This past weekend I noticed that Sky is acting like his back end/tail is too heavy for him. This also came simultaneously with noticing that my filter had been off for about 2 weeks and hair algae was making a massive reappearance in his tank (undoubtedly because of the filter being off). All water parameters were still 0, though, as this is a heavily planted soil-based tank and the filter is just for water movement/clarification.
He is eating and eliminating normally. Is this probably just SBD? I should also add that he is about 2-2.5 years old. Is it a symptom of old age, although I really don't consider him that old? I think he's a bit too vibrant to be old... Mr. Fish died of old age and you could tell he was old. I have him floating in tupperware containers in his tank. For the first 3 days I had him in 1tsp/gallon AQ salt because it's all I had, but since there are no outward signs of infection/parasites of any kind, he is now in 2tsp/gallon Epsom salt as of yesterday morning. He's still acting the same for now.
I've taken this opportunity of him being out of the tank water to re-hook up DIY CO2, which drops the pH, so I could make sure the pH/alkalinity is stable before re-adding him (which the pH is now done dropping). This will also decimate the hair algae bloom.
What size is your tank? 10 gallons.
What temperature is your tank? 82 F.
Does your tank have a filter? Yes.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Snails.
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon pellets.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2-3 2x/day.
How often do you perform a water change? It's a Walstad planted tank, so once or twice a year. I did one (50%) this weekend after taking him out and he hasn't yet been back in the tank. All parameters were 0 before (and obviously after) the change.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? --
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime.
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
pH: 8.2 before water change, now 7.0 because of re-added CO2 (fish obviously not in tank during the change, as he's floating in salt).
Hardness: 10 degrees.
Alkalinity: 6 degrees.
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His coloring is all normal, no markings. So no change there.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Laying/sitting on the bottom, acting like his backside is too heavy for him to hold it up.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? This past weekend.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? 2tsp/gallon Epsom salt.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Never.
How old is your fish (approximately)? 2-2.5 years (obtained March of 2011).
I guess I pretty much know what to do, but if anyone has experienced anything like this, please let me know!
This is what he's sitting like, and you can see that he definitely isn't pale or anything:
You know... now that I'm looking at him (not that I haven't before, haha), he might have a small wound on his side near his tail.... maybe from thrashing to get out of hair algae? Ugh. Stupid hair algae. I hate hair algae! You can kind of see it in a white dot on his side in the picture. It's quite small, though, but if it hurts badly enough I can see how he'd be favoring a side by laying that way. Despite that, I think I'll keep him in Epsom salt just in case it is SBD. The water is super clean, so if he does have a wound, it will heal. I'd be relieved if it's just a small wound, though!