Copper just in case for Betta?

jayveechun

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Hi everybody,

Unfortunately, one of my bettas named Norbert died a few days ago, from what I suspect as a velvet infection. Keyword suspect because my bettas are kept alone in their tank and Ive had them since July so how velvet got there is a mystery to me). We did try to treat but the fish didn't make it. (Paraguard didn't work and I'm questioning the existence of that medication versus tried and tested copper)

My other betta Voldy is situated beside Norbert and I used to do all my maintenance with the same siphon etc. for months and months. So now I'm worried that unknowingly, Voldy may have exposure to velvet. And I'm not sure if I'm imagining every little coloration as gold rust or what have you, but he is active, eats well, swims about normal.

So my query is, in this case, is it advisable to do a Cupramine or some other velvet medication now before any obvious symptom arises? Is that harmful? Is that standard just to ensure that our place is purged of velvet in any life stage.

This is Voldy today
viber_image_2022-01-13_12-55-30-138.jpgviber_image_2022-01-13_12-55-30-518.jpgviber_image_2022-01-13_12-03-31-811.jpg
 

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itiwhetu

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Please don't use copper unless you know what you are doing. In general it should only be used by importers of fish in close control situations. Not advisable to be used by aquarists in general
 

Colin_T

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It doesn't look like there is any velvet parasites on the Betta in the pictures. Velvet normally shows up under camera flash or shining a torch (flashlight) on the fish after dark. The velvet will appear as a yellow/ gold sheen on the body and fins.

Velvet also causes fish to rub on objects in the tank. If the fish is not rubbing then I doubt it has velvet.

You can use copper but unless the fish has a disease, you are probably just exposing the fish to chemicals that aren't necessary.

Velvet can be killed with heat, the same as white spot. Warm the tank to 30C and keep it there for a couple of weeks.
 
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jayveechun

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It doesn't look like there is any velvet parasites on the Betta in the pictures. Velvet normally shows up under camera flash or shining a torch (flashlight) on the fish after dark. The velvet will appear as a yellow/ gold sheen on the body and fins.

Velvet also causes fish to rub on objects in the tank. If the fish is not rubbing then I doubt it has velvet.

You can use copper but unless the fish has a disease, you are probably just exposing the fish to chemicals that aren't necessary.

Velvet can be killed with heat, the same as white spot. Warm the tank to 30C and keep it there for a couple of weeks.

Thanks. I'll continue my observation.

Also wanted to know your take on salt. Yes helpful for recovery BUT polarizing opinions on using it as part of maintenance. Here locally among breeders, they always add alongside a catappa leaf. They dont even look at parameters numerically. Do you personally recommend salt as part of aquarium maintenance? Or strictly as adjunct therapy for issues. I'm contemplating using it.
 

Colin_T

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Salt should only be added to tanks when treating freshwater fish for a disease, or if you have brackish water fish. It should not be added unless there is a problem and then should only be used for 2-4 weeks because prolonged use can damage the kidneys of the fish. Some fishes like livebearers, goldfish and rainbowfish can tolerate salt for longer, but most other species should only get salt if they are sick. And then they must have a disease that can be cured with salt.
 

GaryE

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Of all the commercial remedies, copper is the one I trust least. It works - there is no question. But it also stays and is close to impossible to remove. It has been linked to infertility in some fish.
I'm not one to fear the use of chemicals. But I like to be able to remove them.

Catappa leaves acidify, and salt does the opposite. It's not a direction I'd take, since it's circular. One of the other, and I prefer using Catappa leaves. Salt is yet another hard to remove chemical, and like copper, I use it when I absolutely have to because I'm certain it's needed.

Velvet (oodinium spp) is a tough one. As a killie keeper, I watch closely for it. I assume it's can always be around (and can be completely absent til it hitchhikes on a fish, a plant, etc). The fish control it unless we as aquarists accidentally cultivate it, and it develops in numbers that overwhelm their defenses.

How do we cultivate it?

It needs moderate lighting, slow moving acidic water and decaying mulm. Overfeeding makes it a fry killer, one that's usually unseen. If you miss a few weekly water changes, it will thank you. It also probably sends thank you cards to breeders of fancy Bettas, as overgrown fins are perfect homes for it to raise a family in.

Breeders use salt against it. Outbreaks can be stopped by lights off combined (never alone) with malachite green formalin mixes, or acriflavene ( a yellow green dye that is hard to remove and possibly carcinogenic for us), salt, or copper. It's a tough little parasite. You keep the tank water clean, and remove debris from the bottom.

Aquarists can be frustrating to each other. A couple of years ago, when research showed velvet photosynthesizes like a plant does, a fad developed that said you could kill velvet by darkness. Then, people started saying that because Ich is a parasite too, it could be killed by darkness as well. It was all so nice and natural. I don't hear that foolishness anymore - I assume because the people who believed it had all their fish die. It appears you can slow velvet by turning off the tank lights, but only slow it. Ich is an entirely different organism.

The meds that work are all harsh for the fish. The parasite is harsher. So you only use them when you see the problem directly. You never use them just in case.
 
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jayveechun

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Of all the commercial remedies, copper is the one I trust least. It works - there is no question. But it also stays and is close to impossible to remove. It has been linked to infertility in some fish.
I'm not one to fear the use of chemicals. But I like to be able to remove them.

Catappa leaves acidify, and salt does the opposite. It's not a direction I'd take, since it's circular. One of the other, and I prefer using Catappa leaves. Salt is yet another hard to remove chemical, and like copper, I use it when I absolutely have to because I'm certain it's needed.

Velvet (oodinium spp) is a tough one. As a killie keeper, I watch closely for it. I assume it's can always be around (and can be completely absent til it hitchhikes on a fish, a plant, etc). The fish control it unless we as aquarists accidentally cultivate it, and it develops in numbers that overwhelm their defenses.

How do we cultivate it?

It needs moderate lighting, slow moving acidic water and decaying mulm. Overfeeding makes it a fry killer, one that's usually unseen. If you miss a few weekly water changes, it will thank you. It also probably sends thank you cards to breeders of fancy Bettas, as overgrown fins are perfect homes for it to raise a family in.

Breeders use salt against it. Outbreaks can be stopped by lights off combined (never alone) with malachite green formalin mixes, or acriflavene ( a yellow green dye that is hard to remove and possibly carcinogenic for us), salt, or copper. It's a tough little parasite. You keep the tank water clean, and remove debris from the bottom.

Aquarists can be frustrating to each other. A couple of years ago, when research showed velvet photosynthesizes like a plant does, a fad developed that said you could kill velvet by darkness. Then, people started saying that because Ich is a parasite too, it could be killed by darkness as well. It was all so nice and natural. I don't hear that foolishness anymore - I assume because the people who believed it had all their fish die. It appears you can slow velvet by turning off the tank lights, but only slow it. Ich is an entirely different organism.

The meds that work are all harsh for the fish. The parasite is harsher. So you only use them when you see the problem directly. You never use them just in case.
Thanks

My awareness is that with velvet and ich, tomonts and theronts cannot survive without a host. So they naturally die starving if no fish is there. So say you just leave a tank empty for a week or so, all the pre-existing water-occupying lifestages of the parasite will die off.

Also in theory, if trophonts let go of fish to become tomonts and come in contact with medication (if medicating) upon exiting the fish's epithelium, they die... So their offspring cannot cycle back as trophonts again. So in a way, there is a way to eradicate them assuming no new organisms land into the tank via other fish or droplets etc. Also assuming medication is continuous to ensure no new theront is able to attach to the fish and restart things.

Isn't this the case? So there arent "organisms in waiting" as long as you've decimated them all.
 

GaryE

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I need to learn more about velvet. For Ich, I agree with you 100% (ie, we've both researched and accepted the research). Velvet seems to operate differently. I have eliminated it at times, to have it sneak back in 5-6 years later. I've had it affect one species, while all the others around seemed immune. Clearly, it gets back in like Ich does, via introduced fish. But in my experience, once in, it is harder to get out.

Keepers of annual killifish often harden their soft water as their fish hatch out in large numbers, and the fry are attacked. How the parasite manages to be there is what I've never needed to look up papers on. They store eggs in peat while they develop, and the eggs can take months to be ready. And yet soon after hatching, hobbyists who say they use microscopes report velvet attacks.

It may be a simple as the remedies we use just decimating it, and leaving some alive in a kind of low grade presence, until we create the conditions it can thrive in. Originally, decimating was causing heavy losses (1 in 10) but not eliminating. We think it's gone, but it isn't obvious like Ich, and it may be that it hangs on. So then we come to how to eliminate it without damaging the fish. If the meds we have we all harmless, I'd be be all for preventative treatment. but we're working with primitive tools (poisons like copper, etc).

Older aquarium books were really concerned with velvet, and modern aquarists aren't. We're talking about it because you keep show Bettas and I keep killies, fish traditionally maintained in slow, lightly filtered water. I think we're looking at a durable little parasite or complex of parasites here.
 
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jayveechun

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I need to learn more about velvet. For Ich, I agree with you 100% (ie, we've both researched and accepted the research). Velvet seems to operate differently. I have eliminated it at times, to have it sneak back in 5-6 years later. I've had it affect one species, while all the others around seemed immune. Clearly, it gets back in like Ich does, via introduced fish. But in my experience, once in, it is harder to get out.

Keepers of annual killifish often harden their soft water as their fish hatch out in large numbers, and the fry are attacked. How the parasite manages to be there is what I've never needed to look up papers on. They store eggs in peat while they develop, and the eggs can take months to be ready. And yet soon after hatching, hobbyists who say they use microscopes report velvet attacks.

It may be a simple as the remedies we use just decimating it, and leaving some alive in a kind of low grade presence, until we create the conditions it can thrive in. Originally, decimating was causing heavy losses (1 in 10) but not eliminating. We think it's gone, but it isn't obvious like Ich, and it may be that it hangs on. So then we come to how to eliminate it without damaging the fish. If the meds we have we all harmless, I'd be be all for preventative treatment. but we're working with primitive tools (poisons like copper, etc).

Older aquarium books were really concerned with velvet, and modern aquarists aren't. We're talking about it because you keep show Bettas and I keep killies, fish traditionally maintained in slow, lightly filtered water. I think we're looking at a durable little parasite or complex of parasites here.
Shucks

If thats the case, Im almost inclined to do either 1) Just keep bettas in a bare tank that was pre-bleached and rinsed and dried so velvet cysts that stay in the substrate wont be an issue... or 2) Sort of have the equivalent of a dog tick preventive periodically such as maybe having a 2 week malachite green and aldehyde treatment every 6 to 12 months just to keep their numbers in check on top of the regular water changes...

Scary.

It always stresses me out if a pet is sick whether furry, feathered, or finned...
 

Colin_T

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It always stresses me out if a pet is sick whether furry, feathered, or finned...
Would you take a dog to a vet and give it medication if it wasn't sick?
Probably not. Fish are the same. They have an immune system and if they are kept in clean water with clean gravel and a clean filter, and they are fed a varied diet, they can fight off lots of diseases and don't need chemical medications unless they have an actual visible disease.

As for Velvet, it is uncommon in aquariums in Australia. I have only ever seen it twice in 40 years of fish keeping and that includes 20 yrs working in pet shops and quarantine facilities.

I have heard of killifish breeders having problems with it in their tanks but I never had it appear in my killifish tanks. It's possible the velvet is capable of going dormant in peat and being transferred around from breeder to breeder with the eggs and peat.
 

GaryE

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Wait, you haven't seen much velvet in Australia? You mean there isn't a velvet carried by enormous marsupial spiders that falls on your fish out of trees, as drop-velvet???
 

Colin_T

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Wait, you haven't seen much velvet in Australia? You mean there isn't a velvet carried by enormous marsupial spiders that falls on your fish out of trees, as drop-velvet???
Nope, the closest we have to weird things in velvet is some of the drag queens at mrdi gras. Drop bears won't wear velvet, they say it clashes with their fur.
 

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