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White growth/protrustion on Betta

Justin Campbell

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I have a Betta is in a 25g planted cube. I noticed this week that he has a growth or protrusion on the back left side of his body. He also has a partially white lip, but I can't tell if that's extraneous or just his coloration. I did quarantine everything that came into this tank with the med trio for a week. He seems to be swimming/acting normally and eating.

The tank also has Ember Tetras, Otos, Amano Shrimp, and potentially some Corydoras Habrosus but I haven't seen them in a while.  I don't see any growths/etc on the other fish, but they're all so small it's difficult to tell.

  • Ammonia 0
  • Nitrites 0
  • Nitrates ~10
  • pH 7.4
  • Temperature 77.9F

Thanks for the help in advance!

Here's also a video of him: 



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  • 2 weeks later...

So I moved it into the 10g tank on 1/4, with 1 Tbsp of salt per 2 gallons. I let that sit until 1/12.

On 1/12, I dosed API Fungal Cure, and then again on 1/14 per instructions. Today (1/16), I'm supposed to do a water change and then remove it with carbon.

Here's a photo from yesterday (1/15). I think it's the best resolution photo I've gotten so far of the growth. It doesn't appear to be getting any better than 2 weeks ago.

Should I let it rest for a week or immediately try something else? Should me next attempt be a medication or salt at a higher level?


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Thanks everyone! I’ll give him a break and water change the Fungus Cure over the next week and then try Maracyn + Salt.

Otherwise, after that treatment would it be safe to reintroduce him to a community tank with Embers/Otos or do you think I should just let him live out his life in a separate 5g?

@Brandy Thanks for the info about dragonscale patterns!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks everyone for the input!

Thank you @Brandyfor the dragon scale info. I'll research more about that for any future Bettas I purchase.

I've been searching around for different disease pictures, and I'm pretty sure it's a tumor as @James Black mentioned.

He's still swimming and eating normally, but the tumor is still getting bigger. I came across a post on Reddit where someone had a Betta with almost the exact growth and location on the body. In that case, the fish was reclusive and not eating much. They were told to euthanize it, but did not, and a month later posted that it had burst. It was pretty gruesome looking.

I did find a video on YouTube for tumor removal. It looks pretty straightforward but obviously risky. In the video, they put the Betta to sleep with clove oil, cut out the tumor with a sterilized blade while keeping the fish wet, then woke it up by spraying clean water into the gills to remove the clove oil, and finally moved it to a tank with salt to recover. It seemed to fully recover from the surgery in 2 days, but I can't find any info if the tumor came back or not.

Would you operate on a fish? I feel like otherwise I'm just waiting for it to burst, which seems like the worst outcome given the other options of surgery or euthanization.

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