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Hatchetfish with Tumor? Growth.

4349 Views 10 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Sasami
First - I have a Rasbora with a pimple-like white spot on "her" side behind gills, above pec fin. Its been there for months and no ill signs for her.

The past ~month now one of my hatchetfish has been showing strange signs. He first started to swell up in his vent area. The picture attached is the best I could get (it is slightly larger now than it was then ~2 weeks ago). Then about a week after that showed up he started to get a semi-large white bump on his left side with the swelling (down near his vent but on the side of his body). It too looks like a large whitehead of a pimple or something. It doesnt seem to be growing any more or going away. He is still active and eats well. The only thing im finding in my books is possibly a tumor? Looks like a picture of a tumor in the vent area I have in a fish health book.

My question is - does this look like anything anyone has seen before? and what the heck is the white bump? On hatchetfish and rasbora. Also - im wondering if I need to put this hatchetfish down? I know hes swimming and eating but this cant be comfortable... :(
If I do - what are the recommended ways? I dont know of any vets in the area that deal with any fish - especially this small.


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White bumps that don't seem to affect the fish in question could simply be tumors, yeah. They're usually genetic defects but occasionally caused by viruses. A tumor isn't a reason to put down a fish unless it seriously affects quality of life (fish can no longer swim, eat, etc.) or if you have good reason to suspect a virus and want the fish out of the system. I'd be more likely to move the fish to a hospital tank for observation before doing that, though.

The hatchetfish looks like it may have a bacterial infection. If I had to take a wild guess, maybe some type of Aeromonas infection? An antibiotic like Oxytetracycline might be worth a shot. The main treatment for such infections is good water quality, proper nutrition, and lots of water changes. Antibiotics should be used for more stubborn cases. Maybe test your water just in case something is off (by now you probably knew I was going to ask about water parameters at some point, haha).

More photos from other angles would help but I know how hard it is to photograph fish. Does the hatchetfish have any other symptoms?
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Okay - checked my water and ammonia was 0. nitrite 0. nitrate 20ppm. This is usually 10 so I just did a 30% water change. Ill do another small water change in a few days.

Noticed someting new on hatchey. The hatchets and rasboras school up during a water change so I finally got some pictuers of him on both sides. and today there was something hanging out of the white bump. 5 min later it was gone. Pictures are on the link, you can click them to make them almost original size to see it better if you want. Otherwise hes acting totally normal. Ive never seen him poop from the "normal area" since that bump is there - but he must somehow be going cause he eats well. Unfortunately my hospital tank had to be taken down this last fall and i havent found somewhere to put it up again. living with the parents so its their rules.
Ok, well, those photos certainly change the diagnosis.

It's a parasite and I'm going with anchor worms (although the photos aren't large enough for me to see an "anchor"...look up photos and compare), which actually aren't worms at all but rather crustaceans. Anyway, the most effective treatment seems to be (I say seems to be because I've only treated for anchor worms once and it wasn't my own tank) a potassium permanganate dip. So you're going to need a hospital tank, unfortunately. It'll discolor the water so I wouldn't want it in a display tank even if it was OK to use long-term.

Salt and anti-parasite foods may help but are less reliable. I wouldn't bother with salt since you have loaches in the display (and the hospital tank will probably be used for chemical baths) but an anti-parasite food could be worth a shot. If your other fish will eat it (some fish reject them), it might be a good safety measure.

I don't remember the dosage for potassium permanganate dips but that information should be readily available (I'll look it up for you later if needed, though).
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I have some Para Guard - I would have to order more for full treatment most likely but would this help at all?
And the only anti-parasitic fish food in town is at fred meyer - Jungle brand. Is that any good? Its the best I can get anyway.
Also - is it normal to not see the "worm" 99% of the time??
I have some Para Guard - I would have to order more for full treatment most likely but would this help at all?
And the only anti-parasitic fish food in town is at fred meyer - Jungle brand. Is that any good? Its the best I can get anyway.
That's the one by Seachem, right? That should work but I've never personally used it. I believe Seachem states that it can be used for anchor worms :).

As for anti-parasite foods, the Jungle one treats a wide variety of parasites so it could definitely help.

Also - is it normal to not see the "worm" 99% of the time??
Have you tried Prazi Pro? It looks more expensive but a local fish store carries it... Looking it up on google but my chinchilla is making the process slow since he wants attention haha
I don't have experience with a lot of brand-name products, admittedly. When I've needed to treat someone's fish for parasites, I've always just grabbed what I need from the chemistry lab or something :lol:.

Prazi Pro doesn't kill anchor worms as far as I know.
Okay - thanks! The local fish people said it does - but they hardly ever get anything right. I ordered another Para Guard and started treatment with what i had left tonight. pick up food tomorrow and hope for some progress soon! :(
I had looked up anchor worm before but only saw picture with fish and worms - not large masses. but now when i search im seeing exactly what my hatchey looks like! so strange. glad i saw the worm today or who knows how many fish would get it. thanks for your help!
No problem and good luck!
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