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Old 03-09-2004, 01:34 AM   #1
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Betta & Columnaris Bacteria

I have bought several male Bettas in the last 4 weeks. I have lost 2 Bettas within 2 weeks to what fits the description of Columnaris Bacteria. I just found a 3rd one with the same symptoms. I have them in 1 gallon tanks w/ under-gravel filters, I detox the water, put aquarium salt, pour antibiotics for fungus and bacteria, acclimate the fish for easy transition, keep the water clean and still this cotton-like "ENTITY" takes over the fish within hours once the first fuzzy spot is visible. I have read about tetracycline, should I treat them with that constantly or only when they seem ill? I am suspecting I bought them from a sick shipment to the pet shop. It looks like I will loose "Thiago" tonight even though he has really fought it. They seem very healthy and playful one day and next have a fuzzy little spot on one side and then is a race against time from there were we always seem to loose. I NEED and would LOVE some advice as I still have bettas from that batch from the store. I tried bettafix, and bettamax, nothing works as they break out even while on the antibiotic as prevention method. Is there anything I can do? Thank you for your time and help. WONDERFUL website!!

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Old 03-09-2004, 01:53 AM   #2
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I am not betta keeper, but lots have been written about them lately. First, some questions: What is the temperature of the tank(s)? How long have the tanks been up and running?

This is from Christmasfish from another thread, "Betta white stuff" in the unhealthy fish section:
The favorite method here for recovery and treatment is heat..
For ich and faster recovery of other things. It is an oldy but goody.
And it is the most effective in the long run. Meds are hard because you have to know for sure what you have or you will just end up giving the poor fish heavy metal poisoning without ever touching the pathogen.
And the disease is strong it will allow a med bath to take effect.
And heat is best in your situation; because of the medicated soup that "backyard" betta breeders keep their crowded fish in and the the poor treatment on their way to retail locations..
There are also two new strains of medication resistant and betta-first ich and gram negative bacteria running like gestapo over some well known and healthy lines. Columnaris is getting to be seen more often than before in bettas (resistant #3?)

Piper, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your bettas may simply be too weak to fight this. I can truly sympathize with you, I am having a Badis crisis--I owned 6 of these little fish for over a month and they are now dieing . I have done everything right, but I lost three since Friday and another is not looking well. I wish I could be of more help.


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Old 03-09-2004, 07:30 AM   #3
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Hiya Piper and welcome to Aquariumadvice.

Unfortunately there are strains of columnaris which are horribly virulent and kill fish before meds even have a chance to take hold. I lost 6 assorted rams in QT when they turned out to have it; this was despite 2 rounds of antibiotics. Theres a great article on columnaris here: http://www.aquamaniacs.net/flex.html

I would suggest one of the later generations of antibiotics with the remaining fish, such as Kanacyn/Kanaflex, or anything containing oxytetracycline. I'd also strongly suggest a medicated food as opposed to meds in the water; its more effective, you can treat all the fish with it and it won't mess up the biological filter. If you can't find any in the store, this place carries medicated flake: http://www.flguppiesplus.com/_wsn/page3.html
aka Cycling Guru and the Ich Slayer

*glares at Terry and QTOFFER*

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Old 03-09-2004, 06:27 PM   #4
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I agree -- columnaris is horrible -- for the fish and the owner. It's also getting harder to predict which med the fish will respond to. Unfortunately, it does seem like the bacteria are getting to be med. resistant.

I have used Jungle Fungus Eliminator. It says on the jar that it treats serious bacterial and fungal infections.

Once, Junge Fungus Eliminator was successful. My betta didn't move at all for 6 days, and then he was swimming around and flaring at me again. The next time I used it on him, it wasn't so successful....

The medicated food would be better, but maybe give the Jungle product a try. It did extend my betta's life for about 4 months.
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Old 03-09-2004, 07:09 PM   #5
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THANK YOU so much for your quick response and great advice.. The temperature in the tanks is room temperature, I had read I shouldn't use thermostats in anything smaller than 5 gallons. I had the tanks prepared for two days before bringing the Bettas home. Years back I used to have a 50 gallon fishtank with tropical fishes, 3 lil ponds with turtles and tropical fishes, and 7 bowls with bettas and I don't remember having this issue so I thought I had "lost my touch" when tried having a couple of bettas again 4 weeks ago. I read Christmasfish white stuff message and tried warming the water a lil bit by putting the tank into a big bowl of warmer water but the Betta died around 2am. He did last a lil bit longer than the 2 others. I will treat the 3 left how you have all adviced and hopefully they will last Medicated food sounds good. Menagerie good Luck with the Bradis. Thank you all again. I'll keep you posted.
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