Hi everyone... I've been lurking around for a while and doing lots of research but I'm stumped.
My boy Alpha has been with me since October of 2011. He's currently in a 2.5 gallon tank (couldn't bring a bigger tank since I packed only whatever fit in my car when I moved. More about that later. Tank sale at petco on the 23rd though!), heated to 80*, unfiltered, and I do 25% water changes every 2-3 days.
He has slowly been getting a bulge on the left side of his body that has been getting "sharper" over the last 3 months. It started as a small lump in early December, and I wrote it off as constipation (since all I had available to feed him at the time were pellets), and did some fasting and pea treatment. It seemed to help.
In the beginning of January I moved across the country and transported him in a small tank carried in an insulated lunch bag and so I imaged he had a lot of stress during that time.
Its now been a month and he hasn't gotten any better and the bulge has gotten worse. I'm even considering it to be a tumor.
Here's the strange part though: He's still very active, responsive, eating like a piggy, exploring his tank, flaring, and not having trouble swimming.
I considered dropsy, but his scales weren't sticking out like a pine cone, I considered fish bladder disease but the bulge doesn't look like normal fish bladder disease, and I even thought maybe he accidentally ate a piece of gravel while looking for food!
I saw flightless fruit flies for sale at petco so I'm going to try giving him just those to see if it still helps if it just happens to be a weird case of constipation.
I know this post is long, but I wanted to give you all as much information as possible.
Here is a top down view and you can see how obvious the bulge is. He's starting to bulge on the right side too.
Here's the right side. I over exposed these pictures so you can better see what he looks like.
And finally, here is the side where is bulge is. It's hard to see from the side, but its behind his fin.
I appreciate any help you can provide!