Our betta, Oscar, that we love so much is really struggling. I've tried everything I know and he's not getting better. I am hoping someone here has some knowledge that can help us, we're so worried about him!
Here are some basics...
He is just over two years old. We have him in a 2.5gal tank by himself. He has a filter and a heater (it stays between 79-82 depending on the temperature of the house). I had been using Stress Coat+ as his water conditioner for the past few months (prior to that it was Betta Bowl Plus). We do a partial water change (25-50%) about every week or twos and we do a total water change every month. We feed him primarily fish flakes, in his first year he liked pellets but not anymore, we used to give him frozen bloodworms every now and then but he seemed to lose his taste for those. My wife feeds him flakes, a small pinch or so, every evening (even though I've told her he should take a day off with no food now and then!). He has been a very happy and healthy fish, very spoiled!
Anyhow, this past Tuesday we had a 2yr old nephew visiting and when he saw the fish he reached in and put his hand in the water. I mention this as in racking my brain I'm wondering if his hand was dirty or if he later put something in the tank, etc; as he started not feeling well that same day, last Tuesday.
He has not eaten since Tuesday, by Wednesday we noticed he was being REAL lethargic! Just laying at the bottom, or laying on his leaves above his heater, not moving at all, and he just looked, um, I don't know, sad, slow, hazy eyes; we could tell he was not feeling well. I changed out 50% of his water Thursday. Still nothing, no eating, hardly any moving. Yesterday (Friday) he hadn't improved at all, still hadnt eaten, and was spending a lot of time laying kind of crooked on the bottom or on his leaves, so I went ahead and changed out all of his water in case the newphew had gotten germs in there (not sure if this was wise or needed, but I was feeling desperate for the little guy!
). I went back to Betta Bowl Plus yesterday when i did his change instead of Stress Coat, I also put some aquarium salt in, thinking maybe it would help.
Today we woke up worried he may not be alive, and the poor thing was laying almost sideways about half way down on a leaf. he was alive, but still barely moving. And the difference today is he has ZERO buoyancy; he literally fights with all his might to get to the top to get some air and then sinks back down like a rock. He is struggling so much to get to the top, literally pointed upwards and flailing his tail to get up and barely making it; like a swimmer with 100pds tied to their feet.
At one point about an hour ago, he tried to get up and couldnt make it and sunk back down, he was struggling so bad, so I netted him and placed him on some leaves near the top so he could get air easier. He still hasn't eaten, his condition doesn't seem to have gotten better at all.
To me, he's showing a lot of signs of swim bladder disease. And so, I read a lot about SBD and tried the frozen pea. He had fasted for 3 days (today is the 4th), so I tried the pea but he simply wont eat it. I floated some, I sunk some next to him, I even held a piece on a rounded toothpick right in front of his face, but our little buddy doesn't want to eat ANYTHING. *sigh* We are worried he's not going to make it much longer and my 8month pregnant wife is emotionally distraught over it; she loves this fish more than I could put in words.
As one last detail, he hasn't lost his color at all. His color looks great, he's not swollen (we thought his belly looked a touch bloated last wed, but that might just have been our nervousness as his body isn't swollen at all right now). We thought one of his eyes maybe had a bit of white around it; but again, we don't notice that anymore, and the strange kind of 'hazy' look to his eyes from Wed doesnt seem to be there anymore. And his scales are not pineconed at all. Other than the 'sinking like a rock' thing, the struggling while swimming with all might upwards to get air, and being totally lethargic and not eating, he PHYSICALLY looks fine.
I am sorry for the long post, but we are at a loss, we're feeling desperate, we don't want to lose him! is there ANYTHING else we can do?
I have Melafix at the house (used it about a year ago to cure some white fuzz he got on him) but havent used it, as I don't think it matches the symptoms he's showing. Is there some OTHER kind of medicine I should go out and get? ANY AND ALL advice would be most appreciated! Thank you in advance.
Two very sad betta owners right now,
Sean and Nicole Murrell