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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so my beautiful, feisty girl betta needs some help. I've had this girl, Echo, for maybe 2 1/2 years. She has a bulging area and I am wondering if it is an internal infection or a tumor, or if she might be egg bound. If you have a suspicion of what she has after reading, how would you treat for it? If she has a tumor, is there any way for me to know if it is benign or not?

I'm going to list the illness section first and then the others.

Symptoms and Treatment

How has your betta fish's appearance changed?

Echo has gone from being well rounded from tons of eggs to bulging on one side only in addition. It doesn't look like bloat really (the bulge looks very solid, not balloon like at all) and her scales only stuck up in the swelled area and even then only a few scales stuck up and the rest were normal.

This went on for a few weeks. Then she was recently attacked when my male betta jumped over the divider and tried to mate with her. (About 4 days ago). I almost let them do it since they both wanted it but when a few of her fins got torn and a few of her scales came off, I removed her and put her in the quarantine tank instead. I've also lowered the water level in the normal tank for when I put her back in it, that way jumping over the divider would be much more difficult for the male betta.

This is her injured and bulging side

Another view of the injured/ bulging side

This is her "normal" looking side other than the fact that she is large with eggs (as she always is)

She is how she looks from the top. You can kind of see that her scales aren't really raised but she bulges on one side.

Another top/side view

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Before the incident with the male betta, she was acting normal most of the time despite the swelling. There were a few days where I almost medicated her because her energy dropped a little and she laid on the bottom a tiny bit more, but she returned to normal right afterwards, so I didn't medicate her. She's always been a healthy, high energy fish.

Once had the scales disappeared from her side (from either them popping off from being stretched due to the swelling, or from Gable attacking her) and her fins got torn, she started laying around and hiding. That is semi-normal female betta mating behavior, although when she has mated in the past, she often was too dominant for males. Having her actually hide for the most part was abnormal for her since she is usually far too dominant. What worried me though was the wound on her side where the swelling was and the fact that she was breathing a little harder than normal and laying on her side.

I removed her to the quarantine tank and she laid on the bottom for a bit but returned to normal behavior mostly by the next day. Now she is acting relatively content and energetic. I've not sure whether I should worry about the swelling still or not. While she doesn't have a history of being ill, she has always gotten much, much bigger with eggs than any other female I've ever seen. So much so that mating has taken twice as long with her than with other females because the eggs never seem to stop dropping once the male begins the process of squeezing her! She also never drops her eggs unless she mates, so she stays full with eggs all the time. In fact, in about 3-4 days after mating her eggs usually come back.

When did you start noticing the symptoms? The bulging on one side began about 2 weeks ago and the scales in that area came off about 4 days ago. I'm not sure if they came off from the attack or from the swelling. They looked raised just in the circular bugle area before she was attacked but laid flat on the rest of her body.

Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I put her in the 1 gallon hospital tank. I put aquarium salt, epsom salt, melafix, vitamins, and kanaplex in the water, along with half of an indian almond leaf. This might be too much medicine, but I've had bettas die quickly from internal infections in the past and kanaplex, vitamins, and epsom salt has usually been the only way I've kept bettas with internal infections alive. Melafix has always helped with fin tearing for me in the past and I wasn't worried about her having trouble breathing from it because her breathing is normal and I added an airstone to circulate the water. Also the place where the scales came off was red at first but seems to be mostly white in color now.

Does your fish have any history of being ill? I've had many bettas in the last few years (I have some community and single tanks) but to my knowledge Echo has never been sick in that time until recently. The only thing she's ever really had happen is minor fin tearing from mating and that always healed quickly.

How old is your fish (approximately)? 2 1/2 years since I bought her. I would guess she was close to a year old prior to purchase but I have no way to know.


What size is your tank? Normally she is in a 5 gal. divided tank with one other betta fish. She is currently in a 1 gal. hospital tank.

What temperature is your tank? 72 degrees F. The hospital tank usually ranges from 72-74.

Does your tank have a filter? Regular tank does, the hospital tank does not.

Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Both tanks have an airstone.

Is your tank heated? Regular tank is, the hospital tank is at 72, room temp.

What tank mates does your betta fish live with? She normally lives with one other betta in the divided 5 gallon and one mystery snail. She actually really loves being able to see the male betta and gets depressed if they are separated where she can't see him. They sometimes fight if they are put together with no divider though.


What type of food do you feed your betta fish + how often? I mainly feed her TetraBetta floating mini pellets but a couple days a week I feed her some freeze dried daphnia, mysis, or bloodworms. On rare occasions she gets some sort of tropical flake food. Usually I give her around 2 pieces of food once a day or a max of 4 pieces if they are not pellets. (I've noticed with 3 or more pellets my bettas would bloat a bit so that's how I determined the # of pellets to give them).


How often do you perform a water change? Whenever the tank appears too cloudy or if it tests positive for ammonia or nitrates/nitrites. The 5 gallon is relatively new but should be through the first cycle. It may be going through a mini cycle now though since the fish have only been in it for around 3 weeks.

What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? It really depends. Usually around 2 gallons or so, depending on how much debris I find in the gravel. I try to keep cleaning until the gravel is relatively clean. The quarantine tank has been changed every 2 days and I always returned the medicine level to what was recommended by that time (ie. when she should have had 2 doses of kanaplex in the four days and I changed the water, I added the 2 doses back instead of putting just one).

What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? I add the dechlorinator and aquarium salt. Sometimes I add a bacteria supplement. I also sometimes add a chemical to reduce ammonia if necessary.

Water Parameters:

The PH is at 7.0. The Ammonia and Nitrite/Nitrates should be zero in the quarantine tank because I just changed the water. In the tank Echo is normally in, the PH is at 7.2 and the Ammonia is at 0.2 (but I think it was close to 0 when she was still in it).

I have Kanaplex, Ammoxicillin, Tetracycline, Lifeguard, Melafix, Methylne Blue, Ich Med (tetra?), and Indian Almond Leaves on hand. Also aquarium salt and epsom salt. I can also order meds or go to petsmart if need be.

3,338 Posts
Lymphosystis? (Excuse my spelling)

3,338 Posts
Technically. But it can be be overcome.
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