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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
He's doing much better in general. He stresses about everything, but recently he's limited himself to only shredding his fins if I make huge changes to the tank (which I try not to any more). He used to be agitated, surfing the glass all the time, speeding from one end of the tank to the other and back, but now he's slowed down considerably. I think I'm finally starting to get a feel for his actual personality, since he's been either sick or stressed for so long. All that to say, I really, really hope this is nothing to be worried about. I just want a normal, non-stressful fish that I don't have to be worried about all the time.

Housing
What size is your tank? - about 8 gallons
What temperature is your tank? - 82-83 F
Does your tank have a filter? - I only turn it on for a short time after water changes, the flow stresses him out.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? - no
Is your tank heated? - yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? - does a moss ball count?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? - NLS, Betta Bio-gold, and Omega One pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? - 3 times a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? - once a week or less, with top-offs in between
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? - 30-50% depending, recently it's been more because I had a bad ornament that got plastic in the water
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? - Mostly API stress coat, sometimes just concentrated Prime if he's doing well.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? - not at home, but when i take it to be tested at the local aquarium store, they say my parameters are where they're supposed to be.

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? - he's had a little white bump on his back for about a week now. It hasn't gotten any bigger or spread.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? - within the last couple days, he started darting against stuff very occasionally, like once a day that I saw. The bump is too big to be Ich and there's only one, and he doesn't have any symptoms of Columnaris that I read about.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? - about a week ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? - no
Does your fish have any history of being ill? - He's a chronic tail biter, so he's had fin rot once or twice. He got ich when I first got him.
How old is your fish (approximately)? - Maybe a year? they didn't know how old he was at the fish store and I've had him for about 6 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Unfortunately I don't have a good camera with me atm. I'll try to get a picture tonight. I had to go out of town for the weekend, and when I got back he seemed fine and the bump hadn't gotten any bigger, except that he's darting against stuff more often. I also found two ants in his tank when I got home last night, no idea how long they were in there, but I've done a water change to remove any ammonia they released while they rotted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Okay I know it's pretty blurry, but see that little white bump on his back? I circled it. He was acting weird last night too; he was scratching more often, and he looked like he was chewing something, though I hadn't fed him for a couple hours, since dinner. He seems better today, though I've only been observing him for about an hour. Edit: he just now darted against his thermometer and his tail fin looks loosely clamped. It relaxed after a minute and he's swimming normally again, but the temporary clamping is new.

Freshwater aquarium Aquarium Organism Water Aquatic plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have a question, can ich survive in somewhat damp gravel in a plastic box for multiple months? Because he's showing signs of ich and i recently put some of his gravel back into his tank. I rinsed it off, but now I think I see a couple tiny white specks on his side, plus he's scratching more often and his tail fin clamps up occasionally. Should I start treating him for possible ich now, to stop it before it gets bad?
 

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Stored gravel should always be allowed to dry out completely. if it is kept damp it can become a petri dish for all sort of bacterias and other nasties. It may be that he picked up something from the stored gravel. I don;t think ich would survive that way as it needs a fish host to complete the life cycle and it just wouldn't survive that way.
My suggestion would be to dump the used gravel, put your tank...if you are able...into your bathtub, and run hot water in it for about ten minutes then let it cool, and empty it. Get some new rinsed gravel in there and set it up again with Prime or whatever you use, and reintroduce your betta. Do daily water changes, and see if it helps. If the bump does not disappear or if it gets bigger then it may be time to consider medication.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, thanks for the advice. I feel like an idiot now cuz it's my fault that he's sick again, dang it. The bump did appear before I put the gravel in, but I'll clean it to get rid of anything else.
I have a 2.5 gallon tank that I can put him in while i do this, but I don't have a heater for that one, should i just keep adding warm water to it to keep the temp up?
Also do you think there is any way i could sanitize the gravel, like in boiling water or something? seems like a waste just to throw it away, though if you really think I should, then i will.
 

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I would personally wash the heater for the ten and use it in the small tank. Just make sure the temp doesn't get too high by leaving a thermometer in there. My ten gallon heater is in a tiny plant QT right now and the temp doesn't get too high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Okay I'm in the process of cleaning the tank now. I have it full of very hot water and it's been sitting for a while. How should I go about cleaning everything else? plastic plants, filter stuff, etc.? I already rinsed it off in scalding hot water and let it soak in a bucket. Is there anything else I should do?
the heater got the little tank too warm at first, so I've turned it down and will turn it on again as soon as his water gets down to the temp it's supposed to be (it only got a couple of degrees too warm before i turned it off).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
He's back in his tank and everything is sparkling clean. Boiling didn't work, just took the paint off the gravel, so i saved the glass marbles and threw the gravel away. I'll keep an eye on him for a few days and do a few water changes. He didn't scratch at all today that I saw (and i was watching him closely) and I didn't see any white specks on him, just the one bump on top of his head. I'll update if anything changes (or doesn't).
 

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The location of the lump is a common place for them to injure. Could he have bumped into something in the tank? For example, a rock, a silk plant, etc. A small injury can result in a white spot as it heals. This should go away after a few days.

Another possibility is something called Lymphocystis. This is a viral disease which results in small, raised white spots. (Sometimes, they'll resemble a tiny cauliflower.) There is no treatment, since it's caused by a virus. Usually, the fish's immune system will fight it off within several weeks to months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's been there for a couple of weeks now, so I don't think it's an injury. Is there anything I can do to help him fight off this possible virus? What will happen if he doesn't "fight it off".
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I put his gravel in the tank today and did another water change. He hasn't been scratching or clamping his fins that i've seen, which is reassuring. I noticed one tiny white spec on his side just after i added the gravel, which was weird, because i'm pretty sure it wasn't there before. Anyway just wanted to update in case anyone had anything to add. The white bump on his back hasn't gotten any smaller or changed at all.
 

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Lymphocystis (if that's what he has) is a viral condition, so it's usually spread from fish to fish (or via shared equipment). There's no way to really determine how he got it. One source that I read says that once exposed to the virus, it may remain latent in his body until a "trigger" occurs. This trigger could be anything from a change in his environment, to age, to a bunch of things that we can't always determine.

It can take weeks or months, or even longer, for the white patch to disappear. As long as the cyst isn't in a "vital" area, the fish should be fine. (For example, his is located on his back, so it won't interfere with his breathing. It may look unsightly, but it won't harm him..... But a fish that developed this under a gill could have difficulty breathing, etc.)

At this point, if this was my fish, I would:

Keep the water temp about 79-81F. His immune system will function well at these temps.

Feed him good food, or supplement his diet. Good nutrition is important in maintaining a strong immune system. You're already giving him quality-protein pellets, so that's good. Some people on the forum said they've had good results by using a vitamin supplement (such as VitaChem), or garlic which has some antimicrobial properties.

Clean, warm water is important. Frequent water changes will remove contaminants from the tank. Minimize stress on him, and allow his immune system to concentrate on getting him better.

Below are two photos of fish with lymphocystis (where the cysts are fairly large though), followed by two links that contain good information, if you'd like to research the condition further.






Links:
- University of Florida - Lymphocystis Disease in Fish
- Pet MD - Viral Infection (Lymphocystis) in Fish
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Thank you! I will look at those links. His bump isn't nearly as big as in those pictures, but i'll keep up with good food and water changes, etc. I'm glad it won't hurt him, he's been through enough already.
...btw, the white spec was a minuscule bubble, i was watching him and i saw it come off and rise to the surface. xD silly me
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The white bump is not any bigger, but there's a tiny what looks like a sprout on top of it. It's recent, in the last couple hours i think. I saw him scratching a little bit, but other than that he's been acting normal. Is it possible he scratched a piece of the bump loose?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Scratching more, another bump?

I've been keeping up small (about 1 gallon) water changes every other day, but he's started scratching more. Last night it seemed like he was darting against something every few minutes. The bump on his back looks a little smaller, the little "sprout" thing is gone, and it has a dent in it, but now there seems to be another similar bump developing on the top curve of his right gill. It's hard to tell exactly, but it looks like it's under the flap of his gill. I haven't seen him struggling to breathe at all, but is that a risk? What more can I do for him?
 
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