Crowntail Betta

The Crown Tail Betta has a striking, elaborate tail that differentiates it from other Bettas.

Betta Smaragdina

Betta smaragdina, or the Emerald green betta is a species of Betta. They are anabantoids, and breathe air.

Betta Splendens Dragon

features a rich strong base colour, often red, with the scales on the main part of the body a pale iridescent, sometimes copper colour.

Betta Spawning

Spawning Betta.

Betta Mahachai

The way to identify the Mahachai has green or blue gill plates with no wild spots on the tail rays.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Betta Disease: Bacterial Infections

Prevention: Bacterial infections can happen for many reasons, but bad water quality is a happy environment for bacteria to grow in. Contact with dead fish can spread them too, though your bettas shouldn't have that problem unless they're in a community tank.

Symptoms: Betta may have clamped fins, lay at bottom or at surface, not eat, lose its color, turn gray, barely swim around. In more advanced cases, its body

may start developing red patches, open sores and all kinds of nasty looking stuff. Different bacteria affect fish differently. Some will attack the internal organs while others prefer to munch on the skin.

Treatment: The term "bacterial infection" is very broad, and so you'll have to treat a side range of possible infections. Do a full water change. Clean filter and filtering system if you have them and remove any uneaten food rotting. Isolate any bettas with symptoms if in a community tank.

You should also treat the whole tank. There is a wide variety of antibiotics available for fish. Remove carbon from your filters before you add the medications: the carbon would otherwise absorb all the medication. Use Tetracycline or Ampicillin combined with Fungus Eliminator or whatever you find at your store (look for “broad spectrum” antibiotics, though a good one is Kanamycin if you can find some). You can learn more about all of these in the First Aid section. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and don’t stop the treatment until your bettas are well again. Dose carefully and to the correct proportions, and you'll have to redose after you do water changes, which you should do every three days or so.

Betta disease: Fungal Infections

Currently on the Board of the aquarium often see the topics on diseases of betta fish, many of which are deadly dangerous fungal diseases of betta fish, damage to the aquarium. Please share with your readers some information about this disease. Fungal infection is a common disease common in tropical fish. Because the spores of the fungus is found in the aquarium, these spores will enter and infect fish when the fish are stressed (stress), injury or disease. Poor water quality can cause increased fungal infections on fish in the tank.

Most farmers recognize the signs of a fungal infection from the outside. Most of the lesions are white (smooth, hairy) characterized and commonly referred to as “cotton wool disease cotton wool disease“. When fish severe fungal infections, yeast infections can trace grayed out, even red.

But fortunately, most of the fungus only attacks on the outside of the betta fish tissue and the fungus usually occurs when fish become infected before or wounded, and that explains why the betta fish gets mushrooms need to second part of the treatment. It is just to treat wounds, enhance the health of individuals, combined with fungal treatment. However, there are several species of fungi will infect the internal organs of the fish and then will affect fish health without timely intervention. Fungi are present in most of the aquarium, but to increase the infection conditions for fish in the tank include:

- Poor quality of the water tank.

- Poor tank hygiene.

- Dead fish in the tank or the decomposition of organic matter in the tank.

- Personal injury, older individuals or individuals with other diseases.

The aquarium is often a fungal infection to be checked and thoroughly cleaning the tank, water purification systems, water quality. The tank water quality is good, the fish rarely mushrooms.

Some common fungal disease in fish include:

Fungus cotton wool – Cotton wool disease: 

Cotton wool fungus disease is a general term used to refer to the fungus infection on the skin, fins and fish’s mouth. The white fungus (looks like cotton) usually develop in the areas where fish have been infected before, where the parasite attacked and injured betta fish. These pathogenic fungi often the Saprolegnia and Achyla species. Many other fungi can cause disease and sometimes can find many types of fungi cause disease in fish.

To treat this disease, we can bathe in salt water or use of antifungal drugs containing phenoxyethanol. In some cases the need to treat all the fish in the tank, but if you have some sick individual may own these individuals to treatment. The use of antifungal and antibacterial containing Gentian Violet to apply the stain fungi to betta fish is also a good choice of treatment.

Bring rot – rot Gill:

This fungal disease is not common, but when sick, very dangerous for betta fish and betta fish die if not treated. When infected with this fungus, betta fish abnormal respiratory signs such as breathing air rush to get. The motor bearing and leaves stuck together by mucus and on the appearance of spots. The cause of this disease is due to mushrooms Branchiomyces, can take to rot away. This disease usually occurs when fish are stressed that the main reason is high ammonia or nitrate in the tank. When fish get sick, the treatment is difficult and often unsuccessful. In some cases, can be cured by bathing phenoxyethanol in the long run and increase the amount of oxygen in the tank. So good aquarium care regime is best measures to prevent this.

Fungal infections – Systemic fungal infections:

Fungal infections in tropical fish disease is very rare and is generally very difficult to diagnose and treat. As a result, there is not much knowledge about this disease. A fungus can cause infection this is Icthyophonus. Infected fish very weak, swimming, activities and significantly less food. Betta fish live in water less and fickle susceptible to this disease. However, the disease can be successfully treated by bathing and soaking the fish in blue malachit drugs.

Most farmers aquarium or are faced with fungal infections when this is not the other. Most fungal diseases are successfully treated if detected early and treated properly. There is an obvious thing everyone knows is developing fungi or when fish have poor health, or injury, particularly the aquarium care less. So when your betta fish fungal infection, then you check the quality and make sure that the water in your tank is good, safe and natural for your betta fish farming.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Betta Disease: External Parasites

 It is possible for a betta fish to contract external parasites in the pet store or from the foot that they are being fed or from other fish being introduced to the tank. It is usually possible to see parasites by looking closely at your fish. In the case of some parasites like anchor worms, you will have no problem spotting them. A fish that has external parasites will show symptoms of needing to scratch itself against anything it can find and it will not behave as it normally would showing signs of being uncomfortable in its tank.

If your betta fish shows signs of external parasites you will want to change out 70% of your fish tank’s water. Changing out a percentage of your fish’s water will help to reduce the population of the parasites and their eggs but it will not remove them all completely so it is important to treat the remaining water. After replenishing the water you will want to treat it with BettaZing, a product designed to clean the water and kill the remaining parasites and their eggs.

Another option:

Do a full water change, and add aquarium salt*. Look for a medication that kills parasites.
Continue treatment every third day until gone.

*TIP: If you use aquarium salt, 100% sea salt is pretty much the same and works just as well. Any salt as long as it does NOT contain Iodine is fine. U can use rock salt, but make sure it is dissolved before use - you don't want your Betta swallowing it.

Betta Disease: Internal Parasites

Internal parasites are usually introduced to the fish through food--some are often found on live foods and others can hitch a ride on dry foods as eggs. Always carefully rinse any live foods and make sure you get them from a reputable source. Dry foods should be kept sealed and in cool, dry areas--such as a refrigerator. Diagnosing internal parasites can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for, often parasitized fish are treated for bacteria and end up in worse shape than they started out in. One of the key differences between an infected fish and a parasitized fish is that they tend to get sick much more slowly than a fish with a bacterial infection--whereas an infected fish would be laying around gasping all day by the time he or she lost their appetite, a parasitized fish will swim around fairly sprightly and show no interest in food. Fortunately, the most common infestations are easy to treat--if treated quickly and correctly, the fish almost always make full recoveries--however, this is a very diverse group and only the most common will be discussed here.

Internal Parasites
- Cestodes and Flagellates
-Nematodes and Roundworms

 Cestodes And Flagellates

Cestodes, or flatworms, are a common and very treatable variety of internal parasite. They live in the fish’s internal organs and muscles--over time, they can cause serious damage to the fish’s vital tissues as they leech energy and nutrients from their host. Flagellates, like hexamita, live in the digestive tract and sap the fish of vital nutrients derived from food.

Physical: Paleness, loss of body mass, ragged fins, distended belly, constipation, white, stringy, or otherwise abnormal feces.
Behavioral: Loss of appetite, the fish slowly becomes more and more lethargic.

Early stage treatment: If the fish is still eating, but you have noticed abnormal feces and other physical symptoms, start with anti-parasitic medicated food. This is the most direct way to treat the problem, but the window of opportunity for use of anti-parasitic food quickly closes when as the fish loses their appetite. Look for a medicated food with the ingredients praziquantel and metronidazole.

Later stage treatment: If the fish shows no interest in food, treat the water column with a medicated tablet for internal parasites. When choosing a medication, look for the ingredients praziquantel and metronidazole--if possible, try to find them both together in one treatment, such as Jungle’s Anti-Parasite Medicated Fish Food or Ultra Cure PX. If that is not available, choose the medication with the ingredient praziquantel and use as instructed.

Within the week, you should see the fish start passing the parasites in large bowel movements, after which, their appetite should return. It’s a good idea to start out by feeding fibrous foods--examples of which are listed in the treatment entry for Bloating and Constipation. This should help clean out the fish’s digestive system and get him or her on the right track to recovery. Keep the water extra clean in order to promote healing and prevent secondary infection.

Betta Disease: Inflamed Gills

When a Bettas gills become inflamed, one or both gills will not close properly. They may or may not look red on the inside, and if in the last stages, they would be gasping for air, unable to breathe properly.

A Bettas gills may become inflamed because of bad water conditions, or perhaps from a bacterial infection.

To cure, Isolate any sick Betta with Inflamed Gills, and every third day do a full water change. Every time you change the water, add any sort of bacterial medication you have, I would use either triple sulfur, or tetracycline if available. Get your water tested, if you don’t have a test kit - most LFS (local fish stores) will do it for you.

Betta Disease: Velvet

Velvet Disease or Piscinoödinium or Oödinium pilularis is a parasitic infestation that is very common among both salt and freshwater fish. This parasite is opportunistic and is present in most commercial aquariums. When a fish is stressed due to temperature fluctuations, poor water quality or other stressors they become susceptible to theparasites.

Velvet Disease is classified as a dinoflagellate. It is both a protozoan like the Ich parasites but contains Chlorophyll so it is also considered a type of algae. It survives by finding a stressed host and attaching itself mostly to the gill or fin tissue where it kills the cells and consumes the nutrients directly from the fish. If left untreated it often leads to death. Physically, Velvet looks like a gold, rust or yellow dust, finely sprinkled over the fish. In fact, it can be so difficult to see that often a flashlight is needed to reveal it. This shiny powder appearance has lead to many other names besides Velvet including Rust and Gold Dust Disease.

Besides seeing the parasites directly on your fish you may notice other symptoms including the telltale rubbing against rocks, gravel or other décor. This is common with external parasites and is an attempt by your fish to dislodge the pests from its body. As the disease develops, symptoms may worsen and include lethargy, loss of appetite, labored breathing and clamped fins.

Over a short time, the protozoa detach from their host and enter their free-swimming stage where they divide and multiply many times. This is when they are most vulnerable to medications but may not be obviously present in the tank. It is very important when medicating that you finish the entire course of treatment regardless of weather or not you still see the parasites present. Follow the directions on the medication package closely. Once the parasites multiply they must find a new host (or the same old one) within 24 hours to survive. Because of this life cycle it may appear that your fish has gotten better but really once the Piscinoödinium completes reproduction the worst is yet to come. Now many more protozoa are present in the water and waiting to attack your fish.

If diagnosed early, Velvet is fairly easy to treat. First, you should remove your betta and place him into a hospital tank away from any other fish. Oödinium is highly contagious and keeping the infected fish in a community tank can put others at risk. Make note, the medications for Velvet may be toxic to other species like some fish, snails, invertebrates and aquarium plants as well. Also, any filter media should be removed so as not to eliminate the medication from the water. Next, slowly raise the water temperature to 80˚F – 82˚F [26.6˚C – 27.7˚C]. Because you don’t want to further stress you fish, be sure to only increase the temperature by no more then 2˚F or 1˚C in a 24 hour period. A more rapid temperature fluctuation could cause additional harm. It’s recommended you use a commercial Velvet medication like Mardel’s CopperSafe® or Jungle’s Velvet Guard®. Reducing the amount of light getting into the tanks by keeping the hood lamp off and covering the tank may help to combat the parasites as well.

To prevent the Piscinoödinium parasites from infesting your tank there are some simple precautions all aquarists can tank. First, always quarantine new fish for 3 – 4 weeks before adding them to a community tank. Be sure to always test your water parameters regularly and keep tank water clean by performing frequent and regular water changes. Avoid stressors like temperature and pH fluctuations and provide a nutritionally balanced diet by offering a variety of live and frozen foods.

Betta Disease: Tuberculosis (TB)

Causes and symptoms of fish TB. Mycobacterium marinum. Possible treatment. There is some danger to humans when servicing

Tuberculosis was once a dreaded disease in Europe as well as North America and virtually everyone knew someone who had succumbed to ‘consumption’, the commonly used name for the disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is still widespread in most third world countries and after the fall of the Soviet Union, the numbers of tuberculosis patients have sky rocketed in Russia as well as in many other post-soviet states.

What few of us know, however, is that a bacterium closely related to Mycobacterium tuberculosis called Mycobacterium marinum can be present in wild caught as well as captive bred fish and stay lurking in our aquariums without us ever realizing it. After all, when one of our fishes goes belly up, few of us drag out the Petri dish and starts growing bacterial cultures to find out exactly what caused its demise.

Since Mycobacterium marinum is so closely related to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the disease it causes is commonly referred to as fish tuberculosis of fish TB. Learning more about fish tuberculosis is recommended for all aquarists since it can be lethal to our beloved fish. What’s even worse, Mycobacterium marinum can spread to the aquarist and cause serious health problems. It can also spread to other animals and is capable of surviving in both soil and water without any host for prolonged periods of time. Don’t be fooled by the word “marinum” – this nasty little organism will survive just as well in freshwater conditions.

Certain types of fish seem to be more at risk of carrying, or at least succumbing to, fish tuberculosis. This group includes the labyrinth fishes, among which you will find many popular aquarium fishes such as Bettas and Gouramis.

Symptoms in fish
The main symptoms of fish tuberculosis are loss of scales, loss of color, lesions on the body, wasting, and skeletal deformities such as curved spines.

Looking a slides of infected tissue under a microscope is sometimes enough to recognize Mycobacterium marinum, but in most cases a bacterial culture will be necessary. BothMycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium marinum are acid fast, which means that they stain bright pink against a blue background.

Treating fish tuberculosis is really difficult and euthanizing the fish a probably less painful for the fish than forcing it to go through endless treatments that may not have any effect on the disease. Euthanizing all the fish in the infected aquarium is also the best way of preventing the disease from spreading.

If you decide to try and treat your fish, keep in mind that Mycobacterium marinum can infect you as well. The risk of being infected can however be decreased dramatically by following a few simple safety guidelines. You can read more about this further down in this article.

Fish can be treated with the same drugs as humans get when they become infected by Mycobacterium marinum, e.g. Kanamycin. Since this is a very resilient microbe, normal treatment involves administering at least two different medications over the course of at least three months.

A lot of aquarium problems can be fixed by performing frequent water changes, increasing the water temperature and adding some salt to the water, but fish tuberculosis is not one of them. Raising the water temperature may even worsen the problem since Mycobacterium marinum prefers warm water (their ideal temperature is 30°C).

Since curing fish is virtually impossible once the disease begins to manifest, preventative measures are highly important.

Keeping your fish healthy, happy and well-fed will boost their immune system and make it possible for them to handle limited exposure to Mycobacterium marinum.

Wounded or otherwise weakened fish should be moved to quarantine tanks where they can be treated and given time to recuperate, since weak fish that is left in the main aquarium can serve as a breeding ground for all sorts of malicious microorganisms that may eventually grow numerous enough to attack even the healthy fishes.

New fish should ideally be quarantined before you allow it into you main aquarium. Plants, substrate, equipment etcetera should be sterilized to kill of potentially harmful bacteria before being introduced to the aquarium. See the plant section for more info about how to sterilize plants without causing injury to them.

An aquarium that has had an outbreak of fish tuberculosis should be meticulously cleaned out wh bleach and left to dry before you restock it.

When aquarists become infected by Mycobacterium marinum, it is usually because the carry out maintenance work when they have cuts or other skin problems on their hands or arms. Our skin is remarkably good at keeping malevolent microorganisms out, but as soon as the skin gets injured, an important part of the body’s defense system has been breached. It doesn’t have to bee a large wound; a simple paper cut or eczema can be enough for Mycobacterium marinum to slip through. When handling an aquarium where you suspect thatMycobacterium marinum may be present, it is consequently important to use protective gloves. You may have a tiny sore that you haven’t even noticed, such as a torn cuticle. Some aquarists prefer to use gloves all the time, or at least when they have damaged skin, since it is impossible to know if Mycobacterium marinum exists in an aquarium before the fish start to show symptoms of fish tuberculosis. You can also catch fish tuberculosis by using your mouth to start a siphon. Washing your hands and lower arms with soap after handling fish and aquariums is naturally always recommended.

Symptoms and treatment
When aquarists become infected with fish tuberculosis, it normally starts as a skin problem. Mycobacterium marinum is a slow growing mycobacterium and it can therefore take several weeks before you notice any symptoms. The first sign is normally small purple lesions or “bumps”. The lesions will grow and spread and Mycobacterium marinum can proceed to destroy the soft tissue under the skin, including tendons and joints. In severe cases, fish tuberculosis can spread to the bones and cause symptoms similar to arthritis.

Most doctors never come in contact with fish tuberculosis and if you show up with some strange lesions on your hands, they might not realize what is causing it and put you on a general oral antibiotic that will not kill Mycobacterium marinum. It is therefore very important to inform your doctor that you are an aquarist and that you may have caught fish tuberculosis or some other disease from your aquarium. Mycobacterium marinum can be successfully treated but only if the right combination of drugs are used. Just as with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the treatment will normally need to be carried out over the course of several months. In serious cases, intravenous administration of antibiotics may be required.

Betta Disease: Swim Bladder Disorder

Common Name: Swim Bladder Disorder, Swim Bladder Disease, SBD
Scientific Name: N/A
Description: Irregularity of gas bladder
Symptoms: swimming upside down, unable to right self
Cause: constipation, blockage, infection, tumor
Medications: fasting, Maracyn & Maracyn-Two combo
Ingredients: Erythromycin, Minocycline, Tetracycline
Notes: treatment varies by cause, antibiotics not usually necessary

In a fish’s world, being unable to right ones-self may be a sign of a swim bladder problem commonly referred to as “Swim Bladder Disorder”, “Swim Bladder Disease” or “SBD” for short.

In simple terms, the swim bladder is a gas filled sac located in the betta’s body, posteriorly (toward the tail end). You can usually see it bump out slightly on most Bettas. The swim bladder works very similarly to a SCUBA diver’s BCD (buoyancy control device). When a diver wants to be more buoyant, he fills his vest with air and releases air when he wants to descend. In fish, it’s a little more complicated but you get the basic idea.

SBD is probably caused by overfeeding most often in Bettas. Feeding too much food or foods with a very low moisture content (Betta pellets) may cause pressure in the abdomen cutting off a Betta’s ability to regulate the gasses in the swim bladder. This becomes apparent when the fish can no longer swim upright in the water. The excess food in the stomach may also show itself in the form of bloating around the abdomen like you described. Usually, the easiest fix for this is to fast your Betta for a couple of days until the food passes and the fish is able to regulate the swim bladder again. Once he is back to normal, closely monitor his feedings, making sure only to feed a few pellets a couple times a day. It’s also recommended when feeding dry foods that you soak them in a cup full of tank water for about 10 minutes prior to feeding to allow them to swell to their true size before entering the Betta’s digestive track. Some Bettas are prone to bloating and constipation and may benefit from a diet of mostly live or frozen foods of which a variety are available commercially.

A bacterial infection of the swim bladder may also cause the symptoms described. If you don’t find thatthe Betta is back to normal after a day or two of fasting it may be necessary to treat the fish for the infection using a wide spectrum antibiotic available at most local fish stores. Because antibiotics can cause additional stress to fish, it is recommended to only use them if an infection is strongly suspected. Other signs of infection include lethargy, color loss, loss of appetite, redness under the scales (septicemia) and other secondary infections.

On some occasions Bettas won’t fully heal from their swim bladder disorder and may continue to experience problems righting itself. As long as the fish is able to draw air from the surface and can still eat there is no reason that it can’t continue to live out a full life. Euthanization is rarely needed. You can make your Betta more comfortable by keeping him in a tank away from fin nipping fish or fast swimming fish that may agitate him. Adding some floating plants or other decor may help him rest near the surface when he wishes.

Antibiotic resistance is a problem facing aquarists all over the world. This occurs when bacteria evolve to make newer, stronger strains that cannot be combated by available antibiotics. To avoid creating tougher strains of bacteria be sure to carefully follow the directions on the medicine package and to never stop or change medications part way through treatment unless your betta is having a dangerous reaction to them. As with any disease, remove your sick fish from the community tank and isolate him for treatment in a hospital tank. Never medicate healthy fish.

Betta Disease: Popeye

Common Name: Popeye
Scientific Name: Exophthalmia
Description: Symptom of infection
Symptoms: swelling and protrusion of one or both eyes
Cause: bacterial, viral or parasitic
Medications: Maracyn, Maracyn-Two combined
Ingredients: Erythromycin, Minocycline, Tetracycline

Popeye, also called exophthalmia is a symptom, not a disease in itself and has many possible causes. Popeye is characteristically diagnosed by the swelling or protrusion of one or both eyes.

Curing popeye can be difficult if the source is unknown. The origin can range from bacterial, viral, parasitic or as an effect of fish tuberculosis. It’s often impossible to determine which has infected a given fish. Answers may lie in other symptoms. When you first notice popeye it’s best to observe your sick fish and other tankmates for other signs of disease that may offer a clue. For example, if the popeye is accompanied by redness under the scales you may deduce that the source is bacterial. There is no sure way to determine the cause and your best guess may be all you have.

Generally when the origin is unknown aquarists begin by treating with a broad-spectrum antibiotic like Tetracycline or a combination of gram-positive and gram-negative antibiotics like Mardel’s Maracyn and Maracyn-Two that contain Erythromycin and Minocycline respectively.

Exophthalmia itself is not contagious but the infection that caused it may be so it’s best to treat any sick fish in a hospital tank away from other healthy tankmates. The original infection is most commonly caused by poor water quality and measure to improve the tank water should be taken immediately. Poor water quality does is not usually obvious to the naked eye. Your water may seem to be clean in appearance but there could be toxins present like ammonia, nitrite and elevated nitrate levels. The only way to determine the presence of these toxins is to test with the appropriate water test kits. Other stressors may have contributed to the infection like fluctuating temperature or pH or harassment from other tankmates.

To avoid diseases like popeye, keep up with yourwater changes, frequently test your water and never introduce new fish to the tank without first quarantining them in a separate tank for 3 – 4 weeks before exposing them to healthy fish.

The lasting effects of popeye vary from a full recovery to cloudy, swollen or even a missing eye. It’s not believed that these effects inhibit the quality of life for the fish. Even in the case of a missing eye, the fish can live a full and normal life. If your fish looses his eye be sure to keep your water very clean to avoid any further infection while the socket is healing.

Antibiotic resistance is a problem facing aquarists all over the world. This occurs when bacteria evolve to make newer, stronger strains that cannot be combated by available antibiotics. To avoid creating tougher strains of bacteria be sure to carefully follow the directions on the medicine package and to never stop or change medications part way through treatment unless your betta is having a dangerous reaction to them. As with any disease, remove your sick fishfrom the community tank and isolate him for treatment in a hospital tank. Never medicate healthy fish.

Betta Disease : Ich

Common Name: Ich
Scientific Name: Ichthyophthirius multifiliis
Description: Parasite
Symptoms: white spots on body appear to look like sugar sprinkled on fish, darting, rubbing body against tank decor, sometimes no symptoms other than spots
Cause: stress, poor water quality, most common in water under 78˚F [25.5˚C]
Medications: RidIch+ by Kordon
Ingredients: formalin, malachite green

Notes: Because the Ich parasite is only visibly present 4 out of the 7 day lifecyle it is important to continue to dose for the full recommended number of days

Ich (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis) is a contagious parasitic infestation that commonly affects both marine and freshwater fish. The Ich protozoan may be present in the water without you even knowing it. It often only preys on fish that are stressed due to poor water quality or other stressors.

A fish that has the Ich parasites on him will look as though he has been sprinkled with little granules of sugar or salt. A mild case may only turn up two or three small white dots but a severe case could leave your entire fish dotted with white parasites.

A fish with Ich may become twitchy and try to rub its body up along the tank décor or gravel. In severe cases the fish may become lethargic or loose it’s appetite. It’s not uncommon, however for the fish to act pretty normal despite the parasites being present.

Ich is quite easy to treat but left too long can be fatal. It’s very important to understand the life cycle of the Ich parasite in order to treat it properly. The protozoan has a three-part life cycle of which it is only vulnerable to treatment for approximately two days out of its life. Because some fish are more sensitive to medications then others I am going to go through the proper treatment for a Betta. Some fish are more delicate (like scaleless fish) and may need a modified form of treatment.

Trophont Phase- [approx 4 days] The Trophont is the adult protozoan that is feeding on your fish. This is what you are looking at when you see the “granules” attached to your fish. The parasites are not susceptible to treatment during this phase.

Tomont Phase- [approx 1 day] The Tomont occurs when the Trophont [above] releases from your fish and falls away. It then begins to divide hundreds of times in your tank but is too small to be seen by the naked eye. To the inexperienced aquarist it may appear that your fish is healed but the protozoan is still not susceptible to treatment during this phase. It is just reproducing and will attack your fish more severely if not handled in the next phase.

Thernont Phase- [approx 2 days] This is the phase where the microscopic parasites are free swimming around your tank and are most vulnerable to treatment. While they are looking for a host it is important to be medicating your tank. With proper treatment the parasites will die off during this stage before feeding on your fish and starting the cycle again.

To treat your betta it’s important to know that the Ich parasites are contagious and the medication is fairly strong. It’s best to move your fish to a hospital tank if he has tank mates so as not to expose them to more parasites or unnecessary medication. The medicine used may kill helpful nitrifying bacteria so activated carbon filters should be removed during the treatment process.

The Ich parasites thrive in cooler water below a temperature of 78˚F [25.5˚C] so slowly raise the temperature in the tank to around 80˚F – 82˚F [26.6˚C – 27.7˚C] over the next 24 to 48 hours.

Carefully follow the directions on the medicine bottle remembering to perform 25% water changes before each dose and to continue dosing for several days past the visible signs of the disease.

Since fish generally become infected due to stressors it’s imperative that you determine what may have caused the fish to get sick to begin with. Check your water parameters and make any corrections as needed.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Betta fish Fin Disease

Common Name: Fin Rot
Scientific Name: Aeromonas sp. or Pseudomonas sp.
Description: gram-negative rod bacteria
Symptoms: loss of fin tissue, black or bloody fin tips
Cause: poor water conditions, exposure to toxins
Medications: Mardel’s Maracyn-Two, Aquatronics’ Kanacyn
Ingredients: Minocycline, Kanamiacyn
Notes: Can be mild or severe, may require medication

The difference between fin loss and fin rot are not always obvious but there is, indeed, a difference. Generally, we distinguish between the two based on its cause.

Fin loss is caused by physical damage incurred by sharp tank decorations, snagged fins, or nipping from other fish. It happens when something actually tears the fin tissue.

Fin rot is the result of a bacterial infection, which leaves the fins tattered, bloody or blackened. Entire portions of the fins may fall off or go missing in the tank. The reason we distinguish between the two is because the treatment for each can be quite different.

Fin rot is a gram-negative bacterial infection usually caused by poor water conditions. It is probably the number one most common betta ailment and chances are if you own bettas you will eventually deal with fin rot. Fin rot is most common in uncycled tanks where bettas are exposed to ammonia or nitrite. It can be caused by elevated nitrate levels in cycled tanks and may be caused by fluctuating temperatures and pH levels as well. Essentially, these toxins or fluctuations stress the betta, weakening his immune system, leaving him susceptible to bacterial infections.

The most common signs of fin rot are a rapid loss of fin tissue, bloody fin tips or blackened fin edges. In darker colored bettas these symptoms may be difficult to spot. Upon speculation of fin rot you should immediately check your water parameters to determine the origin. Successfully curing fin rot is dependent on fixing the cause. Check for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph andtemperature. The ammonia and nitrite levels should be at 0 ppm [parts per million] and nitrate should be under 20 ppm, maximum. The pH levels and water temperature should be stable with little or no fluctuation from the days before. Remember, toxins like ammonia and nitrite become exponentially more significant in alkaline water [pH above 7.0] and thus much more dangerous and likely to stress your betta. This doesn’t mean you have to bring the pH down. Drastically adjusting the pH could cause more stress. It’s far better to leave the pH stable and to maintain little or no toxins in the water instead. While your betta has fin rot, it is helpful to increase the frequency of your water changes and add ammonia or nitrite neutralizers, like Kordon’s AmQuel-Plus, if necessary.

If the fin rot is not severe, meaning there is still more then 1/2 of the fin left, then usually clean water and careful observation will due as treatment. It’s crucial that the betta not be exposed to any toxins while healing from the disease. New fin growth is very fragile and it’s not uncommon to have several relapses after healing begins. You may also notice the fins grow back slightly curled. While this doesn’t always occur it is normal and in no way hurts the fish.

Bacterial Fin Rot in Betta Fish
If you suspect the fin rot is severe the betta may need your help to recover through use of medication and clean water. Because fin rot is bacterial in nature you will need a gram-negative antibiotic. I recommend Mardel’s Maracyn-Two [Minocycline] or if quite severe you may want to use Kanacyn [Kanamiacyn] or an equivalent wide spectrum antibiotic. As mentioned before, all the antibiotics in the world won’t cure your betta if the cause is not corrected. Be sure to test your water and make any changes as necessary.

Use caution when selecting a medication for your betta. Avoid any herbal tonics or remedies that contain Melaleuca like Melafix or Bettafix. These medications are mostly antiseptics and may help fin regeneration after the bacterial infection has cleared but will do little to help initially. If your betta is sick enough to need a real antibiotic then give him one.

Antibiotic resistance is a problem facing aquarists all over the world. This occurs when bacteria evolve to make newer, stronger strains that cannot be combated by available antibiotics. To avoid creating tougher strains of bacteria be sure to carefully follow the directions on the medicine package and to never stop or change medications part way through treatment unless your betta is having a dangerous reaction to them. As with any disease, remove your sick fish from the community tank and isolate him for treatment in a hospital tank. Never medicate healthy fish.

Common Name: Fin Loss
Scientific Name: none
Description: physical damage
Symptoms: split fins or pin holes
Cause: sharp tank decor, snagging, strong filter intake, fin-nippy fish
Medications: none Ingredients: none
Notes: Can be mild or severe, can be fixed by removing the danger and clean water- May be confused with fin rot

Split Fin in Betta Fish
Fin loss is usually easy to avoid and easy to fix. It can be avoided by checking all tank décor before adding it to the aquarium. Because betta fins are so fragile, they easily snag on plastic plants or sharp rocks or driftwood. An easy test can be done to avoid sharp objects. Simply run a pair of women’s pantyhose or nylons over the tank décor. If the nylons don’t snag or rip, they will be suitable for a betta tank. In many cases, the object can be filed down or sharp parts can be removed. Often plastic plants will cause fin loss so you may find better luck with silk or most live plants instead.

Of course, it’s best to not add fin-nipping fish to your tank. Bettas become easy pray for quicker swimming and aggressive fish. Barbs and most tetras should be avoided in your betta tank. If you notice a fish nipping your betta you should remove the fish or the bettas as soon as possible because nipped fins can become infected and treatment could become more complicated.

Betta fin tissue can heal quickly and most mild to moderate spits or holes can heal themselves without use of any medications or tank additives. It is prudent to keep your tank water clean when these minor injuries occur so as not to allow infections to develop

Care & Treatment of Fin Rot 

Fin Rot is one of the most common, yet preventable aquarium fish diseases. It often occurs simultaneously with other diseases and is caused by a bacterial infection.

One of the earliest symptoms is ragged fins. As the disease progresses, the fins become increasingly shorter and some whiteness appears on the edges. Cotton Wool, a secondary disease, may develop, and will manifest as a fuzzy growth on the fins. If untreated, the base of the fins will become red and inflamed, with spotty, bloody patches.

Fin Rot occurs when the Betta is distressed due to poor water quality, overfeeding, uneaten food, overcrowding or rough handling. If the water is not changed regularly, the leftover food particles and feces will decompose and contaminate the water. If there are too many Bettas or too much food in the tank, even regular water changes may not prevent the disease. The resultant stress on the Betta lowers his immunity, thus making him very susceptible to attack from the bacteria present in the water. Only in rare instances will Bettas develop Fin Rot when a tank is impeccably maintained.

Once Fin Rot sets in, change the water and examine the conditions within the aquarium. Remove everything from the aquarium and wash all the decorations and rocks with hot water. Do not use soap. Follow instructions for changing the water in the aquarium.

Since Fin Rot is a bacterial infection, medication is available to cure it. Some medications successfully used to cure fin rot include Jungle Fungus Eliminator and Tetracycline.

Fin Rot is very contagious. Separate the fish that appear uncontaminated from the diseased fish. Place the uncontaminated Betta in a separate quarantine tank until you are sure they are healthy. To prevent the disease from being transferred to your healthy Betta, do not share nets between the tanks. Also, ensure that you wash everything used in handling either the sick or the quarantined Betta properly in hot water before using it with any other fish.

The best way to treat Fin Rot is to prevent it from occurring. Here are some helpful tips:

Water & Habitat
Change the water in the tank every one to two weeks and thoroughly clean all decorations, rocks, etc. without using soap. Instead, purchase a cleaner formulated specifically for this purpose from your local pet store or fish dealer.

It is also important to check the pH and the temperature of the water on a regular basis. All fish, particularly those with long flowing fins such as the Betta, have a tendency to contract Fin Rot when the temperature of the water is either too low or too warm for sustained periods of time.

Check that your fish’s food is correct for his specific diet and be extra careful not to overfeed your Betta. It is far better to give your fish smaller quantities of high quality food. Overfeeding will allow excess leftover food to remain in the water, which in turn will increase the concentration of bacteria in your tank.

Be gentle and cautious when handling your Betta. They are easily stressed if they are carelessly handled. Keeping the habitat controlled, clean and stress free is the best way to ensure your Betta's health and your continued enjoyment of this beautiful, showy fish.

Betta Fish Disease: Dropsy

Dropsy is a very common, very fatal disease that attacks the betta fish's internal organs. Very little is known about dropsy, except that it causes kidney failure. No one knows what causes dropsy, but here is what we do know.
Dropsy is very easy to diagnose in a betta fish. Your betta fish will have raised scales that look like tiny ridges along his body. This is easiest to see from the top of the fish. Your betta will also be very swollen in it's stomach region. This is due to fluids building up under the skin. Essentially, your betta fish will look like a pine cone.
Unfortunately there is no cure for dropsy. In very rare cases, Tetracylene, Kanacyn, broad spectrum anti-biotics, and other betta medicines have been known to work, but usually by the time symptoms appear the internal organs have been too damaged. Any betta exhibiting signs of dropsy should be immediately isolated. Epsom salts may be added to your betta's water to make him more comfortable, as Epsom salts will lower the amount of fluid retention, but this is not a cure. If your betta fish does have dropsy, it will usually die in about five days, although it has been known to take up to fifteen days. If your betta does show dropsy symptoms, begin treatment immediately.
Although we don't know what causes dropsy, there have been some suggestions that live food is linked to dropsy. Feeding your fish non-live food may prevent your betta from ever getting dropsy. Also, warm, clean water and a nutritious diet is essential to a betta fish's health and will prevent most diseases.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Wine Red Betta - Betta coccina

Species name: Betta coccina


Common Names: Wine Red Betta

Family: Belontiidae 

Order: Perciformes

Class: Actinopterygii

Maximum size: 6 cm / 2 inches

Environment: freshwater

Origin: Malaysia and Indonesia

Temperament: Peaceful

Company: Males are aggressive with each other. Females are very peaceful.

Water parameters: Temperature 24-28ºC / 75-85°F. pH 4.0 – 6.0

Aquarium setup: Betta coccina (Wine Red Betta) needs a small aquarium with plenty of hiding places. A well planted aquarium is to be preferred. 

Feeding: Carnivorous. Prefers small insects.

Breeding: It’s rather difficult with Betta coccina (Wine Red Betta). Takes place in soft acidic water (pH< 5.0). It takes some time for the male and the female to know each other.

Smaragd Fighting Fish - Betta smaragdina

Species name: Betta smaragdina


Common Names: Smaragd Fighting Fish

Family: Belontiidae 

Order: Perciformes

Class: Actinopterygii

Maximum size: 7 cm

Environment: freshwater

Origin: North-East of Thailand-Kora

Temperament: Peaceful

Company: Betta smaragdina (Smaragd Fighting Fish) can be kept together with other peaceful species.

Water parameters: Temperature 22-27ºC / 72-80°F; pH 4.5 - 7.8

Aquarium setup: Betta smaragdina (Smaragd Fighting Fish) needs an aquarium with plenty of plants. The aquarium must be well covered since the fish will attempt to jump through the smallest hole.

Feeding: Betta smaragdina (Smaragd Fighting Fish) prefers live food.

Breeding: Unknown

Betta Smaragdina Couple

Small Fin Fighter - Betta miniopinna

Species name: Betta miniopinna


Common Names: Small fin Fighter

Family: Belontiidae 

Order: Perciformes

Class: Actinopterygii

Maximum size: 4 cm / 1.5 inches

Environment: freshwater

Origin: Pulau Bintan, Indonesia

Temperament: Peaceful

Company: Betta miniopinna (Small fin Fighter) is best kept lone or with small peaceful fishes

Water parameters: temperature 24-26ºC / 75-79°F; pH 5.8 - 6.5

Aquarium setup: Betta miniopinna (Small fin Fighter) likes dark, acidic water. Males are aggressive with each other. Females are very peaceful. Decorate your aquarium using decoration that creates a lot of hiding places among the plants.

Feeding: Omnivorous.

Breeding: Unknown

Slender Betta - Betta bellica

Species name: Betta bellica

Synonym: Betta fasciata

Common Names: Slender betta

Family: Belontiidae 

Order: Perciformes

Class: Actinopterygii

Maximum size: 13 cm / 5 inches

Environment: freshwater

Origin: Thailand, Sumatra, Malaysia

Temperament: Peaceful

Company: Do not keep with smaller fish

Water parameters: temperature 24-30ºC / 75-86°F; pH 6.0 - 7.5

Aquarium setup: Betta bellica (Slender betta) needs a tank of at least 80 cm / 30 inches. Provide plenty of hiding places. The tank must be covered because the fish will attempt to jump.

Feeding: Omnivorous. Loves small live food(insects)

Breeding: Unknown.

Betta Bellica Female

Betta Bellica Male

Simor Fighter - Betta simorum

Species name: Betta simorum


Common Names: Simor Fighter

Family: Belontiidae 

Order: Perciformes

Class: Actinopterygii

Maximum size: 12 cm / 5 inches

Environment: freshwater

Origin: Banka, Indonesia

Temperament: Peaceful

Company: Keep Betta simorum (Simor Fighter) with species of the same size.

Water parameters: Temperature 27ºC / 80°F; pH 4.5 - 7.0

Aquarium setup: Betta simorum (Simor Fighter) should be kept in an aquarium with a lot of plants that are planted densely to create hiding places. The aquarium should also contain floating plants.

Feeding: Betta simorum (Simor Fighter) accepts most frozen and live food. May accept flakes.

Breeding: Unknown