Anyone have experience with sick banjo catfish/lumps on fish?

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FreshWater1

Aquarium Advice Newbie
Joined
Sep 20, 2023
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Woke up and one of my two banjo cats was showing off and eating pellets when I saw this decent sized lump on there back that is for sure new within the last week or two.

Is this something I should be worried about? Is it like fish cancer and I can't do anything? It doesn't look gross or like an open wound or anything will it maybe just go away?

IDK let me know what you guys think...

Thanks :)

Adding on: I couldn't get like a good over head photo but that lump is not symmetrical on the other side

Also adding this from the sick fish thing I did not see earlier -
1~What type of fish is afflicted? Banjo Catfish

2~What are your tank parameters? No exact measurement I stopped caring after fully planting and issues stopped - 10 gallon sanded bottom with plants and tons of floaters

3~ How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up? 10 gallons, almost a full year

4~What type of filtration are you using? an old HOB and decent sized sponge filter

5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes? 2 banjo cats(fairly young???) - 7 lambchop raspboras (1 year oldish??) - 2 virginia corys (1-2 years old????) - 9/10 Amano shrimp (fairly young still growing larger)

6~When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? How often do you do this? How much water do you remove at a time? I have 1 inch gravel under 3-4 inches sand - nitrates/nitrites are nonexistant so I don't change anymore only water top-offs everyother day or so - mulm/detritus gets moved around by snails/shrimps/cats and either filtered or down into the sand. Sometimes I will suck some water out for cleaning and remove it but not GALLONS at a time

7~How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them? I've had the banjo cats for 4-5 months now without issue

8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.? Nothing new, just the Amano shrimps ~two months ago

9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently? They get sinking catfish pellets, once in a while I skin a pea and rip it up, some raspbora food that sinks, possibly chunks of sinking shrimp disk food
 

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Woke up and one of my two banjo cats was showing off and eating pellets when I saw this decent sized lump on there back that is for sure new within the last week or two.

Is this something I should be worried about? Is it like fish cancer and I can't do anything? It doesn't look gross or like an open wound or anything will it maybe just go away?

IDK let me know what you guys think...

Thanks :)

Adding on: I couldn't get like a good over head photo but that lump is not symmetrical on the other side

Also adding this from the sick fish thing I did not see earlier -
1~What type of fish is afflicted? Banjo Catfish

2~What are your tank parameters? No exact measurement I stopped caring after fully planting and issues stopped - 10 gallon sanded bottom with plants and tons of floaters

3~ How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up? 10 gallons, almost a full year

4~What type of filtration are you using? an old HOB and decent sized sponge filter

5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes? 2 banjo cats(fairly young???) - 7 lambchop raspboras (1 year oldish??) - 2 virginia corys (1-2 years old????) - 9/10 Amano shrimp (fairly young still growing larger)

6~When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? How often do you do this? How much water do you remove at a time? I have 1 inch gravel under 3-4 inches sand - nitrates/nitrites are nonexistant so I don't change anymore only water top-offs everyother day or so - mulm/detritus gets moved around by snails/shrimps/cats and either filtered or down into the sand. Sometimes I will suck some water out for cleaning and remove it but not GALLONS at a time

7~How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them? I've had the banjo cats for 4-5 months now without issue

8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.? Nothing new, just the Amano shrimps ~two months ago

9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently? They get sinking catfish pellets, once in a while I skin a pea and rip it up, some raspbora food that sinks, possibly chunks of sinking shrimp disk food
I can't say for sure but based on your answers, it is probably a reaction to the lack of water changes that may have caused a flatworm or other type of internal parasite in the flesh of the fish to want to leave. You change water for more reasons than just reducing nitrates. Water changes restore and maintain a balanced aquarium by physically removing and diluting harmful chemicals as well as replenishing vital elements. Plants can take up the nitrate but it doesn't replenish any minerals for the fish unless the fish eat the plants. Banjo Cats are not plant eaters. Fish also absorb some minerals which depletes them in the tank and only water changes or adding these minerals directly replenish them. Also, minerals in the water do not evaporate when water does so only topping off the tank means you are adding minerals on top of the elevated mineral level when you are adding more water. At some point, you will make the water too "hard" for the fish to live in.
At this point there is nothing you can really do for the fish as it may just be a tumor or it may be something leaving the fish. If it's a tumor, there's nothing you can do for it. If it's a " bug" let it leave the fish and you'll have to deal with the open wound afterwards with good sanitary conditions.

I would suggest the following:
Since you haven't done any water changes in a long time, I'd start by changing 1/2 gallon every other day for a week. The following week, I'd change 1 gallon of water every other day for another week. At that point you'll want to get into the habit of weekly change of 1-2 gallons of water.

I see this on many forums and for some reason, people are convinced that water changes are not worth doing or a bad thing. Nothing can be further from the truth. As a commercial fish breeder, I can tell you that constantly changing water makes fish grow larger and stronger then any other method. Clean water is the key to a healthy life. Think of it a just another routine you need to do just like feeding your fish. If you don't feed your fish, they will starve to death. If you don't change water, your fish will suffer in the long run. :(

Hope this helps. (y)
 
I can't say for sure but based on your answers, it is probably a reaction to the lack of water changes that may have caused a flatworm or other type of internal parasite in the flesh of the fish to want to leave. You change water for more reasons than just reducing nitrates. Water changes restore and maintain a balanced aquarium by physically removing and diluting harmful chemicals as well as replenishing vital elements. Plants can take up the nitrate but it doesn't replenish any minerals for the fish unless the fish eat the plants. Banjo Cats are not plant eaters. Fish also absorb some minerals which depletes them in the tank and only water changes or adding these minerals directly replenish them. Also, minerals in the water do not evaporate when water does so only topping off the tank means you are adding minerals on top of the elevated mineral level when you are adding more water. At some point, you will make the water too "hard" for the fish to live in.
At this point there is nothing you can really do for the fish as it may just be a tumor or it may be something leaving the fish. If it's a tumor, there's nothing you can do for it. If it's a " bug" let it leave the fish and you'll have to deal with the open wound afterwards with good sanitary conditions.

I would suggest the following:
Since you haven't done any water changes in a long time, I'd start by changing 1/2 gallon every other day for a week. The following week, I'd change 1 gallon of water every other day for another week. At that point you'll want to get into the habit of weekly change of 1-2 gallons of water.

I see this on many forums and for some reason, people are convinced that water changes are not worth doing or a bad thing. Nothing can be further from the truth. As a commercial fish breeder, I can tell you that constantly changing water makes fish grow larger and stronger then any other method. Clean water is the key to a healthy life. Think of it a just another routine you need to do just like feeding your fish. If you don't feed your fish, they will starve to death. If you don't change water, your fish will suffer in the long run. :(

Hope this helps. (y)
Thank you for the long response, it's given me some stuff to look into.

I think you may be onto something, got pictures of the little tester nitrates/nitrites are still fine which is why I stopped testing as often but I think I let myself get too laid back. Before planting my tank I learned my water is super "not-hard" and the weekly water changes were actually dropping the hardness off the chart of my little tester and I had to buy an alkaline booster to add in. After planting my tank it all tested good for a few months there so I pretty much stopped testing.

From the looks of it, everything else is good but ya the total hardness seems to be off the upper end of the chart.... I will keep on it.

Unfortunately my banjo still looks the same, but I am glad the bump is not bigger as far as I could tell with her doing her usual hiding stuff.

I will let you know in the end what happens/happened.
 

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Thank you for the long response, it's given me some stuff to look into.

I think you may be onto something, got pictures of the little tester nitrates/nitrites are still fine which is why I stopped testing as often but I think I let myself get too laid back. Before planting my tank I learned my water is super "not-hard" and the weekly water changes were actually dropping the hardness off the chart of my little tester and I had to buy an alkaline booster to add in. After planting my tank it all tested good for a few months there so I pretty much stopped testing.

From the looks of it, everything else is good but ya the total hardness seems to be off the upper end of the chart.... I will keep on it.

Unfortunately my banjo still looks the same, but I am glad the bump is not bigger as far as I could tell with her doing her usual hiding stuff.

I will let you know in the end what happens/happened.
So now you know. (y) At this point there is really nothing you can do for that bump so just be prepared for it to get worse or get better or stay the same. You won't know what's going to happen once the water gets better. (y)
 
So now you know. (y) At this point there is really nothing you can do for that bump so just be prepared for it to get worse or get better or stay the same. You won't know what's going to happen once the water gets better. (y)
Well good/bad news?

My banjo is still alive - I have been doing small water changes and the general hardness is coming down however the lump did not get smaller. The last day or two I did not notice the banjo out much and then today I found it lounging on the anubias with picture attached hole now...

I can't see anything like "moving" inside the hole IDK I'm not even sure what the hell I would be looking for

I'll be going into my LFS tomorrow to seek help, maybe you will see this before then... the banjo has always seemed stronger and bigger than the other one that is small and always hides and still seems in good health. Should I pick it up before tomorrow and put some a tiny coating of Neosporin on/around the hole? I was reading online it's a local antibiotic or something for fish but I am also not sure if I can trust a fucking youtube short before I rub it on my fish.
 

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Well good/bad news?

My banjo is still alive - I have been doing small water changes and the general hardness is coming down however the lump did not get smaller. The last day or two I did not notice the banjo out much and then today I found it lounging on the anubias with picture attached hole now...

I can't see anything like "moving" inside the hole IDK I'm not even sure what the hell I would be looking for

I'll be going into my LFS tomorrow to seek help, maybe you will see this before then... the banjo has always seemed stronger and bigger than the other one that is small and always hides and still seems in good health. Should I pick it up before tomorrow and put some a tiny coating of Neosporin on/around the hole? I was reading online it's a local antibiotic or something for fish but I am also not sure if I can trust a fucking youtube short before I rub it on my fish.
I can't get a real close up of the spot but it appears to be an open wound now vs what it was before. That's actually a good thing. It means that whatever was inside that hole is out of there. Now, it's just going to take some time and clean water for the wound to heal. I wouldn't put anything on the wound at this point. Unless you see redness around the edge of the wound or any fuzziness over the wound, it should heal on it's own. What you can do is add liquid vitamins to his food to help boost his immune system. That will also help with the re-growing of the tissue. (y)
 
I can't get a real close up of the spot but it appears to be an open wound now vs what it was before. That's actually a good thing. It means that whatever was inside that hole is out of there. Now, it's just going to take some time and clean water for the wound to heal. I wouldn't put anything on the wound at this point. Unless you see redness around the edge of the wound or any fuzziness over the wound, it should heal on it's own. What you can do is add liquid vitamins to his food to help boost his immune system. That will also help with the re-growing of the tissue. (y)
Hey Andy,

Just thought I would update you - she survived!

I kept changing water and its better now - the water changes made the amanos go crazy as well and I now have ~5 pregnant females I'm looking into saltwater breeding

It was very interesting and nerve wracking watching the hole in her skin slowly shrink and now you can never tell it was there. Another interesting tidbit was the dude banjo kinda went into hiding during this period and one night at 4am when I was feeding them I actually got to see him and it appears he was mid shedding his skin which I never thought I would see 😲

Thanks for the advice!
 
Hey Andy,

Just thought I would update you - she survived!

I kept changing water and its better now - the water changes made the amanos go crazy as well and I now have ~5 pregnant females I'm looking into saltwater breeding

It was very interesting and nerve wracking watching the hole in her skin slowly shrink and now you can never tell it was there. Another interesting tidbit was the dude banjo kinda went into hiding during this period and one night at 4am when I was feeding them I actually got to see him and it appears he was mid shedding his skin which I never thought I would see 😲

Thanks for the advice!
That's great news. Proof that sicknesses and injuries CAN be cured. (y) It also shows how important clean water is. Clean water can cure many things for fish, especially when poor water quality causes them.
That's interesting with the skin shedding. I've not seen that before so consider yourself very lucky. :) (y)(y)

Thanks for the update and good luck with the shrimps. (y)
 

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