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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
I have had my Betta, Bob, for roughly 4 years and the majority of his life has been complication free. It has only been over the past year that he has begun coming down with assorted illnesses. About a month ago he developed a lump on the lower left side of his jaw. I read some threads and articles and based on the information I figured that it had to be caused by bacteria (because the lump has a small white dot in the center). I used to be able to get the lump to clear up by increasing his water changes, but when that stopped working I tried using Melafix for bacterial problems (in conjunction with the salt I normally add to the tank). The Melafix didn't do anything for the lump and it actually seemed to have gotten worse. And to complicate things even more upon coming home from work and checking on him I discovered that he had developed popeye in the 8 hours I was away from home. I cleaned the tank, disinfected it with alcohol, rinsed it many times and then filled it with bottled water as usual. For treatment I used Epsom salt to get rid of the popeye and that worked great. The lump however is still there and looking worse. Also it appears that his lips are swollen, and when he attempts to eat he misses the pellet, tries maybe once more to get it, and then gives up. I have never seen him miss the target like this, and when I watch from above it looks as if he can't get his mouth open enough to get it. I have tried feeding him alternate foods but he's just not interested in anything but what he's used to. I'm pretty sure the difficulty eating is because the lump seems to be slightly larger. There are also little white snotty looking dots coming from right above what looks like his nostrils, and when I clean them away they just come back, and it looks like a bump or something is in the works on his side . I am now trying API Fungus Cure, I've used it once before to treat him so I thought to try it now mostly because I've tried everything else I could think of and the person at the aquarium store didn't know what to suggest. I realize that he's quite old and probably will never be the picture of health that he used to be, and some people have suggested putting him down to end his suffering since he keeps getting sick, but I'm hesitant to do that seeing as he's bounced back from being very sick before. It kills me to watch him try and fail to eat, and all he does is hide all day. I just want to do what's best for him but I don't know what that is at this point. Any suggestions/advice would be amazing.
 

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Just keep trying. Can you get him frozen/defrosted bloodworms? Few betta turn those down. Also try making his pellets smaller. Is his disease maybe lymphosystis?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just looked up lymphosystis to see what it looked like, and most of the images that came up in the search don't look like the spot Bob has, but who knows what those two little spots will turn into in time. And could you tell me a little bit about what happens when you put the defrosted bloodworms in the water? In the past I have tried making him garlic peas, and I bought him the top rated garlic Betta food trying to get him to eat (the last time he was sick) and the pellets were so small he wouldn't bother with them, and the garlic peas just sank to the bottom and he won't eat anything that doesn't float for some reason. Oh, would you happen to know much about treating with Epsom salt? The article I found explained how much to add, but it didn't say for how long.
Thanks for the advice.
 

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Hi, frozen bloodworms you can just microwave for 5 seconds, or put in a baggy in warm water. Epsom salt is 1 tablespoon per gallon for 15 minutes
 

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no. the epsom salt timing is incorrect. You add epsom salt at a dosage of 1 teaspoon per gallon to his main tank (take a cup of water out and dissolve the salt in that and then every 15 minutes add a bit of the salted water back to the tank until all the water is returned). You can leave it in the tank for months since it is as harsh as AQ salt. 15 minutes is not enough time for the epsom salt to have an effect.
 

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(Sorry)
 

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With the frozen blood worms, I use a knife run under hot water and cut the cube in 1/2, then put 1/2 in a cup with a little bit of water..it melts right away, and feed using the tweezers. I put the non-used 1/2 back in the freezer for next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for all the advice. I purchased the frozen bloodworms as well as some Nat Geo brand Betta flakes and even some Betta vacation feeder drop-ins just in case he doesn't eat the aforementioned two options. So far he hasn't, but I'm still working at it. The API Fungus Cure treatment is over tomorrow, do you think I should continue with adding Epsom salt to the main tank water instead of aquarium salt? And I have read so many bad reviews of the Melafix that I don't think I'll be using that again, I'm wondering now if perhaps his labored breathing is a result of damage from the Melafix. Also, instead of buying more of the store brand water conditioner I purchased the Nat Geo brand Betta water conditioner, it said on the bottle that it had Aloe and Green Tea which is supposed to be better for their stress and illness prevention (at least according to the company), but I haven't yet encountered anyone who has used the Nat Geo brand so I am a little hesitant to start using it over the generic I've been using. I wish I could figure out if all of his medical problems are happening simply because of his age and reduced ability to fight off illnesses or if it's something else that is triggering it. I haven't altered anything care wise or introduced anything new to his tank. For years he was perfectly fine and the picture of health and now he chronically has problems. Do you think I should move him back to the one gallon cube he used to be in? I always thought it was too small, and he seemed to enjoy the 5 gallon upgrade well enough, but I haven't seen him make any bubble nests in the corners since he was in the cube. I don't know if putting him back in the cube would be more or less stressful.
 
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