Betta - Strange Bulge on Side - Not bloated, Not Dropsy - Confused!

CasiChic

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank?
10 Gallons
How long has the tank been running? 5 Years
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 81
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) Betta Fish & Nerite Snail

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
1-2 times/month - it is a planted tank and this schedule seems to do well for both my plants and fish.
How much of the water do you change? 25%
What do you use to treat your water? Prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Substrate too!

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
Yes
What do you use to test the water? API Freshwater Kit in addition to GH & KH & Phosphate Tests
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia:
0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 5 ppm
pH: 7.4

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
Once every other day
How much do you feed your fish? A tiny pinch of freeze dried brine shrimp and daphnia. I tried to use the pellets from new life spectrum but he NEVER eats them!
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Hakari
Do you feed frozen? No
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? Yes

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
A little over 2 years. I got him when he was about 4 months old.
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 1 week ago.
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? I thought he might be bloated, so I waited about 3 days and didn't feed him, and then gave him a pea, and put him in the cup he came in to see if he passed it normally. He has been passing the pea without any problems, but he is still showing a bulge on the right side of him.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? No, just monitoring and reducing days between feedings.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? He started off hiding from me (which never happened before) and his fins have been fraying all week.

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
(Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
I am wondering what the bulge on the right side could be. He started off hiding from me at one of his feedings, so I took the food out and let him rest/hide. The next day he was still doing that, and would come up for air, but then sink to the bottom or hide from me. I decided to put him in a cup that he came in and it is floating in his tank so that he isn't too stressed by moving him and offered him a pea on the 3rd day. He ate it and he passed the pea (from what I could tell he passed it all). He is alert and interested again now, but he keeps most of his fins close to him still and still has the bulge on the right hand side. I renew the water in the cup with the tank water about 3 times a day, just in case. I don't think it is bloat still (or at least I don't think so), and his scales aren't pine-coning like dropsy would indicate. He is interested in food, and doesn't just sink anymore either. I have attached pictures of him for reference.


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Salem

It very likely could be a tumour or cyst. If that is the case there isn't much you can do other than monitor it. Thankfully they don't usually affect much when theyre on the smaller size. Once they get bigger however they can affect movement and occasionally can actually burst. In my own opinion when they get to the point of lowering quality of life I think it's time to consider euthanasia.

Considering how his personality has changed I'd say it is probably at the very least a bit uncomfortable. That and the fins fraying could be being furthered by stress from the change into the cup. Him sinking makes me think that whatever it is it might be pressing on his swim bladder.

It could be worth it to treat him with something like a mix of kanaplex and furan 2, which should cover a wide variety of ailments if there are underlying problems contributing to his current state. I'm not sure off the top of my head how that may affect the nerite though.
 

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