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Old 07-31-2011, 09:07 PM   #1 
DarkMoon17's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: MA and MO
Strange Facial and Gill Swelling

I bought three breeder females and one male from Ninebettas on AB 2 months ago. One of them, Spot, has developed some strange facial swelling. She is otherwise healthy. No behavioral changes and she has a great appetite. Her sister, Sprinkle, is swollen around her left gill and pectoral fin. Her gill was "stuck out" when she arrived but it was not inflamed and she was otherwise healthy. Now, her gill is still stuck out and her pectoral has gotten very swollen. She has become lethargic but still has a good appetite. The 3rd sister and the male are both healthy but many of the bettas other members purchased at the same time from Ninebettas had health issues (internal parasites and slime coat infections)...

Spot & Sprinkle are QTed and floating in their sorority. Daily 100% water changes and 2tsp/gal Epsom Salt for the last 5 days with no change. I started them both on Kanamycin coated flakes yesterday, twice per day, for possible internal infection/abscess... I have read that thyroid cancer can cause facial swelling in fish but I was hoping someone might have a more positive diagnosis... I have no idea about Sprinkle. It could be physical injury but the tank is very peaceful. There is very little tail nipping and the sisters do everything together. Not to mention most of the bettas are 1" fry...

Any help would really be appreciated.

What size is your tank? 30 gal, bare bottom, live plants
What temperature is your tank? 81*F
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? 4 adult females, 2 male fry (separated), 5 female fry from NIB, 1 adult male plakat (separated), 1 apple snail

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Atison's Betta Pro or New Life Spectrum in AM, Frozen bloodworms/glassworms in PM
How often do you feed your betta fish? twice per day

How often do you perform a water change? Once per week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Nothing, I have well water

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

Right before the weekly water change and before I QTed them
Ammonia: 0.0-.25
Nitrite: 0.0-.1
pH: 7.8
Hardness: According to Petco I have soft water

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
Spot: Swollen Face
Sprinkle: Swollen pectoral area
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
Spot: Acting normally
Sprinkle: Lethargic but eating
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Spot: 5 days ago
Sprinkle: She's had the gill problem since she arrived, I noticed the pectoral swelling after I took a good look at everyone after I saw Spot. She's always looked weird on that side and I didn't notice the swelling until I looked from above. I do not know exactly when it began.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Answered above
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
Spot: No
Sprinkle: I treated for possible inflamed gills when she arrived but there was no change. I QTed her for 10 days, 1tsp/gal Aq Salt, daily 100% water changes.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Both approximately 6 months

Spot is on left, Sprinkle is on right



EDIT: We were in Ireland Aug 1-12. I had a reliable pet sitter who did perform 2 water changes on each tank while we were away and fed them. I was also gone for 4 days last week but did a water change before leaving and had a different petsitter come feed them. I noticed the swelling when I arrived home but the only thing I know my pet sitter did was slightly overfeed all my fish... I will talk to her but she was only responsible for feeding them.

Last edited by DarkMoon17; 07-31-2011 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:50 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Middlesex County, NJ
Tango has a similar swelling on one side at the base of his pectoral. It almost looks like a growth of some kind. I can't tell you what it is but I did treat with Kanaplex at one point because he was also showing lumps in his face similar to the picture I showed you of Wraith. They almost looked like small abscesses. There would be a hole and then swelling around it.

The lumps in Tango's face disappeared after the kanaplex treatment but the pectoral lump is still there. It's been there for maybe 5 months now. The only effect it has on him is limited movement of his pectoral fin. He swims just fine with it. He's 3 years old, give or take. To me, Sprinkle's lump looks just like Tango's. And I remember his gill was open more on that side too. The gill problem also resolved itself.

I remember another post with someone having a similar lump on their fishes pectoral.
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:16 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: MA and MO
Sprinkle also has limited use of her pectoral fin. Hopefully the swelling around the gill will go down with the Kanaplax... There hasn't been any physical change so far though she seems a but perkier.

Did the swelling effect Tango's breathing at all?
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