Probably like many new uninitiated betta owners I foolishly began reading up on the care of bettas after buying one at the beginning of May (rather weakly under pressure from my child). Had I known what I know now I would not have ventured down this path. But I have and now after 2 months of being pleased that our betta seemed happy (right down to making bubbles) I have become quite attached to him and am at a loss at what to do as he now is definitely out of sorts.
I am currently living in rural central America and apart from betta pellets, methylene blue and "anticloro" liquid I have no access to other foods or products.
My setup is decidedly minimalist due to the fact that my situation is not permanent and that there is no aquarium/pet shop in my town; so it consists of:
3litre tank with aquarium gravel. I looked at the artificial plants but reckoned that they would tear his fins and as the source for my fish was the local supermarket/department store there were no tank decoration supplies. In fact I had to source the largest vase I could find as the supermarket only sold super grand tanks with filter etc incorporated (>$200) or small shallow plastic ones). I wish I could adorn his home better.
So until this week -
- for the past 2 months he has been in a 3lt tank which has had 100% water (24hour standing) changes every 2-3 days.
-he would delight in tank water changes by swimming exhuberantly around when returned to the new water. It was then I would give him a short spell in front of mirror.
-he has been fed pellets twice a day and always poops whilst he is feeding.
-he was always lively when I entered the room and would swim merrily about his space. He would also flare up when my finger came close to the tank.
-he has made numerous bubble nests.
Three days ago (tues) I cleaned his tank which had gone about 6 days without cleaning - we were away for a long weekend and he missed 4 feeds but ate well Sun night, mon, and tues morning. After Tues:-
-he spent the next 2 days moping at the bottom of his tank
-he showed no interest in food
-he showed no interest in my comings and goings
-he has not pooped.
I looked closely at him to see if I could detect any evidence of ailment or fungus but nothing is there. Yesterday and today (fri) I have had him in a smaller container (with methylene blue added) so that he doesn't have far to swim up to get air. Current status:-
-He seems to be a bit better reacting to my finger with a partial flare-up -attacking a pellet but ultimately spitting it out.
-He completely ignores any pea pieces that I have dropped into the water.
-still hasn't pooped.
-hangs in the far corner of his reduced space
-definitely watching me
I suspect he might be constipated but how can I interest him in eating the pea pieces (which sink to the tank bottom and get ignored there too). He has eaten pea before. I realise that I should have fed peas weekly as well as fasted him weekly and this might have been avoided.
Could any of you with a wealth of experience make some suggestions that can help restore my betta to his old self.