Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Julie's Julies 07-09-2008 11:01 AM

Bloated betta?
Penguine 350 filter
ammonia - 0
nitrite - 0
nitrate - 15
gh - 5

I have a year-old female betta with a bulge on her right side. It's about the size of a pea and very distinct. The scales on the bulge look like a pine cone, but the rest of her body is fine. She swims well, eats well, and is very active, but something is definitely wrong with her. Is this a type of dropsy? I've only encountered dropsy one other time, and the whole fish was affected, not just a portion of it.

I have an empty 10-gallon tank I can set up as a hospital tank, but the filter for it is currently in use on another tank. Since this is a betta, is it okay to put her in the 10-gal without filtration and aeration? And with what should I treat her? Wish I could get a pic of the bulge, but she's too active to capture on camera.

This comes on the heels of losing one of my goldfish, so I'm kinda bummed about another favorite fish getting sick. (They are not from the same tank.) We moved 3 weeks ago, so I am wondering if the fish got stressed and the results are just taking a while to appear. Until now, I've had no recent problems with my tanks.

Little-Fizz 07-09-2008 01:00 PM

Have you seen her poo? Could she be constipated do you think? I would try feeding a pea...

What else is in the tank with this beta? I wouldn't really risk putting her in a tank with no filter or aeration, it would more then likely cause more stress to her then help her out.

Julie's Julies 07-09-2008 08:02 PM

She's in a community tank with 2 angels, 2 neon tetras, 4 black skirt tetras, a male swordtail, 4 zebra danios, and 2 cory cats. While the angels often pick on one another and the zebra danios nip each other, I've never seen the betta quarrel with anyone, nor anyone with her. It could be constipation, but BettaBaby said in another post that bettas don't often suffer from that particular malady. I have a feeling this is either dropsy or a tumor.

How do bettas fair with salt treatments? I know salt can help lots of fish but that some fish only suffer more from the salt rather than be healed by it. And I can give the pea a try - I have tons since my kids love them.

Little-Fizz 07-10-2008 11:45 AM

Hm it doesn't sound like dropsy... Is a picture possible?

If it was dropsy your whole fish would be blown up like a ballon. and have the pinecone scales all over. Not just one lump.

I've heard of people using salt with bettas and they did ok. I'm not sure that I would use a lot of salt though, just keep a close eye and make sure she doesn't seem bothered by it and you'll be alright.

Julie's Julies 07-10-2008 02:47 PM

Okay, I can try that, too. I'll try to get a picture in a bit - maybe she'll cooperate. :)

Julie's Julies 07-10-2008 09:42 PM

All attempts at a picture failed miserably. She's just too active. But she did eat a little bit of pea heart, so that's good. The lump looks like it might be shrinking just a tad...I hope it's not my imagination. Whatever it is, it doesn't seem to bother her in the slightest.

okiemavis 07-11-2008 04:07 PM

If you have a spare QT tank, you may as well move her. It'll give you a change to keep a closer eye, and it's always better safe than sorry.

Lumps like that are usually tumors, parasites or infection. If it was the latter two you would probably see behavior changes, weight loss, loss of appetite or something. If you continue to monitor her and she seems completely healthy, it's most likely a tumor. Hopefully it won't grow too quickly and she'll continue to be comfortable and happy. Just watch out for infection with her scales sticking out like that.

Julie's Julies 07-14-2008 11:07 PM

Now that I've been observing her really closely, I think she must be getting picked on. She's missing a scale here and there, and one of lower fins is a bit tattered. Whether she got picked on and the lump appeared as a result or whether the lump is making her more prone to getting picked on, I am not sure. I will move her to another tank tomorrow and see if she heals.

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