On Friday I picked up a girl at a local aquarium store, intending on putting her in my sorority tank. As I'd picked out all the girls for the tank so far, I let my sister choose (the tank is sort of a joint venture between us, but she's very much not a fishkeeper), and she picked out two very pretty girls-- one a cello, and the other a Cambodian. The Cambodian had slightly torn-up fins, but there was no evidence of rot and I was pretty sure they'd heal themselves up in quarantine with a bit of TLC. Brought her home, put her in some warm water and didn't think much of it.
Unfortunately it's good I put her in quarantine, because within a few hours it became apparent that she was actually very sick. The first thing I noticed was her lethargic, struggling swimming patterns; she's missing most of her fins (they look more bitten-off than melted to me-- maybe she got into a fight), and so she has to use her body and pectorals to move herself through the water, which seems to be exhausting her. On top of that, she nose-dives a lot, so evidently there's something wrong with her swim bladder.
On day two I noticed she'd lost most of her (previously rather bright) colouring, and appeared to be having even more trouble swimming. For the most part, she stays at the bottom of her bowl; I lowered her water level so it would be easier for her to make it to the surface, but she barely goes up there. However, she doesn't often stay still even when she's on the bottom, aside from taking rest breaks-- she's acceptably active, it just looks like swimming is very difficult for her. Her appetite is also very hard to tempt, but on the few occasions I've seen her come to the surface, I've been able to coax her into eating freeze-dried mysis (every sick fish I've ever had has been able to eat this stuff) and a few small Omega pellets, which she's swam excitedly for and nommed down on just like any other fish.
Thing is, I still don't know exactly what's wrong. (She's evidently NOT going in the sorority, but she's sweet and very pretty and I'd hate to lose her.) Is there anything I can do besides keeping her in clean water and treating her symptomatically?
What size is your tank? 1 gallon, currently keeping the water level low for her so it's closer to half a gallon.
What temperature is your tank? 79 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? n/a
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? So far she's taken mysis and a few small Omega pellets.
How often do you feed your betta fish? She's eaten about twice in the three days she's been home; I've been offering once in the morning and once at night.
How often do you perform a water change? Every day.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Colour has grown dull.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Lack of energy, worryingly lethargic, trouble swimming.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? About three hours after I brought her home on Friday.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Frequent water changes to provide clean, warm water.