What size is your tank? 5-gallon, but currently a 1-gallon jar.
What temperature is your tank? 82f
Does your tank have a filter? Normally yes, currently no.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Normally no, currently yes.
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? Normally a single ghost shrimp.
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Normal betta pellet food (soaked first), occasional dried bloodworms.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, but he hasn't been fed in more than a week, except for daphnia.
How often do you perform a water change? Not as often as I should; this time of year it happens gradually due to evaporation, where I add more water when the tank level gets too low.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? ~25%, I'm not sure.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? pH decreaser, because our water is chronically alkaline.
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
No specifics on water levels apart from pH, which is almost always off the alkaline end of the scale when I check it. When I've had the water tested in the past, everything else was fine, possibly a little high on the water hardness. I use water from an outside spigot that bypasses our water conditioner, because using the treated water slowly kills the fish, every single time.
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? He's extremely EXTREMELY bloated. It looks like I could stick him with a needle and drain him like a huge blister or something. He's got some whitish-grey spots on his gill covers, and has gone a little paler under his chin. The lighter spots are not ich. His overall body color is much duller now too.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? It didn't for quite some time, which is why I thought it was just constipation at first. I have him in a hospital tank now - no substrate, no direct light source, nothing but 100% different water and a heater and an airstone. I treated the new water with pH decreaser, epsom salts, and a tiny bit of Melafix just in case. Since I put him in there, he's also had a portion of daphnia (the second since he started looking so bloated) which he was pretty eager to get as much of as he could. Today, however, he's been lethargic, resting his bloated self on the bottom of the tank, propped up by one of his pectoral fins. He's been breathing very slowly, only moving around to surface and get more air once in a while, or if I go near the tank. He's not completely unresponsive, but he's definitely more low-energy, I don't know whether it's just the different setting or a progressing illness or what. I don't think it's dropsy, unless a fish can have dropsy and not have the pineconed scales.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? He's been bloated like this for at least a week now, and I should have started treating it sooner. He was still being so energetic and flaring at himself in the mirror that I didn't notice the bloat.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Nope.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I've had him for... seven or eight months, I think. I'm not too sure. And as for how old he was when I got him, who even knows. I got him from Petsmart.