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Old 02-06-2013, 11:40 PM   #1 
TheGabytron
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Very sharp bulge on side of beta

Hi everyone... I've been lurking around for a while and doing lots of research but I'm stumped.

My boy Alpha has been with me since October of 2011. He's currently in a 2.5 gallon tank (couldn't bring a bigger tank since I packed only whatever fit in my car when I moved. More about that later. Tank sale at petco on the 23rd though!), heated to 80*, unfiltered, and I do 25% water changes every 2-3 days.

He has slowly been getting a bulge on the left side of his body that has been getting "sharper" over the last 3 months. It started as a small lump in early December, and I wrote it off as constipation (since all I had available to feed him at the time were pellets), and did some fasting and pea treatment. It seemed to help.

In the beginning of January I moved across the country and transported him in a small tank carried in an insulated lunch bag and so I imaged he had a lot of stress during that time.

Its now been a month and he hasn't gotten any better and the bulge has gotten worse. I'm even considering it to be a tumor.

Here's the strange part though: He's still very active, responsive, eating like a piggy, exploring his tank, flaring, and not having trouble swimming.

I considered dropsy, but his scales weren't sticking out like a pine cone, I considered fish bladder disease but the bulge doesn't look like normal fish bladder disease, and I even thought maybe he accidentally ate a piece of gravel while looking for food!

I saw flightless fruit flies for sale at petco so I'm going to try giving him just those to see if it still helps if it just happens to be a weird case of constipation.

I know this post is long, but I wanted to give you all as much information as possible.

Here is a top down view and you can see how obvious the bulge is. He's starting to bulge on the right side too.
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Here's the right side. I over exposed these pictures so you can better see what he looks like.
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And finally, here is the side where is bulge is. It's hard to see from the side, but its behind his fin.
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I appreciate any help you can provide!

Last edited by TheGabytron; 02-06-2013 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:07 AM   #2 
TheGabytron
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Did not answer the questions because I thought I didn't see them. Woops.

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 gal
What temperature is your tank? 80*
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? yes
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 soaked pellets 3 times a day, fasting every other day (because of symptoms)

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? 25-30% every 2-3 days, 100% water change 2 weeks
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25-30% every 2-3 days, 100% water change 2 weeks
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? stress coat+, BetaSafe

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? somewhat

If so, what are the following parameters?
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: -
Nitrate: -
pH: -
Hardness: -
Alkalinity: -

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? bulges, photos attached
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? hasn't
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Early december
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Fasting, blanched pea
Does your fish have any history of being ill? other than constipation, no
How old is your fish (approximately)? Got him full grown October 2011
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:22 AM   #3 
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Hey there,

It does look like he has slight scale protrusion on the right side so we can't rule out dropsy all together. As to his lump well there are probably a lot of things it could be but I have owned a few bettas with lumps like that and I think they must have been tumors.

One of my boys had one in front of one of his eyes and it never affected him.
Another one had one on his side and again he lived his entire lifespan without any troubles, he probably had the lump for about 1 and 1/2 years. My last boy got one on the center of the top of his head, he lived with it for about a year and it did not affect him until 24 hours before he died. I just went to feed him one morning and he could not lift his head off of the ground, the lump was not large enough to be too heavy for him to lift it......I think it just affected his brain and he died 24 hours later. He was about 3 and 1/2 years old when he died.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:32 AM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggiegirl View Post
Hey there,

It does look like he has slight scale protrusion on the right side so we can't rule out dropsy all together.
You are right. The right side was normal up until about 2 weeks ago and it has slowly grown to this size.


Quote:
Originally Posted by veggiegirl View Post
As to his lump well there are probably a lot of things it could be but I have owned a few bettas with lumps like that and I think they must have been tumors.

One of my boys had one in front of one of his eyes and it never affected him.
Another one had one on his side and again he lived his entire lifespan without any troubles, he probably had the lump for about 1 and 1/2 years. My last boy got one on the center of the top of his head, he lived with it for about a year and it did not affect him until 24 hours before he died. I just went to feed him one morning and he could not lift his head off of the ground, the lump was not large enough to be too heavy for him to lift it......I think it just affected his brain and he died 24 hours later. He was about 3 and 1/2 years old when he died.
How long did they take to develop? How did you know that they were just tumors as opposed to anything else?
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:44 PM   #5 
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looks like a tumor to me. :I from what i've heard, there's not much you can do about them, but as long as he's acting normally and not seeming sick, just treat him like normal. let him live out his life happily.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:18 PM   #6 
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Hey there,

They developed over a period of 12 months + starting off as a tiny dot and growing gradually. I know they were tumors because I had a fish specialist examine them. He has 30+ years experience and has done all sorts of work for the DPI (fish related) as well as been paid by DPI to perform postmortem on the rare lung fish to find why certain specimens had died. He really knows his stuff.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:51 PM   #7 
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It's definitely an internal infection of some kind. He has popeye too.

I'd go with Kanaplex and epsom salts and get some fresh water vitachem for immune system booster. Soaking food in it plus some fresh organic crushed garlic or garlic guard would also help with immune system boosting. I'd hit it hard, fast, and at least 2 weeks.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:41 PM   #8 
TheGabytron
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Thank you everyone for your help. I took out the gravel in his tank to monitor waste production and he is passing waste.

I'm waiting for the Kanaplex and vitachem to come in and am currently doing daily epsom salt baths and soaking his food in crushed garlic.

His water is now at a 82* and he seemed to enjoy that. However, now that I've started the treatments, they seem to be stressing him out so much that they're making him look worse. He's started to loose more color on his underside.

Poor guy. He is my first betta though, and I have learned a lot from keeping him. I don't want to jinx him but he may be much sicker than I though.

Last edited by TheGabytron; 02-10-2013 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:50 PM   #9 
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You shouldn't do baths by taking him out of the tank. You should simply put the epsom salts in the tank with him. The moving back and forth will be stressful and might even shock him since the ph will be different.

Also make sure the epsom salts are pure 100% magnesium sulfate with no dyes, perfumes or other additives. You predissolve it at a rate of 1 tsp per gallon and add it to his container slowly over an hour to avoid shock. From there he stays in it, and you only need to readd salt with water changes.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:58 PM   #10 
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Thanks again. The other resources I read on epsom salt baths gave me completely different instructions.
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