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Discussion Starter #1
I did fill out the form below but here is the story: There was a betta up for adoption at my Petco. Her cup had a note on it that said *ADOPTABLE* surrendered but has spine/back issues. I asked the employees if they knew anything about her and they said no, she was surrendered along with like 30 fish and the owners didn't really tell them anything. She said that she has a back deforminty but other than that she was fine. So I adopted her. She does have a curved spine and one of her eyes is bigger than the other, which might be a sign of tb, but she isn't skinny, doesn't have any missing scales or lesions, and will eat if I help her (I have to net her and put her food right above her mouth) and yesterday she did eat like 8 pellets so her appetite is okay. Also, I don't know how quickly TB kills fish once symptoms are present, but they employees told me she had been in the store for 6 weeks and had the spinal issue when she arrived. So what do you think? Is having a curved spine and different sized eyes a possible birth defect? Or does it sound more like TB?

I am scared because I do have other tanks, but luckily I keep separate cleaning equipment for each one and even separate food.

Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 2 gal
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? 80
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? No

Food:
What food brand do you use? Hikari betta bio gold
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Every other day

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? He came ill, I change the water once a day
What percentage of water did you change? 100%
What is the source of your water? Tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Turkey baster daily to remove solid waste
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Prime

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water *before* the regular water change; not after one.

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH:
Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? I adopted her from petco. She was surrendered to them and had a spinal deformity. They said she had been there for 6 weeks and had been doing fine
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? No, but it has been 4 days
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? It hasn't changed, but she doesn't move much
Is your Betta still eating? Yes, but I have to put the pellet right above her nose. I think she might be vision impaired.
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? No, at first I thought she wasn't sick, just deformed, and maybe she is...
Does your Betta have any history of being ill?I don't know her history but like I said, he had been in the store in the same condition for 6 weeks.
How long have you owned your Betta? 4 days
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? Not when I bought her.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Sorry here are pictures of her; you can see in the second one how one eye is bigger than the other. I actually find her endearing and cute and I hope she isn't actually sicl or dying 😩
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
That was a very informative article, but I am still 50/50....How fast does mycobaterium kill a fish after the spinal curve shows up?

It says it is uncommon, but it also says bettas are more susceptible...

And what kills me is, if she does have it, the kind thing to do would be to euthanize her, but if she doesn't have it, I would be killing her needlessly...

RussellTheShihTzu, are you saying it is more likely that she is not infected with fish tuberculosis?
 

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I believe it is not very likely she is infected if she does not have all of the symptoms Dr. Strohmeyer mentioned: Wasting away, loss of scales, lesions and/or coloration in addition to spinal curve.

Quoting from the article: "....be careful about assuming your fish have Fish TB, unless all symptoms are present and treatment for more likely infections have failed."

Hard to tell from the photos but does she have any other of the symptoms beyond the curved spine? If not, I would keep a close watch and add IAL or Rooibos Tea. I tend to judge my Bettas' health by whether they are eating and moving...in her case as much as she can since she is restricted in her movement.

Someone else may have a different idea; hope they will chime in.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I believe it is not very likely she is infected if she does not have all of the symptoms Dr. Strohmeyer mentioned: Wasting away, loss of scales, lesions and/or coloration in addition to spinal curve.

Quoting from the article: "....be careful about assuming your fish have Fish TB, unless all symptoms are present and treatment for more likely infections have failed."

Hard to tell from the photos but does she have any other of the symptoms beyond the curved spine? If not, I would keep a close watch and add IAL or Rooibos Tea. I tend to judge my Bettas' health by whether they are eating and moving...in her case as much as she can since she is restricted in her movement.

Someone else may have a different idea; hope they will chime in.
Okay, yes she does not move much, but like you mentioned, that could be due to physical restrictions. Thank you for your help. I will continue to care for her and feed her and hope that she isn't in pain. I am honestly relieved that you think she probably doesn't have it, since I have started to bond with her, but I will keep checking back in case anyone else chimes in.
 

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I have one, Bruiser, that I'm not sure what is going on with his fin, he has a grey spot on it and that's exactly how Mercury's, another of my betta, illness started that progressively got worse. I was told that the first betta my have had Mycobacterium but a different strand of it then the ones that cause TB and graphite disease, and I ended up having to euthanize him. What I do know is that I'm unwilling and unable to euthanize Bruiser at this point, he's very active, eats well, and does not act sick at all, and I just cannot kill him. I also know that I have 4 other Betta that I do not want to get whatever this may be if it is contagious. Bruiser is in strict quarantine. Everything that I use in his tank is only used in his tank, I do not share anything with my other tanks. I always feed him last since I finger feed my boys. I clean his tank last. Plant cuttings from his tank, no matter how healthy, are not put in my other tanks. I also just recently bought gloves to wear when I do water changes on his tank because Mycobacterium can infect humans, and I have a UV Sterilizer on his tank since that is supposed to kill myco in the water column. Please know that the UV Sterilizer will NOT cure the fish. So far, so good.

If you want to keep her, and she's otherwise doing well, just take precautions like I have and you should be fine. If you have any other betta be very careful and always care for her last so you do not run the risk of infecting your other fish.

Please know that any type of Myco is incurable. I tried just about everything I could think of to get Mercury betta only to watch him slowly, but steadily, get worse, I don't know if it was Myco that he had, and for the life of me I don't know where he would have gotten it from, but nothing working is one of the reasons people were suggesting it was Myco.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you, Rainbo. I noticed a lesion on her left gill plate last night. I'm still not jumping to conclusions though. It could be from water quality. She did live in a cup for 6 weeks, after all. And who know what conditions she was in before that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I thought the lesion had cleared up, but when I shined a bright light on her, I noticed that she has a pretty bad ucler on her gill plate. Any ideas? Its like a little crater and white in the middle.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's hard to get a good picture of her since she is so dark and in a circular tank, but here is a picture of her ulcer. It is actually on her right side, not left. Should I start her on some Kanaplex? Could that be helpful? I want to save her if I can. EDIT: The picture is upside down, sorry! And it is a little blurry after the resizing, but you can get a basic idea of what the ulcer looks like, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, I have had this betta for 2 weeks now, and she is still kicking!

After I noticed the ulcer, I started her on Kanaplex the next day. I teated her every other day for a total of three treatments. I changed 50% of the water right beforw each treatment.

Now her ulcer doesn't look any better as far as I can tell. But she isn't any worse for wear.

She also doesn't eat much, but she does eat. Since she doesn't move very much, I only attempt to feed her every other day. When I do feed her, it is a long and tedious process, as I have to put the food right above her nose for her to notice it. I think she might be blind. I also have to net her unless its bloodworms, and she hates being netted.

I got her to eat a bloodworm today, which was a success in my book, but I couldn't get her to eat more than one.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on her situation? What am I doing wrong/right? Did I use the medication correctly? Should I give her another round of it?

Thank you all.
 

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I think the fact she is still around shows your amazing care! I cannot comment on treatment but wanted to let you know.
@Rainbo is a good one for knowing what to do next.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think the fact she is still around shows your amazing care! I cannot comment on treatment but wanted to let you know.

@Rainbo is a good one for knowing what to do next.
Thank you for the encouragement! I hope she can pull through!
 

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Well, I have had this betta for 2 weeks now, and she is still kicking!

After I noticed the ulcer, I started her on Kanaplex the next day. I teated her every other day for a total of three treatments. I changed 50% of the water right beforw each treatment.

Now her ulcer doesn't look any better as far as I can tell. But she isn't any worse for wear.

She also doesn't eat much, but she does eat. Since she doesn't move very much, I only attempt to feed her every other day. When I do feed her, it is a long and tedious process, as I have to put the food right above her nose for her to notice it. I think she might be blind. I also have to net her unless its bloodworms, and she hates being netted.

I got her to eat a bloodworm today, which was a success in my book, but I couldn't get her to eat more than one.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on her situation? What am I doing wrong/right? Did I use the medication correctly? Should I give her another round of it?

Thank you all.

Hi, sorry that it's taken me a few days to reply, I was out of town and did not have internet access. I hope your girl is starting to get better!

It sounds like you are doing everything right. So long as you followed the directions on the medicine and got the dose correct for your tank's size, you did it correctly.

If you want to try a different treatment, the next thing I'd try is a combo of Kanaplex and Furan 2. I'd wait a week to give her time to recover from the first round of medication before trying it.

Here's the instructions in case you want to try it.

Day 1: Use recommended dosage for both KanaPlex & Furan-2
Day 2: Use recommended dosage for Furan-2 only
Day 3: 25% Water change and use recommended dosage for both KanaPlex & Furan-2
Day 4: Use recommended dosage for Furan-2 only
Day 5: 25% Water change and use recommended dosage for both KanaPlex & Furan-2
DONE
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Hi, sorry that it's taken me a few days to reply, I was out of town and did not have internet access. I hope your girl is starting to get better!

It sounds like you are doing everything right. So long as you followed the directions on the medicine and got the dose correct for your tank's size, you did it correctly.

If you want to try a different treatment, the next thing I'd try is a combo of Kanaplex and Furan 2. I'd wait a week to give her time to recover from the first round of medication before trying it.

Here's the instructions in case you want to try it.

Day 1: Use recommended dosage for both KanaPlex & Furan-2
Day 2: Use recommended dosage for Furan-2 only
Day 3: 25% Water change and use recommended dosage for both KanaPlex & Furan-2
Day 4: Use recommended dosage for Furan-2 only
Day 5: 25% Water change and use recommended dosage for both KanaPlex & Furan-2
DONE
Thank you so much!
Just to be clear: on day one, three and day five, she will be getting technically double the normal dose antibiotics, a full dose of each?

Also, do you have any guess at a diagnosis?
 

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Thank you so much!
Just to be clear: on day one, three and day five, she will be getting technically double the normal dose antibiotics, a full dose of each?

Also, do you have any guess at a diagnosis?
Yes, it's the full dose of each medicine, and the water change is the one that found in the Furan2 instructions.

Not being able to get a good look at it I really can't say. If it is an ulcer, like you are thinking, I know that can be caused by bacterial infections. Tumors, or cyst can also ulcerate, but usually they would get really large before doing so. A clear picture of the problem area would help in trying to diagnose him, but I know those can be hard to get when the fish just wants to hide and us owners don't want to stress them out further by getting them to move.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited by Moderator)
Thank you to everyone who has replied!

I upgraded her tank yesterday (she is now in a 10 gallon with about 3 gallons of water in it) so I can see her much better. I think I finally got a clear picture of her little sore.

She loves that purple plant, lol. I kind of want to get her a leaf hammock, the little suction cup ones, but I'm not sure if she has the dexterity to get onto it. I feel like I am becoming obsessed with buying her things to make her more comfortable.

ETA: Ugh, the image looked so clear on my phone, but then when I posted it here it got blurry 😩. Well maybe you can still see it.

Finnfinnfriend1.jpg

Finnfinnfriend2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Hello again,

It just seems like one thing after another now. Her other sore seemed like it was healing after starting her on NeoPlex. It turned white so I figured that was the equivalent to an underwater scab. She also became a little more active.

Now, just today, I noticed something on her chin. It looks like red string coming out. Hard to explain, sorry. I couldn't get a good picture of it at all.

Any idea what it is? My husband suggested that maybe it is like a bed sore, since she has to lie on the floor of the tank most of the time.

I would like to note that she is still willing to eat. She ate 3 bloodworms yesterday. Hunted them down and slurped them up like a champ.

I have had her for almost 6 weeks now, and the pet store claims to have had her there for 6 weeks as well. I thought that was a good sign, but with this new sore I'm not so sure anymore. At this point, does it sound more, or less likely that she has Myco? (I don't even want to call it TB anymore, I feel like that needlessly scares people.)

On top of that, how likely is it that horrible triplex strain, given the info I have shared? I am really worried about my other bettas. When I was changing her water and poured the bucket into the sink, a little bit of water splashed up near (and possibly inside of) their tanks. I just want to know how worried I should be about things like that happening, because I am only human, and they do.

I am getting exhausted with worry about cross- contamination. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you.

EDIT TO ADD: I have decided to give her a break from antibiotics since she has been on one almost the whole time I have had her, and I have started dosing her with Seachem Stressguard today.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Hello everyone, I know this thread is a bit old, but I just realized something and wanted to share for anyone who was reading this thread.

Grace has developed another sore on her chin. At first I panicked and thought Myco again (I can't help myself) but then, this afternoon, I was reading an article about Oscar cichlids and may have found my answer (I know, weird, right?)

Well, there was a picture of an oscar in the article that had a bump on his chin that was similar to the one on grace. It made me think about how a lot of oscars cichlids I have seen have these bumps. I then looked up what the bumps on the Oscars are caused by, in hopes to find my answer for Grace.

Well, the article said that it isn't a serious problem if it doesn't get infected (whew!) And that it is most likely caused by the oscars digging at the bottom of the tank. That's when it hit me!

Betta fish are top feeding animals. They are designed to eat from the surface of the water. A lot of the time, since she has trouble swimming, ends up eating off the bottom of the tank. Since she is designed to eat from the top, eating off the bottom so often probably irritates her chin. Such a simple explanation!

I wanted to share this because it goes to show that, as RussellTheShihTzu already said, Mycobacterium (or fish TB) is very uncommon, and your problem (if you are afraid of Myco) is most likely something else (although cleanliness and avoiding cross - contamination is still always a good idea). I hope I didn't scare anyone with this thread.

I also want to add that Grace is moving around and eating a lot more now than when I got her! 👍😄
 

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Glad to hear! I dont really know anything about myco so i couldndt reallycontribute but i have been watching this thread. Congrats on healing grace! And thats so interesting about the digging and how it irritates them! Ive never even thought about that.
 
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