Hi, I'm new to this thread and I'm at a complete loss with my daughter's male betta fish named Phoenix.
Phoenix was purchased and brought into my home 11 months ago due to Mr. Cloud (previous betta fish) jumping down the sink hole and into the fishy pond below, Phoenix's birthday is April 16th, 2012 when we bought him 10 days after Mr. Cloud left us before the Easter weekend (tragic loss).
Phoenix has taken a toll for the worst, I have never in the entire year have ever encountered something such as this, I've bought a betta fish emergency kit with every kind of medication one can think of, many kinds of freeze dried food (don't want parasites and diseases and god knows what else), along with toys, hammocks and bigger homes too.
Phoenix resides in a 3 gallon aquarium with a filter, heater and lots of room to play and he is even beside his friend Rainbow (my new purchased betta fish who is also a male but lives in a separate aquarium).
I'm terribly concerned for Phoenix, he is severely depressed, my daughter decided to tell me this past weekend that he stopped eating from 3 1/2 weeks ago... I'm running out of ideas on what to do with him, I have done several water changes (70%) and I have used Epsom salt and different kinds of medications to help get rid of any parasites or bacteria that are on the minor list to the severe list... he has shown NO signs of improvement.
He refuses to eat and he refuses to have any kind of contact with myself, he literally and I mean literally refuses to acknowledge my daughter, I don't know what she done to him but I'm at a terrible loss for Phoenix... I brought him out to the kitchen where my betta fish is to see if that will bring his mood about because I thought maybe just perhaps he wanted company... Phoenix and Rainbow flare at one another and Phoenix did make a bubble nest but he still refuses to eat.
So I'm asking for help... I don't see any signs of fin rot or anything, I don't see any signs of parasites and bacteria or white spots, I see nothing unusual with him except he appears to be depressed and anti-social, he never and I mean NEVER behaved this way before, he stays by his heater all the time near the surface or lays on the bottom of the aquarium and comes up for air... I'm at a real loss... it feels like I am losing a battle and wish my daughter would have come to me sooner about this problem... my daughter keeps his home spotlessly clean, I don't know what all else to do!! I'm afraid that Phoenix is going to die and it would be such a terrible loss to us, any help from anyone would be appreciated.
do not share anything between him and your other betta in case he has something contagious (a net, siphon, changing cup..etc...). Never use any medications for undiagnosed disease.
Is he bloated? How about his scales are they raised?
Take off the filter so it don't bother him with too much water movement. For 3 gall really better to do 2-50% and 1-100% water changes. Did you see his poo recently? If he is not bloated, his scales not raised and his poop not white or clear stringy,wormy shape go buy aquarium salt. Try that. You will need to do daily water changes. Pre mix aquarium salt in one gall jug, make sure it dissolved and do daily 100% water changes. You can lower the water in the tank if you can maintain the temperature. What is his temperature? Do you know how to acclimate betta when you have to do 100% water changes?
And for your other betta if he is also in 3 gall tank it really better to do regular water changes instead of partials.
All water temperatures are normal, water balance is normal, my other betta fish Rainbow is in a separate aquarium altogether so no sharing allowed in 1 aquarium, lol.. I know how betta fish fight, mine is just but a fry himself, a babe really compared to Phoenix.
Phoenix shows no signs of white spots, no discoloration, no bloating, no raised scales, his recent poo was brown in color, no stringy worms or anything else. Will try garlic juice though
What type of food do you feed him ? It might be good if you could get some New Life Spectrum Betta pellets and they already have garlic in them. My guy loves them and also its one of the best foods for Bettas on the market. I am sorry your guy is not feeling well I hope he will eat and feel better soon !
Ok, I just discovered that Phoenix doesn't like the LED light shone over his aquarium.. when I turned it off he became more active and flared at me... he eats brine shrimp, blood worms (both are freeze dried and given as a treat) and pellets.
He seems very skittish too... I think my daughter did something to him and I intend to find out what she did to him!! I'm against all kinds of cruelty and she knows it considering Phoenix is her betta fish... but he is now more active without the LED light on, I'm gonna try and coax him to eat in abit
sudden behavior changes, eating habits he definitely sick i would try aquarium salt. Aquarium salt had antibacterial/antifungal affect . Sometimes it really amazing what just extra water changes and salt can do for sick fish. And by sharing i meant do not share any equipment that you are using to change him (a net, changing cup, thermometer...) with you other fish:)
Really recommending to try aquarium salt .
Oh good, give us update on how he doing:)
I don't share anything of Rainbow's with Phoenix and vice versa, they both have their own separate things for their own personal use, no sharing of anything allowed period.
I use aquarium salt with both of the bettas after each water change, I only use the medication when the boys are sick and only sick, not for any other purpose, I've removed the LED light and saw more activity in Phoenix, the LED light is too bright for him.
Also I have done a thorough analysis on his aquarium and also felt that his water temperature was luke warm, I know beta's like warm water but too warm is bad for them and too cold is bad for them, so I turned off the heater because his water temperature was quite warm, it was warm enough where I could feel the heat from above the water level, I don't know if that was okay or not so I simply but removed it after 15 minutes of it being shut off (non adjustable either).
I saw another change in Phoenix's behavior due to this, he seemed to be too warm and the light was bothering him, he doesn't seem to mind the sun glow light from Rainbow's aquarium... so with now the filter removed, the LED light removed and the heater removed he seems to be more active, I've kept a super close eye on him and I will continue to watch him over the course of tonight and tomorrow to see how he responds.
I got Phoenix's food (pellets) soaking in the garlic juice and I will try and coax him to eat... I had no knowing of his sudden behavior changes until my daughter told me, when she mentioned he stopped eating 3 1/2 weeks ago and thought nothing of it I wasn't at all too pleased with her, she knows I am very unhappy about this whole ordeal.
I'll keep everyone up to date and once I investigate what has happened from the 3 1/2 weeks until now I will take the next step from there, right now my concern is getting the little guy to eat... 3 1/2 weeks with no food is a long time!!
Also Phoenix is fed 4 days on 3 days off, this is his routine of feeding time and he is usually a pig when it comes to his pellets, he loved his pellets... and they are by Nutrafin I believe, will double check.
Thank you everyone for your help and tips of advice and being patient with me through this, I'll post a picture of him soon if he will allow me to sneak a picture of him, he usually doesn't like his picture taken and puts up a stink about it, lol.
Be careful with those heaters, i had already a few malfunctioned. And yes too worm can bother betta , and i personally don't like to worm because i think betta can get sick easier. Bacteria and fungas thrive and multiply in the warmer water. But you want to keep it stable and not fluctuate too much. I take heaters out (i have 10 tank) in the summer so water temp fluctuate about 2* from the morning to morning and i didn't have problem because it gradual ...
About medications be careful not all meds are good and some of them even harmful. Especially be careful with melafix or bettafix or any medicine with ''fix '' in it that has tea tree oil and bad for their labyrinth organs .
I rally want you to read what i am going to write about salt for you. And also remember more water changes is better. And if it 3 gal tank it really better to do 50 and 100% water changes a week. If you still using filter for 3 gall make sure you also rinse the filter in the old water WITH a water change regularly and well you know to vacuum the gravel
Also if you want i can give you information on best recommended adjustable heaters. Let me know.
Now about salt:
You don't need to use aquarium salt long term-its doesn't prevent disease or parasites and long term use can cause resistant pathogens/parasites issues and kidney damage....and long term non-therapeutic dosage can limit it ability to work for treatment when needed... fresh,clean, like temp dechlorinated water from regular water changes is the best prevention method
So i would stop using salt on regular basis. I know the box saying it preventative and i also was using it until i join this forum and find out that i don't have to do it.
Also i though that last night you wrote that he ate a blood worm , brine shrimp and a pellet? Let us know how he doing:)