My betta fish, Cecil, has been sick and refusing to eat for about 5 weeks now. I've scoured the internet to diagnose his condition and tried every suggestion I could find. I am desperate to help Cecil. I just want him to get better, and I feel awful because he looks so terrible. I tried to provide all the recommended information below. . .
Here's the info:
Cecil lives in a 5 Gallon Fluval Chi Tank, which includes a filter. He has a water heater that I keep set to 78 degrees. He lives alone and there are no aeration stones etc. in his tank. I do have an assortment of plastic plants, glass rocks, a betta leaf hammock, and a plastic japanese hut (his very favorite that he won't go in anymore).
Back when he was eating I would feed him freezer-dried blood worms. I've since tried pellets and flakes with shrimp brine bits in them. He won't eat anything. I used to feed him twice a day, 5-8 bloodworms/as much as he could eat in a few minutes. I always remove all uneaten food immediately.
I keep Cece's tank pristine. I always use aquarium salts, water dechlorinizer, and a bacteria supplement. I vacuum and change ~50% of the water at least once a week. I also change the filter pad once a month. When he got sick, I changed all the water and cleaned all of his plants and rocks and gave him a new filter pad. I've also completely changed everything a second time after administering a cycle of tetracycline, which they recommended at the pet store but made his tank red and disgusting.
I did a little dip stick test that didn't seem too reliable, but everything came out normal. I keep an ammonia and ph monitor on his tank at all times. Sometimes the ph level looks to be between 7.0-7.4, but the monitor is hard to read, so I can't be sure.
Symptoms and Treatment
First, I first noticed that Cecil's gils appeared whitish and slightly inflamed. I changed his water and the next day he had fin rot, most severely on his front right fin. I immediately went out to get medicine and administered the tetracycline, which was a dissolving powder. It turned to red algae and gross residue in his tank, but I followed the instructions and he went through a full course of the antibiotics. His fins haven't rotted anymore, but he hasn't improved. I started a new antibiotic recently (tetra lifeguard all-in-one), after a full water change and several days in between. He hasn't gotten any better thus far. He now appears emaciated, occasionally curved, and miserable, and he seems to open his mouth rapidly and breathe heavily at the water's surface (I thought this was gil disease). He floats at the top of the tank in a corner all day/night, sometimes by his heater, sometimes on his leaf hammock. In the past few days, he has started floating essentially horizontal to the ground at the top of the water, as if he's dead, but he perks up and moves a bit when I come over to see him. (Note: He doesn't have any visible external parasites).
I got Cecil in February 2012, and he was just a cute, baby betta fish. I love my Cecil fish, and I would really appreciate it if anyone can help me at all!!