Please Help Save My Betta!


Hey guys, I have a female betta who we purchased about 8 months ago. She has always been very social and happy. Over the past few weeks, she’s become a bit lethargic. She lays at the bottom of the tank a lot but swims to the top and changes positions when she needs to.She also developed a large bump on her head above her lip and eyes. She had a white flaky substance on her head a few weeks prior to this that we treated with methylene blue, which seemed to work before the lump appeared. I’ll attach an of her a few weeks ago with the white flakes, and an now of the lump. Please help!


What is the water volume of the tank? 10G
How long has the tank been running? 8 mo.
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 77
What is the entire stocking of this tank?(Please list all fish and inverts.) 1 female Betta, 5 guppies, 2 loaches.

How often do you change the water? Bi-weekly
How much of the water do you change? 10%
What do you use to treat your water? Aquasafe, primafix, methylene blue

Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Both

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes
What do you use to test the water? Liquid test kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0.25
Nitrite: 0.25
Nitrate: 0
pH: 7.6

How often do you feed your fish? Once daily
How much do you feed your fish? Small pinch of community food
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 8 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Two weeks
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Has a large bump on head, also had white “flaky” substance on head. Lethargic much of the time. Can still swim to top and bottom of tank.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? Treated with methylene blue. Helped with white flakes, not bump.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? She was thin and sick looking several months ago at purchase. She completely re- colored and grew.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? She’s lethargic a lot of the time. Isn’t as interested in food. Lays down a lot. Has a large bump on her head above her mouth and eyes.


That looks painful. The fact that you have ammonia and nitrites but no nitrates tells me that something is off or your tank isn’t cycled. And, doing bi-weekly 10% water changes are not helping. You should be changing at least 25% weekly. From the second photo, it looks like your betta has bloat. It also looks like a fungal infection. I’d try fungus cure and fast for a few days and see if that helps. I’m not sure if those white spots are ick so I’d treat for that too.

Also, I’d bump the temp to 80 degrees. 77 is a degree too cold for them in my opinion.


I second the ick. Looks pretty bad. I used to be a big supporter of the heat treatment but anymore it doesn't seem to work as well as it used to. So if you can bump the heat up a little to around 80 and get some ick meds.


Hello, and welcome to fishlore!

Oh my, goodness that looks really bad, and this actually may be the most severe case I have ever seen when it comes ich. I am going to second the post by TheBettaSushi, the tank must have issues if ammonia and nitrite are present, because those should never ever be detectable, especially in a cycled tank. The water is also too cool, it should definitely be raised up to at least 80 - 82.

So, if I am correct, you are treating the water with methylene blue right now, but how often are you adding pimafix to your water?

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