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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I hope someone can lend some assistance/advice/words of wisdom! I apologize in advance for a long post!

I recently purchased a plakat (aka short fin betta) from a local pet store. I know I should have probably chosen one that was a bit more active/had less frayed fins, but I kinda fell in love with this little guy and named him Arrow.

That being said, I need some help!

When I took him home I noticed that he has this lump on his left side near his eye (after doing some research, I've come to realize that it might be a tumor, but please correct me if I'm wrong). Also, his fins were a lot more damaged that I had realized, I truly believe he's got a bad case of fin rot. I've also noticed some strange discoloration on his body on the right side. When I got him I also picked up a new tank.

I set him up with a new tank, heated etc and will post all the details pertinent for any help anyone can provide.

Housing
What size is your tank? 11L (approx. 3 US gallons)
What temperature is your tank? 27C (approx 82F)
Does your tank have a filter? yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? yes
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? none

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? hikari betta bio gold
How often do you feed your betta fish? every day; 3-6 pellets - but he hasn't been eating much since I've gotten him, so I usually only feed 1-2 pellets daily and remove the excess

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? so far, 100% water change when I set up his new tank and 30% after 7 days of treatement
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25-30%, every 2 weeks if my fish are healthy, usually once a week @ 50% if my fish is sick
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API aquarium salts - 1/2 tablespoon (for 11L) & a Betta water conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? yes; testing with API 5 in 1 test strips

Ammonia: my test doesn't do this one
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH:7
Hardness: 60
Alkalinity: 80

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? same as when I got him

How has your betta fish's behavior changed? lethargic, swims minimally, rests at the top of tank in the front, retrieves air from surface regularly
When did you start noticing the symptoms? first day I transferred him into his 11L tank
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? yes; 7 days of melafix/pimafix & API aquarium salts
Does your fish have any history of being ill? he came like that
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for 7 days - not sure how old he is otherwise

As I mentioned above, I've treated him for the last 7 days with pimafix/melafix and aquarium salts and have just done a 30% water change and started treating him with fungonex (as I was recommended that to target fungal infections). Currently he is housed with 2 large plastic plants and 1 small one and some stones. I have also purchased him a betta hammock just so that he can be close to the surface and conserve any energy he does have.

Just want to make sure that I'm doing everything I can do to help him recover/regrow his fins/get rid of this weird lump near his left eye.

Here are some pictures of him - I've included a photo of his tank set up also; and the last photo is one taken with flash on my camera (see attached photos)
 

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Okay, before ANYTHING...STOP USING MELAFIX. It contains tea tree oil, which can damage a betta fish's labyrinth organ (the one that lets them breathe air). I don't know about primafix, but melafix should NOT be used on ANY fish with a labyrinth organ. Stop using it right away and do a water change. If you really need to, you can give him a half-dose of bettafix, which is basically diluted melafix. But I'd hold off on that right now.

I have no experience with tumors, so I can't help you there...sorry! But I do know a thing or two about fin rot. The best first defense against fin rot is clean, warm water and AQ salt. Do a water change every day. If you want, you can add API Stress Coat to promote healing. Kick things off with AQ salt. Once you start seeing the fins regrowing, you can go back to normal water changes.

Speaking of "normal water changes," you should probably change water once a week for a healthy fish, too. Everything else sounds okay. Good luck with your little guy!
 

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Okay, before ANYTHING...STOP USING MELAFIX. It contains tea tree oil, which can damage a betta fish's labyrinth organ (the one that lets them breathe air). I don't know about primafix, but melafix should NOT be used on ANY fish with a labyrinth organ. Stop using it right away and do a water change. If you really need to, you can give him a half-dose of bettafix, which is basically diluted melafix. But I'd hold off on that right now.

I have no experience with tumors, so I can't help you there...sorry! But I do know a thing or two about fin rot. The best first defense against fin rot is clean, warm water and AQ salt. Do a water change every day. If you want, you can add API Stress Coat to promote healing. Kick things off with AQ salt. Once you start seeing the fins regrowing, you can go back to normal water changes.

Speaking of "normal water changes," you should probably change water once a week for a healthy fish, too. Everything else sounds okay. Good luck with your little guy!
I'm not 100% sure but I've read that basically anything with "fix" on the end will probably do more bad than good, so OP might want to avoid all those products for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Okay, before ANYTHING...STOP USING MELAFIX. It contains tea tree oil, which can damage a betta fish's labyrinth organ (the one that lets them breathe air). I don't know about primafix, but melafix should NOT be used on ANY fish with a labyrinth organ. Stop using it right away and do a water change. If you really need to, you can give him a half-dose of bettafix, which is basically diluted melafix. But I'd hold off on that right now.

I have no experience with tumors, so I can't help you there...sorry! But I do know a thing or two about fin rot. The best first defense against fin rot is clean, warm water and AQ salt. Do a water change every day. If you want, you can add API Stress Coat to promote healing. Kick things off with AQ salt. Once you start seeing the fins regrowing, you can go back to normal water changes.

Speaking of "normal water changes," you should probably change water once a week for a healthy fish, too. Everything else sounds okay. Good luck with your little guy!
Thanks for the advice :) Didn't realize how harmful melafix is to betta's! I've stopped using the melafix/pimafix and I'll grab another bottle of bettafix when I'm next at my local pet store, which will probably be soon. Presently, I've done a water change on Arrow's tank and just added in the fungonex (not sure if anyone is familiar with that product, or if it's just something sold in Australia). the guy at Pet Magic told me that they use it on their fish tanks in the store if it's a fungal infection and it clears it up. In any case, it's meant to be done for three days before I add back in my carbon filter. I suppose I'll let it be for now and monitor closely. I also don't want to stress Arrow too much either.

Typically, any time I do a water change I make sure to add in the appropriate amount of API aquarium salts for the amount of water I've added in. The rest of my 5 bettas are happy boys; just poor Arrow is sluggish and doesn't demonstrate a healthy appetite. I usually tend to do a partial water change during the week and a larger water change in 2 weeks. All of my tanks are 11L and are running filtration systems as well as heaters, especially now that it's winter here in Aus and it's a lot colder in the downstairs of my house. I'm usually quite flexible when it comes to taking care of my fish - I do what is needed to make sure they are all happy and healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Any idea what that strange coloration on his side could be? Is it just his colours or is it a fungal infection?

This poor boy is making me worried; I'm disappointed that the store even let me take him home considering his condition; though I guess I could have always said no and chosen another fish that looked more healthy. Just something about him though... :-D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm sorry...I've never had (or seen) a fish with a fungal infection or a tumor. I wish I could help more.
You've been super helpful so far! :) Much appreciated! I've never had a betta with a tumor/lump before so this is new territory for me too! Most of the betta's I've previously owned (I've owned about 10 before, the current 6 I have now) have usually died from old age. I've always been quite aware of how my fish behave and any subtle changes are a cause of concern for me if it's longer than 48 hrs. I've dealt with bloat in betta's before and fin rot (though not to the extent that Arrow is facing) and usual general bacterial things. I suppose it's always a learning process when you choose to be a pet owner (of any kind).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Update! Betta still not responding! Fin rot/strange growth

Ok, so a few days ago, I post about Arrow, my newest addition.

I'm worried that whatever I'm doing isn't enough to help him, he's still lethargic, doesn't eat, barely swims and this morning I found him floating on his side, though i doubt it's a swim bladder issue b/c he can usually dart around when he needs to.

I first started treating with melafix/pimafix - but stopped after some sound advice from members of this community (thank you btw!); did a 30% water change and tested the water again with all water parameters normal. *update: I'm no longer using bettafix either, nor have I gotten any from the pet store* Then sought some advice about a possible fungal infection from a local pet store and have done a 3 day treatment with Fungonex (started Sunday 10 May) - in hopes to treat the fin rot he has.

I'm not sure the fungonex treatment is working (the pet store guys said I'd see pretty instant results and his fins would start looking a little better); temporarily I've put him in a small bowl for him to rest (I don't want to stress him too much with all of these treatments). I just finished doing a 100% water change and cleaned out the gravel, plants and tank also to make sure there isn't any bad bacteria/fungus or what ever lurking. I've added in just a little over 1/2 tbs of AQ salts (enough for 11L/3 US gallons) as well as 1.5 tsp of water conditioner. I'm letting the tank cycle before I add him in later on tonight.

Besides the fin rot, I'm also trying to determine if his strange patches on his body are part of his coloring or if it's something more. If anyone can help that would be awesome!

Lastly, if the fin rot and the strange patches of coloring, not eating, lethargy and general inactivity isn't enough to worry me, he also has a growth/bump on his left side on his gill near his eye.

I'll post a more recent photo, but please help... any one... I'm not sure what else I can do and I'd really like to make sure I've done everything I can do in my power to help my little guy out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
really. Someone told you that the medication that ends in -fix is clearly very harmful but yet you're using it anyway. Not even going to bother on this one, cause its not my fish that's going to have damaged organs at the end of the day.
I'm not using it - as some of the members on here told me not to, i stopped treatment right away. I'm not sure I really appreciate an accusation, considering I'm just asking for help. Before replying, I'd suggest you read what I wrote properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Do 65% water changes every two days. That will clear up the rot
sure I'll try that next once I re-introduce him into his tank that is being cycled. I will most likely add the appropriate amount of AQ salts also when I do the water change. how long would you recommend I do a 65% water change/per 2 days for? 2 weeks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I apologize for being so rude, and yes I think two weeks will work. Or it should
Thats alright - i understand that there are some people who choose to ignore the advice of others thinking they might know better - no harm done. I'm the type of person that would rather have advice from others who are knowledgable and learn from them. :-D

In any case ive just visited the pet store and grabbed some stress coat and more AQ salts. Plus some bloodworms.... cause Arrow hasnt eaten in 9 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
**update**

So, it's been a few hours since I transferred Arrow back into his tank after a 100% water change + AQ salts (1sp/gallon ratio) + water conditioner + stress coat. Seems he's taken to floating vertical now... but can move about normally if he needs to.

I've even changed around the plants in his tank, in case he was "bored". Not sure he'll make it 2 weeks with a (tonight only), but to no avail; doesn't show any interest in any food of any kind.

Guess I might just have to wait it out and see what happens. I'm going to continue the water change + AQ salts + stress coat regime... if he makes it past tonight *cross my fingers* :sad::cry:
 

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Hi FrostPixie, I saw your post on the thread I had for my betta. Thank you for the condolences, by the way. I'm afraid I can't be much help, but I do have a few questions.

First, is he still on the Fungonex? And what are the ingredients in it? I tried looking, but didn't have much luck.

Is the bump/growth or the strange patch growing at all?

I hope Arrow is feeling a bit better today and hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will come along. Also, I have to ask, but is Arrow named after the TV show of the same name?

Edit: Just saw your new update, and it didn't mention Fungonex, but to confirm, is he still on it? I'm sorry he's not feeling well. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Hi FrostPixie, I saw your post on the thread I had for my betta. Thank you for the condolences, by the way. I'm afraid I can't be much help, but I do have a few questions.

First, is he still on the Fungonex? And what are the ingredients in it? I tried looking, but didn't have much luck.

Is the bump/growth or the strange patch growing at all?

I hope Arrow is feeling a bit better today and hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will come along. Also, I have to ask, but is Arrow named after the TV show of the same name?
Hi Aquatail -- I'm not sure if I should continue on the Fungonex treatement (it's a 3 day treatment; so you drop in the liquid and let it cycle without the carbon filter for 3 days then you can repeat - but it doesn't specify how long you can treat for). The ingredients in Fungonex are: 2mg Acriflavine, 0.4 mg malachite green. I don't think the malachite green does much besides color the water and make it look like he lives in the Emerald City in Oz.

Presently, I'm just doing AQ salts, water changes and stress coat combination, unless someone/anyone more experienced thinks that maybe I should treat again with Fungonex??? Edit: I'll treat him again with Fungonex for another 3 days (see if that improves his condition)

The bump/growth and strange colored patches aren't growing in size, they're just there - I've tried staring at the patches thinking it might be a fungal infection cause it's copper colored and doesn't look like the rest of his scales (hence why I thought to treat with a fungal medication) but it hasn't improved, and it hasn't gotten worse (I guess that's a good thing, not getting worse).

I'm not sure he's doing better today.... I've been catching him floating vertical which is also concerning.

I did name him after the tv show - he's an emerald/dark green and thought it'd be fitting... though some times I call him Al Sah-him. Kinda hope he's a fighter like his namesake...
 

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I'm afraid I'm not familiar with Fungonex so I can't say whether doing a second course is suggested or not, but if the package specifically says to repeat, two should be safe, at least. Looking online, I found a few search results that mention repeating the treatment after 3 days, but I have no idea if it's the same concentration so I would certainly be hesitant to go on that alone. I did however, find a few online places that said to wait 30 minutes before adding it after using certain water conditioners like Stress Coat. Again, though, I have no experience with this so I can't say for sure, but you may want to look into it yourself.

I'm sorry I can't be more help for your little guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you - much appreciated

I'm afraid I'm not familiar with Fungonex so I can't say whether doing a second course is suggested or not, but if the package specifically says to repeat, two should be safe, at least. Looking online, I found a few search results that mention repeating the treatment after 3 days, but I have no idea if it's the same concentration so I would certainly be hesitant to go on that alone. I did however, find a few online places that said to wait 30 minutes before adding it after using certain water conditioners like Stress Coat. Again, though, I have no experience with this so I can't say for sure, but you may want to look into it yourself.

I'm sorry I can't be more help for your little guy.
Thanks Aquatail for your assistance and advice - it's a tough position to be in as a pet owner and not knowing what to do to help your fish get better; but I guess all information is better than no information and it helps b/c then I can learn and if I ever encounter it again with another fish, I'll know what to do.

I'm not 100% sure either with Fungonex, as I've never used it before, but I figured I'd dose him again for another 3 days and see how he goes... probably after that I'll just continue on with the water changes etc. if he survives this second round. I don't want to stop it just in case he builds a resistance to it... so tricky to treat a fish with multiple things that could cause him to result in his current symptoms.

I want him to be a fighter (in all sense of the word) and beat this thing down... but honestly, I'm holding my breath (so to speak) hoping he just survives the night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
** New Update **

Well, good news is he's not dead - although before I went to sleep last night he was bobbing and leaning on his side at a resting position; but quickly stopped himself when he realized he was tipping to the side.

So far he's just hanging out at the back of the tank - I think I might try and feed him again today and see how he goes with attempting to eat. He kinda just looks like he's hanging in there - poor guy.

Here's a pic of the lump on his face near his gill - it's that silver patch (sorry for the poor picture quality - he's a nightmare to photograph even though he's hardly even moving); the lump isn't a growth on top of his scales, more like it's a lump from under his scales - which is why I had originally though it to be a tumor - unless I'm wrong?

Again, thanks everyone who commented previously with their thoughts, advice etc.
 

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