I've been having some issues with my betta, Nero, for some time now but I cannot figure out what the issue is. I rescued him from some poor water conditions 8 months ago and had since treated him for fin rot which started growing back quite nicely. Since then, some odd things have happened and I really need some help.
Tank: 2.5 Gal
Water properties: clean tested
Appetite: Normal, always hungry
Since I treated him for fin rot with bettafix, he developed these red sores on his head. They look more like scrapes than blood under the skin. I never noticed him scratching himself so I can't pinpoint what they are from. There is also one red dot under his chin which you can only see when he takes a big breath and his chin muscles spread out. Someone thinks this is Costia?
For the next water change, I added aquarium salts and I've since been using Maracyn, but stopped that to use Melafix (active ingredient: Maleleuca) because it said "to treat open red sores." The sores haven't changed but all this other stuff is happening
I was also told long ago that the lump on his caudual fin was a tumor that shouldn't affect his life. But I'm starting to believe that may not be right. Is it possible to be a lump of fungus? It has seemed to grow more bulbous. Since I started treating Nero, an ash colored spot appeared on the lump as well as on the dorsal fin. This lump never seemed to bother him, but I can't tell if it's his skin or something else. (Having a white betta makes this much more difficult).
Like I mentioned, the ash colored spots appeared on the base of his dorsal fin and on that lump. This only happened in the last week or so while treatment.
The last thing that's happened is I've noticed pieces of fin hanging off his dorsal and pelvic fins. They look like tiny dots of what looks like ripped fin, but I can't tell because he is white and a fungus ball would be too. The dot on his dorsal got a red dot yesterday similar to the ones on his head. I've never seen this happen and I'm worried.
I was told that this could be Costia, a bacterial infection, or fungus. Maybe more than one. Since I'm not seeing an improvement with the Maracyn/Melafix, I was hoping someone might know what else I can do. The idea of a dip scares me...but if I have no other choice I would of course. Right now, whatever it is doesn't seem to be affecting his spirit and he's still as peppy as ever. But I need to figure this out before anything worse happens or my wallet drains from these expensive meds.
The before picture is when I was treating him for fin rot. He had the lump which I was told was a tumor, but that's all. The rest of the pics show his head, the lump, and the little fin pieces I explained.
Thank you so much and please don't yell at me for the size of my tank or anything else about being a bad owner, because I really care about Nero and I am trying my best...bad owners would not be going through all this money and trouble. Thank you.