Is it Velvet?
I have a very beautiful red crown tail Siamese fighter fish named Jasper. he lives in a troplical themed 3 gallon tank, with heater and filter. I have had him 3 months. He has always been personality plus, alert, assertive, energetic, healthy appetite and generally adorable. He eats a varied diet (not overfed) of good quality Betta gold pellets, frozen blood worms or frozen brine shrimp, he prefers the pellets best.
He tank is given a good gravel clean and water change every week to two weeks and filter media replaced as necessary and filter kept clean.
Nearly 2 weeks ago I peered into his tank and wondered what all the little clear white bits were floating about, looked like brine shrimp or 'skin'. Odd because I watch Jasper eat and ensure I immediately remove what he doesnt eat (turkey basters are fab).
I was puzzled and netted out these floaters straight away. Jasper seemed his normal self altho darting about in an odd way at times but otherwise 'normal'
When the brine shrimpy/skin looking floaters kept appearing each day I watched more closely, the tips of Jaspers tail were going white and some areas of his body appeared to be without scales and look patchy.
A friend suggested it might be Fin Rot and suggested Aquarium Salt into his tank which I did. I can't say that it has helped. Jasper is rubbing his body against his tank ornaments and I see the 'floaters' leave his body so I guess it's his skin coming off, also spending a great deal of time wrapped around the heater or on the gravel motionless, this is not his normal behaviour.
I have been looking up various articals on Betta diseases and Velvet has come up. I can't see red/gold dust on Jasper but then he is a red fish so it may be hard to tell.
Please can someone give me some advice so I can help him recover asap. I can't bear to see him suffer. What is the best cure for him and where can I find it please?
Thanks from me and from Jasper
If it was Velvet, I think you should be able to tell. Generally that's a brownish/gold area that isn't too hard to tell. If it is, he would need to be treated as you'd treat Ick (with ick medication) and keep the tank dark. Tank lights would make it worse. After it gets dark tonight, try shining a flashlight on the fish. That should be easier to see that way.
I'm on the fence between Costiasis or Columnairis myself. You might want to read about them both and see what you think. Costiasis causes that excess slime fluffing off.
I agree, shine a flashlight in the dark on your little guy. If he has velvet, it will be pretty apparent when you do this. Pictures on the web of what it looks like don't really help, as they aren't too clear. Velvet will look like someone took bronze/gold eyeshadow and smeared it on him and dusted his tail with it if its on the tail.
Lady Hobbs mentioned two other illnesses that it can be, so look into those as well.
Make sure your tank is at 80 degrees. Lower temps can cause fish stress in Betta and spark a host of these ailments.
I have had great success curing Velvet if that is what it is, with Coppersafe, however, Coppersafe is risky. I only used this after other conventional treatments did not work.
One thing you may wish to get (may have to order it) is Atison's Betta Spa. It is a water conditioner specifically for Betta that contains almond leaf extract. This will help in his comfort and healing while he is being treated. If you can't find this item, also getting african almond leaves and floating a bit in the tank will leech the same tannins to the water. It has a soothing calming affect on Betta, and they really enjoy it.
2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.
Thank you Lady Hobbs and Tiari. I shall get reading and will order the Betta spa too. Jasper is eating his pellets today but still not his vivacious self, and has wedged himself behind his tank heater. There are no lights in his tank, I opted for a small Himalayan Salt lamp in between his tank and Beau's 3 gallon tank. (Beau is my second Siamese Fighter fish and he is fine). The salt lamp gives a warm glow for both tanks. But in any case I have turned it off now Lady H and hope it helps him. I shall have to invest in a bigger heater for him or at least one that can be adjusted, his only heats to 78f I think. I shall perhaps keep adding hot (treated water) throughout the night to keep him warmer till I get another heater.
Thank you again :-)
Lady H - have read up on Costiasis and Columnaris and Jasper thankfully isnt presenting the main symptoms of either. Have shone a torch on him and no gold or red dust. His body is showing no signs of sores or grey/white fluff or white spots. However, the once red tips of his beautiful flowing fins/tail are now milky white. He isnt rubbing his little body madly against tank furniture today so perhaps not itchy anymore, maybe the dose of aquarium salt bugged him?
Gave him another water change today, he has had his 2 meals of pellets. Perhaps it is this Fin Rot illness. If so, what would you recommend as a tried and tested cure, I value your opinion.
Is your heater the kind that's small and is set to "78" constant? If so, I've had one of these and find they only heat the water to 75. This may be the source of the problem. Considering he is hanging out behind the heater, he may be looking for extra warmth.
Do you have a thermometer in the tank? If so, whats the average temp? Until you get a better adjustable heater where you can set it and maintain the tank at 80, don't try to "warm it up" using warm tap water. What this will do is warm it temporarily, then the temp will lower, causing stressful swings in temperature, which will only aggravate the problem.
Low temp can cause stress related illness in Betta's, such as Fin Rot and Ich, and stress may even cause them to start biting their own tail. Low temps will also make them lethargic, and all around unhappy. If your other tank with Betta also has the same type of heater, and same temps, that Betta may just be hardier and able to handle the lower temp, for now. I would change out both heaters before he has a problem.
For mild fin rot, keep the water extra clean, and monitor well the water test results. Dirty water of any kind will make the situation turn badly, fast. A bit of salt usually helps, but if you get the Atison's Betta spa, there is no need to add salt as it has that in it as well. With the Betta spa, start by adding in 1/3 of the amount they recommend first, and watch your Betta's behavior. If in two days you see no improvement add another 1/3, and so on. I have found that 1/3 the recommended dose makes for one happy Betta, but results may be different depending on the tank, and the Betta in question.
Betta Spa may tint the water. It hasn't in mine, but its been reported to do so and is completely normal.
You will know there is improvement by his behavior, and, in the fin area, new growth will start to appear as a transparent film, that starts to spread and color in gradually.
Continue to monitor his fins, and his body to make sure the condition does not get worse. If clean water, and salt/Betta Spa do not work, and you see a progression over a few days, you may need a medication to help combat it. Watch for continuing fraying fins, or a cottony white fuzz anywhere on your fish. Continued fraying would signal advancing fin rot, and any white fuzzy material would be fungus setting in. You would then need to deal with them with appropriate medications.
I do not have any experience treating fungal infections. However, I have used a combination of Maracyn and Maracyn II to combat fin rot successfully. The downside is Maracyn will tint your tank an unholy green, and may completely kill the cycle in your filter material. Causing you to have to re-cycle the tank. Maracyn will not work though, if the stage of fin rot becomes advanced, and you may need something more powerful, such as Furan, or another antibiotic.
Its a tough line, but treatments are rough on fish, so before adding any antibiotic to the tank, try to make sure you know exactly what you are dealing with.
2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.
Fin rot is often confused with bacterial problems. I used Maracyn 2 which is gram negative altho both can be used together. As stated above, it may cause a mini-cycle altho it wasn't something I experienced.
Thanks both of you, two brand new heaters (adjustable) being collected tomorrow, Jasper is still snuggled on top of the heater (yes it is the one you described) He has had tiny pellets today, spat out the 4th, his little body looks a paler red, scales more emphasised and he has grey (not fuzzy or cottony) patches on both sides of his face exactly the same and a darkening patch across his back (Columnaris afterall?) Have kept water spotless, added pinch more aquarium salt. Will hunt down some meds tomorrow at the pet store, the young lad mentioned Melafix?? on the phone, says it cures EVERYTHING, not convinced. Will see if they sell the Bettaspa (if not hubby will scour the internet for it).
Re antibiotics - some have the same name as human antibiotics, does this mean you have to get them prescribed by a vet?
I feel very upset for the little fella, he is currently having a swim but has turned away from his pellets :-(
I used Pimafix (similar to melafix) for an infection on one of my tetras and lost my honey gouramis -- I've heard that the Mela/Pima-fix products have a bad effect on fish with labyrinth organs (organs which allow gourami and betta to breathe air from the surface). I just googled it and there's a lot of opinions but I think the consensus is if you decide to use Melafix on bettas, be very careful and use 1/4 dose or less.
There is a Bettafix product which is apparently safe and does the same job.
EDIT: Scratch that. Apparently Bettafix is just watered down Melafix. Here's some info: (sorry, Hobbs, for linking another forum)
"... the concern is that Melaleuca alternifolia (active ingredient of Melafix) added to the water, is that it covers the labyrinth organ thus decreasing its' ability to perform. That fish already suffering the advanced or even mid-level infections fungal/bacterial infections cannot tolerate the loss of performance of this organ..."
Last edited by ameliaaahx; 06-15-2012 at 08:27 AM.
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