I'm new here and this is my first post, but I've been lurking for a couple of months now.
What size is your tank? 14 litre/3.7 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 26 C/78 F.
Does your tank have a filter? Mechanical (sponge and gravel) air filter.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None.
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets and freeze dried blackworms.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day (2 pellets per day), and a freeze dried blackworm a couple of times a week.
How often do you perform a water change? Once a week, and gravel vacuuming with a turkey baster every second day.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 25-30%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Stress Coat and Betta Water Conditioner.
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Ammonia: Not sure ...
Nitrite: 0 ppm (I check it every week.)
Nitrate: 0-5 ppm (I check this every week too.)
Hardness: Can't remember, sorry.
Alkalinity: See pH.
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He stopped having bowel movements and became bloated.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Today he tried to eat his pellets, but couldn't and spat them out both times (during breakfast and dinner). I gave him a freeze dried blackworm, which I believe he ate. Also, he keeps hanging around the filter, and likes to poke around in the gravel below the filter. He's either hanging around on the gravel, or resting on a plant at the surface, not swimming around as much as he used to. I also noticed today that he's sort of dashing around, or he'll shake his head quickly while swimming in one spot.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? The constipation happened about a week ago. I fasted him for two days and it went away, but it seems to be back.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No. Not sure what it could be. I checked for velvet and icy with a flashlight, and his colour looks good.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, but when I got him from the pet store, I had him in a 1.5 gallon heated tank initially, and I noticed after a couple of weeks that the gravel had detritus worms in it (those translucent white ones that swim in an S shape and are 0.5-1cm long), which I found really strange because I've had a big cold water aquarium before, and the gravel never had any worms in it. Not sure if this is somehow related? I've read that detritus worms can't hurt fish.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure ... Maybe 8 months to a year? Only had him for a couple of months now. He's a crowntail.
I've got two bettas, and am really worried now that my other guy will get this, because I use the same siphon in the two tanks (though I wash and soak it in steaming hot tap water after each use).
Thanks for your help.