I know this is a cliché title post, but I have no idea how else to describe my problem. This is also my first post, and it's very unfortunate that I've had to post it like this.
After deciding that I wanted to keep a betta, and after a lot of research and (what I thought was) careful planning, I bought a Fluval Spec V a week and a half ago and stocked it with some plants and black sand.
I then got a betta, this wonderful double tail (halfmoon?) named Todd, last Sunday. He was a happy little fish; he'd swim around the tank and showed a lot of vibrances and life.
Then I stocked the tank with 4 pygmy cories and 2 amano shrimp, as well as more plants last Tuesday/Wednesday. Probably a really bad idea, because the bioload, I'm sure, got overwhelmed. So we did some water changes, trying to get the nitrate levels down.
However, all the water changing we've been doing (about 40% twice a day) has been stressing out Todd (in addition to all the crazy things happening to his water). So I put him in a 1.5 gallon tank to see if it was the water or if it was the tankmates. We tested the water, and it turned out to less than 1ppm of Nitrates, and the test for ammonia/chlorine/nitrites read as normal.
Todd has not been eating food at all since he first came home a week ago, but I thought it was because he was adjusting to his new home. He still doesn't really eat, and he's been super lethargic on top of that, hiding behind the one plant I've planted in his 1.5 gallon. His fins have also looked like they've gotten considerably worse.
I looked up all the diseases, but it doesn't seem like Todd has any of them based on the symptoms. What do you guys think? I'd appreciate any advice I can get. :(
(This grid was compiled on Saturday)
Forgot to add important information.
For the test, I've been using paper strips as well as liquid;
I've been using Tetra SafeStart to help neutralize the nitrates/nitrite levels;
I treated my water with water conditioner every water change;
The temperature of the tanks have been ranging between 76 and 81.