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96 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone! I've found this forum a lot when I'm busy making something out of nothing with my little guy, but now he has something which is most certainly something, and I'm having trouble finding information and I'm really worried about him.

He's developed a small, whitish bump on the right side of his head, behind his eye but in front of the gill (about equidistant between the two). I just noticed it Friday (9 January) night, and hadn't noticed it earlier that day, but it's possible I just missed it, since I had class and was dashing around all day.

He's acting the same as normal, and is eating fine (and extremely bitter when I don't give him more, I might add).

I've managed to worry myself since the only thing the internet has come up with is Columnaris (I think I did the webMD thing, but with fish =x). I don't know if it's anything so serious though?

A bit more background, Draco had to be moved on 4 January from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA when I went back to school. He's done this move twice before with no problems.

He's in a planted tank with Anubias, Java Fern, a Banana plant, and some funky floating things (I have no idea what they are)

What size is your tank? Aqueon MiniBow 5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? ~80F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, built in
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? It does not
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Hikari Betta Bio-Gold/Hikari dried blood worm (soaked first)
How often do you feed your betta fish? Mon-Fri he gets three pellets of the Bio-gold. He then gets one blood worm on Saturdays, and fasts on Sundays

How often do you perform a water change? I've been doing 50% daily since mid-December when he had a slight brush with what seemed to be fin rot on his pectoral fin
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 50% at the moment, more regular is 25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime concentrated water conditioner

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

Ammonia: 0.0-0.25
Nitrite: N/A
Nitrate: 0.0-5.0 (It doesn't get more exact than that with the test kit =v)
pH: 6.8
Hardness: N/A
Alkalinity: N/A

(By N/A I mean, I haven't tested for those. Tests are with API test kits. I can take some water to the pet store if need be though?)

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He has developed a little bump on the side of the head, with white in it. It looks a bit like you can see the white around his scale.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not at all, he's as wiggly and perky as ever.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Friday evening
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I haven't done anything except search the internet and worry myself
Does your fish have any history of being ill? He has a history of hurting his fins, but that's all.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I got him in August, from Petco (poor guy). That probably makes him ~1 old.

I tried getting some pictures, but I only have my phone, so the bump is a bit hard to see in them (You will notice his tail fin is pretty raggedy, I'm not completely sure what he manages to do to it, but I suspect he might bite it when he gets bored. I've checked for sharp edges in his tank and come up with nothing):

Any input would be great! I'm worried about my little guy. I haven't had a fish in forever so I'm so afraid I'm going to do something seriously wrong with him.

Any input you have will be wonderful!

2,544 Posts
Hi Ekoyuhale,
I really don't see a whole heck of a lot you are doing wrong. Yeah, he has some fin issues but you are doing your best with the daily water changes.

The 0.0-0.25 ammonia reading, I take it you are using test strips, correct?

I can't really see enough to determine what the white bump could be. In fact I see a lot of white scales, are they missing? Maybe it's the start of a cyst? I really can't say. Columnaris? I'm not seeing the whole saddleback thing that is indicative of that disease. Something fungal maybe? I can't tell, is it fuzzy at all?

Maybe someone else might see something I'm missing.

I can recommend some better foods than Hikari if you'd like.
Try Omega One betta Buffet or New Life Spectrum Betta or Community formula. higher in protein, lower in fillers. A little more protein in his diet might curb some of the biting you are seeing. I would also switch to frozen bloodworms as a treat, they are much better for him. He looks a little slender to me. Probably wouldn't hurt to give him a extra pellet once in a while.

For his fins I recommend a source of tannin. It can be found in Indian almond leaves or rooibos tea.

Sorry, that's all I got for right now.

96 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hey MikeG14, thanks for the reply!

For the ammonia test, it was the API kits with the test tubes. I'm just pretty bad at telling where the colour is so the best I could do was that it was between the first two colours on the sample sheet.

I'll check out those foods then, I had noticed looking around the site that he's a bit skinny. It'd be great if that helped him leave his fins alone!

Yeah, the pictures aren't terribly helpful. As for the other shiny scales that look white, they aren't missing. Within a week of getting him, a few of his scales just got like that. They aren't white so much as really shiny and a lighter blue. It's a bit strange o_O. He is a dragonscale but I don't know if that means anything. I assumed they weren't anything to worry about since it happened so soon after I got him and didn't seem to affect him in any way?

He has no fuzz whatsoever, thank goodness. The bump looks like white peeking around the scales on his head, sort of like whatever is causing it is under them.

2,544 Posts
With the amount of water changes you are doing you are probably fine ammonia wise. The liquid tests can be tricky to read at times.
The way it sounds, I'd be on the look out for a cyst. Unfortunately there really isn't any treatment.

I guess we'll have to wait and see. No point in dumping medication in his tank until we know for sure. Keep us updated and fatten him up:)

96 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Here I am, reporting in on Draco!

First: That bump

It's actually pretty much gone. It got a little larger after I initially posted, then started... well, the only way I can describe it is 'flaking away.' I'd occasionally notice a bit of it hanging off and then fall away while I looked at at. It never seemed to bug Draco at all.

Second: His fins

He hasn't touched them since I switched to the omega one betta pellets, and they are showing quite a bit of regrowth

Third: His thinness

I'm not really able to judge if he's improved there, maybe you can help? I'll be posting a couple top down pictures below.

Now, if I could leave it there I'd be pretty happy. But... I've noticed him flashing.

Specifically, the left side of his head, which is the opposite side from where the bump is/was. I'd only noticed it in passing and wasn't too sure about what he was doing, until I saw him doing it just as I was getting ready to type this up. He appears to have knocked a scale a bit above and to the right from his left gill off from doing this. I noticed that spot was a bit red and possibly bloody just last night. It isn't swollen or anything. I will also notice him swimming a bit erratically (like I just glanced over and saw) occasionally. It looks kind of like he's shaking his head. He still moves in a straight line when he does it, but it sure looks weird.

I have no idea why he'd be flashing. He has no white spots to indicate ick, and he looks like his normal Draco-y self under a flashlight (I understand I'd see a bit of a film if he had velvet or anything?).

Behaviorally, he's been even more active than before, believe it or not. When he flares or is just particularly angry, he's taken to swimming quick, big circles through his tank instead of the smaller circles he used to. He darts after my finger quite a bit faster as well.

Since I starting putting the Indian Almond Leaves in his tank, he's taken to making bubble nests as well, which he'd never done before. Too bad they get destroyed everyday >_> I'm still doing 50% daily water changes.

Also, it looks like his swim bladder might be a bit swollen? It might just be me though. You can see it very clearly in the left facing side picture.

To sum up:
- Draco's bump has gotten smaller and is nearly gone
- He's stopped nipping his fins
- I can't tell if he's put on any weight

- He's been flashing the left side of his head, the opposite of the side that had the bump, and it looks like he's knocked a scale off.

My Questions:
- Any ideas as to why he's been flashing, and if so, what can I do about it?
- Do I still need to 50% changes daily? I've been thinking about taking it down to 25%

Thank you in advance!

The Pictures:

The bump was always hard to see on picture, and now it's almost impossible. You can still see a bit of white between the scales but it's quickly going away, it seems.

Also, note the regrowth on his pectoral (none of the white was on the right one when I initially posted), and in his tail.

This is the one that's making me suspicious of his swim bladder. I'm not the best judge though, as inexperienced as I am. Any input? He's swimming normally.

Top views. Not much else to say. Is his left eye a little big or am I crazy?

2,544 Posts
I'm glad to see he's showing improvement.

Sometimes a betta will flash if he is stressed, just keep an eye on him. His eye looks a little buggy but he still looks pretty thin so maybe that's what you are seeing, keep an eye on that as well. With the amount of WCs you are doing I doubt he coming down with popeye. I think you could go ahead and bump down your WCs to 25% daily if you'd like. Maybe 2-50% a week would even do.

96 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thank you so much, MikeG14! I'm glad he hasn't developed something terrifying. I hope he'll chill soon. I'd been giving him 4 pellets of the omega a day, should I bump it up to 5 if he's still so thin? I'm just a bit worried about overfeeding.

I wonder if stealing half his water everyday is stressful xD that's part of why I was thinking about knocking it down. I think I'll take it down to 25% a day for now, and if his fins keep filling back in I'll go to 50% 2x a week as you've suggested.

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