My Fancy Dan (crowntail) never seemed to adjust to his 5 gallon cycled tank. He was a rescue from Wal Mart last August that I thought would die due to his extremely dirty water and lack of luster. He didn't and the only problem he had up to now was being able to eat his food without gulping in a lot of air (lips face upward all the time unlike all the other betta's).
At that time he was the only betta I put in a cycled tank that I had used river rock pebbles from Home Depot after rinsing them really well in small amounts and soaking them in hot salt water for 15+ minutes stirring occassionly before rinsing them really good again. Then I let a carbon filter run in the tank 3 days (cleaning it daily) before I took it out to start cycling the tank. When it was done I baffled the filter and acclimated him to the tanks water.
Unlike in the 2 gallon tank he never did a lot of swimming and showing off in the cycled tank and eating became a lot harder. In the 2 gallon tank if the pellet started sinking he would chase it down and get it before it got to the bottom or after it was on the bottom. 5 gallon I left the side away from the filter without any gravel so the 2 problem eaters could do that or I could easily remove what they missed. Yet in the 5 gallon he would only chase the food half way down and never tried to get it off the bottom. All tanks are glass rectangles.
After 6 days in the 5 gallon he really had a hard time eating and not active so I removed him to the 2 gallon tank after acclimating him again that I had used Methylene Blue (MB) in since he might have contacted something out of the gravel.
Next day he still had a hard time eating and started showing signs of SBD. I mistakingly added just a pinch of Aq. Salt to the water dissoved before I checked my notes and found out he needed ES instead. I used MB only the next 2 days then slowly got him on 2 tsp/gallon ES with the MB doing 100% water changes daily. With a magnify glass that same night I realized he had pop-eye and his swollen belly looked gray along with bloated. No pine coneing. His left eye was worse than his right and both seemed to have come down although the left is really pretty big. His bloat has gone away on the belly and his head area seems larger than the rest of his body.
I orginally fasted him for 5 days and on the 6th when changing his water 100% while in his container I notice him looking for food so I fed him 2 small pellets. Next day fasted then next started feeding since he had a stool and his body except for his head area was looking really thin.
I kept him covered all the time and later during the day left one side of the tank uncovered since he never seemed to be stressed. If startled while his eyes where swollen he would dart to the other side of the tank. Now when he knows I'm around (in the bathroom) he comes to the side of the tank that is uncovered.
He still has SBD mainly proping himself upright with his fin on the tank and can swim straight to the other side but when he stops he floats sideways. After he gets a bite he will float sideways (still gulping in a lot of air trying to get the pellet) for a few seconds before he straightens up looking for another bite. Last Bio-Gold baby pellets where not very small so while at a poorly stocked pet shop I found some that look to be 0.05mm and have some NLS on order that is maybe coming in tomorrow along with som Maracyn-Two that the web site said was for Popeye, gill disease, fin and tail rot, dropsy, septicemia, etc.
On the 21st it has been 6 days of ES/MB and when I did the water change he seemed to be a little more active/lively compared to how bad it had gotten yet no where near his same old self. Belly not swollen but gray color, left eye still really big and still has SBD. I have some metronidazole so I mixed up the amount you would use for 2 gallons with a container of frozen brime shrimp, a little color flake food and the newer 0.05mm Betta Bio-Gold pellets. With treezers I dropped a pellet with shrimp and few flakes in the container that had about 1.5" water in it (use a turkey baster to make the water a lot lower when feeding). He missed the shrimp but got the pellet, floated sideways and then tried to get the shrimp but never made it to them and tired out. So I got him another medicated pellet which he got before putting him back into the cleaned tank. Noticed tonight I do have some mosquito larvae in some water I set out (along with other drowned bugs) that I will try to feed him a few during the day tomorrow. Tonight though it will only be more medicated food that I put in the freezer from last night.
He is not getting any worse, but not a whole lot better either so I suspect that at the end of 10-14 days of ES he will need more treatment unless he goes downhill big time before that. The only place I have to buy medication at is a WalMart. Local pet shop doesn't have a very big supply of medication and highly over priced. Paid $4.99 for a banana plant with only about 3/4" banana's. City is 90 miles away and don't have time to run up there. This is what I have on hand. What do you think I should try next along with the amount of time I should spend between treatments?
Intensive Care_Aquatronics (1991)
Aquarium Salt/Epson Salt
Fish Cycline Forte_Tetracycline_500mg
Methylene Blue_Aquatrol Inc
Mopani driftwood that I haven't started to soak, would tanins from it be good to introduce now and during future treatments?
BTW a female PK has been put into the tank he was in and has shown no signs of having any problems. She is as mean as a shark though and the only one that is a big time jumper. She jumped out of the water to bite me one time while feeding and another time while cleaning. I suspect he may have gotten stressed in the tank thus picked up something whereas she is too aggressive to get stressed. I have another 5 gallon tank I am in the process of cycling but after this I'm not sure he will ever be able to live in it unless he gets supper well and I float him in the tank a week before letting him out of the specimen container and of course changing its water a few times a day while in it.
Off to do his nightly care, I wait until the AC isn't running big time since the bathroom is the coolest place in the house. He has a heater in the tank and it stays at 80*.