break out worse and he would loose huge chunks or have random bleeding from them, I kept him on high doses of AQ salt to prevent any infections since as I had him longer his fins got worse and worse along with the fact one of his gills had started to curl out, I also put him on Jungle parasite treatment.... while he did not seem to get better, he did not get any worse, I did eventually loose him, along with a few other bettas from a freak accident that caused a power outage and as a result, issues with the heaters in those tanks
 

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It would be interesting to know where these bettas were bred too. Obviously, they couldn't have all come from the same breeder because the cases have occurred around the world and at different times. Here in the States, where you are in Canada, even in India. There's a possibility it's like each blue betta bred anywhere in the world has a 1 in something chance of carrying this genetic defect. Like there's a 1 in something chance a child could be born with this disease or something like that.
You actually bring up an interesting point... Avenger was the last betta I bought from my walmarts old breeder... they wouldnt tell me the name of the breeder, but I bought 4-5 bettas right before Avenger from that breeder.... most were white with blue and one was purple... all died within 1-2 days and all had the same gill problem as Avenger and what I thought was finrot
 

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That is weird! Black UNDER the gills? Like, fuzzy, slimy...? That's something different, but worth posting to us anyways with pics and descriptions.

Personally if another one of my bettas get this disease, like Maine and Riddle, I'll STILL be distraught.
Here's a clear picture I took. I'm really not sure what was there, but I don't think it's a good thing!

 

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Is this unknown disease called maine, or is maine completely different?
Also, has this new disease been recorded in Ontario? Getting a new fishie soon, don't wanna go through this Dx
@SpinOut - isn't that just his beard? just a speculation..
Maine was my blue betta, swept by the disease overnight. I tracked everything during the disease, including how ich moved far from the disease's reach. The disease has not been competely determined as to what it is, although "necrosis" or something HAS been mentioned, but there is no strong liable proof to say it is, or is not. It is basically a bacteria, eating live tissue - leaving you with a half dead fish from anywhere between 2-24 hours (which is the usual) or anywhere up to 72 hours. Most of the bettas who got it, were healthy beforehand. Riddle wasn't - he was the second betta who got it, that I owned. Now my last blue Shadow is on high watch ><
 

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Usually, a black "lace" as it is called, you can easily tell from a "greyed" or "rotted" edge. Often, a rotted edge will look rougher, duller, and thinner than a simple laced edge. I have had a betta who had the pretty black lacing...

And okay, so he was about 10-11 months we'll say. I've noticed it is between 10 and 15 months bettas have been attacked with this disease... It's just a hunch, not a fact :) Luckily, I got Kanaplex in the mail today!!! Now if Shadow ever gets it... I'll be able to fight fire with fire.
 

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I have REALLY bad news....

I took a trip to a local petsmart (and by that I mean an hour away)
and they had some GORGEOUS bogs and girls...
but...
while looking through them I noticed EVER SINGLE BLUE MALE HAD THIS.... THING
I wish I had been able to take pictures (no phone/camera right now), some of the reds and a GORGEOUS marble VT had it, it was DISGUSTING how bad some of them were... especially since this petsmart has always taken AMAZING care of their bettas campared to some places...(slight finrot problems occassionally) \
I tried to get one of the employees to tell me the supplier (surprisingly she was VERY well knowledged on bettas, I heard her talking to a guy who was interested in one) and she said she couldnt, but she called the manager over, in the end, the manager refused to tell me the name of the breeder, but she did say they were no longer purchasing from them (explains why they had a new shipment of GORGEOUS bettas... including amazing looking DTHM) she said they had been trying to treat some of them, but nothing seems to have been working, I gave her the name of the site and told her some people had luck with Kanaplex... she said she would give it a try... but I don't think the ones already affected will make it (I think she is going to start treating the others from that shipment)
 

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I do not know if this will help but we have seen this before.

i am new to this site but been in fish and retail and now wholesale. Some of the supply that petsmart and petco and ect get fish from is there own wholesale. They have a buyer get there fish. I would think it if through dolphin international or one of the big trans shippers. The fish are out of aisa and when we saw this is was a shipper from Taiwan and he was well known. The fish I saw were all dead in a few weeks and the rummer was it was hormones in the food for blue and red colors. The red fish did not seem to die but lost a lot of color over the months and the blues seemed to die rather fast. Every breeder in Thailand stopped for a few days and bangkok was full of bettas cheap. But this fish in the picture looks like what we saw a year ago in BKK and the rumor in the breeder circle was hormones were found to be the issue and as the liver shut down the fish died meds did not work. My friend is looking at the same picture and he said yup. Hormone fish. Lets face it color sells and if you pay 3.00 usd at a store then the whole sale paid .30cent or so and the broker charged .20 cent and the breeder got his .15 cent. So if he is producing a solid blue that looks to good to be true ...it is. Buy froma good breeder and know what you have. Any good breeder will back his or her fish ASAP. There name is at stake. If you pay 10.00 for that blue fish and see 300 more baby and adults just like it in the same place then you know what you are getting. 2.00 fish are not good deals and will give you issues. But if I had to bet my 40,000 betta's on what your fish has I would say hormones and the fungus and bacteria all at the same time. If you can get the later under control fast enough the hormones might get out of the system and the kidney might get going again. But it is best to cull any fish that shows this and do a good clean job on your tank. Keep all fish apart for a few days and look for issues. If you do not see anything in a few days you are OK most of the time. Betta are some tough little fish. But some of the aisa stuff is so mass produced that the left over china food might be used. This food is spotty at best and even Thai breeders try to never use it. Nice package and food looks pretty but it is death in a bag. Get your fish and your food from a good breeder. Also both petsmart and petco have a vet on staff? If you see the same issue with the fish in the store as you have, bring them your fish and go to a local breeder and get a new safe betta. Let the vet do their job and keep the fish healthy. But I am just giving what I know.....Use my info as good reading only......
 

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I think our fish had this...

I'm not really sure, but I think our male betta got this disease. I'm going to post the long story, because I'm not sure what is relevant information and what is not. We have a 30-ish gallon tank with a filter and an aerator. We have 10 goldfish, two small corydoras, two plecos, and now one betta fish :-(. We also had one silver/grey fish. It had long flowing fins and about three dark stripes on her body. (I honestly have no idea what breed it was, we got it from my step mom because she was sick of her fish tank because no one looked at the fish and she was just going to put it, the corydoras, and a pleco in an outside pond, so we rescued them and started our aquarium.) She had mentioned that it was very old, at least 6 or 7 years, and probably wouldn't live long. So last week, it started moving kind of strangely, like it's pectoral fins weren't working right. We put her in a separate bowl and within about a day, her swim bladder obviously wasn't working because she couldn't swim upright or come off the bottom of the bowl. She died about 12 hours later. We weren't really that surprised because, like I said, she was old, and none of the other fish showed any symptoms.
Then about 3 days ago, our female betta started hiding behind the filter. This was very out of character, because she normally hangs out at the top of the tank and likes to look at people. Every time we would go to clean the tank she would swim right into the net or if we had to move one of the decorations, she would rub against our hands. (I know, she's a little strange on a good day, but it was really weird that she was hiding when normally she was so friendly.) None of the other fish seemed to be bothering her, and we hadn't had any problems with aggression from any of them. They had all lived together just fine for about 3 months now. We checked the pH and everything seemed normal, so we just decided to watch and see. Well, the next day, the male betta started hiding too, so we checked the pH again and it was a little acidic so we got a buffer tablet yesterday. Within a couple hours, the female betta seemed to be doing better, but the male was still acting weird. This morning we found him hiding in between one of the decorations and the aerator. My fiance used the net to move the decoration a little and make sure he was still alive (he wasn't moving) and he was, but he was laying on his side and only moved a little. The female betta saw him, went to the bottom and just laid next to him for about two minutes. It was really sad. I had never really considered the idea that fish have that complex of emotions. We took him out and put him in a separate bowl. We put in some Lifeguard All-In-One. An hour later, he was moving more but still on his side. I went to get some aquarium salt to try that, but by the time I got back, he was already gone. The female betta seems to be acting pretty much normal now--well, her version of normal--but she was still looking out the tank like she was looking for him :cry:.

Other info:
We live in Iowa, so I'm not sure what the likelihood is that our bettas came from any of the same breeders as the others that have been affected. The male came from a local pet store (I doubt if they breed them there) and the female came from Wal-Mart. We've had them for at least 3 months with no problems until now and have not switched foods or anything. Also, the female doesn't show any signs of a bacteria or decomposition on her fins or body. The male didn't either until this morning, it looked like he had a few bloody streaks on his body (kind of hard to tell, he was a darkish red). His gills definitely seemed swollen before I went to the store. Now his body seems to have some white spots on it that weren't there before.

So I guess my questions are:
Has anyone heard anymore about this? If so, what have you found out?
Can it be transmitted between species?
How likely is it that the female is going to get sick now too?
What should I do with the male's body?

I started cleaning out the entire tank. I'm planning on sterilizing all the decorations and gravel and washing the tank itself with diluted bleach. Is there anything else I can do to make sure the other fish are safe? Should I treat them with some of the All-In-One or a different medicine as a precaution or put some aquarium salt in with the new water that I fill the tank with when it's clean?

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

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This disease makes me sad,it was so horrible not being able to do anything because of the speed which it moves. After getting my blue veiltail it reminded me of when my beautiful royal blue OHM sapphire died of it. Really hope it doesn't happen again :(
 

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My beautiful Male Chocolate Copper HM from Petco must have died from this. He had mild fin rot and it cleared up in about a day or two. Then all of a sudden, his fins went from brown to black, then he turned very pale, and his fins shredded to nothing within seconds. One hour he had all his fins, then the next our he had NO fins. He then just floated at the top with mild gill movement. I was about to euthanize but then he just died :(. This all happened within 2-3 days. Sorry I can't help, he went down the porcelain purgatory.
 

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What were the approximate ages of everyone's bettas? I'm wondering if the age could also be playing a factor. And now, we get to see if it can reoccur - much like cancer in humans where it can remain dormant, or cause problems, it can also reoccur.
 

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Cal sadly passed this early evening. His whole body had turned grey and he had completely lost his tail fins.
I will always remember him because he taught me to be so much more observant with all my fishies behavior and environment.
 

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Wow, this disease is terrifying....
I'm so sorry for those of you who had to go through this, as well as the poor bettas....

:-(

Question....and I'm sorry if it's been asked/answered before....but....did anyone try taking a knife/scissors to the affected fins? I know some people are saying that it may be an internal infection that goes on to affect the exterior. But perhaps it would aid in the healing or chances of survival, just a thought....

I've had a weird disease sweep my male bettas. I have 18 of them, and I've had to do over 10 'fin trims'....three times on a couple of them. Out of every time, I've had success. One fish who I received very sickly (and never colored out quite right) had a problem growing his fins back, and died after a few months of being a sickly scared fish hiding all the the time. But all the others flourished, except the first guy who got the disease. He happened to be our favorite, and that is why we took no chances with the others who got the same/similar problem.

Whenever I see anything funky on the fins, I take sharp scissors to it, and I don't hesitate. If there is a lot, I will put them out on a cutting board with wet paper towels and give them quite the trim! Not for the faint of heart, but thought I would mention it for this disease in particular. Don't forget the salt bath after the op though;-)

I hope we can figure out what this affliction is. I'd be devastated if I lost my blue guy, Fishwish. Just devastated!

Will keep a watch on this post, for sure....
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Very good, clear instructions, StarSpun. :) However, I do want to stress that this is a last-ditch effort, not something that anyone should try when their betta gets a little tear. Before anyone attempts this, I'd advise PMing DarkMoon or StarSpun to make sure this is the right course of action.
 

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http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=95290

there is a link to my thread with a picture of my first fish after he died... his fins changed really weird colors... and they were always clamped up in the last hours...

Whoa.. I think this is what killed a few fish I got, also from Petsmart, about 2 years ago. They were sick when I bought them, not eating. I had *never* had a fish not eat. They died within 24-36 hours of bringing them home.

They were both blue crowntails, one was a bit more turquoise, but blue overall. Your picture actually looks like my last one when he passed. I took them back to petsmart for refunds, and at the time I sworn to never shop there again. :p They told me they had a "bad batch" of fish. I assume that most or all of those poor Betta fish in the store at the time were dying of this disease.

I cannot be 100% sure it was the same thing, but I do know mine died very quickly and the fins did look like that when they passed. :-(

I do wish you all luck with finding out this disease. It is awful and terribly quick! If I have the misfortune of getting another fish with this, I will let you know. Thankfully my new copper halfmoon boy seems very healthy!
 
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