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number20121

Small bump on side and trouble swimming

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[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? 0

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level? 0 (highly planted)

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.6

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.7

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? api drops

[*]Water temperature? room temperature between 80-84F

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 5g (filled to about 4g), since December

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? whisper in tank mini, never found exact gph to this but I guess it turns over about 15gph on the setting I have it on

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? weekly 30%

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 female betta, 2", two ADF, 1.5" each

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? prime

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? frozen foods, home breed live mosquito larvae, soaked pellets

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? no

[*]Any medications added to the tank? no

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? slight bulge on her right side

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? seems to have problems swimming. Stays on the bottom or resting on plants most of the time. Especially when she swims up she struggles a bit, and in general seems like she has issues staying horizontal because her end "sinks" down.

Well, I don't know what more to add. I noticed this a few days ago. I tried to get a photo of the bump but it doesn't really show in the picture.

This is the closes photo I could find with google. It looks very similar to this bump, on the other side than this fish, and a little bit further back. More like where the blue coloring starts on this fish, but as said, on Donna's right side.

http://i42.tinypic.com/6htjko.png

She does eat though and seems very engaged when she sees me, and she picks on the ADFs as usual. Loves to chase after the mosquite larvae trolling through her tank. There are no scales sticking out, no sign of injury, no other sign of illness or stress. No stress stripes, nothing.

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang

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Fang, I'm not on my phone so I can't do it, but will you hit the report button so that this thread gets into the mod queue? This way someone on the team will see it and makes sure it gets attention. Thanks! :)

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i'm sorry hun, i have no idea for bettas. Narny seems pretty knowledgeable. i will see if he can visit this thread for some help.

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First, rule out the basics. Could he be overfed or constipated? If yes, treat for these by fasting for 1-2 days and then feeding mashed peas or other readily taken soft greens to help move any blockages. If no, see below.

In my experience bumps that look like this (Ie, internal bumps that show as protrusions that do not break the skin, usually on one side rather than central like constipation usually shows.) are almost always internal growths, usually benign as if cancerous they generally spread into organs and show other symptoms (or outright kill) before becoming this prominent/noticeable.

Tumors are very common in bettas due to inbreeding (generally fighters are bred sibling to sibling, and certain strains can be anywhere from 90%+ identical genetic wise) which results in weakened immune systems. This means the immune system can often miss abnormal cells, or cells that have mutated, which it would usually destroy, which then go on to develop into multi cellular growths (tumors. This is also how cancer often occurs in mammals and other animals, like us.). Huge protruding chest lumps in older bettas are not unheard of.

But, if it may be this, don’t despair yet!

The bad news is with bettas, due to tiny size and terrible reactions to anaesthesia, is that unlike koi and goldfish, sedation and removal of a lump is nigh impossible as with the fish’s tiny organs it would be near microsurgery. The good news? They can live happily with these lumps for many years provided they are slow growing. In some cases (biopsy confirmed) tumours in some fish have even been ‘picked up’ at a later date by the immune system and attacked and reduced in size. I won’t go into the biology of it here as that’s an article in itself, but look up cancer and the immune system if it interests you. This usually happens in conjunction with an increase in living conditions (ie, moving a cramped betta to a large tank) so may not apply here.

So, where to go from here? Look at other (treatable) explanations for the lump like I mentioned above (ie, constipation) and treat for them if the treatment is basic/pretty harmless (ie, fasting and peas). If you do not see an improvement, and nothing else fits the symptoms, assume a benign tumour. From here it’s just a matter of watching the fish and keeping it comfortable and ensuring that it has a good quality of life. Some fish live their entire life with benign masses happily!

Sinking and problems swimming will need to be addressed if this is so (as tumours increase a fish’s mass and in this case makes them lopsided, swimming becomes difficult). Tall plants the fish can rest on near the surface will be good to help him get up for air for the time being.

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thanks Amber :D

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Also if the lump is more even it could be an eggy female. If it indeed an internal mass you could try isolating her in a qt tank and doing a light round of epsom salt. that way if the tumor isn't solid some of the water will be drawn out of it putting less pressur on internal organs. I don't recommend baths for betta because unlike goldfish handling can be extremely stressful and they can injure themselves in a panic, which would be bad for a betta with a unknown mass. Id love to see any pics you can get, also if your female is lighter colored, you could candle her like you do with developing eggs. I know on my females some of their internal structures can be clearly seen when exposed to light, I can make a video demonstrating candling a fish if you think your female is lightly colored enough to bear results.

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Do’h, for some reason I missed that this fish is female. I always assume males in bettas.

However, I do not think this is eggs at all.

In bettas, eggs are held close to the front of the fish (Not towards the tail end like in goldies) and will present as a bump, even on both sides, on the body area below and behind the gills. It will look like the female has a bump right behind her head/gills, on the lower part of her body. They may look like they swallowed small marble, in extreme cases! Female bettas release their eggs through the white spot located underneath/between their venteral/pelvic fins (smaller fins in front of the long, curtain like, anal fin), which are directly below the pectorals, also just behind the fish’s head. No part of a bettas reproductive organs reaches back beyond halfway, and certainly the ovaries are nowhere near the tail end of the fish, where this lump is located.

Eggs (even when abnormal/causing issues) would typically also not put a betta fish off balance, cause sinking, or the other issues mentioned.

I will put up a photo in a moment showing eggs in bettas.

Given that this is further back on the fish (way further back, in fact, towards the tail), I don’t think eggs are a likely/plausible cause at all. ):

Edit: In fact, the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, stomach (hence why I highly doubt this is constipation) and pretty much everything but the swimbladder of a betta is located in this area, before the anal fin starts (that long fin on the bottom). Beyond that it’s just muscle, spine, and the swimbladder, right to the base of the tail. In that area, an abnormal lump can’t really be much but a cyst or tumour. If this fish is having issues with balance and swimming, the lump is probably pushing on the swimbladder (which in bettas is a long thin organ following the spine down that end of the body).

Edited by Amber

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Here is a female with a large amount of eggs (looking like she swallowed a marble!) with her egg spot clearly visible. Bettas reproductive organs are concentrated in this area.

how_to25.jpg

(Image courtesy of BettaTalk)

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I think amber is on the money with helping you.

Good luck

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Also, sorry, just saw the bit on Epsom. I do not reccoment Epsom for lumps, unless the lump is caused by fluid or retaining fluid (and in some cases this can be beneficial, ie, it could be a flow of white blood cells to the area). It’s a stressor to an already stressed fish, and it does not actually help with SBD, constipation (And can actually make that worse by removing remaining moisture from the blockage and making it harder for the fish to pass) or anything like that. If you can touch this fish without undue stress, feel the lump. Does it have the same ‘feel’ or mass as the rest of the fish? (Keep in mind fish are quite soft, so squishy/fleshy, but normal fish squishy to a bit hard) If so, don’t treat for fluid retention. Fluid or flesh holding excessive fluid will feel very soft and will be able to be moved around/redistributed (So can tumors, but they tend to keep their shape and bounce right back). It would also actually (like, 99% of the time) present as dropsy/raised scales, not like this.

Edited by Amber

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All the best with her Fang! Hope it is nothing bad.

Great info, Amber :)

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Amber it seems you are basing your diagnostic on the picture she posted which is not an actual picture of the fish. The ovaries of females extend in a tapered fashion down the body. I still think we need pictures to properly determine what's going on here.

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Amber it seems you are basing your diagnostic on the picture she posted which is not an actual picture of the fish. The ovaries of females extend in a tapered fashion down the body. I still think we need pictures to properly determine what's going on here.

I agree that photos are needed, but assuming the lump is similar to the picture described, and located further own the body towards the tail as said, chances are it is a tumour or other growth along those lines (cyst, etc). Being that far down the body, it is too far away from the reproductive tract (In theory it could be in the tip of the end of it) to be an egg issue. Keep in mind I also assumed a male fish when writing, so ovaries were not a factor in my guess.

On the reproductive tract, that is true. For elaboration, the ovaries of a betta are visible in pale specimens by candling (and can be found easily in autopsy) and do not extend down the body any further then the other organs. The liver extends further then the ovaries. They are larger than the males testes, yes, but located in an analogous position and not down the side of the body. They are located here.

femalebettaantomy.jpg

Full reprocustive system circled

006-1-1-1.jpg

The reproductive tract ends at the start of the dorsal (if you drew a line down from it). If this issue is beyond the dorsal, my previous posts still stand (and may do so, even if it is on the front half of the fish). If this is a reproductive tract issue, it would likley be a growth on the tip (something also common in female bettas is tumors on the reprocuctive tract) anyway, as is common in females, in particular older ones. But due to the position (trying to work with the information given) if it is on the ovary, I still think it a tumour extending backwards and outwards is of a high possibility.

Females also have all organs located in the same area as males. The ovaries are larger, yes, but the females organs do not extend down the side of the fish beyond the dorsal (in general), bar perhaps the liver, which does extend along the spine for a distance. Additionally, for egg issues to present as lopsided and causing balance issues is not common and is indicative of a deeper issue.

However, knowing this fish is female, a photo is certainly needed. Some females can appear lopsided when full with eggs. However, that does not account for the swimming issues at all. ): I'm hoping Fang can use the above info to give us a rough localle of the bump if she can't get a photo up.

Edited by Amber

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fang, how's your betta doing?

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Sorry for being back so late!

Fasting has not made a difference.

The bump feels about as firm as the rest of the fish.

The bump does look like it did grow a bit though, so I am setting my mind on a more aggressive growth :(

I took a video of her. You can see the bump on HER right side. The video also shows how she rests on the bottom, where she kind of "lays" half sideways, but with her front upright. She likes to rest on top of the leaves of the taller plants too.

Aside from the obvious bump, and the increased amount of time resting, she seems normal though.

If anybody sees something that I don't (since this is my very first betta), please point out anything. Oh and I caused the split in her tail when handling her.

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang

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Sorry that it seems to have grown, Fang :(

I think all you can do for now is keep a close eye on her. Have you tried feeding her yet?

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Yes, she takes food like always, with 100% of her murderous appetite. :lol

I guess I'll just make it as nice as possible for her, feed her tasty mosquito larvae and blood worms and brine shrimp and all that good stuff, and make her happy for as long as possible. :)

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She’s got quite long fins for a girl, very pretty! Can you locate her egg spot at all? I would just be curious for confirmation, as she reminds me a bit of a plakat male I had once. :P

She doesn’t seem to be fat with eggs, which would otherwise be one possible explanation for the bump (as I said above in my last very incoherent 3am post :P ) as sometimes fighters can develop more eggs on one side then the other, but I don’t think this is an egg issue as it would typically present on both sides for stuff like eggbinding, infection, etc. Additionally, eggbinding wouldn’t grow, unless an infection was involved and pus was being produced, which would result in a soft feel to the bump.

From what I can see, the bump seems to be located lower down then the ‘wing’ (narrow tip) of where the end of reproductive organs would be. It may quite possibly be located on or in the reproductive organ, but I think it is most likely in the body cavity underneath it, or attached to the bottom of it. It seems further down to her belly. If that is the case and it does not feel squishy or soft like fluid may be being retained (or an infection and puss is being created, etc), I would assume a tumour as mentioned above. However, you can try an Epsom bath if you think she can endure it (and remember, you can see her better than us! Maybe compare her to some photos of eggbound bettas to see if the visual symptoms match. Her behaviour and symptoms doesn’t in my experience, as my eggbound girls would go off their food and not be active at all, but as always, doing your own research can lead you to new discoveries and treatments we may not know. :) ) and suspect eggbinding. Other than that, my recommendation is palliative care, ie, making her as comfortable as possible. She may need to rest more, and she may need a lower water line or plants close to the surface to help her to reach her air.

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Thanks, Amber!

I was told before that she looks quite masculine, but I have indeed watched her lay eggs (and eat those as they appeared). On a betta forum they explained that due to the fact that she looks quite male, lays eggs without a male around and even occasionally builds tiny bubble nests, that she has a lot of testosterone. If I remember right, I was actually told that this may cause issues later on. I wonder if that is related!

I will try the epsom salt in a little bit, thanks! How high the dose of epsom, and for how long?

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