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Old 12-28-2011, 08:50 PM   #1 
beginnerfish
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Bulge on the side of my betta - don't know what's wrong

I'm a new betta fish owner, my first betta. I'm trying to learn about my fish as we go, but still a work in progress. Thanks in advance for any help that you can give!

My betta started developing a bulge on one side, which grew slowly and took me a little while to notice. He still eats, moves around a lot in the tank, and seems to act as before. It looks like the skin is stretched around the bulge, which is mainly on one side of him but does extend to the other side of his body as well.

I am feeding betta pellets (2 in the morning and 2 in the evening), one day per week he doesn't get fed. I change about 40% of the water once per week, and use Nutrafin Aquaplus tap water conditioner. He is in a 5 gallon aquarium, with some coloured rocks in the bottom, and some plastic-like plants that he hides behind and swims around. There is a water heater, and the water is kept at 78'F. There is a also a pump that is on low, the rep from the pet store said to take the end off of the pump so that it circulated slower.

Other than the bulge, he seems like a happy fish. If I'm doing something wrong or missing something, I would like to know so that I can fix it.

Thank you!
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:16 AM   #2 
Pataflafla
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Do you think you could get a picture of the bulge?

for now try clean water, and if it is still getting bigger try 1 tsp/gal epsom salt (Dissolve in some tank water before adding. No scents or colors though).
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:59 AM   #3 
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Last night I changed the water again, added conditionner, and added a little bit of epsom salt. Last night he had a strand coming out of him, which I will assume is waste. I saw that on him a few weeks ago, although no recently.

Based on a comment I found on another thread, I took the rocks out of the bottom of the tank, so that I could monitor any waste. This morning he still has the thread stuck to him as he swims around. I have no fed this this morning, do I wait? He has had nothing since yesterday morning.

Attached are pictures from this morning.

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Old 12-29-2011, 08:39 AM   #4 
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2 clearer pictures, taken last night, before I cleaned the water again and removed the rocks from the bottom of the tank.

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Old 12-29-2011, 12:23 PM   #5 
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Sounds alot like Dropsy, which is often deadly, as there isnt a cure, besides bacterial/fungal medicine and AS...Im so sorry this is happening to your betta!
Im far from an expert, so maybe someone else on here can help you more than me, but id float him in a cup, so he can easily reach the surface. Its good that hes still eating, but it sounds alot like kidney failure, which is what usually kills bettas with dropsy...
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:28 PM   #6 
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Certainly looks like a serious case of overfeeding to me, starve your fish for 3 days and then feed him a DESHELLED Pea (thats the inside bit only as the outer shell isnt digestible) make sure it is either from a frozen bag or tinned. if your filter is uncycled then its probably dropsy, and you should really look up how to "fishless cycle" a tank before adding any livestock :)
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:36 PM   #7 
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I once over fed my betta, and it looked nothing like this. Over feeding makes a small bulge, maybe the size of a regular marble, and goes away if you do fast your fish, but what the OP is experiencing is almost definitely not over feeding, but some sort of sickness, most likely dropsy.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:57 PM   #8 
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Hense the ending to my Post, Funnily enough the feeding habits havent been mentioned... Dropsy is not a disease, its a symptom that shows there is a possibility of a number of underlying problems, most common is bad water conditions, but overfeeding too can cause the same problem, bloating the fish, feeding it more than its body can digest which then subsequintly causes kidneys to fail, and then comes the fluid retention..... which is probably what is causing the bulge. I never said it wasnt, i just pointed out the first and most common thing that causes this in betta's is OVERFEEDING.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:05 PM   #9 
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I will not recommend a pea, as bettas are carnivores... although it works, it doesn't agree with them too much.
Fast him, 2-3 days, with epsom salt treatment. dissolve 1-3 tsp per gallon of water, add slowly, over the day. THIS is NOT overfeeding, nor dropsy. I have dealt with overfeeding, SBD, and dropsy and this is definitely something else. The coloration, size and the fact it is on mostly one side, tells me there is something internally wrong. The feeding is in the post....it is feeding 4 pellets per day, a day of fasting... there is no way it is overfeeding as I feed mine 6 per day plus an occasional bloodworm.

If you can, get him into a 1 gallon quarantine, do 3 tsp of epsom salt, 100% cleaning each day, and redo treatment for 10-14 days maximum.

However, I will ask what and how much do you feed him?
I also will note that if this is not treated, and is internal, dropsy WILL appear and is fatal.

I've sent a message to some others, hopefully they'll come to help too

ALSO: is the strand white? white is usually parasite. Whcih could explain the odd absess that has built on your betta... It's more than likely a fluid pocket. I will say, get some Jungle Parasite Meds immediately, just in case I am right

Last edited by Sena Hansler; 12-29-2011 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:10 PM   #10 
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She mentions in her OP that shes feeding two pellets in the morning and at night...It could be over feeding, but from four pellets, I dont think so. To each thier own though. But since I cant see any pineconing, it might just be bloating. Id just hate to get someones hopes up that fasting thier fish will help, and have them wake up to a dead betta. Though, ive usually always seen my fish die, since when thier sick, i cant sleep, and just sit and watch them...bad habit, cause ive seen my last two have seizures and then die, which is a sight i never wanted to see, but at least i didnt wake up to it!

I still recommend cupping him in the tank, so he stays warm, and doing frequent water changes in the cup...Ive read on other sites, that pricking him with a pin might help drain fluid, but i dont know about that. Seems like the hole would get infected? Anyone else btried the pricking method?
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