Alright, it seems my half-moon male is having some sort of issue an I can't figure out what is wrong or why he's not getting any better. One day, I found him pale and shredded. Normally I would say "oh, he chewed his fins" but they do not look very chewed. It kinda looks like he went through a shredder.
I am concerned because he shredded himself so badly that even his pectoral fins are in tatters- which doesn't seem possible since his head shouldn't be able to reach them.
There is nothing in his tank that could cause his fins to tear. I use smooth ceramic ornaments with no sharp corners or edges.
What size is your tank? 1 gallon.
What temperature is your tank? Somewhere between 77-82 degrees (F).
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? None.
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? A variety. New life spectrum betta formula (pellets), occasional frozen brine shrimp.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Pellets monday-Friday (once a day), shrimp on Saturday, skipped feeding Sunday (for digestion).
How often do you perform a water change? Weekly.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 80%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Betta Safe water conditioner (to soften my tap water).
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? No.
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Fins have become shredded, body paled slightly (at first, but not since I began treating him)
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Not as active. It's not uncommon to find him laying on the bottom (although lately he has not since I moved him to a new tank). He used to be very agressive and I would say he gave off a "proud" vibe.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Maybe a month now. He has had little improvement.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes, I've moved him to a tank where I can treat him easier. I started using epsom salt and BettaFix, assuming he chewed his fins. There was no progress (actually, his fins did not heal one bit). I stopped with the BettaFix and switched to Maracyn Plus, thinking there must be an internal problem. I still use epsom salt. Still no progress.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not to my knowledge.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I bought him July 2012.
One other thing I think is worth noting: when I changed his tank, I noticed there was black "dust" on the bottom and the water smelled kinda like dirt. It's not like I let his water sit stagnant for weeks on end. I actually keep it rather clean.
If anyone has advice, suggestions, or any information about what could be the issue, please help me out. His situation isn't "urgent! On deathbed!" but I am concerned that he is not healing (and I made sure he did not get fin rot).
The top picture is him now. The bottom picture was when he was healthy.