Hello! I'm Caitlin, and I'm very new to caring for fish.
Last Friday I got a very plain looking Betta fish. His name is Mad Max, and he's on the shorter end of 3" long--he's dark blue on his face that melts into an electric blue.
He's in a half gallon fish bowl, while I'm searching (and saving) for a bigger and better tank to put him in. He seems to have been very happy all this week, as he starting blowing bubbles for bubble nests. He's a picky eater--I haven't seen him eat much, and I have a variety of fish pellets and flakes for him to try (he favors one of them...I think). I give him 2-3 pellets twice a day. I'm on well water and also purchased special well water conditioner that I use with his water. I'm trying desperately to keep the water clear, as I don't have a filter and it gets fairly cloudy easily.
This evening I was getting ready for a partial water change, and he was posing quite beautifully next to where I was working. In retrospect this is incredibly stupid, but I grabbed my phone and took two pictures with the flash on, not thinking it would bother him--every day I have examined him for disease with a flashlight, and he has never cared at all.
After a few moments, he darted frantically about the bowl and dropped to the bottom, upside-down, pretty much as if he was dead. Like, if it was a dying fish scene in a movie, this would have been it. I've grown very close to Max, so I immediately gasped, panicked, and became frantic. He bobbled around and for the most part just laid there--upside down--floating on the bottom. I feel he wouldn't have righted himself if I hadn't scooped him up to change the water.
Now that the water's changed he's been very lethargic and slow, hanging by the top of the bowl. I feel incredibly foolish for doing such a thing, but I honestly didn't think it would bother him. I'm really scared that I'm going to wake up tomorrow morning to a dead fish.
Also, I think I'm overreacting at this point, but he has some clearness/whiteness on his belly where his lower fins meet with his body and he has two longer fins under him that look alittle fuzzy. I know he has a slimy coating, but I'm just curious what normal is.
Basically, was his upside down falling reaction "normal?" I mean, he really dropped. I was convinced I had just killed my fish. And is it obvious when something is wrong? Like his eating--it's not very consistent. Please help me--I'm quite upset about Max :(