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Discussion Starter #1
So my poor Alpha isn't doing so hot these days. He's about a year and a half old and he's an absolute mess. I think he's palliative but I don't want him to suffer, so I was wondering how I would know it was time to call it quits and send him to the great fish tank in the sky.

In about last May, I noticed this little bump on his caudal. It started off small and only on one side, but the tumour has grown and grown since then; passing through both sides of the caudal and later invading his torso. Then, about a month ago, his eye started to bulge out. I though it was popeye and treated conservatively and accordingly, but I have since realized that he has fallen victim to... ANOTHER tumour, this time in behind his left eye (which was his blind eye anyways, related to an accident of unrelated origins last summer). I have not noticed that his fins are starting to rot and not heal, despite my best efforts, and I think it is likely related to the big honkin' tumour that is hogging all the blood supply and not letting it get to his caudal (seriously, this tumour is about 1/4 of his body length and it divided into two bits distally... I affectionately jest that he was growing legs to come see me). I have also noticed that he is less inclined to eat his pellets these days, and cannot even be tempted into excitement by freeze-dried daphnia, which used to be his favourite treat. He seems quite depressed, and just kind of sits around all day with his caudal unable to properly flare... or flare at all, really, due to this gawd-forsaken tumour. What should I do, and when should I call it? I just don't want him to be at the point where he is suffering and he really looks quite pathetic and is not the same fish that he was a month or two ago.

Also, because I KNOW someone will ask, this:

Housing
What size is your tank? 5 Gal (NPT)
What temperature is your tank? 27C (it's normally 24-5C but I upped it to promote healing of his tail)
Does your tank have a filter? S10 Slim
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? noop.
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? 2 assassin snails and idk how many RCS... I'd guess 15-20... they just keep breeding!

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? HBC betta bites
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2ce daily, 4-5pellets per feed, the occasional freeze dried daphnia/bloodworm/mysis (maybe once per 2-3 weeks?)

Maintenance

How often do you perform a water change? bi-monthly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 30-40%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime, Flourish

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
pH: 8.2 (I know it's high, but nothing I do changes it... I've tried increasing water changes, amount per change, back to back 75%s to try and totally reset it, but nothing works... and I don't really want to try chemicals as I hear they're not to reliable... but I'm open to suggestions)
Hardness: idk
Alkalinity: idk

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? see above
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? see above
When did you start noticing the symptoms? see above
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? increased temp, water changes, had him in the hosp tank for a while, he's back in the big tank again
Does your fish have any history of being ill? yes, see above
How old is your fish (approximately)? 18 months
 

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I don't think I will be able to help with this one, but I am sure the Guru's will ask for a picture so we can see what the issue is.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good point. Here's the best photo I could get... he's being the opposite of cooperative and on top of that, I can't find my video camera so I had to use my 10 year old digital camera (cause my phone's also being un-cooperative!)
 

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I have never heard of being able to only do water changes bi-monthly. For a 5 gallon, they need to be done at least weekly. That is only hurting hime more.
No one can really tell you when to euthanize your fish... it isn't our call. If he has tumors and will only be getting worse, well, if I were you... I would ask myself what would be best for the fish. I had to euthanize my last fish. It sucks, but sometimes it's unavoidable.
If you get another fish, you MUST do a water change every week. There is just no excuse. This may sound harsh, but I can't put it lightly. All of those tank companions aren't helping either.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He's in an NPT. With well established NPTs, you can do bimonthly and even monthly water changes. I test weekly, so I know what all of his levels are and adjust accordingly, but the changes are usually (at least) bimonthly as that is all that the ammonia and nitrate levels require.

When you euthanized your fish, how much clove oil did you use, and how long did it take?
 

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The only thing I would say, the picture is not that clear, but a fungus issue, which would need a Methylene Blue treatment, or possibly something stronger but I don't know what. I didn't think fish could get tumours, I could be wrong on that.
 

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Beautiful betta, yeah they can get tumors. I have a boy with what I think to be an eye tumor. It sucks. Ap
I had to use a fair amount of clove oil in order to aid a fish along. It sucks. I highly suggest adding it and then leaving for a while.
 

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He's in an NPT. With well established NPTs, you can do bimonthly and even monthly water changes. I test weekly, so I know what all of his levels are and adjust accordingly, but the changes are usually (at least) bimonthly as that is all that the ammonia and nitrate levels require.

When you euthanized your fish, how much clove oil did you use, and how long did it take?
I didn't use clove oil... I used ice water. I put a pitcher of water in the freezer until the top layer of water had formed ice but the rest of it was still liquid. I broke that ice, and basically plunged him in. It took about 5 seconds but felt like it took 5 minutes. In my opinion, it is more surefire than clove oil, which has too many stories about the fish waking up again hours later
I apoligize for judging your water quality too quickly
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the support, everybody. And Valentino, don't be sorry, you were just looking out for my fish and making sure he was getting what he needs. Dramaqueen: yes, we do. There is so much mixed information out there I don't know where to look; and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
 

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Well, this forum is filled with very knowlegdable people who have given me awesome advice in the past. I'm sure most of them would be glad to do their best to answer any questions you have! I have learned alot here
 

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Just for me for reference so I can learn something new but where did you learn about bi monthly water changes in a NPT? I was always under the impression that water changes in established tanks were not to keep ammonia and nitrates down but to add fresh water that has the necessary minerals fish need and remove organic chemicals that you can't test for. Is it a soil NPT that changes this?

I could see it in larger tanks maybe but in a five gallon I would think changing weekly even with plants would still be necessary.

Very sorry about your boy- it never gets easier :(
 

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Info on NPT. I have seriously been thinking of doing this myself, but I am fickle and like to move my plants around a lot. I don't know if I could deal with the dirt swirling every time. Although I guess once I got it all settled, I wouldn't move them.

http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=114575
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It is the soil (that's what makes it a Naturally planted tank as opposed to a planted tank). I have black gravel for a cap and lots of soaked and boiled stones that I gathered from across my province (and some of the gravel from inside the gates at Buckingham palace) so the dirt that settles doesn't really bother me as I don't really see it. And it settles very quickly after changes.

More on topic, Alpha has perked up a bit today, he's eating again (although he still looks like garbage... he lost a lot of tail over the last week). He seems to like the stems I added to the tank that give him more support near the top of the tank... I guess it's easier for him to access the surface so he doesn't exhaust himself as much.
 
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