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Old 03-25-2009, 08:43 AM   #1 
New Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Unhappy Large lump on side

1. Size of aquarium (# of gallons)

2. Is your aquarium setup freshwater or brackish water?
purified water with .5 teaspoon aquarium salt

3. How long the aquarium has been set up?
over a year

4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know)
just George

5. Are there live plants in the aquarium?

6. What temperature is the tank water currently?
73 F

7. What make/model filter are you using?

8. Are you using a CO2 unit?
9. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day?
not directly, but it does get naturally bright in that area

10. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed?
last weekend, half water change

11. How often do you perform water changes?
I do a full change every two to three weeks, or earlier if the water needs it.

12. How often and what foods do you feed your fish?
Once daily, betta pellets

13. What type of lighting are you using and how long is it kept on?
just the natural light in my apt.

14. What specific concerns bring you here at this time?
He has a protruding lump the size of his head on his side close to his back fins. The scales are stretched very tight over it, and anti-bacterial can't seem to get rid of it.

The full story:
My betta, George, is a little over two. Last June he started becoming very lazy and would swim only at the top of the tank. I assumed he had SBD and fasted him. He did get a little better, but he has been swimming near the top of his tank with his fins down ever since. Just last month, I noticed a small lump on his side next to his back fin. I thought he might have a bacterial infection so I put him on a cycle of T.C. Tetracyclene. THe box said it worked on internal and external infections. This didn't help at all. The lump has now grown to the same size as his head, and he cannot keep his whole body underwater. The scales over the lump are stretched so far that they look white (he's orange). Last week I tried another course of the same antibiotics, but again they did not help. I haven't seen him actively swim in over a month, and his body is now curved into a shallow S. I'm not sure he can still use the gill that is at the surface, I don't see it move when I observe him. I have taken to pouring a little water over him so that his top doesn't dry out. He struggles very hard to move around, and most of the time just floats without moving. I only see him eat a pellet a day, and he can't catch the floating bloodworms at all. His mouth is always moving. I have called 7 vets in the Knoxville area and none of them seem to know anything about fish other than to buy antibiotics from petsmart. Does anyone know what I can do to help him?

15. What are your water parameters? Test your pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
All good.

16. What test kit are you using and is it liquid or test strips?
Test Strips

17. When was the last time you bought a fish and how did they behave while in the pet store tank?
He was a rescue from a careless office coworker. I don't know how he acted in the store tank, but he has always been a little lazy.
Meagan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2009, 09:22 AM   #2 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Colorado
I see errors all over.

1) Do you have a heater? The temperature needs to stay constant above 78F. 76F is the lowest temperature, and IMO that is too cold. My bettas hav always been at 84F.
2) You said full water changes. Don't ever do a full water change. Do 50% twice a week.
3) Is this tank filtered?
4) Post your params. "All good" means nothing to us.
5) You need a liquid test kit. Test strips are completely inaccurate. We will be treating it like you haven't posted your params until further notice.

It also sounds like dropsy. That is caused from kidney failure from bad water quality. However, I am no expert on diseases and treatments. If you look at him from the top, are his scales raised and look like a pinecone? If so, there is no treatment except for good care, because dropsy is fatal once in that stage.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:45 AM   #3 
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: missouri
Meagan, Sorry to hear about george. I'm no expert ,but If I were to attempt to keep a betta in a tank of less than 5gal. I would use tapwater with dechlorinator such as PRIME or AMQUEL+ that detoxify ammonia, chlorine and chloramines. I wouldn't use purified water unless my tapwater was liquid rock. By that I mean if tapwater's Ph was 8.0 or higher. I would change the water in this five gal or smaller twice a week approx 10 to 20 percent. Too large of a water change would I fear, stress the fish. It is possible that purified water lacks some of the minerals needed by fish for their long term health but I do not believe it would benefit george at this time to attempt to switch if you were so inclined. I would also use a syphon or turkey baster to remove any uneaten food or poop that was or might be laying on the bottom of the tank or bowl. As the fish eats and poops along with uneaten food, the water quality can begin to suffer as well as the fish. In small bowls or tanks this happens quickly hence,, the need for twice weekly water changes. Might be hard to find a small heater for your tank that wouldn't heat the water too warm, but I believe some have used lamps over the tank to warm the water if it becomes much cooler than room temp depending on where you live. I might also feed my betta a variety of foods once or twice a day and no more than I actually see him or her eat in approx. two minutes. Anything that was not eaten I would remove with syphon or turkey baster. I would offer a good flake food along with the pellets and also some freeze dried or frozen brine shrimp, and or blood worms for treat once or twice a week. I wish I could be of more help in regards to george but as stated I am no expert and it has been a LONG time since I cared for bettas. As another member stated,, the test strips are not very reliable so , I might invest in a test kit that uses drops of liquid and test vials such as API freshwater master kit which is used by many,(myself included). This would give you advance warning and WAY more accuracy in the event that water quality began to decline. I hope some of this helps you in the future and again,, I wish I could offer George more in the way of help but perhaps,, others with more expierience with bettas can weigh in.

Last edited by 1077; 03-25-2009 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:37 AM   #4 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
They do have small, non adjustable heaters for smaller tanks and bowls but I don't know how reliable they are. That would be better than nothing.
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