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Hey guys,

So recently I ordered a betta on ebay which arrived with a horrible, advanced case of velvet.

*background info*:nerd:
Velvet is a protozoan dinoflagellate that attaches to the skin of the fish, consumes nutrients and resources from the fish's body, falls off to reproduce, and repeats the cycle. These dinoflagellates have chlorophyll, and can therefore survive in an aquarium via photosynthesis when they are not attached to a host. This allows velvet to stay dormant in many tanks--where it strikes upon shifts in temp or if a fish with a lowered immunity response is present.

Symptoms of velvet in fish:

1. Darting/flashing/flicking themselves off rocks, decorations, anything that might scratch the parasites off their bodies.

2. A powdery covering of gold/metallic/rusty colored dust over the body of the fish (especially visible under a flashlight in the dark)

3. In advanced cases, laying on the bottom of the tank lethargically, or floating in the corner of the tank near the surface lethargically.

4. Any of these symptoms combined with rapid gill movement (like they are having difficulty breathing)

The velvet infected betta is recovering nicely in my QT tank after a dose of mardel coppersafe. Since treating with coppersafe 5 days ago, I've noticed the betta has perked up, eats now, swims around (was lethargically laying on bottom of tank before, breathing heavily) and that the damaged scales on his back which were completely eaten away have begun to regrow.

However I suspect that there may be early stages of velvet in my community tank, because I foolishly used the same net between the velvet infected tank and the community tank in a short space of time. One of the community tank fishes shows signs of velvet (scratching behavior--adult male killifish, but shows no gold dust color under light).

So I scoured the internet for info on shrimp safe velvet treatment, and I found there is a med called flubendazole which is shrimp safe, however it is only effective for 1 of the 2 common species of velvet, so it may not work.

I found info on the treatment here:

And a source for purchasing it here: Levamisole, Flubendazole & other chemicals for the aquarium

I will try this in my community tank and update with efficacy/results. Would love anyone's thoughts on velvet, treatment options, and shrimp-safe meds for community tanks.

1,186 Posts
Be aware that flubendazole will kill snails, if you have any.
It's apparently not as bad as fenbendazole, but there are reports of people losing snails to it. Then again it may be a misread between FLUbendazole and FENbendazole.
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