Then it's Dropsy. (Internal Breakdown) :( When a Betta is diagnosed with Dropsy, it's better to euthanize him for no further pain. Ask Sakura8 or Oldfishlady to see the options you can do. For now, I suggest for you to get some IAL or washed dried Oak Leaves and add it to the tank. Lower the water level as well for easier surface breathing. I'm deeply sorry...
OFL she posted this on page 2. He is in a two gallon, filtered, 100% water changes weekly, temp about 79-80 and no heater. I feed him twice a day about 3-5 pellets each feeding. And also she said he looked like a pine cone.
Depending on the food, 3-5 pellets twice per day may not be too many but that doesn't seem to be his issue.
As LebronTheBetta said, pine conning is a symptom of internal organ failure (usually kidney failure). It is not a death sentence but is not easy to treat (nor does treatment guarantee recovery). Your boy has it pretty bad. For now, treat with 3tsp/gal Epsom salt, daily water changes and tannins (IAL/ decaf green tea/ dried Oak leaves free of pesticides). If you choose to attempt a medical treatment, I suggest combining Maracyn I and Maracyn II. If he appears to be in a lot of pain then you may want to consider euthanasia... sorry... Any ideas OFL?
You know, I always wondered.. what IS IAL? I mean..
for the time beign, if you don't have any of that, kosher salt (1 tsp/gal) will help a little
IAL stand for Indian Almond Leaves. Isn't Kosher Salt a replacement for Aquarium Salt...? This is an internal issue and Aquarium Salt is for external problems. Please, correct me if Kosher is the same as Epsom...!
DarkMoon, aren't you the one who made that "Betta Diseases and Treatments Page 1-2"? It really helped! All I suggest is to make him as comfortable as possible and use the most effective way for healing.
If he is already pine-conning he may be in system failure and not much can be done at that point, however, we don't want to give up too soon either...
I would go ahead and start him on Epsom salt 3tsp/gal with tannins-either IAL (1lrg crushed/gal) or naturally driedand fallen from the tree Oak leaf (20 crushed/gal) while in a small Qt container covered with plastic veggie wrap to retain heat/humidity for the labyrinth organ.
The small container some Betta come in work great for QT and can be floated in the heated tank attached to the side so it doesn't sink. Or lower the water level in the tank to about 3-4 inches-turn off the filter and light. Water temp 76-77F for treatment.
Premix the treatment water in a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water-Add the Epsom salt 3tsp/gal and the tannin source-Let this steep for 30min-Shake well before use.
Using the premixed treatment water make 25% water changes every 15min for 1 hour today.
Tomorrow-using the premixed treatment water start 50% daily for the next 10-14 days.
He needs to stay in the plastic wrap covered QT or lower tank water- in the treatment water for the duration of the treatment period
If you sued a tannin source the water should look darker every day and this is what you want-Keep him in a dim lit quiet location.
Nutrition-if you have access to mosquito larva off several rinsed a couple of times a day-Otherwise a good quality varied diet fed in small frequent meals...