I have had my betta for almost 3 years, the last 2 or 3 days he has been growing a large lump on the top of his head. He seems more sluggish and is not regularly eating (like he normally does). He lives with one plant in his tank and eats dried dead blood worms-never live food. I do not know if this is something I can fix (give him medicine for- if so I don't know which type, as I do not want to make him sicker). I tried to look on forums, but nothing looks quite like this (tumor? infected cut? bacteria?) It is a raised red lump (kind of the color of his skin with 3 white marks) Please help, I have had him for so long he is part of the family. I attached photos. Thanks,
Yyyyikes that looks bacterial. Please fill this out so we can better determine the cause:
How big is the tank?
Is it uncycled or cycled?
How much water do you change?
How often do you change the water?
WATER STATS Please try to answer these to the best of your ability. If you do not have a test kit, please bring a sample of tankwater to the nearest local pet store. They should test it for cheap, but most of the time free. Write the actual numbers down, don’t take ‘okay’, ‘low’ or ‘fine’ for an answer.
Also is he eating anything but dried bloodworms? Bloodworms are nutritious but surviving off them is like you eating spinach everyday for the res of your life... spinach, like bloodworms is a nutritious food but eating one type of ANY food, even the best foods will cause malnutrition if they are the only thig your betta's diet consists of.
I know the lump happened so fast and is so large, its upsetting! He is in about a liter, liter and a half tank, it is uncycled. We usually change about 70% of the water, but yesterday (we were concerned about bacteria) and changed the gravel, washed the plant and changed all the water.
I will buy a test kit tomorrow to check the water, as the pet store is now closed. Before he goes into new water we always wait until it is room temperature and treat it with conditioner.
For the first 2 years we had him he ate Hikari Betta Bio-Gold food, then he refused to eat it anymore. On the advice of the pet store we got the dried blood worms and he began eating again. Every once and awhile I will try the Hikari pellets, but he will not touch them. Any advice? I will update you with water results tomorrow. Thank you!
How can I treat dropsy? Does he have dropsy and another problem (the tumor like bump)? If I give him medicine for dropsy and he does not have it will it hurt him? He is swimming around normally now, although appetite is low.
I really appreciate your feedback, as he has been really healthy for the last 3+ years, and I have no idea what to do. Thank you.
Read the link I gave you, they give possible treatment. However, dropsy is usually fatal once they're 'pineconing'. It's really organ failure and it can come from a bacterial infection which he seems to have on his head? I'm no expert though so maybe someone else has better advice. I'm just repeating what I've read.
You should be changing his water 100% every day in a tank that small. Even when he's not sick.
I wish you luck. I know it's hard when they're ill.
Honestly, I don't think he'll make it. I really really hate to be the one to bum everyone out, but dropsy can be TREATED but not CURED. I've had experience with dropsy and it's nasty. Once they start pine coning, they usually pass away pretty soon after that.