Betta with Mycobacterium triplex?
This Everything Aquatic blog post is condensed from this thread at the Everything Aquatic Forum Board:
"Need to update you guys"
Each members "forum name" will be followed by their comments (some edited here).
My Bettas most likely have Mycobacterium triplex which is "new" to the tropical fish area. This is a form of fish TB. I have to consider every fish I own contaminated. I am sending the adults that have the symptom - fin rot that won't go away - to the lab to have them tested and confirm that THAT is what it is. There is no treatment for adult fish, but I can breed the young fish YOUNG, and continue the breeding young for a year (destroying all parents in the process) or until no fish develop symptoms. The only other option is to destroy all my fish, nuke the tanks and start all over. I haven't quite decided what I am going to do yet about the fish.
I'm pretty sure I picked it up in February 2011 when I got new fish, so if you HAVE gotten fish/plants from me in the past, those are safe.
Please note that Suzie Q's Bettas pictured DO NOT have Mycobacterium triplex
Let me know what you find out about this. I'm wondering if my betta girls have it too. It seems pretty similar to what you've described. I removed them from the community tank and am just trying to keep them "comfortable" until the inevitable occurs. Fortunately I haven't noticed any symptoms in the other fish. Yet, at least.
That's hard decision you have to make. You hate to give up on the ones you have, but yet in some ways it might be the best route, for you and the fish.
I'm sorry to hear this Suzie-Q and that you have to go through putting down many of your fish. :'( It is a very smart idea on your part (IMHO) to send your fish to the lab for testing. On the positive side, at least you can keep the young fish so you can have more beautiful bettas! I hope an effective preventative and cure for this disease is found soon! R.I.P. bettas. :(
A lab in Florida are willing to test my fish, and they HAVE to be sent Fedex, so I gotta find a box big enough to insulate and ship. I hope to have them out this week, but may be next week.
I did decide to check the water just before a water change...I had changed it 24 hrs prior...so this reading really sucks!!! Ammonia IN the 24 hr old water was 2.0!!!! everything else was 0. gH/kH was....ummm I forget exactly...126 and 79??? sorry...something like that. I tested my 36 hr old stored water and ammonia was .5!!!
I made up some new water and instead of the 4 drops of Prime I had been using, I upped it to 6 and tested the water after 24 hrs...still at .5. Water is now 48 hrs old, and I will test it again today when I get home. I use Prime and I never really have worried about the ammonia....but now that it hit 2.0!!! I am now using the cycled water out of the 75g (readings are 0,0, .5). They are still getting daily water changes. The fish still look the same, even though they are getting the water out of there now.
I am hoping that most of my issues are coming from the water and NOT a contagious disease :D. I'm looking at building a barracks system using a canister filter, a 20 gallon planted tank and a UV...Just gotta figure it all out.
Remember that Prime neutralizes Prime changing it from NH3 to NH4, so it will still test unless you use an Ammonia Alert Test by SeaChem
See; Aquarium Test Kits; Aquarium Answers
As for your findings, this honestly does not surprise me as I have seen this too in clients with Bettas in small containers (where I serviced larger aquariums in the office).
Hopefully a system we have talked about will help with this by allowing a true nitrogen cycle and better control of mineral ions as well (such as Wonder Shells in the aquarium system sump).
Since TB can be opportunistic, this system may help too even if the pathogen is present initially, although I think learning of your test results should be interesting.
BTW, this would be a good post/thread/discussion in the general area, as I get a lot of similar emails, this way others can learn from this too. But I also understand wanting to keeping this private too.
Carl, that is fine, but I'd like to wait on the results first. IF it is Mycobacterium (of any sort), I will go public with it, all fish in the fish room (offspring of these) will be destroyed and I'll start from scratch. Debbie at the lab said (I asked worse case scenario) what was the best way to sterilize. She said heavy bleach and spray with alcohol with ethonol(?) in it...I think I posted that already, but I didn't go back and look. I don't really care what people think if I do have this stuff. I haven't been selling my fish, and when they started showing signs, I pulled them from the show. We also heavy bleached all the show beanies between shows too.
Diagnosis is Mycobacterium. My fish had it so bad that they got results off a skin scraping. 3 out of 4 fish had Granuloma??? I asked Debbie to send me an email because my vet (well now that the dog is gone...lol) is very interested in this, and I wanted something to send to him.
This is not cure-able, and I can not "breed it out" of the fish. This is actually more in the hobby then we want to admit (per lab). I have to consider all fish (that in the last 2 yrs have been exposed to the Betta) to have it. The only ones I'm sure don't are both colonies of Endler's and the RCS. Everything else has been exposed through plants.
You definitely need to consider this with all your fish that might be exposed. I would slightly disagree with the lab though; I would qualify that this disease runs in certain circles which I have observed over the years. Once the circle is broken along with fish disease resistance is improved the circle IS broken. It is these circles where this disease is common, not the hobby as a whole As well, while difficult, in non advanced cases I have cured mycobacterium
Just FYI but a granuloma (at least in humans) is just the term for a collection of congealed immune system cells. It's basically the body's attempt to build a firewall to block further infection.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE READ:
TB in Fish, Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
Other Useful/Related Information:
*Aquarium Cleaning; Including Bettas
*Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle
*Aquarium Chemistry; Basic to In-Depth
*A Healthy Aquarium, Disease Prevention