How to treat betta fish tumors?

In this article,we will discuss betta fish tumor treatment.We will also discuss the procedures to treat them effectively.This blog will give you a clear idea about betta fish tumor treatment.


In this blog

  • How to treat betta fish tumors?
  • Supplies for tumor removal in betta fish
  • Tumor process removal surgically
  • Bacterial infection or bumps??
  • Swim bladder disease is often mistaken for fish tumors.How to treat swim bladder disease??
  • Abscess often looks like tumors and if so,how to treat those bumps??
  • Ulcers often look like tumors and if so,how to treat those bumps?
  • Summary
  • Frequently asked questions

How to treat betta fish tumors?

Tumor removal in fish is not guaranteed,and it is not sure they can be completely cured or won’t come back again after the surgery.But it is important to remove because tumors don’t allow fish to swim properly.

Fish with bumps or tumors can be seen swimming sideways,due to the weight of the tumor and also they lose their appetites.They also act jittery and lose all their strength.Treatment is not available,either you cut the tumor off or put the fish to sleep.

External tumors/bumps on a betta fish are either treated through surgical excision/cryotherapy,a secondary topical treatment method. Internal tumors could be difficult to understand and remove.

The fish veterinarian will anesthetize your bettas,by using a local anesthetic,then cutting away the tumor mass and then applying liquid nitrogen to it to avoid their further growth.

Supplies for tumor removal in betta fish

Shallow bowl set-up for bettas

  • A shallow bowl set-up is required to keep your bettas before the tumor removal.
  • Add treated water into it for keeping your bettas.

Clove oil for bettas

  • Clove oil is used to anesthetize the fish.
  • It is very effective,local and a natural anesthetic.
  • It can be used to perform minor fish surgeries.
  • Betta will be completely asleep throughout the whole process.
  • Clove oil is very strong,so add a few drops only for the treatment.
  • Don’t leave the fish for a longer time in the clove oil,it’s very strong and is capable of killing your bettas.
  • Always consult your vet before using clove oil,especially the concentration.

Paper towels for bettas

Paper towels are used to keep your betta fish just after anesthesia. The bettas are transferred to the paper towel or a tissue paper after they are completely asleep for tumor removal.

Forceps/Medical forceps for bettas 

  • Always sterilize forceps before using 
  • These are used to hold the betta fish during tumor removal.

Sharp Knife for bettas

  • Always sterilize knives before the tumor removal process.
  • These are used to remove the tumors throughout the process.

Clean conditioned water for bettas

  • It is used in spraying on to the bettas during tumor removal.
  • It can be kept on a glass dish and should be used to spray water in between the whole process.
  • It is sprayed to preserve the moisture in bettas skin and gills.And also they don’t dry out.So spraying water in between is very important.
  • Don’t add clove oil into the clean conditioned water. 

Recovery tank set up for bettas

  • Recovery tank is prepared using some aquarium salt and water.
  • This will help them to heal and take away their stress too.
  • Indian almond leaves are added to their recovery tank.Indian almond leaves are very important for bettas fish overall health.It helps to treat fin rots and is even used during breeding process in bettas.
  • Bettas like indian almond leaves very much.
  • Bettas are left in recovery tanks for 24-48 hours for observation.

Thermometers for bettas

  • Thermometers are important to monitor the recovery tank set-up.
  • Make sure the thermometer is attached to the recovery tank.

Tumor process removal surgically

  • Use treated water for the tumor removal.
  • Sterilize all the equipment that you are using for tumor removal treatment.
  • After adding clove oil to the treated water,kindly stir the water to completely spread the clove oil in the water.
  • Now transfer your bettas fish to a shallow bowl with treated water mixed with clove oil.
  • Oxygen supply and movement of the water is very important during the whole process.
  • Make sure you are adjusting the oxygen levels with the help of a bulb according to the need.
  • Kindly wash your hands before transferring your fish to the shallow bowl.
  • Nets should not be used to transfer them,because they might lose their slime while transferring using a net.
  • Within a few minutes,they will doze off due to anesthesia.
  • Make sure they are completely asleep before taking them off,out of that shallow bowl.Make sure they are not jerking anymore.
  • Then transfer them onto the paper towels.
  • With the help of a sterilized knife and forceps the tumor is removed by spraying conditioned water in between to keep them hydrated.
  • After the tumor is removed, put them back in the clean conditioned water again.This will help them to breathe after they wake up.
  • Transfer them to a recovery tank set up with thermometers attached to it for 24-48 hours for observation.
  • After they get up they should be fed properly.

Bacterial infection or bumps??

Cancerous tumors are quite rare in fish. Consult your vet if it is a bacterial infection or a tumor.If that bump is a bacterial infection then you can treat that using melafix,aquarium salt and conditioned water.

Melafix for bettas tumor

Melafix is known to treat various bacterial infections in fish like tail rot,fin rot,cloudy eyes,fungus in the mouth,bumps and other wounds in fish bodies.

It also helps in  regrowing those torned and decaying fins and tissues. It has various benefits and their composition is extremely good.It is made up of some tea extracts ,which keeps your bettas calm and stress free throughout the process.

Aquarium salt for bettas tumor

It is a natural anti-bacterial treatment to cure fish bumps.It is made from the evaporation of sea salts.

  • Enhance the gill functions
  • Provides necessary electrolytes
  • Overdose could be harmful.

Process to treat bacterial infections in bettas

  • Add 2.5 ml of melafix everyday,for 7 days to a conditioned water.
  • Add aquarium salt to it.Avoid oversalting,as it can dehydrate.
  • Add some stress reliever,if you want.
  • Do frequent water changes everyday.
  • Observe your betta and their swimming pattern to know if they are doing well or not.

How to treat lumps on a betta stomach?

First of all the lumps on bettas stomach are not tumors.These lumps are bacterial infection called dropsy,which is caused due to the accumulation of water fluids in their body cavity.As per some fish aquarists and vets,dropsy cant be cured easily.

You need to use some broad spectrum antibiotics by consulting your fish vet to cure dropsy in bettas.Vets may suggest Maracyn-two to cure dropsy.

As per them,it takes 10 days for dropsy to get cured.Also you are advised to ask your vet regarding the dosage requirements and duration for giving these broad spectrum antibiotics to them.

Swim bladder disease is often mistaken for fish tumors. How to treat swim bladder disease??

Swim bladder disease also known as flip over,is a common ailment in betta fish.The swim bladder organs is known to maintain buoyancy in bettas fish but it is often mistaken as tumors.

The bettas either sink to the bottom of the tank or simply float on the surface of the tanks.They swim in an upside down manner and it becomes difficult to maintain their position in the water.

There are as such no treatments for swim bladder disease too.Some common treatments which fish keepers do to cure swim bladder disease in bettas are:

  • Countering constipation- Green peas is fed to the affected betta fish
  • Stones are placed on the swim bladders to adjust the buoyancy.
  • Sometimes fish surgeons perform partial removal of the swim bladder.
  • Some suggest not feeding bettas for three days and by increasing the water temperature.This can help to cure the swim bladder disorder.
  • You can even turn off bright lights in their aquariums to provide a stress free environment to help them recover.
  • Water changes should be done to maintain pristine water conditions.

Abscess often looks like tumors and if so,how to treat those bumps??

Abscess are white bumps on your betta fish.It should not be mistaken as tumors.It is not cancerous at all.The bumps on their body could be an ulcer or abscess,which very much look like tumors.Nothing to worry about the bettas abscess as they could heal on its own.

As and when you observe the white spots on them,the first thing which you need to do is to put them into a separate quarantine tank.The quarantine tank should be filled with a conditioned water and a proper filtration system to keep the tank oxygenated and free from toxins.

Provide the same tank accessories to their quarantine tanks to make them feel better.Water changes should be done and anti-bacterial treatment should be done by consulting the fish vet.

Ulcers often look like tumors and if so,how to treat those bumps?

Sometimes ulcers in bettas are mistaken as tumors too.The ulcers can be treated causing antibiotic therapy or it gets healed on its own with time.

Always shift  your bettas in separate hospital tanks with the same set up like their main tank to cure them.

The only concern with ulcer is the occurrence of fungal infections simultaneously.Water changes are recommended to treat ulcer in 3-4 weeks.

Salt bath could be given to the fish to cure the bettas.You can add salt to per gallons of water to heal the ulcers along with the fungal infections.

You can monitor salt levels with the help of a hydrometer to maintain the salt levels in the hospital tank.After your bettas are healed you can shift them back to the main tank carefully.


  • Fish tumors are not curable.They tend to re-grow even after the surgery is performed.
  • It could be external or internal.
  • External tumors could be removed surgically.
  • Internal tumors need special attention and it’s very important to consult the fish surgeons to treat the internal tumors.
  • Some normal bumps are often mistaken as tumors,so it’s very important to always do a thorough research or discuss with the vet regarding the bumps which look like tumors.

Frequently asked questions

Are bumps and tumors the same?

No,bumps are often mistaken as tumors.It is advised to always consult your vet or fish surgeon before making any decision regarding their surgery,because the bumps could be normal bacterial infections too and could be cured by using antibiotic therapy.

Are tumors in betta fish curable?

Tumors are not curable.It can reverse after the surgery.