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Hello all, I'm hoping you'll welcome me to the forum with some good advice. I got this Betta 2 months ago from a reputable local aquarium store and was told he came from a local breeder. He seems to be in excellent overall health. However, this morning he's got a bulge on his gill cover. I've been scouring the web trying to narrow down possible causes. He's a dragon scale, so his coloring makes it hard to tell if the area is distinctly white or different but it's not cottony or slimy (and nothing else has changed as far as markings on his body since I acquired him). He has no pineconing or sparkly, sandy spots on his body. He's active and eating as usual, even started working on his first bubble nest a few days ago. It looks to me like an abcess. There's nothing rough in the tank except the chip gravel, but he does like to squeeze himself into some pretty tight places, even behind the heater. It's entirely possible that he scraped himself and it filled with fluid, though I don't see any wound. Does this look like anything familiar to anyone? I don't want to attempt any treatment until I'm more sure of what's going on. Does it look like an injury or a symptom of disease?
Also, I came across the term "diamond eye" in searching today. As you can see in the pics, his eyes are almost totally hazed over with scales. He can definitely see but I'm sure this makes it difficult, which makes me lean even more towards injury as the cause of the abcess. I read that banana leaves in the tank can help relieve the eye hazing. Anyone know anything about this?
Might an epsom salt bath help drain the fluid (if in fact that's what it is)? It's been a while, does anyone know offhand the correct amount of epsom salt to dechlorinated, temp adjusted water?

Thanks for any help you can give.

HOUSING:
5 gallon, filtered and heated. temp 77 degrees F. No airstone. Tank mates; nerite snail and live plants.
FOOD:
Omega one betta buffet flakes and occasional Hikari frozen Mysis shrimp and Daphnia. Small pinch that keeps him eating for about 1 min. twice a day, or 4-5 shrimp per feeding.
MAINTENANCE:
Weekly water change of 1/4 to 1/3 the tank. Substrate is vacuumed during tank cleaning. Additives: Seachem Prime, Topfin bacterial supplement and API leaf zone for the pants.
WATER PARAMETERS:
I tested with marineland 6-1 strips just before scheduled water change this morning.
Nitrate under 5
Nitrite 0
Hardness 150 hard
Chlorine 0
Alkalinity 80
PH 7.8

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Very pretty boy!

To me it looks like a tumor *I may be wrong* It's really hard to tell at this point, but if it starts to grow larger than its a tumor.

And on the "Diamond eye" subject he does have it. It's pretty much his thick scales slowly covering his eye. I'm not sure there's much more you can do at this point, but someone else might know more!
 

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Banana leaves are said to help with diamond eye. You might give it a try. Can't hurt. As for that gill, I really don't know. Could be an injury.
 
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