I went away for a few days. My husband was feeding our fish while I was gone and did not notice that the betta was starting to get sick. (He's responsible but was sick himself and not at his most observant.) By the time I got back, Gilgamesh was in pretty rough shape. He was staying at the bottom of the tank, pale, and not eating.
I looked up Gil's symptoms and it seemed like the best treatment would be a quarantine tank with 1 gallon of water dosed with epsom salt. That's what I did for him yesterday morning.
Gil seemed a little better when I got home from work today, but when I changed 50% of his water he went right back to where he was yesterday.
I thought I would run this information by experienced members to see if they had any ideas. I hesitate to take a picture of Gil right now because I would need a flash and I hate to startle him in an already fragile state.
quarantine tank and size: 2 gallon filled with 1 gallon of water, 2 new (thoroughly rinsed) aquarium rocks, and 1 new (thoroughly rinsed) silk betta plant for his comfort if he goes to the surface
heater and temperature: a betta bowl heater with the temperature holding steady at 76 degrees F - I tried to get a better one today to get it warmer but both nearby pet supply stores were sold out. I hesitate to put in a bigger 'bowl' heater because I don't want to cook the little guy and I don't think these things turn off automatically.
food: still not eating
behavior: Gil has been laying sort of on his side and hardly moving. I would think he was dead except for the movement of his gills and the occasional fin movement when I look at him closely.
age: purchased August 2011 from Petco - not sure
My basic question is; How long does it take (on average) to tell whether or not a treatment is working?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you all.