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Old 10-27-2011, 09:44 AM   #1 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Help diagnose my Betta

What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? not sure
Does your tank have a filter? yes
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? none

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Freeze dried blood worms, flakes and pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day - morning and night

How often do you perform a water change? Once a week or once every two weeks, depending on the algae growth.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Water conditioner. The last two water changes I added aquarium salt

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? No. If so, what are the following parameters?


Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He has a "lesion" on the top of his head, and a "cyst" near his gill.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? It doesn't appear to have changed. He still always happy to eat.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 4 days ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Adding aquarium salt.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No. He had one solitary white spot over the summer which went away.
How old is your fish (approximately)? We've had him for 17 months.

Here are some pictures of the issues:

Thank you for any assistance you can provide.
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:10 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Welcome to the forum, sorry it had to be when your guy isn't doing too well =(

As far as his head, to me it looks as if he had scraped his head and is missing his scales there. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get bigger or red with sores.

As far as his gill.. never seen something like that. It could be just a simple cyst, or lymph.. but hard to say at this point. Again, would just keep an eye on it to see if it grows. If he starts showing other symptoms such as lethargy, not eating, losing color, etc then we could use those symptoms to help diagnose easier.

If you don't mind, a couple recommendations on your care. =)

For a filtered tank that size, you don't want to be doing 100% water changes, as then you can kill the good bacteria and end up doing more harm to your little guy then good. For a 2.5g filtered, 1 30-50% water change per week is enough. Dose with conditioner the full amount. Once a month siphon using a small siphon, or stir the substrate and use a cup to dip out the waste. Make sure to dose the water with a full dose (for that size tank) regardless of the % of water you are changing out.

When feeding freeze dried foods, it's good to only feed them once or twice a week, with soaking them in a tiny bit of tank water prior to feeding since they have potential to bloat their stomachs very easily. Same with flakes, you don't need to presoak, but feed a tiny bit since they can bloat them. Make sure you are using betta flakes, as tropical flakes for other fish don't have the proper nutrients/ingredients the bettas need.

If you decide to use AQ salt, it's recommended to put them in a smaller QT container with 1-3 tsp per gallon, with 100% daily water changes, no longer then 10-14 days, as using AQ salt excessively, or unneeded can harm the bettas internally such as with their kidneys, etc. It's unwise to use on a regular basis, and to not do the proper water changes when using it.

With winter approaching, you will want a heater. Bettas are tropical fish and require 78-82*F to thrive in. Anything less will cause lethargy and eating less as their metabolism isn't working fully. Also with winter, temps flux a bit more, especially when night comes.. and bettas don't do well with fluxes in temp. A small heater such as marineland mini heater will work good for you.

Just wanted to throw those out to help you out a little more. I'm sorry I can't say for sure what is going on with his gills though. So using this to bump your post up and hopefully someone who may know will see it. Good luck!

Last edited by Myates; 10-27-2011 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:31 AM   #3 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Thanks so much for replying. I will keep his tank clean and warm and keep my eye on him. So far nobody seems to know what that little "cyst" might be. Thanks for your advice.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:28 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Yeah, unfortunately it isn't all too common for the most part, so other then just saying it's a cyst, it's hard to tell. Most cysts are benign to begin with, so it shouldn't harm him other then growing too large for his gills to work properly. But it may not happen, so I wouldn't worry too much over it unless other symptoms pop up.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:40 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Australia
Just want to add to what Myates has said. You said you change water dependant on the amount of algae - that's generally not a reliable indicator. The stuff that hurts bettas (high concentrations of ammonia, nitrites or nitrates) are all invisible, so going by any sort of visual indicator like that is generally not a good idea (like petshops telling you to change the water when it looks dirty - by then, it's usually a toxic sludge). :)

That cyst thing is just...wierd. He's a pretty boy, though! :)
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:53 AM   #6 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Thanks for your reply. While I do visually determine when it's time to clean his tank, I do clean it once a week or once every week and a half regardless. I'll start doing partial water changes as per your advice. Also he has no gravel and I use a turkey baster to suck out any poop or uneaten food daily. I know I'm a bad fish owner for not having all the proper testing kits. We've been rolling along for a year and a half without incident so I think he's a happy little guy.

That being said, it looks like his damaged or missing scale area might be turning white. Could it be healing or turning into something bad?
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