Help, I'm at a lost with my sick betta

Rubylovesbettas

What is the water volume of the tank? His home: 55gal community tank.
Quarantine: 10gal, by himself.
How long has the tank been running? His home: 4 months. Quarantine: Setup the day I noticed he was sick, he's been quarantined for 3-4 weeks.
Does it have a filter? Sponge filter from 55gal tank.
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 74F, diagnosed with Columnaris, set low for slow spread. 55gal is set to 79F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) Community: BN pleco (3), 14 Neon Tetras, 6 Julli Cory, Rili shrimp ~10 (getting rehomed soon due to breeding (yay)).
Plants, Moss, mopani driftwood, has been treated via boiling and soaking.
Quarantine: Just him with few hiding hutches, sponge filter, catappa leaf, and a "betta bed leaf".

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? 55gal: Once a week Quarantine: Per instructions following medications.
How much of the water do you change? 55gal ~30%, Quarantine: 25%, Today: 50%
What do you use to treat your water? Prime Seachem, along with plant stuff.
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Both.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes, for 2 months.
What do you use to test the water? Master Test Kit
What are your parameters?

Community Now and Before Vacation:
Ammonia: 0.0
Nitrite: 0.0
Nitrate: 0.0
pH: 7.4

2 Weeks of Vacation:
(This is when my betta came down sick, while we where gone, we used an automatic feeder and a sinking pleco block)

Ammonia: 0.25
Nitrite: 0.25
Nitrate: 0.0
pH: 7.4

Quarantine:
Part of the reason I joined this forum, test results prior today have been perfect, however, I dosed medication yesterday, tested today after waking up seeing my betta gasping for air. I did a 50% water change.
TODAY:
Ammonia: 0.50
Nitrite: 0.0
Nitrate: 0.0
PH: 7.4

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Betta : Small amounts 3 times a day. Betta Pellets, usually 6 or until he stops, I stand and hand feed him. While on vacation, feeder was set but the amount varied, and we came back, the amount was too much. The rest of the fish, twice a day.
How much do you feed your fish? Just enough for the Corydoras to have some leftover flakes 4-5 small peices at the bottom (hopefully, hard to gauge how much they need) , 1 algae wafer broken up into pieces for the plecos, and 3-4 sinking pellets
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Hikari Cichlid Sinking Pellets, Top Fin Algae Wafers, TetraMin tropical Flakes,
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? Yes, however, with my betta sick, he will only eat pellets. Once a week: Frozen: Jumbo Blood Worm (Hik Ari Bio Pure), Frozen Brine Shrimp (San Franciso Bay Brand) For the Plecos and Corys: Blanched Cucumber and Zucchini.

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 2 Months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 3-4 Weeks, lost track of time.
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Day we came home from vacation: Started off noticing he was lethargic (and he's an EXTREMELY active betta fish), then noticed his lips where swollen. That very day, set up a quarantine tank.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? First week treatment: Kanaplex. Waited a week, started new treatment of Kanaplex and Furan-2 combo. Will provide photo of instructions I've been following. Yesterday was his last treatment. Not sure what to do from here.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? He was very unhappy, his colors where faded, he had something white on his eye that went away over time.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Today, his gills are sticking out. His lips are STILL swollen. I'm losing hope.
This is him when I first got him, as you can see the white area on his eye, and his faded colors:
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This Is his home the day we put him in:
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This was him a few days later after introducing him to his new home (he was super fast, greeted us every time we came to the tank, and hard to take a photo of):
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The Next photo is when I first noticed he was sick:
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Next photos are of him today as you can see, he still greets me, but he's staying at the top of the water...:
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Kanaplex, Furan-2 Combo treatment plan I've been following:
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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)

We went on a vacation for 2 weeks, we bought an automatic feeder called Zacro Automatic Fish Feeder off of amazon. We tested it, ran it a few times, we noticed it varied in quantity so we set it to a small but large enough amount because sometimes it would drop food and other times it wouldn't.. We put in a block for the plecos, my s/o's family decided to add an extra block a week into our vacation (they left for vacation the day they put the next block in). We came back, the block had a white film on it, and there was lingering left over food at the top of the tank. The betta wasn't as active. I did a large water change. Within a few days the betta showed signs of what I think was columnaris which is when I moved him to the quarantine tank. All other fish since then have been fine, we didn't get the neon tetras till after vacation. I've been treating him but I believe the sponge filter I put in from the 55gal is losing it's beneficial bacteria from the meds (which is what is causing the ammonia spike?) I'm scared to leave him in there any longer and he doesn't look like he's improving. Today I woke up and instead of swimming around and greeting me (which he's been doing regardless of being sick) he's just staying at the top of the water consistently making bubbles and his gills are swollen. Yesterday he looked like he was showing large improvements, today is a huge swing backwards.
 

feeshi

This is a weird one....I honestly do not think he has columnaris simply because, well... hes still alive after all this time.
The swelling of the mouth is odd though, and columnaris would have been my guess as well.
The bubbles are caused by excess mucus, that and additional swelling of the gills would indicate to me it could perhaps be some sort of parasite as they are capable of hiding in the gill area.
Parasitic infections can also cause eventual secondary bacterial and fungal infections.
I would be tempted to try a parasitic medication, one that contains copper if possible as it kills the widest range of protozoans but malachite green and formalin may also work.
The current meds you are using are antibiotics and will kill the bacteria within the filter. You can try transferring some substrate from the 55g to his quarantine tank to top up the lost bacteria.
However, as a last resort and If the ammonia levels are high to the point you cannot leave him in the tank to run the medication.
Use a bucket, bin, toybox or anything big enough to hold a heater and fill it with water for the betta to live in for two weeks. Use a measuring jug/bucket to know how much water is in the container. Aim for like 2 gallons or so, its less to medicate.
Do 100% water changes every day on the container while putting him in a cup and then just dose like its the first day, everyday.
Lots of parasites have a stage where they leave the fish, removing 100% of the water and rinsing sides with hot water will kill any free floating parasites. It also keeps bacteria levels to almost non existent levels.
Lastly, I would consider leaving him in the quarantine tank and using it as his home. Especially if theres no obvious sickness in other fish. It could mean that he is lowkey stressed and imunocompromised, thus vulnerable to things in the water that the rest of your community isnt because they are happy with good immune support. I have had two bettas up and die in community tanks and its my only explanation despite them having great colour, appetite and activity.
Hope some of this advice helped and sorry for the wall of text, hope you save your baby!
 
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Rubylovesbettas

I have a second sponge filter I can take out of my 55g if you think that'll work as well as adding some of the substrate? If it's a no go on the second sponge filter, I'll check water parameters here in a bit and if it's still high I'll do the bucket method. Do you think Seachem Cupramine Copper 100ml would work as a copper medication? If so, I'll order some today, it'll be here by tomorrow. If I switch medications, and sponge filters, would you recommend I completely drain and rinse the quarantine tank before setting it back up? (Just to get rid of old medications)

If he survives treatment, I'll take your advice and make his new home an Aquascape project. Give him a place of his own, he is a strong little guy. I'll just go purchase a new quarantine tank for future emergencies.
 
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feeshi

Cupramine is what I use, although I've been told by US residents here it's not the 'best' copper medication. It has so far worked for me but I live in the UK and its what is available. It's certainly safe imo, but it may mean its milder...I have had a few snails make it through it.
The only downfall is its a 'bound' copper which means it cannot be used within 12hours of a seachem prime dose or within about 6hours of your plain dechlorinator. This means you have to let the dechlorinated water 'stand' for hours until dosing cupramine to make sure dechlorinator is no longer active. Depending on your time constraints this may not be suitable if you have to do the bucket method.
If you are in the US I would probably have a further google search for best copper medications as they are so many available. Otherwise its just gonna be a long two weeks lol
Also for bacteria, another sponge filter may work, substrate, even a lump of plants...luckily bettas are low waste if you are feeding carefully, you wont need a large amount of bacteria to support him.
 
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Rubylovesbettas

Just an update, He's been going through the copper treatment, however, yesterday his face swelled up and blood patches surfaced on his face, not sure what happened, I just noticed when I came home yesterday night from work.. I'm not sure what caused it, but he's no longer eating, he tries to eat but nothing will fit in his mouth not even the very small betta pellets.. and he won't even try anything else. But as soon as I saw his condition, I completely cleaned his tank out and set it up with fresh water, no medications. I've decided to just leave him be and let him pass in peace. I placed a betta floating log into his tank and he rests on it at the top of the water. I just feel like I'm torturing him at this point if I go any further..
 
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feeshi

I'm so sorry, red streaks indicate the infection may have spread to his bloodstream. As he's not eating and thus shouldn't produce too much ammonia you could try antibiotics again but it's doubtful it will be much help if it didn't improve him before. It's heartbreaking when we don't know what's wrong, there just isn't enough research into fish illnesses and there's so much we just don't know about.
If he is lingering after a day or so you may want to get some clove oil, I always keep some on hand as it's inexpensive and a pretty peaceful way to go for fish.
I'm so sorry he hasn't improved, it's always heartbreaking losing Bettas as they are so personable.
 
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Dunk2

Given your test results, I don’t think your tank is cycled. If that’s true, weekly water changes likely aren’t enough.

You said your most recent test showed ammonia at 0.50 ppm. Was that before or after the water change?

This is just my opinion, but I’d focus on your water quality before medicating your fish.
 
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Rubylovesbettas

Given your test results, I don’t think your tank is cycled. If that’s true, weekly water changes likely aren’t enough.

You said your most recent test showed ammonia at 0.50 ppm. Was that before or after the water change?

This is just my opinion, but I’d focus on your water quality before medicating your fish.
The quarantine tank was not cycled. It was set up as an emergency for him once I found out he was sick. I didn't want him to infect the rest of my tank, but maybe I should've waited? I placed a sponge filter inside the tank that was from my 55gal but apparently it wasn't enough. The reading was before the water change. Also, that reading was done after medicating for over a week. Before then there weren't any ammonia spikes. I checked daily.
I'm so sorry, red streaks indicate the infection may have spread to his bloodstream. As he's not eating and thus shouldn't produce too much ammonia you could try antibiotics again but it's doubtful it will be much help if it didn't improve him before. It's heartbreaking when we don't know what's wrong, there just isn't enough research into fish illnesses and there's so much we just don't know about.
If he is lingering after a day or so you may want to get some clove oil, I always keep some on hand as it's inexpensive and a pretty peaceful way to go for fish.
I'm so sorry he hasn't improved, it's always heartbreaking losing Bettas as they are so personable.
Thank you for the kind message. I'll look for some clove oil, I appreciate the insight. I'll admit, I have a very soft heart, and I've been tearing up off and on. This has been a stressful journey for the both of us.
 
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