About 10 days ago I noticed that my Betta fish had Popeye. I started doing daily 25% water changes and Epsom salt baths. When he didn't get better within a few days, I continued his treatment with API Tetracycline. By the 3rd day his eye had gone considerably down and he had also eaten a little bit. I finished the recommended 4-day course of treatment and dosed for an an extra day just to be on the safe side. I then added some carbon into my filter to clear out the aquarium. The next day however, my Betta was refusing food again and was very lethargic. I also noticed that though his eye has healed from the Popeye infection, it's turned almost completely white and I think he might be blind in that eye now.
I have added a few pictures below and in the 3rd picture you can see the difference between his eyes (his right eye was the one infected with Popeye), but I would still very much appreciate it if someone could please verify for me if it is actually blindness and not something else?
So after checking him for every Betta disease I could find on the Internet, I finally shone a flash light on him and discovered gold dusting under his gills and through out his fins. There is also pictures of that below. I started him immediately on treatment with API General Cure. The treatment is recommended for a 2-day course. I'm now on my third round of treatment and he isn't getting any better.
On the 2nd day of treatment he did eat a pellet, but he hasn't eaten nothing else in almost 5, 6 days now. When I drop a pellet near him and it swims toward him, he flinches or I guess you could say even twitches, almost like he is trying to shake the food off him - he has also started to twitch and flinch randomly, he is swimming in jerking motion, holds his fins close to his body, he is not eating normally, and his colors look faded so in all respects it seems like classic Velvet.
It's just so sad to watch him and I don't know what to do anymore. I would appreciate any ideas anyone could offer me. I'm doing the treatment, daily 25% water changes and have also continued with Epsom salt baths. I have raised the temperature, turned off the lights in the aquarium and covered the tank completely with a towel as recommended. I also started adding Aquarium Salt into his tank a few weeks ago but haven't replenished it the last couple of water changes because I'm afraid that it might be causing his gasping. Is that actually possible or should I start using Aquarium Salt again? I have read on many sites that AS is a recommended treatment for Velvet. But I have also read that AS is not actually recommended for use with API General Cure. I really don't know which advice to take.
As for my Betta, he continues to just rest in his Betta log or sometimes on top of the leaves, basically all day long. Sometimes he is resting normally, sometimes almost vertically. He barely moves around at all. And he definitely isn't eating anything. His mouth is always facing toward the surface like he is gasping for breath. And he is like that all the time now. You still see him move his head up a little bit to come up for air every once in a while to get his oxygen; but he doesn't really have to exert any energy to do this, he just has to lift his little head up.
My parameters (listed below) have been stable since I started his treatment for the Popeye infection. However the first time I checked my water after I used API General Cure my nitrites were at 1.0. They are now back to normal but my Betta is still the same. His condition hasn't improved but he is still hanging on. He looks so small and weak right now. I'm scared he will just drop from hunger and exhaustion and disease and medication overload and everything else. I don't know if I am just prolonging the inevitable. Am I actually hurting him by keeping him alive if the medication so far hasn't worked at all??
So basically my question is this: What else can I do to try to save my Betta? Nothing I'm doing seems to be helping him. He constantly has his mouth raised just a tiny bit above the water. Why is he gasping at the surface of the water if the parameters aren't toxic? Could he also have some kind of other disease? What can I do to help him breathe easier? I'm also afraid that he will die from starvation alone before anything else. Is there a way to force feed him like they do with people? Should I just keep treating him with API General Cure and hope for the best? What if he develops antibiotic resistance to this medication or he already has? Should I then switch medications and if so, which medication would be the most successful in treating Velvet?
Any advice at all is appreciated as I'm at a complete loss as to what else to do. Thanks in advance.
Tank Info - 10 gallon (Betta and about 15-20 bladder snails)
Parameters - April 30 (2nd last day of treatment with API Tetracycline)
Ammonia - o
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 5.0
Ph - 7.5
Parameters - May 06 (3rd day of treatment with API General Cure)
Ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 1.0
Nitrates - 5.0
Ph - 7.2
Parameters - Today
Ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 20
Ph - 7.2