I'm glad I read this post! I was looking around the forums for info on velvet, and with this post I realized that my fish just has that gold flecking around his gills and on the underside edges of his more ventral scales on his sides, and it does not look like he has 'sand' all over him. I normally never can see that gold flecking, but during a water change he changed color slightly and I was able to notice it. What a fascinating aspect to bettas! Thanks for the info everybody. :) I am happy I found this.