Sorry to jump right in without an intro. I need some help with my betta that I've had about a year. Last December I noticed she had a dark spot on her side. I posted pics to a betta forum and they all said it was just marbling. She acted fine so I let it go. Three months later the spot was getting larger and started spreading to her other side. I posted again asking if marbling is supposed to look like this and again the consensus was marbling. She also had a red splotch on her head. Nope, just her coloring, they said. It looked ugly to me, but she was acting fine, so I let it go.
I should note she's in a 10 gal
established tank by herself with plants. Heated and filtered. I vacuum the gravel weekly and do 50% water changes. I do have a constant problem with brown algae that I'm always having to rub off the plants and heater.
A few weeks ago I noticed she had a whitish lump on top of the big black spot. Also she was hanging near the bottom and occasionally darting around like she was irritated. Obviously NOT marbling. After kicking myself for not seeking out second opinions and acting on this months ago, I am now trying to save her.
I did some googling and thought it could be columnaris. I purchased aquarium salt, added 1 tsp per gallon, and also bought API E.M. erythromycin. I followed the instructions on the box and the treatment period is now over and I have charcoal in the filter. I've been doing 50% water changes daily and testing for ammonia & nitrite. Trace amounts are showing up. I assume the meds kill the bio in the media and will have to re-cycle? I also stopped the salt but wondering if I should continue that?
The good news is she started perking up after the 2nd day of treatment and is back to her usual self and eating well. However, the black spots and white lump look no better. I've been overwhelmed with my job and a cat in renal failure, so this is the first chance I've had to get on a forum and post pics. I would appreciate any advice on what it is and how to proceed. I have other pics and angles if needed. Thank you!
What she looked like in December 2014
In April 2015