You've been given some good advice, so I'm going to sum it all up here in this one post to help you understand, so we can get him feeling better..
Originally Posted by mystee3
I can only answer a few of these at the moment since the bowl is in my sons room and he is sleeping.
-I have a one gallon bowl
This is a fine size of a tank- no issues on this
- Its not currently heated but we have a betta thermometer in there and we're within the proper range. In the cooler months i use a heater plate thing that goes under the rocks.
Depending upon how cool it gets will depend on severity of trouble the cooler water will cause. Anywhere above 72 is "fine", but the warmer the better off he is.. cooler water (below 76F) in time can cause a slower metabolism and lowered immunity. You may see less swimming, less eating, etc.
You are wanting to avoid drastic changes in temp quickly.. keep away from air vents and doorways. A heater should be in the tank throughout the year- even if the temp of the water is naturally in the "proper range", what the heater will do is avoid any fluctuation in the temperature. During the warmer months it just means the heater may have to do less work- but it does need to be in all year long.
- I do not have a filter
- I do not have an aerator
No need for either
- He is alone in the tank
Don't want to add any other fish into tanks under 10gals.
- I'll check the brand of pellets in the morning. One side has small pellets, the other side has larger "treats".
- We feed him one or two pellets every other day. If he goes after it quickly, ill give him another.
Bettas love to nibble on food all day, but since that isn't practical for people to sit and feed all day, we tend to break it down into feedings. Bettas, like most animals out there, benefit from 2-3 small meals per day rather then every so often. It is good for getting the proper nutrition, and good for their digestive tracts. It's like us.. we don't eat for a day our bodies go into starvation mode which will take all the food from the next few meals and turn it into fat- well fish can't get fat, but their bodies do react to not eating. Always best to feed small meals daily. Depending upon brand it will depend upon how much- want to avoid cheap food/cheap brands.. it's similar to us eating nothing but potato chips. Make sure meat is the first ingredient. A diet high in protein is essential to their health.
- We change the water once a week, usually 50%
Normally it is recommended to change anything under 4 gallons unfiltered 1 50% and 1 100% per week.. If anything do at least a 100% once a week at minimal. You don't want to do more then 1 50% and 1 100% per week as water can become too sterile and in the long run be bad for the betta..
* we had a film on top of the water the other day and again today. Should I be changing it more often than once a week?
Film could be from the conditioner, could be excess protein, both are common and doesn't harm the fish. If it's thick then you can use a paper towel to remove the film. It could also be from the colored rocks (dyed gravel is more of a pain then the worth..).
- I noticed his fins aren't all spread out and flowing like they were when we got him
- His behavior hasn't changed much. Still eating, still swimming around but it doesn't look as east for him.
-I noticed this a few days ago, but today when i noticed it again, i thought this looked a lot like the demise of the last one starting all over again.
- I haven't started treatment. Not sure what to do.
- We just got him 2- weeks ago, so no medical history on him.
The best option right now for him is to do a 100% water change (if you haven't done one in the last few days), along with adding in the heater.
Start feeding him daily with a good brand of food- normally have to go to stores such as Petco or Petsmart unless you have a very good privately owned store. Omega One betta buffet, New Life Spectrum (betta formula) are idea.. but check the ingredients on the back and look for meat/fish meal type of foods first, with wheat down on the list.
Good food, warm clean water will help perk him up greatly. If that doesn't work then you may want to go to a different place to find your next betta.. sometimes it can take a few weeks before an illness is shown to us that a new fish had when purchased.
Edit: Just saw you feed HBH.. it's not bad, but there is better out there, and the better is way better. So you don't have to change the food if you wish not to, but definitely the water and heater.. and make sure there are plenty of mental stimulation in the tank for him with plants and a cave.
Good luck to you and your little one.