There isn't much one can do when the better's health is down with little to no physical symptoms on the body. Normally if the food and water quality is good, it's very unlikely the betta will experience this type of problem. However, most betta experts that I know, would tell you to simply try increasing temperature to approximately 83 degrees F, follow by adding salt and Indian Almond Leaf. Almond leaf does more then just tanning the water, so don't be fooled by the appearance. FYI, every serious betta hobbyist uses IAL, and I wonder why. In addition, you might want to switch over to NLS, Omega, or Atison Pro pellets are those are most highly regarded by people who own bettas for many years. If you do the most simple google search, you will come to the same conclusion, not that that's how I came to mine lol. It just supports what I myself have been using -- NLS and Atison Betta Food. Omega One was just a recommendation from other experts out there and I have not tried this pellet yet. Anyway, you will be surprise at what those simple steps will do to your betta!
It sounds like you probably weren't doing enough water changes - I believe you said that before this problem you were changing 50% every few weeks, right? If so, that is not near enough. You have to remember that your fish is swimming around in it's own toxic waste - getting rid of half of it just isn't enough.
I have to agree with Wendy that this is probably due to the water change schedule - water should be changed weekly, the % depending upon size of tank, live plants, filtered, cycle, etc.
When you go a while without a water change (even just two weeks) and then do a sudden large water change (over 50%) you are risking putting them in shock if you are not very careful with acclimating them back into the new water.. and even still some risk when you do acclimate properly.
When acclimating them after a large water change you should always float them in their cup and every 10 minutes or so remove 1/4 - 1/3 of the water from the cup (tossing it out, don't dump into tank) and add in water from the tank. Do that 3-4 times in a span of 30+ minutes to help them adjust to the new temp and new chemistry.
It's best to keep up on the weekly changes, and only do a partial change when you have a filter - since you did a 100% and changed the filter, any beneficial bacteria you had is probably gone now. Make sure not to be doing the 100%s in his home tank from now on if possible - there are different types of algae scrapers you can purchase to clean algae from the tank if need be.
Bent fins are from water hardness, nothing you can really do about that.
If there is black edging on the fins then he may have fin rot and you would want to be doing 2tsp of AQ salt per gallon, daily 100% water changes for no longer than 10 days.
Fin rot (unless severe - all fins are gone and rot is attacking body) won't be causing the lethargy. Most likely it is the shock he was put in if you didn't acclimate properly.
No need to raise the temp as he isn't cold and it takes really cold water to cause the lethargy.
He is still eating which is a very good sign, so you can continue the salt treatment or not - depending on whether you believe he does have actual fin rot.
recommended water changes for your tank which is what I do, is 50% once a week then 50% with substrate vaccuming with filter.
Is the filter creating too much current? Does the tip of his fins look torn?
I would recommend aging the water 24 hours with conditioner before using it for a water change, then, adjust the betta slowly, like you would do when you get a new betta, let the cup float for a few hours, while slowly pouring the new water into the cup, then pour the betta in without any of it's old water in the tank.
There are faster methods but, yeah.
Just use an oak leaf or some indian almond leaves, do not medicate unless you are sure what it could be. Some pictures of your fish would help us, help you.
If he gets worse, Im oldfishlady, sakura8 or Olympia :)
I just realized that I think my fish has velvet, he dashes across the tank, his breathing is very erratic and his gills are doing overtime, and I used a flashlight and he has a weird grey stuff over him, looks like dust maybe? I have added a couple of pictures, I bought a new heater and some aquarium salt. What medication do I need to get?
Yeah dude you need more water changes, what you were doing is far from enough. 2.5 gallon should be changed twice a week. One 50% and 1 100% water change. With water that filthy it does not surprise me your fish is very ill you just can't keep them in dirty water and expect them to survive. Uncleaned water means ammonia buildup which is the number one killer of fish. Ammonia buildup = ammonia burns and low immune system. Dirty water also = dangerous bacterial buildup which are now infecting your fish with a weak immune system leading to everything from fin rot to more deadly illnesses. Daily water changes will help and if he has velvet you need to buy medication.
Last edited by LadyVictorian; 11-16-2012 at 06:17 PM.
Poor Edgar. I hope he gets better! I honestly agree with the AQ recommendations. Also, Maggie has fin rot and I use some water conditioner with IAL in it( it's by API) plus AQ and she's looking quite well compared to when I first got her. For the fin rot, I think that combo should help. As for the velvet, I wish I could help but I have never had a fish with velvet. Not that it means that you're not a good fish keeper, every fish keeper will have to deal with a sickness in their fish sooner or later.