Hello guys, this is my first post on this site but I have read several tips on here that have helped quite a bit over the years, so thanks and it's nice to finally throw my hat in the ring. Anyway here's my issue and hopefully you more experienced Betta-keepers can help me with it.
I have a male Crowntail betta (Sid, if anyone cares what his name is) and I have kept him easily/painlessly for a year and a half or so. He started out a pretty red/blue color mix and was quite active, but over the past few months his health seems to have deteriorated. And try as I may to do everything "right," he doesn't seem to be responding to my efforts.
He has lost a bit of color (now almost the color of a caucasian person's skin with a bit of a sunburn), sits at the bottom of the tank and only occasionally surfaces for a large gulp of air before sinking back down and leaning against the wall or decorations in his tank, doing nothing. He eats but it is hit-or-miss to get him to do so.
This fish began life in a unfiltered/unheated 1 gallon bowl, in which he was active and healthy. After a while I got him a 2 gallon glass tank, still unfiltered/unheated. He remained in this 2 gallon for the majority of his life until his water became very cloudy and smelly (ever have your septic tank pumped? That's the smell I'm talking about). At that point I medicated him, which seemed to help but not cure it, so I then added a filter, and a heater.
The filter/heater fixed the water issues. He seemed to perk up and regain some color for about a week but after a while the filter's current bothered him, causing him to sort of "cling" to one particular decoration in his tank where there was no current. This brings us to where we are right now.
I went out and got him a 5 gallon tank, because I read that's really the minimum size to properly keep a betta. I made a baffle for his filter which has reduced the current to next to nothing. I have medicated him again, and I have used all the additives/conditioners I am supposed to. He STILL hides on this one tank decoration, in the corner, on the bottom, and has gotten pale again.
Bottom line guys, IS MY BETTA JUST OLD? Or is he sick? Is he even DEPRESSED? (I read that's a possibility on one web site) He seems to have the basic symptoms of just about every disease out there, but with nothing definitive to tell me "Hey it's this." He continues to chug along somehow right now, not getting better, not getting worse.
Granted it is just a fish, but he is a living thing and as frustrated as I am with him I can't just flush him and start over, that wouldn't be right. Any suggestions? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Again, he's in 5 gallons of low-flow filtered/heated, water, with the correct additives, conditioners, and beneficial bacteria. I gave him bettafix to no avail. Any suggestions? Or should I just make him comfortable and wait for him to fizzle out?
Did I mention I have a half-moon-king betta in an identical tank (save for decorative style) who is absolutely thriving? And a female in a 2.5 gallon octagon who is also vibrant and full of life? So I would like to think I'm not the problem here lol.
Thanks for reading, sorry for the novel.