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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

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).

Suzie Q;
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. :(

Suzie Q;
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 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.

Suzie Q;
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 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.


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

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Caring for your Betta

Caring for a betta at home or office

By Evelyn Buchmann
Evelyn Buchmann female Bettas
A Betta fish has certain needs to be healthy and happy just as any other fish you would care for. Just because you can buy them in these tiny cups, doesn’t mean that he really likes it to be in such a tight space where he can hardly even turn around.

Please read here the myth about a betta in a vase The Betta Myth

I have had my betta in a 1 gallon bowl for about 2 weeks when I purchased him, but he was so inactive that I decided to upgrade and got him a 5 gallon tank with filter, heater and live plants.

You should have seen the difference, he started to swim around and his colors started to thrive due to the regulated temperature and he shows of his beautiful fins as soon as somebody approaches the tank.

They don’t live in tiny rice paddles like everybody seems to believe, their natural habitat is huge as you will see in the following pic.

For further reading about Betta Habitat, please see this article: Aquarium Answers; Betta Habitat

What you will need:

1 male or 1 female betta

*2.5 gallon tank with filter and heater is the bare minimum for 1 betta (a 5 gallon tank is of course even better)
*Gravel for the bottom (fine #1 sand if live plants will be kept, see the link below for plant care, substrates)
*Live plants (They love to rest on them)
*Test Kit

-Set up your tank with conditioned water and everything else.
-The filter and heater need to be plugged in 24/7.
-You should have a temp of 78-82 degrees, since that’s where your betta will start to thrive and they will be comfortable.

Once your tanks have cycled, that means no ammonia or nitrite present; you can add your betta.
But don’t forget to acclimate him properly, by taking water out of the tank and filling it into the cup or bag, whichever he/she came in, put in about ¼ cup of tank water every 15 minutes, until you have reached double capacity of water in the cup then it was before, this will take care of the pH difference from your tank water to the pet store water.

Make sure you do weekly partial water changes of 25% with a small gravel siphon, and refill it with aged and conditioned water, at the same temperature.

3-5 female Bettas’

*10 gallon tank
*Gravel for the bottom (fine #1 sand if live plants will be kept, see the link below for plant care, substrates)
*Lots of live plants
*Decorations without any sharp edges

Do the same thing as you would do it with the 2.5 gallon tank (setting up, cycling, floating the bag with fish, etc.) You will need to get at least 3 females thought (if you only get 2, one will dominate the other) they will choose a so called pecking order amongst them and will look like they’re fighting, but they don’t. Once they have chosen the rang order, the fighting will stop. You can also add 2-3 Cory cats into that setup, since they’re bottom dwellers, and you can have up to 5 females together in a 10 gallon tank.

1 male OR 1 female betta with tropical’s

Same setup and maintenance as the above 2.

Example setup in a 15 gallon tank:,

1 male or 1 female betta
2-3 Cory cats (bottom dwellers)
5 neon tetras (schooling fish)
3 platy’s (males only if you don’t want any fry)
5 rasboras (also schooling fish)


You can’t keep male/female together unless they were properly conditioned for spawning

You can’t keep male/male together, or they will kill each other

But you can put females together with a minimum of 3 in at least a 10 gallon tank

And you also can put a female or a male with other tropicals, as long as the others don’t have long fins like a male guppy or a serpae tetra.

You can keep males/females together however if you have at least a 55 gallon tank, which is heavily planted and you have at least some experience on keeping fish

Feeding them;

You should feed your betta twice a day 3-4 pellets at each feeding, but change their diet up with frozen blood worms, Baby Brine Shrimp, Pellets and live Baby Brine shrimp, and also a thawed pea about once a week. Also fast your betta one day out of the week, which will keep constipation at bay

For further information about Betta Feeding and Fish Nutrition in general, please see this article: “Aquarium Fish Nutrition, all about”

Final Thoughts:

Please do yourself and your betta a big favor and get a tank instead of a stupid bowl. With proper care they can live up to 8 years.

Sure they can survive in a bowl, but let’s face it, are you willing to do partials every day, when you only need to do it once a week on a tank with a gravel siphon???? Well what ever you decide, happy fish keeping and have fun with your hobby. It gives lots of joy in ones life!


“Aquarium Size and Stunting, beginner to advanced aquarists”
“Over a Copper Moon Betta”
“Freshwater Aquarium Basics and Care”
Betta Profiles
Or for UV Bulb replacements for large scale breeders with their Bettas placed in systems with centralized filters with UV Sterilizers

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Loris Aquarium Page

Over a Copper Moon Betta
My name is Lori, and I have been keeping fish off and on for over 20 yrs. I have at the moment, 1-5.5g with a male Betta, another 5.5g that I sometimes use to spawn in, a 10g with 3 month old PKCT fry (Planted), 2-10g Spawning tanks, a 10g with Red Cherry Shrimp (RCS), and a 55g with Endler's Livebearers that I am starting to breed and my female Betta sorority. I have also started breeding White, Black/Red Copper, and Orange Halfmoon Betta. I have imported 1 male and 6 females (3 Thai girls have died) from Thailand. I love keeping fish. It is very relaxing. I have planted my 55g...or at least I am in the process of it. I have lots of photo's that I will add, but at the moment, I am a bit busy.

Please visit my site at:

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