My beautiful red-orange Betta has suddenly developed a white patch on its side...not cottony, but hard-looking, like the scale itself suddenly went dead white. Some scales around it are slowly becoming discolored, and the whole area (about 1/8 of an inch across) is slightly bulgy. This has been going on for just a few days--and today, it seems to be accelerating. He's generally active, eats well, plays in the current from his water filter, and doesn't seem to have any other problems. He (and his water snail friend) live in a 3 gallon Marineland Eclipse 3 tank, with biofilter and the whole thing. I'm really nervous, because I can't find anything that quite explains what is going on with his side. Please help!
The tank is heated, and sits at about 80F most of the time. I changed about 75% of the water a few days ago. I use tap water with a conditioner. Generally, a water change of 25% about once a week has kept Fishy Man and Snaily quite comfortable. I did add 1 tsp of aquarium salt with this water change, as I'd been told it would be beneficial to both aquarium inhabitants. There is a full filtration system in place, including the biowheel thingie. I don't know the pH. He's been very happy in his tank since we got it, about 6 weeks ago. Sorry--I can't send a photo at this time--wish I could!
An update on my fish: in less than 12 hours, he's went from one white, hard scale to several--the patch is larger, and the bulge is larger, too. If it wasn't a fish, I'd day it looked like a fast-developing scab over a cut. But even that wouldn't explain the white coloration. He's still active, eating, moving well. Maybe not moving around quite a much as usual--but his "usual" was pretty darn hyperactive! Not scratching on anything. I added some extra conditioner this morning, and he got a minimal amount of salt (1 tsp per 3 gallons) when I changed the water 2 days ago, but I haven't done anything else yet. I would SO appreciate any help on this, because I've been scanning this site for HOURS, and have yet to find anyone's entry that quite matches what's going on with Fishy Man. Thanks in advance for any help...
This is quite odd--usually when an area is infected it gets fuzzy and the scales fall off and if there are outward visual signs, the fish is usually extremely lethargic and refusing food. If you hadn't described the increased hardness of the scales, I would say that it might be a result of marbling--you might want to give this page a look, just in case it's close to what you're describing: http://bettysplendens.com/articles/page.imp?articleid=1114 it likely isn't, but I feel the need to have it ruled out for sure.
If it isn't marbling, it seems like it might be some kind of odd tumor growth--if it were bacterial or parasitic the betta's behavior would likely be drastically affected by now.