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Fish/male betta bulge/growth


I have a male betta fish. He is red, and used to be very beautiful. He now has a growth under his belly (not a swollen abdomen). It is mostly white with a few red spots. He is in a 1gal tank, no filter or heater, just a room temperature glass tank with glass marbles and 2 fake plants. I have another male, and a female, all separate tanks same living style. The red one with the growth (that looks like a tumor maybe) I am very concerned about. He won't eat, he isn't active at all, he don't even flare up or get excited anymore when his tank is beside his friends. I don't know what to do, I want to help him, and I'm scared he's in pain. My husband thinks I'm crazy, but "barman" is important to my oldest son in a big way. Do you have any advice? What can I do to save him, or help him not be so miserable?

Hi Veronica,
 Sadly it is either a tumor, in which case, there really is nothing you can do about it.  Or, it is a large parasite that may at some point erupt and leave the body, at which point, the fish may or may not survive. There really isn't anything you can do about this unfortunately.

-- Ron C.
  Cichlid Research Home Page <>


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Ron Coleman


I am an expert on cichlid fishes, particularly New World cichlids. My broader expertise includes the behavior, ecology and reproduction of fishes in general. (I am NOT an expert on Goldfish). Please do not use abbreviations, such as "my GT has a swollen eye" because I don't know what a "GT" is. The more clearly you can explain your question, the better chance I have of understanding what it is that you seek. I keep fishes both as a scientist and as a hobbyist and I currently maintain about 140 aquariums.


I am an Associate Professor at the California State University, Sacramento in the Department of Biological Sciences, and I run a website, called the Cichlid Research Home Page . I also write for many popular aquarist magazines, and I was editor of Cichlid News magazine for several years. I am a scientist and I spend my time teaching fish biology, ecology, behavior and evolution and doing research on the reproductive biology of fishes, particularly cichlids. I do research in the laboratory and in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico. My main interest is understanding the evolution of parental care in fishes. I am interested in encouraging greater public awareness, understanding and participation in science.

Cichlid News, Tropical Fish Hobbyist, Freshwater and Marine Aquarium, Science, Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, Copeia, Canadian Journal of Zoology, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, AUK, Environmental Biology of Fishes

PhD (Toronto, 1993) MSc (Simon Fraser, 1986) BSc (British Columbia, 1983)

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