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Old 01-14-2013, 04:52 PM   #1 
maycausedeath
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Lump on Side

While doing a water change today I noticed a large lump on my fish's side. It has been there for a few days, but he is prone to bloating so I didn't think much of it. However it is much larger today. Over the past few days I've been feeding him 3 pellets over the course of the day, hoping it would go down.

He is surfacing frequently for air, and seems to be having more trouble than usual doing it. At this point I'm thinking 1 tbs epsom salts predissolved as I know they will not damage my plants.

Housing
What size is your tank? 2.5 g
What temperature is your tank? 80F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
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? N/A

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Omega One Betta Buffet
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2x per day, 2 pellets each time

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Every week or 1 1/2 weeks
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 75%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? No

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Large lump has been growing on his left side stomach area
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Struggles to swim to surface, surfaces frequently for air. Also lists slightly to the side.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 2-3 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I have not
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Fin rot when I first got him, bloating problems earlier this year
How old is your fish (approximately)? ~3 years

Is it possible this could be a tumor or something internal? I am hoping it is bloat or SBD...

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Old 01-14-2013, 05:02 PM   #2 
brandiibliss
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I'll have to keep up with the answers you get because our betta looks almost exactly the same! His opposite side was swollen at one point too but he's back to looking like your guy.

Does yours have any scales that stick out any? Ours has a few and we're told it's likely dropsy. 5 days of Maracyn 2 and epsom salts helped some but we're looking for a second plan now.

Good luck!
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:05 PM   #3 
callistra
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Your fish is emaciated except for the belly.. He is too skinny for what you are feeding him.. that looks like either TB or advanced internal parasites..

What color is his poop?

His fins look pretty ratty from that angle too, but it's hard to tell..

I can't tell.. do the scales look raised?

You need to increase your water changes. For a tank that size, most people will tell you that you can't ever fully cycle it and you will always need two water changes a week of 50% and 100%. Others will say that eventually once the bb establishes as much as it can (which can take up to 2 months) a twice weekly 50% water change including a small gravel vac or stir/dip method will be required. Anytime you're not doing weekly 100% water changes and relying on a cycle you should own a drops kit for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate and keep an eye on the levels. Especially with an old boy like that he will be very sensitive. Ammonia should be 0, nitrite should be 0 and nitrate should be <20ppm and the lower the better.

Definitely increase your water changes.. do several smaller water changes back to back to avoid shocking and get your water tested.

In the meantime I would monitor poop, use epsoms depending on the poop maybe look into feeding a medicated feed or using some kind of internal antibiotic (depending on source of issue) is probably needed. Feeding will cure parasites and a lot of bacterial - using a source of metro (like API General Cure) and seachem's garlic guard (optional). Good internal antibiotics would be like Kanaplex + Furan 2 or maracyn Plus.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:45 PM   #4 
maycausedeath
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@Brandii
I'm sorry to hear that! His scales do look slightly raised, but only over the bump. Good luck to your boy as well, hopefully we'll both be able to solve this.

@Callistra
Wow, definitely not what I was expecting. I added another picture, the last one was at a weird angle. If it is TB should I be doing anything to sanitize? I cleaned his tank today and everything went through the vac was brown. It's hard to tell with the plant matter, but there was nothing clear or white. I hardly ever see him poop and I have a suspicion he hasn't recently, hence my expecting sbd or bloat.

His fins have been getting ratting recently, but I assumed it was just old age. The scales are raised slightly over the bump.

I did a water change today. My bad on the water changes. I used to do them so frequently I got told to do less, I guess I just bumped them down too much. I do have a filter stuffed full of media and around 10 plants if that helps.

So at this point should I be buying parasite meds or something else?

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Old 01-15-2013, 08:13 AM   #5 
callistra
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I think I would treat him with medicated feed and not antibiotics in the water in this case.. because he is so emaciated and he has something called GI dropsy (raised scales only on abdomen) these are both signs of internal parasites.

Plants and things will help your water quality but you should still always do weekly water changes of some kind. You may not need full 100% with the plants then because plants don't like that (unless it's a floater in my limited experience). You definitely should be using a drops test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate if you want to do less than 100% weekly so you know.

He definitely has fin rot and then the GI dropsy..

I don't want to do a bath and feed because he's so old so I think getting his water quality under control, some epsoms and feed should hopefully clear this up.

Use epsom salt (100% pure magnesium sulfate with no dyes perfumes or additives of any kind via the ingredients label) at a rate of 1 tsp per gallon. You should predissolved it and add it very slowly over the course of an hour or more because it will drop your ph and you don't want to shock him. The salts will not evaporate or break down so you only need to replace them when you do a water change, and then only replace as much as the amount of water you replace. They are safe to use as long as he's sick.. use at minimum 2 weeks and until no more raised scales but I'd aim more for 3-4 personally.

You should also look for a source of metronidazole (API General Cure is a good one and easy to find.. you don't want a lot of extra ingredients but the Prazi is good. You can always use Seachem's Metro in the blue tube). You want to use a good soaking pellet (one with lots of wheat) and if you choose you can get Seachem Garlic Guard or Fresh Water Vitachem. You take some amount of the liquid of your choice into a cup of some kind (garlic guard, vitachem or dechlorinated water) and add (some people use full packet of GC I've seen half too, I've only used full dose of the Seachem which is one scoop metro + one scoop focus) the meds to the liquid and dissolve it as well as you can. Then add in the pellets and soak them 15 minutes. Feed two twice a day for 3-4 weeks. You need to mix this up fresh at least daily, if not fresh each feed. The meds will lose their effectiveness and won't keep past that.

Last edited by callistra; 01-15-2013 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:21 PM   #6 
maycausedeath
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Sorry about this, I'm running short on time. Not sure if I'll be able to get a response before I go.

-API general cure
-Wheat heavy pellets
-Epsoms

Thanks
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:46 PM   #7 
callistra
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Yep. That works. Also vitachem or garlic guard, if you want.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:19 PM   #8 
maycausedeath
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Alright, I managed to get everything and I'm adding the epsom salts now, but I'm not quite sure how to do the general cure. It says one packet for 10 gallons but I have a 2.5. Is there a way to split up the packets without a scale, and how often should I dose? It says dose once, wait 48 hours and dose again and that's it. Is that long enough to get rid of the parasites?

Edit: are parasites always present in the water? I don't feed live food and haven't added any plants recently, or for that matter any plants that don't come from a tube.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:21 PM   #9 
callistra
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You don't dose the water. You use it to feed just the way I wrote above..
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:36 PM   #10 
maycausedeath
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Sorry, I worded that poorly. What I'm trying to say is, do I need to use a whole packet to soak the pellets or is there a way to split it up? If I don't there won't be enough packets to feed for 3-4 weeks.
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