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Julie's Julies 07-31-2008 12:32 PM

Images of swollen betta
Hi all, I posted a week or two ago about my swollen betta. She was in a 55-gallon non-aggressive tank with water parameters as follows:

ammonia - 0ppm
nitrite - 0 ppm
nitrate - 15ppm

I do 20% water changes every 4 days. I've never seen her picked on, but she could be getting into fights.

Anyway, about 3 weeks ago I noticed she had a swollen side, about the size of a pea. The scales over the swelling are pine-coned but the rest of her body was not. She is lively, eats anything and everything, and seems to have normal digestion. I moved her to a half-gallon fish bowl - the only thing I had at the time - and slowly added aquarium salt by the 16th teaspoon. She's now up to a half teaspoon, which scares me because it seems really high. I've not added any more.

The two pictures I am posting are two weeks apart, and the swelling is noticeably larger. Also, it looks like her whole body is expanding in addition to the spot on her side. Any thoughts as to what this might be? A tumor is the only thing I can think of, but I wasn't aware that they grew so quickly. Thanks!

okiemavis 07-31-2008 05:13 PM

Unfortunately, things like this are almost impossible to diagnose from just looking at the outside. Even in humans, illnesses like this wouldn't be diagnosed without blood tests or perhaps a biopsy.

I could suggest that it is a tumor, kidney enlargement disease or internal infection, but they would be just that, suggestions. While tumors cannot be treated, infection can, so I'd recommend focusing on that. Since she's still eating, you have options.

The most important thing right now is keeping up her water parameters. If you don't have a heater, float her bowl in your 55G tank, to prevent temperature fluctuations. Make sure to do 50% water changes every day, and give her plenty of places to hide.

I'd recommend feeding her Medi-Gold, which is a medicated fish food. I'm aware that it's a goldfish food, but it's got the widest spectrum of antibiotics available on the market. You can break the food up into smaller bits which she will be able to eat. Metromed and Romet B are two other options if you can't find Medi-Gold.

Otherwise, you can try treating the water, but I would try medicated food first, as it can be much more gentle on the fish and will be a good way to tell if this is something which can be treated with an antibiotic.

Julie's Julies 08-04-2008 06:49 PM

I will try the medi-gold. Thanks for the suggestion - I wasn't even aware that anyone made medicated food. Good idea about floating the bowl in the larger tank. She does have lots of places to hide in her little bowl, and other than looking lopsided and huge she seems fine and perky. That's always encouraging! I will let you know what happens in the days to come...

hmjm 02-27-2009 09:34 AM

My fish is going through the same this your fish appears to have. At first I thought it was constipation. I tried feeding him bits of pea but he wouldn't eat it. However, I have fasted the poor little guys for days and started epsom salt baths. I just didn't know what else to do. I was sure it wasn't dropsy.

You can look at my posts and see the pics we took of him. They aren't too clear but you can see his outline. Good luck and if I learn anything helpful I will pass it along.

hmjm 02-27-2009 11:38 AM

Is it safe to give a Betta Medi-Gold on the off-chance that this is some kind of infection?

hmjm 02-27-2009 12:20 PM


Originally Posted by hmjm (Post 176205)
Is it safe to give a Betta Medi-Gold on the off-chance that this is some kind of infection?

Oops sorry. I posted this into this thread by accident.

Kim 03-02-2009 08:06 AM

That's alright, it should be fine. The medicated food that I have is basically just for any fish, and I can't think of anything in goldfish food that would be harmful to bettas.

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