Back in January I bought a beautiful crowntail Betta and named him Mr. Fish. He was happy, energetic, interactive, intelligent, and just all around healthy and delightful. His original tank was much too small, I thought, so my live-in boyfriend and I bought a three gallon circular tank that Mr. Fish absolutely adored.
Everything was great until the end of May when *I* got sick, and had to go stay with my parents on bed rest for almost two months. I reminded my boyfriend to feed him, or to at least drop a weekly feeding tablet into the tank once a week, and to change the water.
Well, apparently, he didn't change the water for two months. One day he came home and said Mr. Fish was listing to one side, lethargic, barely breathing, and wouldn't eat. So, he whipped up his old tank, conditioned the water, and dropped him in with an aeriator. He said this perked him right back up.
When I got home a little over a week ago, he didn't seem very perky to me. I changed his water, and it seemed to make him feel better for only a few hours, so I tried to play and interact with him. He used to LOVE displaying at himself in a mirror, and now, will barely react to it. What is more alarming is when he tries to flare his gills, only one gill responds. The other remains clamped to the body. He quickly appears to tire out and sinks to the bottom of the tank.
His usual "resting" position was happily floating at the bottom of the tank. Now, unless he's swimming, he tends to float almost vertically -- his nose pointed straight up to the sky while his tail drags on the bottom.
I've inspected him closely and I don't see signs of ick or rot or any other fungus. He's a little pale, but mostly lethargic.
The other alarming thing is he can't seem to see well enough to eat. I'll sprinkle flakes or dried bloodworms into his water, and he'll aim for them, but when he tries to snap them up, he always misses, aiming too far forward, so he pops up on the other side of the food. Eventually he gives up and sinks back to the bottom without eating.
I've also noticed that the surface of the water is turning slimey within a day or two of me changing it, and gets progressively foul smelling.
I've researched, but nothing I find sounds anything like any of the symptoms he's exhibiting!
At first I thought it was ammonia/nitrate/nitrite poisoning from the dank water he was forced to live in while I was gone, but I would have hoped that would have cleared up by now with the changing of the water. Is he toxic? Can I save him?
Mr. Fish became my best friend. I greet him when I wake up, and tell him goodnight when I go to sleep. We play together, and I love him. It would break my heart to lose him after only having him in my life for such a short period of time. Please, help me help Mr. Fish.