My crowntail betta Firecracker is very ill. I asked for advice from a fellow betta owner I know online and she suggested here for getting some guesses at what might be wrong. Firecracker has always been an active fish, but I noticed earlier this week he wasn't acting right. All he does now is lay on the bottom of the tank, either on his side or facing upwards. He seems to have trouble breathing, swimming and eating as well. I went back to the fish store I bought him from 5 months ago to see if they might know what was wrong, but they didn't tell me much other than, "they don't live long, it's probably old age." Is there anything I can do for him? More information below.
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
He lives alone.
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
Flakes and freeze-dried blood worms. I have learned recently these foods are not good for him and can cause serious bowel issues apparently? I feel completely terrible.
How often do you feed your betta fish?
Once a day. I think I may have been overfeeding him though.
How often do you perform a water change?
Once a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
I guess around 25-30%.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
I use room temperature bottled water, but I do also add Zoo Med Betta H2O Conditioner.
Have you tested your water?
If so, what are the following parameters? I'm sorry, I am not sure how to do that?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
Not much. He looks a little bit paler and after more close observation I think I found a tiny tear in his tail fin.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
He used to be very active, but now he seems to have no energy. He lays on his side or facing up on the bottom of the tank, seems to have a lot of trouble swimming and labored breathing. He does still try to swim to the top when he sees me in the room, but does not have the strength to go far. It's very sad. :(
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
A few days ago, almost a week.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
I looked online and most sites seem to suggest he was constipated. It said to fast him for three days and than try feeding him a frozen thawed pea. I did this, but he has refused to eat the pea. I tried giving him some pellets today and he ate two, but it looked very hard for him. He has always had issues swallowing pellets though, which was why I originally switched to flakes.
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
Not since I have owned him up until now.
How old is your fish (approximately)?
I am not sure. I bought him at a fish store 5 months ago, but when I asked the store employees today they said most of their bettas are around 1 year old when they sell them.
I have recently put him in a smaller fish bowl in a very warm room since he is having so much trouble swimming and reaching the top of the tank. Would it be better to keep him in there for now or just put him back? Any help you can give me is very appreciated.