Help! Very Sick Betta - Iridovirus?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by K3NN3TH, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. K3NN3THNew MemberMember

    OK, so three days ago I added a Dwarf Gourami and a rubbernose pleco, along with three ghost shrimp.

    The next day the DG started looking ill. It just lied at the bottom of the tank and didn't really eat. The next day it had a grayish area along the head, but it was more of a discoloration than anything else it seemed to me. Later in the day he just sort of floated at the top looking bad.

    I returned him to Petsmart as I was afraid whatever he had was going to get my other fish sick. I went and got another DG and he seems to be doing just fine.

    The next day I had my Rubbernose plecostomus die, but he also appeared to be a little off since I got him, just hiding in the back by the filter. I returned him and got another one, and he seems to be doing fine too - swimming a little and hanging out around my driftwood. I also had one of the shrimp die, but the rest are fine so I think that the pleco and shrimp are isolated cases.

    Now, I thought that the first (sick) DG I bought might have had ICH or something equally sinister and contagious, so I immediately did a 30% PWC and another 20% PWC the next day. All the fish seemed to be doing okay, except that for some reason, Jean-Paul, my Betta fish, who I've had for 6 months since the tank got going, seemed to take badly to the new DG. My tank is pretty densely planted and Jean-Paul is normally a very pleasant fish, and I had another DG in the tank before (although he was red and the new DG is powdered blue) and they have always gotten along fine together. Well this time Jean-Paul flared his gills every time he saw the new DG and sometimes went over and tried to bite him. The DG just kind of ignored him and went out about his business (it seems to be a very small and young DG). I didn't noticed the DG taking any visible damage so I hoped that they would get used to each other and I didn't separate them.

    Then later in the day Jean-Paul started just floating at the top in the dark corner and not doing a whole lot. I though he was just sulking because of the new DG he didn't like. At this time he still came out to eat. Well, I started worrying, so I went out and got some frozen blood worms to feed to my fish, and hoped that combined with the PWCs my fish would be in good shape. Well, Jean-Paul was still floating at the top and he didn't come out to eat until I nudged him out of the corner myself, and I had to target feed him blood worms with tweezers to get him to eat (he did eat quite a bit that way). Then he went back to his corner, and later in the night I found him laying motionless on the bottom of the tank. I thought he was dead, but after a while he swam a little before settling down again.

    I woke this morning, the second day after I noticed him getting sick, and he was still laying in the same corner at the bottom of the tank. When I turned the lights on after a while he swam up to breath at the top of the tank, but I noticed he was jittery and out of control. His sense of direction seemed to be out of whack and he was running in to the walls an plants - a very jerky type of swimming, very wrong. Then he quickly settles back into the corner at the bottom again, motionless, but still breathing. I don't know what it could be. He doesn't seem visibly sick or hurt, except that maybe he has just the smallest bit of discoloration at the bottom of his head/mouth.

    What do you think is wrong? I don't have water parameters at the moment, as my API Master Test Kit hasn't come in online (don't know what happened to my test strips), but I can't imagine them being too abnormal. It's an established tank with live plants, and I just changed the filter a week ago, and Marineland filters are very good. I have done three PWC (30%, 20%, 10%) in the past five days so my ammonia can't be high. And like I said all of my other fish are fine, even the new DG.

    I read about Iridovirus and I am afraid that the first sick DG I bought had it and Jean-Paul, being a betta (perhaps stressed) came down with it.

    What should I do? He looks like he's suffering, and I would put him out of his misery (although he's my favorite fish), but I keep hoping he might recover. I have a quarantine tank, but the LFS stopped carrying the carbon fliter, so all I would have is a water pump, and I thought that my main tank has better oxygen flow and it would stress him to much to change tanks. It's mostly the weird swimming that makes me worry even more than the resting at the bottom.

    Sorry of it's kind of a long post, I'm just trying to get the information out there so I can do the right thing for my fish.

  2. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Hi Ken
    :( I'm really sorry your fish aren't well.
    Did you test your water?

    Bettas and Gouramis are not compatible. It would be a good idea to separate them. Could be Jean-Paul is just pretty stressed out.

    Before adding any fish to a tank, it would be a really good idea to quarantine them for at least 2 weeks before adding them to your existing stock.
  3. K3NN3THNew MemberMember

    I disagree. I have talked to many people who have successfully kept bettas and DG.

    I kept my betta with a DG previously for about 4 months and they lived together quite peacefully.

    Normally I do quarantine them for a week or so, but as I said the LFS stopped carrying the filters, so I am hesitant to use my quarantine tank at all.

    I don't think that stress is the reason my betta is feeling so bad. It seems like he's at death's door. I also remain convinced that the plecostomus was unrelated, but I'm going to take a sample to my LFS and get ti tested, but I can't imagine my parameters are too off.
  4. ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    I agree with lucy....dg's and bettas are going to be an injury waiting to happen...they just do not get along...and im sure one or both picked on eachother when you were not around....when they see humans, they want to interact with you and be fed not with eachother..but ill be my last dollar when you arent there, its a war zone....and just because you do water changes , doesnt mean they were not exposed to ammonia/nitrites prior to the changes...labyrinth fish (bettas and gouramis) dont do well with ammonia/nitrites in their labyrinth organs..I do think its stres (from the bettas actions now) as well as a water issues (the dg that didnt do well before) or a combo of both ...good luck !
  5. K3NN3THNew MemberMember

    Maybe you're right, I'll separate them and see what happens, although Jean-Paul is eating better now, but he's still aggressive toward the DG.

    I don't know what it is this time, as Jean-Paul got along very well for over four months with Albert (red-blue DG), and they never fought. Is it possible that the color of the DG (powder blue) has something to do with it?

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