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New Betta Has A Bump On Head And Popeye Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Cazrea, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. CazreaNew MemberMember

    Hi! I acquired a Betta a few weeks ago from a mall pet store. The store really pushed me to get him, and gave me a smaller tank, used media to seed, tons of water, and extra plants if I got him. Despite being in the dirtiest cup, he looked healthy and so decided to put him in the new tank, planted it, and forgo quarantine medications. Apart from seeding it with the used media, I took some from my established tank as well. I had a spike the first few days though I didn't worry because I had Prime, and it stabilized quickly.

    Of course, not medicating was the worst move I could've made but he didn't have clamped fins, ate a lot, and was even fighting his reflection. Normal healthy betta behavior, I assumed. I added feeder shrimp in his tank, which I also fed to my other fish without issue, but he didn't eat them. He spooked the shrimp from time to time, but there were only 2 casualties. Shrimps are still alive and thriving.

    A week later, his head color still didn't fill in like his body did so I wasn't sure if he had something or if it was just his color. I asked multiple places, and most of them (even breeders) have said that there was nothing to worry about and it was his color. I had already moved him into a quarantine tank ready to medicate, but didn't push through and kept him there cause he seemed happier in the QT with his Indian Almond Leaves and I don't think it was right to move him back and forth. He hurt his lip fighting his reflection prior to moving him, and I was recommended to use Seachem Stress Guard or API Stress Coat to help with his wound. I got Stress Coat since my LFS didn't have Stress Guard.

    A few days ago, he started growing a lump on his head. I contacted a breeder and he said it can range from some form of infection to cancerous tumor. I started dousing the QT with Methylene Blue and Aquarium Salt in the hopes that it'll help slow down infection. Yesterday, he developed Popeye. He ate fine in the morning, but at the evening I initially thought he wasn't interested in eating but turns out he had a hard time seeing the smaller bits I often fed him, so I put bigger flakes that I had to assist to stay in place for him to eat. He isn't lethargic, but I lessened his water to 1G (he's in a 2.5G QT), just enough for him to rest on an IAL and breathe without swimming. He still has space to swim if he wanted to. He also started clamping his fins last night, but this morning he swam to me when he saw me and around his tank while I was there.

    I've googled and scoured the internet for what he has. The only thread I've found is this:

    He has this, however instead of white dots and holes, his came with Popeye on one eye. The lump on his head has actually looks like it's pine coned, and I'm pretty worried about it. He doesn't have dropsy, though; it's just the lump on his head. I have since stopped Stress Coat, because someone said it inhibits Methylene Blue's Fungal properties. The thread wasn't concluded, so I guess I wanna know if should I go out to buy the meds listed. Should I get all Kanaplex, Maracyn-2, and Nitrofurazone, or which is best to pick up?

    I'm not sure what meds my LFS has and can't get meds until tomorrow. I'm in the Philippines and it's currently Easter, so my LFS (and I assume other stores) is closed. It's also my mom's birthday, so my day is booked even though I wanna look for meds today. Hopefully the current meds will help him for another day, cause I've really come to love this fish. He's super personable, and he's easily become my favorite fish to watch. I'm pretty bummed this happened, and that I should've 1) never skipped quarantine medicating, 2) listened to my gut instincts, 3) buy a fish I actually didn't plan on getting in the first place.

    Water Parameters:
    Tank Size: 2.5G, but only 1G of water.
    Temperature: 25C-26C.
    Filter: Mechanical only Hang On Back Filter, it's high so when the water drops, it also creates air.
    PH: 7.0-7.2
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrites: 0
    Nitrates: 0
    WC: 50% daily due to the very small amount of water.

    Added into the water:
    Indian Almond Leaves
    Methylene Blue (5 drops per 1g)
    Aquarium Salt (Mixed in a 5g bucket; 1tbsp per 5g)
    Prime to condition water, 2x dose just in case of an nitrogen spike before WC since Methylene Blue kills BB.

    Sorry for the really long post, but thanks in advance for the help!
  2. EpicozWell Known MemberMember

    How did you cycle the tank and I’m not exactly sure with Popeye if bacterial treat with pimafix and do daily water changes if parasitic use general cure and do daily water changes, if skin problem or non internal use melafix though that may be to weak. Just make sure to do daily water changes

  3. CazreaNew MemberMember

    Hi, thanks for the response! I'll continue to do water changes. It looks internal, so I'll pick up pimafix and general cure. The LFS has general cure, I've seen it in their shelves. I'll have to call in for pimafix before I go so I can call other stores if they don't carry it. Good news is, his eye seems less inflamed this morning and it's kept up until tonight as well. He still has a good appetite and didn't actually need my help for food this time. He's also swimming around, still clamped fins, but better than yesterday. I also added Epson Salt (2 tsp) into the new 50% water change instead of Aquarium Salt, as I've read multiple threads about Popeye recommending it.

    How I cycled my tank:
    1. When I got my first 10g tank, I bought a smaller HOB filter for 5g tanks because I knew bettas didn't like much water movement (I have another betta that's doing great).
    2. I realized that I needed more water circulation, so I got a gentle 10g tank filter and put the 5g mechanical filter media (the floss slide it came with) into the 10g filter compartment initially as a seed so I don't lose my already built up bb.
    3. I never removed that smaller cartridge until now that I decided to use the older HOB filter for the new 5g tank the new betta came with.
    4. The store also gave me sponges from their filter system that I added into the filtration system.
    5. I also decided to get a few ceramic rings from my established tank to help seed it further.
    It reached 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites, and 5ppm nitrates in the first week, not sure precisely. It hasn't read differently since, except for the nitrates that go up to 10ppm sometimes. The tank the store gave me with the betta has been up for a month this Wednesday. Just tested now for this post and it read 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 5ppm nitrates. I always use Prime to condition water for my tanks (I use tap), but the first week when the tank was working itself out, I tripled Prime dosage to protect the betta from toxicity. For the days I was testing, I remember getting 0.25 ammonia highest, the nitrites was the one that kept on going to 1ppm but it eventually hit 0 and ammonia followed.

    I've kept feeder shrimps with him from the 3rd day he's been with me, that he didn't eat. They're all still alive in that same new 5g tank.

  4. EpicozWell Known MemberMember

    I hope pimafix is strong enough I think it will help

  5. CazreaNew MemberMember

    Same, I'm reading about it right now and it looks hopeful! It says to pair it with melafix, so I guess I'll pick that one up as well if available. Thanks so much for the help! I really appreciate it.
  6. CazreaNew MemberMember

    Just an update: His eye swelling is significantly less today, though still cloudy. The lump looks smaller, but not really sure if it is actually smaller as it's still pineconed. I haven't started Pimafix and Melafix treatment yet, about to call my LFS to check if they have these.

    He swam up and ate for me no problem, his fins are less clamped as well. He's still active, and not let up the whole time. I really love this fish, he's truly up for a fight even with sickness. I have a 10g planted tank for him almost ready, just waiting for the soil to leech out less ammonia and parameters to stabilize; planning to add some snails soon. It's one of my favorite tanks that I've planted, and I'm still adding Red Cabomba and Alternanthera Reineckii in it to give it a bit more pop. I think he'll enjoy it, and have the space and plants all to himself when he gets better and fully recovers.

    A small note: I read my previous post and wanted to be clear regarding Epsom Salt. I added it into the 5g bucket, not directly to tank (because of low water parameters, it's difficult to work it out and I just don't wanna risk it). The water in the bucket was at 1/3 full, so I decided top up and put 2tsp in it to match the salt per gallon ratio (3tsp per 5g).

    Popeye is gone! Still cloudy eye, and his bump is definitely smaller. He's not clamped anymore, and he's pretty active. Ate on his own, without assistance.

    When I went to the LFS, the owner greeted me (I go there to buy plants, and recently been going there frequently since I setup 2 new tanks). I gave her an update about this betta and was really accommodating. In her experience, this is likely a parasite. She said that in her store, they only treat their fish with Methylene Blue and General Cure, sometimes Salt if things look tough. She said since the betta is doing better, to try adding General Cure as well. She asked how big my QT was and decided to just sell me a packet at a discount since I had low water and she thinks I likely won't use the whole packet.

    Because my area has rotational power outs, I wasn't able to take a picture. I showed her a picture of my betta 3 days before, he didn't have popeye then. She said she has experienced this, and to try her method to treat her fish especially since he's responding well to just Salt, IAL, and Methylene Blue. At the end, I didn't get Pimafix and Melafix but I did pick up a packet of General Cure.

    I'm pretty pleased that he's getting better! I acquired the remaining plants I needed, and planted it in the 10g tank and in my now shrimp tank.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  7. CazreaNew MemberMember

    His cloudy eye is gone and back to normal! Swelling from his head has decreased significantly. He seems to have a wound around his mouth and when he ate, he darted off to hide from the pain possibly. I can only hope that he swallowed some of it, so he at least has a little food in him from that. Will try feeding him later and see if he comes up to eat. If not, I think he'll be fine. He's been eating 2 meals a day, anyway. Pretty sure he can last a day or so without food. A shipment of Freeze Dried Bloodworms is coming tonight or tomorrow as well, though I may get some alive ones soon and see if he'll eat them.
  8. CazreaNew MemberMember

    Hi! Update a few days later:

    He's doing really well! Energy levels are even more, fins aren't clamped, and eats everything I give him. His head still has a lump, and his upper mouth where the bump and lip meets is kinda white, but not fuzzy and doesn't look like cotton mouth. I'll be continuing with the water changes, Epsom Salt, Methylene Blue, and General Cure.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  9. EpicozWell Known MemberMember

    The lump could be a tumor but don’t worry there purely cosmetic and will not hurt your fish.
  10. CazreaNew MemberMember

    It's been getting smaller and smaller, though. Today it's almost gone and the middle part isn't white anymore. I'm pretty relieved. Thank you so much for you help!
  11. HeathenNew MemberMember

    Very glad to hear the little dude is doing better!

    I just wanted to add some things about pimafix and melafix and bettafix in general. I admin in a betta group and often share this about bettafix but it's about all the 'fix' products.

    BettaFix is a diluted, literally watered down solution, of MelaFix. There are some heated debates about this in the betta community, but it boils down to a few things.
    -There is not a solid study done on this to prove that it actually harms the labyrinth organ of the betta and other Anabantoidei.
    -This is best used in clean, pristine water conditions and is easy to overdose.
    --If the water conditions are so well, a lot of issues are evaded in the first place.
    -It is NOT A MEDICINE!! Do not treat this as a medicine!
    -It IS an antiseptic, to help keep wounds clean :)
    -It can help with damaged fins and to promote fin growth..
    --So basically, after you treat your fish you can use BettaFix as it's prescribed dosage, to help the fins grow.
  12. CazreaNew MemberMember

    Thank you for this! I now understand why the owner of my lfs kinda held back selling me these, especially when I showed her my betta. She didn't explain it to me, and I trusted her because of it. Many stores will push the sale, but she didn't and even gave me a discount for something she thought I wouldn't use all of.

    My betta's fins are in top shape, and doesn't have lost scales. His bump is still there but significantly less! When it's gone, I may get BettaFix to help him heal his lip if it's still having issues.

    Thank you for sharing all this information! I'll keep it in mind as I go.
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
  13. CazreaNew MemberMember

    Just wanna put up pictures!

    First Pic is when I started noticing that something was off a week after I've put him in the tank.

    Second Pic is the pic I showed my LFS, 3 days before this eye got popeye. His bump is pretty pronounced and almost doubled the current size on this pic, and was also pine coned. He hurt his lip in this pic already and it's not as full as the first pic.

    Third Pic is today. Not even sure if he'll get his lip worked out or anything anymore, but I'm not really too pressed about it as there isn't any wound and he eats normally. He's definitely grown a fair bit!

    Fourth Pic is what I did to check his lump today, LOL. I photoshopped his not injured lip on top of his current pic to see how his lump is going. This is just an assumption on how it could look like, but the limp still there it's definitely going!

    Also yes those are a ton of IAL, we have a tree at the back of our house so we have a lot!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 4, 2019
  14. HeathenNew MemberMember

    He is looking pretty decent and everything else looks pretty good on him. :) Right now it just looks cosmetic but he should be able to eat and operate just fine. Jealous that you've got an Indian Almond tree in your backyard!! :D
  15. CazreaNew MemberMember

    Thanks! I'm pretty proud of him, he's been through so much and I'm so glad he powered through. He actually started jumping when he sees my hand to feed him. I'll try to get a video of it some time, but it's pretty ridic and adorable. A pellet was also stuck on my finger, and he ate it off of before I could even try to rub it out. His appetite knows no end.

    And yes! I'm pretty fortunate, I wish I started betta keeping sooner but the nitrogen cycle was daunting to me. Sadly we're moving and there isn't a tree at a public area I can walk to to pick up dried leaves. There's one at our neighbor's lot and I smh about that, LOL. We got permission from where I am currently to get fruits and cuttings from the trees in the area to hopefully propagate it and bring one over, hopefully that works out.
  16. HeathenNew MemberMember

    There are some other things that you can use for your tank if they are in your area!

    • Alder Cones
    • Almond
    • Apple
    • Apricot
    • Ash
    • Banana
    • Beech
    • Breadfruit Tree
    • Cherry
    • English Oak
    • European Beech
    • Grapevine Leaves
    • Guava
    • Hawthorn
    • Hazel
    • Hibiscus
    • Hornbeam
    • Indian Almond Leaves (aka Catappa, Ketapang)
    • Jackfruit Tree
    • Japanese Maple
    • Magnolia
    • Mango Leaves
    • Maple
    • Mulberry
    • Nectarine
    • Oak
    • Peach
    • Pecan
    • Plum
    • Poplar
    • Red Oak
    • Sessile Oak
    • Silver Birch
    • Sycamore
    • Turkey Oak
    • English Walnut
      ---*Black Walnut was more often not advised as it contains a natural herbicide

      These are all from a file that I compiled for a group that I help admin on Facebook. :) Hopefully, this will help in your future for keeping blackwater tanks or just tannins in the water in general. ^_^
  17. CazreaNew MemberMember

    This betta can't get a break! I put him in a new 20g community tank I finished setting up yesterday, and he did great. He followed the guppies and corydoras around, then settled at the amazon swords. Yesterday, I wasn't sure if it's lighting or something since the QT didn't have a light unless I moved one, but his eye had one cloudy spot each. I went out to the mall to get stuff for the dogs, and when I came home I'm sure that both his eyes has a cloudy spot in the middle of it. I tried to take a picture, but it just looked like the reflection from the light. I googled and searched the forum but this is the closest I can find with pictures:

    I drip acclimated all of them into the 20g. The new tank consists of 3 tanks in one that I merged into, and all the media from the 2 tanks (third tank being the Quarantine Tank) are in there. I checked parameters today and it's 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrites, and trace amounts of nitrates; like it's between 0ppm and 5ppm. He doesn't seem stressed about the guppies, in fact they swim around him and he just goes about his day unless they get too close. One guppy made the mistake of nipping him because she gets territorial at eating, and he retaliated by nipping her back but disengaged after she swam off. She hasn't done that since and avoids him now. I decided that because he didn't attack the shrimps he was in, he'd do better in a community tank. He isn't aggressive at all unless provoked, I guess.

    The water I use is aged tap, and I use it for all my tanks. The link says it could be cataract, but should I move him back to the QT and continue to treat him? I haven't stopped treating and doing daily water changes since the 22nd of April so essentially yesterday was the first day he wasn't on medication. He's active and despite feeding him his share, he tries to eat the guppy food and also joins in when the guppies are trying to take the scraps from the corydoras (they've been together so I've devised a way to get the cories their full meal without the guppies trying to bother them). The cloudiness doesn't seem to impair his sight.
  18. CazreaNew MemberMember

    Final Update:
    He’s doing incredibly well now! His eyes are back to normal, his mouth hasn’t changed so I’m assuming that’ll be the same for the rest of his life. It doesn’t stop him from eating, he chomps up all the food I put in there and has the decency to take up shrimp pellets and make it into smaller bits for the shrimp. LOL

    Here’s a video of me exercising his fins on my Twitter:

    Thanks to those that helped, and to those that read through this!