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Old 10-05-2012, 02:45 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Large Growth on head

What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 78
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? New life Spectrum
How often do you feed your betta fish? once a day

How often do you perform a water change? once every two weeks
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? 2 rounded tsp aquarium salt

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Large growth on head
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? stays at the top
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 6 months ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? T.C. Tetracycline
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? 1 1/2 years

This is my daughters fish. She brought him home from college, and I have been trying to figure out how to help him. He eats well and does swim around some. His eyes are clear, and he makes bubble nests. I think he also has fin rot and he is not as bright in color as he use to be.

1st two photos 3 months after she got him.
the following photos is what he looks like today. Please help.
Thank you
Attached Images
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:47 PM   #2 
Lizzie the Badger
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Somewhere in Pennsylvania
I do not know what that growth may be.... but it looks like he has fin rot.

When you do water changes, do you use a conditioner that removes chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals? If not, you need to start doing so. Prime is a recommended brand as well as using API Stress Coat, and Aqua Safe.

The treatment for fin rot is 1 tsp/gallon. However, since you are using salt in the water I do not know if this is going to work.

Generally we do not recommend using salt in the water all the time, most use it only for treatment. Even then, the limit is 10 days so it does not harm their organs.

Maybe start stepping up on the water changes as well. Is your tank cycled? I would say doing a water change once a week, one 50% the next 100%.

I hope someone with more experience can help you.

Good luck!
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:53 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: United States
Poor guy :( I would ask OldFishLady and private message her to look at this. Best of luck
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:04 PM   #4 
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Poor guy! i would PM (pivate message) OFL ASAP
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:53 AM   #5 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Hi Liz20 and welcome to the forum. Sorry about your guy, he's a handsome boy. From what I can tell, he possibly has lymphocystis. If this is true, then there's nothing you can do but keep him comfortable because lympho is a virus and we can't treat it. Generally, it is non-fatal unless the growths affect eating or swimming, which in this case might be a potential problem because of the growths being on his head. Otherwise, with clean and warm water and good food, lympho usually clears up on its own in a few months.

Other possibilities could be tumorous growth or perhaps a reaction to some sort of external parasite. Has he been doing any darting or rubbing on things as if he might be itchy?

I would also recommend stopping usage of AQ salt unless it is absolutely necessary, as it could damage his internal organs from continuous use. Although bettas tolerate salt quite well, they are freshwater fish and not brackish. A good water conditioner such as Seachem Prime would also really go a long way to helping the little guy.

For his tank, I'd also suggest a 50% water change once a week. The cleaner the water, the less stress the fish will be under and he'll be able to fight off diseases better. The clean water will also help to keep the rips in his tail from becoming further infected. Since you've had him in salt, we can't use that as a treatment for his rot but I would suggest API Stress Coat added to the water.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:25 AM   #6 
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Location: Michigan USA
Hope he gets better):
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:32 AM   #7 
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Thank you for your help Shakura8, Lizzie the Badger, and Jeremywadejunior, I've PMed OFL (just waiting for a reply) and I've started him on a treatment of T.C. Tetracycline for his fin rot. Is this a good medicine for it? The pet store had a couple and from what I read on the box this one seemed to be the better choice. I really hope if it is that virus that it goes away, my daughter and I have gotten quite attached to him. He has a funny little personality, when we walk into the room he swims right up to the wall of the tank, I swear sometimes that if he could he'd swim right up to us. I've been watching him closely since he started getting the lump on his head and he hasn't been itching himself on anything so I don't think it's a fungus.

Last edited by Liz20; 10-06-2012 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:12 AM   #8 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
First, you are in good hand with Sakura and I agree with her recommendations-especially since you started the antibiotic-

It is hard to tell by the pic-but I agree with Sakura in that it could be lymphocystis. It could also be a melanoma (pigment cell) neither have treatments. Another thought-is normal aging out-
To understand-you have had him for 1.5 years or he is that old and where did you get him-how is his appetite...
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:33 AM   #9 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
OFL has a great deal of experience in diagnosing diseases so I definitely defer to her with any diagnosis made. :)

For the antibiotic, tetracycline can be effective if the bacteria causing the fin rot is a gram positive bacteria. Unfortunately, most fin rot bacteria are gram negative. We'll have to see which one your guy has. If he shows no improvement in his fins after this course, then I might suggest OFL's treatment using tannins before we attempt another med. Tannins can be found in Indian Almond Leaf but if you can't find that (and most of the time, it has to be ordered online), you can get tannins from naturally dried oak leaves. Rinse the leaves and then crumble them into the water until the water turns tea-colored.

OFL, can a melanoma be a result of aging out?

EDIT: OFL, also, if the growth began 6 months ago, is there more of a possibility that it's a melanoma since lympho usually clears up in a few months?
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:53 PM   #10 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
That has been my experience-with aging in this species- Often they will start to become more symptomatic due to compromised immune response that can often go hand-in-hand with the aging process. A lot has to do with genetics as well-then with any added stress-it is not uncommon to see several different issues pop-up-both acute and chronic. Then with multi issues, general aging, compromised immune response, genetic and multi treatments that can make the Betta toxic....sometimes things can snowball and a host of S/S show up.

With the aging process-plus everything else-often the best treatment is to limit all the stress factors to support the immune response-By-Maintaining water quality-without making any 100% water changes, no water movement, heavy tannins-the darker the better, dim lit quiet location, limit chemical additives to dechlorinator to cover chlorine/chloramines, proper temp-not too warm or too cool-77-78F range, lower water level, retain heat/humidity over the water for the labyrinth organ with plastic veggie wrap and good nutrition...We can't stop the aging process-but we can make them comfy and support the immune response to give them the tools to take care of it themselves.

If at any point he seems to be suffering-you need to do what is right by him-but you don't want to give up too soon either-these guys can surprise you-plus he is still eating and responding to you-which are good signs....
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