I did a search of your site and did not find an answer. My Betta Bob has what looks like a tumor on the side of his body. It’s about the size of a pea and is directly behind his gill. He still swims around, eats and blows bubbles. What is this ‘tumor’ and how can I save him? Does it hurt? Your help is greatly appreciated.

Question submitted by Steve, Philladelphia - PA

A: If I could tell you, just from reading your email, what this tumor is, they would hire me at the Mayo clinic!!! (and pay me big bucks!! LOL). But sorry, no such luck (darn!). What I can tell you however is that bettas, on occasion, do brew weird growths on their bodies. Usually they are tumors, many of which are not malignant and will not kill the fish. Do they hurt? I do not know but I do not believe so. At least no betta has ever complained to me about it before ;). Since the bettas affected appear to maintain a normal life (swim around, eat, etc..) I assume they are not in pain. usually a fish that is sick or in pain will not move around much at all. The way I would go about your fish's tumor is probably add a bit of antibiotics for 2 weeks to see if it makes any difference. I would probably go for Spectrogram, just because it is both gram positive and negative, so can cover a gamut of bacteria and it also hits fungus as well. If after 2 to 3 treatments (so about 3 weeks in antibiotics) the tumor has not changed at all (zero, nada), then leave it alone. Either way there is not a whole lot you can do about it. Do NOT attempt to remove it! That would be your betta's demise. You would kill your finned friend  trying to fix something that might not even really be broken. Hugh. Wise Mermaid Who Swims With Bettas has spoken.


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