UPDATE: Fred is on his third day of treatment:
Day 1) 1tsp/gal Epsom salts + decaf green tea in hospital tank (suspended in heated main tank)
Day 2) Repeat (100% change with same water(clean) as above)
Day 3) 2tsp/gal Epsom salts + decaf green tea in hospital tank (suspended in heated main tank)
Also took this as an opportunity to do a 50% water change on his original tank
He is no longer listing, and was honestly so improved on the first day of treatment that I was very tempted to put him back into the main tank!
However, I remember what galvanized me to put him into the hospital tank and start the regiment- that has helped me to 'stay the course':
While I thought he had improved from his initial episode (and was just fasting him), he later became so unbalanced that, at one point, he was horizontal to the gravel underneath the flat bottom of the Whisper 10i filter. I don't know if there were vents there (having him being sucked against it?) but no matter- I knew that this was no location or position for a healthy betta at rest (so hospital tank & regiment began!)
So- the regiment commenced!
OldFishLady was SO correct in her advice in preparing solutions- things are so much easier when you just prepare the solutions in gallon jugs and do the 100% water changes (quart at a time) from these prepared jugs. REALLY has made things easier, which means that it's easier to stay the course and stay on treatment (all to the good of the betta and the stress level of the caretaker!)
I am just so appreciative to one and all of this forum - the regiment offered by OldFishLady (while she's had to repeat it a lot! -from examination of other forum entries! ha!) REALLY does work!- and the support & insights of vaygirl and everyone else has really been touching!
Another three things that have helped me to 'stay the course' (keep with the regiment even though he's clearly better):
1) I've added an airstone (attached to a gang valve & pump so that I can regulate the flow) set at a very slow flow rate to provide aeration without turbulence.
2) I've added his betta hammock in the hospital tank- and he DOES use it to rest upon.
3) While I have an incandescent desk light (with shade) on the table where the tank is (behind the tank, so the light filters into the tank through the paper backdrop), I'm turning off the top fluorescent light. He's not sitting in the dark, but it's a more restful environment than the flurescent above would provide.
As silly as it sounds- these little creature comforts make ME feel better about keeping him sequestered in the hospital tank. It's also longer than it is tall, so he does have some 'swimmin' space' rather than just forlorn hovering in space in a more vertical tank.
Here are three pics:
(note- I do have the top covered so as to provide humidity/prevent a jump out, but removed it for clarity in the pictures):
The first is of the the tank entire (overview) with the host tank filter & host tank heater at top of picture, hospital tank at left (foreground) and betta log (floating in host tank).
The second is a detail of the hospital tank, with an air stone & a betta hammock (so the patient can recline in comfort- and HE DOES!
The third is a side view of the entire setup: