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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On Monday I added 3 otos to my 20g long semi heavily planted with new plants that only had a betta (recently moved out 3 other otos to a different tank when new plants arrived for 20.. original otos are fine). I stupidly decided to not quarantine the new otos, and to put the HOB that was on my 10g for a month back onto the 20g without cleaning it first (10g houses some shrimp until last week.. but found 2 more live and healthy ones in there yesterday... sneaky buggers) and put an almond leaf that was in the 10g into the 20g...
Otos were drip acclimated and added, lights off in tank for 18 hours. I added a large dose of Prime to the tank incase of an ammonia spike form the new fish. Next day I found a dead oto.. wasn't too surpised the moron in the fish department litterally droped one on the floor ad still made me take it (refused to take another out of the tank) and also nearly squished 2 trying to get them into the bag.... well blah blah found another dead oto today (again assuming beuase of miss handling at petstore) both otos were pale when I found them..I'd checked the tank 4 hours ago and the most recent oto died between then and now and lost color. Then I noticed my betta is very lethargic, hanging out at the surface in some plants, and his face is... I don't know how to describe it just look:
(and yes he is still alive in the photo)





his face was a dark grey/green hue before this happened

Betta is staying at the surface, he is not breathing heavy (no fast gill movement) but is taking periodic gulps of air, no clamped fins, not eating (but I think he can't see food now), very lethargic but will move if touched. These symptoms only became visible today, he was swimming and eating normally yesterday evening.

I did not see this sort of white stuff on the otos but I did not see much of them after putting them in the tank.

tank stats:
large hob (rated for 70g) + airstone always on in 20g (smaller hob rated for up to 20g tank added monday)
temp 78F
ph 7.5
gh 160 kh 70
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrate 20-40 range
substrate inert black diamond
Tank has been up and running for a 2 months, with seed media (whole filter's worth) from an 10g tank that was running since 2012, had the (original) 3 otos and betta in from beginning of April.


I should mention when I bought the otos at the fish store, 2 went into another tank (no other changes to that tank) they are still alive and show no signs of disease, nor does the other tank's betta.
The otos that died in the 20g hid mostly (assumed new home so they were scared) when I did see them when alive they still had color though.

I don't know if there is still 1 live oto in there hiding or a corpse stuck in the denser part of the plants.. will having to go 'fishing' through later to see

I'm not quite sure whats causing this but I'm guessing either I just 'lucked' out and got a sick oto (not whole batch) that's spreading through the 20g, or that the HOB and/or almond leaf from the 10g brought something back over to the fish tank that did not effect cherry/rili shrimp but is killing the fish.

So anyone have any ideas wtf did this to the betta (and k.o.ed the otos)?
 

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Do you dose ferts on this tank?

If not- you have a sky-high nitrate level for such a small tank, indicating that you have had a huge waste buildup from something.

Or did you just finish a fishless cycle and not do a large water change afterwards?

At any rate- I'd start doing some large water changes, and if you don't see any improvement within the next day or two, I'd try a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

I have absolutely no clue what's wrong with his face, but the poor boy looks blind. :( If it's columnaris (a possibility with that "bleached" look) you might need to go ahead and start with the antibiotics now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I didn't think to add ferts to tank stats, yes I use Seacehm: ecxcel, flouish, pottasium, and phosphurous..
Api test kit always seems to test higher than my nitrates really are... but I assume with 2 dead fish in past few days it might have gone up. I should say it tests from my tap at 20 but water report says it never got above above 2... so yeh api is a bit useless..

I already put in details that the tank had a pre-exsiting filter's entire media and fish went in with it 2 months ago, so no cycling, and no fish-less cycling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I really don' think anythings wrong the the water.. just the test kit, as I explained in my last posts.. it always reads higher than it is. And yes I do 2x a week 5 gallon water changes on the tank, Sunday was my last water change and fish went in Monday.
I'd do 10g 1x a week but I use cold tap water and heat it with an ehiem jagar over night to tank temp and only have 1 5g bucket and 1 spare heater to do that with.
 

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I don't think nitrates are THAT high, but lowering them would help always.

I can't ID the disease, but it looks like columnaris.
I know I've taken care of cloud eye with AQ salt and every other day 50% water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I don't think nitrates are THAT high, but lowering them would help always.

I can't ID the disease, but it looks like columnaris.
I know I've taken care of cloud eye with AQ salt and every other day 50% water changes.
That's what I'm worried about it being (columnaris). I don't have any aq salt but I can check the lfs when i return the dead otos.. currently I have api melafix (dosed in tank), also have seachem para guard, and kordons rid fungus (don't know if this is expired though... exp date rubbed off..). I guess I need to research which meds deal with columnaris and get those to (mel..something "2" and some other one I can't remember?). I REALLY don't want to have to toss all these plants (riparium and submerged).
If I have snails in the tank will the meds for the disease kill them? Do inverts have the ability to contract this disease or just fish?

Damn this tank is just cursed for me .. fist the anubias rhizome rot disease takes out over half my anubias collection now I get a fish disease.. fun times...:icon_roll


Looks like a bacterial disease.
I'd like a generic bacterial disease rather than columnaris, dosed some melafix to see if it helps.

I moved the betta to a breeding basket within the tank since he seems to tired to avoid being sucked against the hob intake (which has a thick foam pad over it to reduce this problem or fin shredding). Going to go searching for the last oto now..

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Found the last oto, still alive, has healthy color and no visible signs of stress/sickness yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok so bit of goggling.. Maracyn 2 is the med I was trying to remember.. but some reading says it doesn't work well in higher phs (like mine) sooo that sucks..
kanamycin works in higher ph.. but will it affect/kill plants?
"Nitrofuran based medications" can kill plants too so not to keen on using it.

I'm curious how much aq salt I can dose in a planted tank without it harming my plants?

Bottom line, if it is columnaris: i want to treat the tank so it doesn't linger but not kill/throw out my plants... worst case I guess I could make it be a plant only tank (no fuana) but I'd really rather not have to resort to that option (like having clean up crew in there at least).
 

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A fish like a betta is about as easy as can be to set up a hospital tank for. If you're set on treating him, I would remove him and use something like a large vase if you don't have a small tank and treat there. I also agree that nitrates aren't necessarily off the chart high. As for whatever may be lurking in the tank, bear in mind that healthy fish have immune systems that can fend off bacterial infections which are almost alway present. You can give the tank a month fish-free and find a better LFS during that time. I would have been absolutely furious if a LFS even attempted to sell me fish that they had dropped in the netting process as well as others that were handled as crudely as you describe. In a nutshell, I would've walked out and left him holding the bag.
 

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:thumbsup:I would have been absolutely furious if a LFS even attempted to sell me fish that they had dropped in the netting process as well as others that were handled as crudely as you describe. In a nutshell, I would've walked out and left him holding the bag.

This for sure!!! :icon_excl
No excuse for bad service!!
 

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If it is columnaris, your whole tank has it now. I got Columnaris from Ottos from Pet*****, and it wiped out my whole tank. I lost over 30 fish, Act fast. I used Kanamycin and Furan 2 combo. I had to pull all the plants from the tank, then dose Salt in 1 Tablespoon per gallon, and then wait for the meds to arrive. I did water changes every day and still lost fish EVERYDAY. I highly suggest A quarantine tank, I use a Bucket from Homedepot for 6 bucks and a sponge filter. I suggest you pull the Plants and start dosing salt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well sadly Arist'oto' (the betta pictured above) passed yesterday shortly after my last post. There is still a sneaky oto in there somewhere ..seriously cannot find him unless I start pulling everything out.. and I don't want to stress him.. soo I'm just doing corpse check every few hours. I am dosing what bacterial based meds I have and trying to find the strong stuff (my lfs are [censor] for carrying anything useful).
I'm not 100% sure if its columnaris or not, the first 2 otos that died had no color but did not have any ..'patches'.. the betta though discolored did not have the fuzzy stuff many columnaris photos show.

As for the buying of otos.. usually yes I'd have just walked away but its been a pain in the [censor] trying to get a hold of any for the past month + .. so I stupidly took what I could get.. I paid for it...
Lesson learned, quarantine EVERYTHING,.. ALWAYS.
 

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If it is columnaris, your whole tank has it now. I got Columnaris from Ottos from Pet*****, and it wiped out my whole tank. I lost over 30 fish, Act fast. I used Kanamycin and Furan 2 combo. I had to pull all the plants from the tank, then dose Salt in 1 Tablespoon per gallon, and then wait for the meds to arrive. I did water changes every day and still lost fish EVERYDAY. I highly suggest A quarantine tank, I use a Bucket from Homedepot for 6 bucks and a sponge filter. I suggest you pull the Plants and start dosing salt.
Columnaris lives on ALL parts of the tank, plants even more so. If you pull the plants out, treat the tank and then put the plants back in, the plants will reinfect the tank and kill your fish anyway.

Columnaris can live up to 21 days without a host. You will need to treat ANYTHING that you can't soak in bleach with the same medication. I found that plants are pretty resilient, and the 3-4 day treatment period they will probably survive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Columnaris lives on ALL parts of the tank, plants even more so. If you pull the plants out, treat the tank and then put the plants back in, the plants will reinfect the tank and kill your fish anyway.

Columnaris can live up to 21 days without a host. You will need to treat ANYTHING that you can't soak in bleach with the same medication. I found that plants are pretty resilient, and the 3-4 day treatment period they will probably survive.
Well I have no problem letting my tank be fauna free for 1-2 months if it would kill off/starve out a disease. As long as "host" is not defined as: plants, substrate, and/or filter media (kinda like having those in the tank ^^')


The oto is still alive (well I saw him 2 hours ago before he went into ninja mode again) and no discoloration or off growths on it from close inspection.
 

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I HAVE SEEN THIS BEFORE and it is most common in any BLUE bettas or bettas from blue genetic lines. It's essentially 100% lethal, as of the time when I last looked into it.

I suggest going here and reading all about it. Some of these people have spent a lot of time and money sending affected fish off for lab testing to try and narrow down what it is.

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=90086

It is not columnaris and it should not affect other members of your tank, last I checked.
 
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