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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Underwater Organism Marine biology Aquatic plant Fish

I have this Betta that I "rescued" from a pet store. I fully expected him to die as he was barley alive when I got him. He ended sup recovering and did really will in my tank for 2-3 months. While I was away at school he developed a lump on his side. My much believed it was swim bladder or something similar, however it doesn't affect his ability to sink or float or swim. He's had this lump for around 4-5 months now, and I've tried a few different remidies but no luck.

I'm not sure if it's related but about 3 months ago he started to "play dead" and would sit at the top of the tank with one side out of water or his mouth out of water. Thought it was lack of oxygen so put in a bubbler. I had changed the filter a a month or after this started, but it didn't change anything, not did adding the bubbler. I have two Cory catfish in the tank with him (supposedly they're not that easy too take care of) and they a perfectly fine an happy, although they spend most of their time under the filter at the back of the tank.

I thought it might be that he was deepest/sad/ not stimulated so I moved some stuff in the tank and added new stuff. But nothing bis working.

Has anyone had this issue?? I'm worried he's actually going to be dead one day and I'm not going to realize because he always palys dead.

This image is after making him move
Plant Blue Organism Fluid Terrestrial plant

Vertebrate Botany Organism Underwater Vegetation
this is how he looks 90% of the time
Plant Water Botany Liquid Organism

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello and welcome!

I‘m sorry your Betta is ailing.

Could you please fill out that form, so members have all important information in a quick-reference style:

BF Diseases & Emergencies Form

Just paste it back here and fill in your answers to the best of your ability.
How many gallons is your tank?
10 gallons
Does it have a filter?
Does it have a heater?
What temperature is your tank?
Not sure. whatever the standard is for a freshwater tank like this, preset heater.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
has a bubbler/airstone thing
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind?
Yes, 2 Cory Catfish

What food brand do you use?
Aqueon for betta API for catfish
Do you feed flakes or pellets?
pellets - but have tried flakes
How often do you feed your Betta? How much?
1-2 times a day depending on how he seems to be acting. Small pinch.

your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change?
3 weeks or so. Tank stays clean and I check the levels ca few times a week.
What percentage of water did you change? Usualt about 25% of the current total but i have a lot of evaperation from the tank so its usually already low.
What is the source of your water?
Tap, comes from the city/township.
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water?
What additives do you use other than conditioner? What brand of conditioner?
brand of conditioner depends on what the store has as they never seem to have the same type twice. I use aquarium salt and stress coat from API.

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water before the regular water change; not after one.

Not sure, i don't have kit with specific numbers. I have the strips that say if they're in the safe zone or not.

Hardness (GH):
Alkalinity (KH):

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms?
The lump was 5 months ago a least and the playing dead was at least 4 months ago.
How has your Betta’s appearance changed?
Maybe not quite as vibrant but otherwise the same
How has your Betta’s behavior changed?
He was never very energetic but now he never moves and just sits at the top of the water constantly.
Is your Betta still eating?
Not sure. If he does its once I walk away. He would have to still be eating in order to still be alive after 4 months of this though.
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how?
Did the usually things to treat the lump, didn't feed him for a few days. Used various differnt suggest treatments for fishy ilnesss. Added a bubble a couple of weeks ago thinking that there wasn't enough oxygen.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill?
I was close to death when I bought him around christmas. He got happy for a while and then this happened
How long have you owned your Betta?
About 8 months
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased?
He was really sick or injured, I guess he had just been cooped up in the little container too long. Within a couple of days he was perfectly fine.

Super Moderator
24,374 Posts
From the photo he looks to be suffering from malnutrition. He should look like the fish below: Smooth with a gradual tapering from head to caudal.
Head Eye Fin Underwater Koi

The impact of nutrition deficit to vital organs causes slow starvation. The impact of that can take months or even a year to show. So, yes, he could linger for months without eating.

If he is not already deceased you could try getting him to eat frozen (not freeze-dried) Bloodworms. However, one of the things to go with lack of nutrition is the eating reflex so it may be difficult to get him to eat.

If you get another Betta, please note that fish don't "play dead;" they don't know how. Instead, there is something seriously wrong or they are dying.
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