Originally Posted by Kim
That's odd, there was a fish that looked EXACTLY like that even down to the color. My bad.
Anyway, if you said the scales are only raised in the bloated area I wouldn't think it would be dropsy. Like you said, maybe a tumor, but it could also be an internal bacterial infection. Unfortunately, medicating the water won't help with that because those meds only deal with external bacterial problems. If this fish is still eating you may want to try the medicated food. They have it at my Petsmart. There's nothing you can really do about a tumor sadly :(
Also, I'm wondering about the gender of this fish. While the tail fin and the bottom one could pass for either a male or female, the top fin is much too small and not shaped correctly for a male. The ventrals (small fins right under the belly) are also much too short for a male, and if you look in the second picture you can see a little white spot on the belly that looks like an ovidepositor (where the eggs are released). This fish may just be a female with oversized fins. If it is a she, then maybe she is eggbound. This is unfortunately also pretty much untreatable, but she may pass them on her own.
One more thing, is this fish still pooping at all? Eating? If so, what color are the feces?
I don't have a Pet Smart in my town, but I do have a teacher's conference to attend in a town today that fortunately for me does have a Pet Smart so I'll look for the medicated food there. I didn't realize the meds I bought for the water only treated external infections. I just thought the fish absorberd the meds through the water. That is good to know.
I've also wondered if the fish was a female because of the white dot underneath the belly, but the only other female I've had in the past had much smaller tail and bottom fins. I also thought it might be full of eggs and can't expell them. Do the females always have a white dot underneath the belly? Or only when they are about to expell eggs? This fish has had a white dot under the belly for a long time. Sorry, I'm still learning about bettas, so I appreciate everyone's help.
The fish did have white stringy poop, but after the meds it returned to brown. It eats sometimes, probably once every couple of days. I only feed two pellets per day one in the morning and one in the evening. I feed blood worms once a week and when I do that I feed it in the morning and skip the pellet. It isn't interested in blood worms any more and won't eat mysis shrimp I tried after re-hydrating both of them.
My guess is it is either full of eggs and can't expell them, has a tumor, or is constipated. I thought it was an infection of some kind, but now I really don' t know. I'm doing my best to keep the fish warm and in a clean hospital tank.