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Old 01-13-2013, 08:09 AM   #1 
ImBlessed
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Exclamation Parasites or tumor?

Around last Wednesday I noticed behavorial changes in my Betta. Fins were clamped, slower swimming, and hiding. By Thursday morning I noticed a white bump on the right side of his body (left side is fine). By Friday evening/Saturday morning it appeared that the lump had prutruded so much that his scales split!

Please take a look at the photo and offer an opinion as to what could be the cause. If it's parasites, how would he get them? And what is the best course of treatment?

If it's tumor, do I understand correctly that there is no cure? Is euthanasia the only viable option? And how would that be handled?

TIA...
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:16 AM   #2 
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HOUSING
What size is your tank? 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, but it's not been in use the last few days
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 (and no live plants either)

FOOD
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? NLS
How often do you feed your betta fish? Smidgeon in the morning, fast once a week

MAINTENANCE
How often do you perform a water change? 50% once a week
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress coat and 1/2 teaspoon of aquarium salt

SYMPTOMS and TREATMENT
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Bulge on right side appeared around Wednesday, Jan 9th.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Slowed swimming, resting a lot
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 1/9/13
Have you started treating your fish? Not fed since Wednesday because at first I thought it might be SBD; no new poop since Tuesday or Wednesday. Don't know what to do because I do not know what it is now that he split!
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No

How old is your fish (approximately)? Probably about a year

Last edited by ImBlessed; 01-13-2013 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:03 AM   #3 
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Is it fuzzy at all?

If you're turned off your filter you now need to increase water changes to 100% weekly. You'll have killed off your bb and that death can also cause an ammonia spike. Have you tested your water? Drops kit is best as strips are inaccurate.

NLS a good food but shouldn't be measured in "smidgens". You can feed 5-8 split up into two or three smaller feedings with one fast day a week. I would start at the low end if your guy is not used to much and just monitor carefully to make sure he is pooping regularly and increase/experiment as you see fit.

Is the aquarium salt because you are trying to treat him or a normal additive? you cannot use AQ for more than 10 days at a time. It should never be used as a normal additive unless you're trying to remineralize RO water and then there are better ways.

I would medicate with increased water changes and epsom salts added at 1tsp per gallon predissolved added slowly over an hour or longer to avoid ph shock. The salts must be pure 100% magnesium sulfate per the ingredients label and contain no dyes or perfumes of any kind. The salts are never broken down or evaporate, so they only need to be readded with a water change. I would also look into trying to find some Kanaplex or Furan 2.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:02 PM   #4 
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I'm not being a wise-guy when I ask the following; I'm just trying to understand :)

I've had his filter in the tank before I even got him (I was cycling before adding any fish). When changing the layers of his filter, I do so alternately, rinsing the new layer in his old water. His filter is still in the tank, I just turned it off a few days ago so as not to potentially add to any difficulty he may have swimming. Yet, you think that turning off his filter will cause the beneficial bacteria to disappear?

Sorry for the vagueness of the food portion. I use the NLS small fish formula, which I'm sure you know is really teeny tiny. I say smidgeon because I use less than a pinch, which works out to be about 5-9 pellets or the equivalent of 2-3 pellets of the typical size most feed their Bettas.

His poop has always been brownish/copperish/reddish, usually bun-style, sometimes a chunky'ish log.

Thor is not fuzzy (and his water is not cloudy), no white spots, no gold specs, no bulging eyes, no pine coning.

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

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7*
Hardness:
Alkalinity:*
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:19 PM   #5 
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I did an almost 100% water change yesterday. (I always vacuum the sand when changing his water.) I added 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt for each gallon, and almost doubled the dose (about 5 mil) of the API + Stress Coat. I removed all decor from Thor's tank, leaving the filter in place - though not in use, the heater and the thermometer.

The white bump in the photo above opened and I can see some redness. At this point I am wondering if Thor could have torn himself on some decor, hence the removal of everything. I'm not inclined to treat for parasites, but rather keep his wound from becoming worse/infected.

He is swimming around without seeming to show difficulty. Even so, I only filled his 5 gallon with about 3.5 - 4 gallons so as to make his getting to the top that much easier. I finally fed him this morning and he ate with out issue. I'm keeping my eye out for poop. I plan to do almost 100% water changes every other day, if not every day, and continue with the Epsom salt/API treatment. At least until I come across other ideas or someone is kind enough to help me out.

I'd still hope to learn what the protrusion was - and what caused it to split in such short order. Can rumors do that? Or can they get caught on something?

Last edited by ImBlessed; 01-14-2013 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:52 PM   #6 
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I don't think that's parasites. It could be infected though.. It's possible he tore it on something and the white is an infection in the wound.

It's going to be extremely important to keep his water perfectly clean while that heals. It's possible epsom salts will be all that's needed at this time but if you see it getting worse or want a more aggressive treatment I'd look for a broad range antibiotic like Kanaplex, Maracyn Plus or Furan 2.
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