Hello Guys, this is my first post. I came across this good site on searching google. I brought home Russet last month and he is a gorgeous Red Betta(Half-moon/Super-Delta Tail I still can't really tell).
I've noticed 1-2 weeks ago that he has a lump on part of his body near the pectoral fin and stomach. Is like its swollen. It has been like more than 2 weeks now and I'm seeing no recovery.
Also whenever I change the water, the next day I'll see some white string like things going of from the fins, perhaps is the slime coat. Am I adding too much anti-chlorine that it burnt off the slime coat? But the white string thing disappear the next day.
I used to feed him frozen blood-worms, but last week I changed its diet. Now I feed Hikari Betta Bio gold(2-3 pellets 2-3 times a day) and freeze-dried blood worms. Russet usually likes the pellets more than the freeze dried blood worms. He sometimes spits out the blood worms before eating it again and sometimes gives up.
I'm more worried about that lump! Can anyone tell me what happen to Russet?
What size is your tank? 1.6 Gallons
What temperature is your tank? No heater because the weather in my country is hot!
Does your tank have a filter? I don't use filters.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? No
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Freeze-dried blood worms and Hikari Betta Bio Gold
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2 times a day
How often do you perform a water change? once a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? All of the water.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
-Aquarium salt and anti-chlorine
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Yes, he does not built bubble-nest. But has some bubbles scattered around the water.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Theres a lump on one side of him
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No
Does your fish have any history of being ill? He's got ich before, but made a speedy recovery within 2-3 days.
How old is your fish (approximately)? A few Months old.
I think the reason for the excess slime is probably the use of salt--salt is something that you use when your fish is weak and is recovering from open wounds. It helps stimulate new slime coat and tissue production, but it is not something you should use all the time because their native environment contains little to no electrolytes (salt), so their bodies are not adapted to shed this salt efficiently. Next time you do a water change, just add dechlorinator and no salt. :)
I think you should increase your water changes to twice a week in a container that size. If you get a larger container (3 gallons or more) and filter it, it can undergo a process called the nitrogen cycle. Once this process is complete, you will only have to change 30%-50% of the water once a week. If you're interested in this method you should research the nitrogen cycle--the difference it makes in tank maintenance is very worthwhile.
Something you should also look into since you live in Singapore are Indian Almond/Ketapang Leaves. I use them as a water conditioner, it helps mimic the betta's natural blackwater habitat and seems to promote health and activity. I have to import these from Singapore, but since you live there, they should be quite easy to find! Lucky you!
As for the actual problem at hand, the lump, what you're describing sounds like bloating. Freeze-dried blood worms are notorious for causing constipation and bloating issues in bettas. I don't use them--I fed them to one of my halfmoons once, and the poor man didn't poop for a week. From then on I have only used pellets, frozen food, and live food. To help him recover from constipation, you should give him a small amount of very fibrous food. Examples of good fibrous foods are brine shrimp, daphnia, and blanched peas. After you feed your betta the fiber, do not feed him anything else until you see him poop, or the bloating goes down.
I prefer to use frozen brine shrimp or daphinia, but if you happen to have peas around they will work fine. Here are a few tips for using them: do not use canned peas since they contain way too much salt, only frozen, unsalted, organic peas. Take a pea, and wrap it in a piece of paper towel that has been moistened in fish tank water. Microwave the pea for a few seconds until it is warm, remove the shell of the pea and crush the "meat" so that it is soft. Roll a small portion into a small pellet sized ball and it is ready to feed to your fish.
Since bettas are carnivores, they can't digest or derive nutrients from plant matter. This roughage simply passes through their systems as fiber, kind of like when we take metamucil, or eat bran muffins. This helps clean out their digestive tract and pushes trapped food along. It's definitely not something you should feed to your fish often, especially since daphnia and brine shrimp do this job better and at the same time provide the fish with digestible nutrients, but in a pinch, the pea will do.
Thanks ALOT Adastra for your advice! :) As for the Indian Almond Leaves, yes it's easily available everywhere for $0.50 per packet in my country and I've got lots. I have stopped using them. I've used them before and my betta seemed to make bubblenests. But the problem is, I've got a live plant there and it seems to rot and die after a week when the indian almond leaves make the water brown. Should I remove the plant and use the indian almond leaves again?