Hi, I've had a betta fish, Henry, for the past 6 months and he was doing really great.
All of the sudden, 2 weeks ago, I noticed that he was no longer swimming as much, but I figured that my family had overfed him or something so I let him be. But then a few days later I came home and he was just lying on the bottom of the tank, looking very close to death :(((
I took him out and examined him closely in a little 0.5 gal bowl, and noticed his fins were absolutely destroyed (he's a pretty blue/purple half moon) with 50% of his fin webbing gone, literally falling off as I watched, and the veins that remained were grayish/black. This happened in the course of 3-5 days! Also, he refused to eat anything, and could not swim AT ALL. just laid at the bottom looking extremely sad.
I immediately took him to petsmart since I don't know any vets and they were confused but said he might have fin rot, and gave me maracyn 2. They also think he may have been stressed out by keeping his tank close to another (bigger) betta fish bowl. I changed his water in the 1/2 gallon every day (100%) and treated him with the maracyn 2 as per the instructions for about 5 days. On the forth day he started eating (barely) again, but still cannot swim. I put him back in his 2.5 gallon tank, but this time changed the fake plants with some live ones to absorb nitrites, and added a few glass shrimp to filter out the bacteria. Also, I changed the substrate from gravel to sand, so he would have something soft to lay on, and got a new heater, since I believe the old one wasn't working very well. I only filled it up to about 4 inches to he didn't have to struggle very hard to reach the surface, as he is moving now, but with some effort.
All was going well for a few days, and he's eating much better now (generally refusing the betta pellets, but eating the dried blood worms with glee) but now he has this big brown rash around his mouth, and it seems to fit the description of velvet. He's swimming more though, so is he feeling better?
Help!! what am doing wrong!?!
What size is your tank? 2.5 Gal
What temperature is your tank? ~80 F
Does your tank have a filter? no
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? no
Is your tank heated? yes, always
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? just added 5 glass shrimp
Food What type of food do you feed your betta fish? omega one betta pellets and freeze dried bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? 2-3pellets in the morning, occasionally a few bloodworms, but I give him more bloodworms now since that's the only thing he will really like. Fasted
on the weekends usually, but sometimes I feed him a tiny bit on Saturday.
Maintenance How often do you perform a water change? Once a week before, now every other day.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100% when using fake plants, now doing ~30% changes since there is only around a gallon in his tank (see above).
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Betta water conditioner, and I used to add a little aquarium salt, but stopped after this happened. Water Parameters: Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Not recently.
Ammonia: n/a Nitrite: n/a Nitrate: n/a pH: n/a Hardness: n/a Alkalinity: n/a
Symptoms and Treatment How has your betta fish's appearance changed? fins with slight finrot, reddish brown splotch on head and around mouth
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? seems weak, but is swimming with rests
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 2 weeks ago
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? yes, please see above
Does your fish have any history of being ill? no, he was always very healthy
How old is your fish (approximately)? I got him from Petsmart back in September so I've had him for 6 months, so I guess he should be about a year.