Okay, I succumbed. I did what we aren't supposed to do & bought a fish because it was beautiful & because I could see it was going to die if I didn't. The water in his container was filthy! So now I have had this beautiful fish for 2 weeks now. His color comes & goes & he doesn't want to eat. Although this morning I did finally get him to take a freeze dried bloodworm! He mostly sits on the bottom, or lays on a leaf. No visible fungus or fin rot. Just lethargic & refusing food....any thoughts, help, advice? My other 3 bettas are splendas & they are all happily building gynormous bubble nests & eating well. This is my first crown......
Hmm, could be he is just suffering the effects of ammonia poisoning, or there could be an underlying problem. Have you seen the feces of this fish? A lot of people overlook the possibility of internal parasites in fish. I had some rescue guppies that were the same way (lethargic, not eating, eventually extremely emaciated, and finally death). I finally found out that the cause was IP. Fish with IP will have white, stringy poops, so that's an easy sign to watch out for.
And now the obligatory question of what is his setup like? Heater, filter, water conditioner, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate readings, etc.
Right now I have him set up with just a bowl and a heater. I figured easier to keep an eye on things. I have yet to see him poop. I guess nothing in nothing out. He does NOT look emaciated, which i find odd, given that he isn't eating....when I got him, the water in his little cup looked cloudy with all kinds of particles floating in it....can you say yuck? I put a few drops of melafix in his water, which I am changing every other day, & it seems to be helping a tiny bit. He did eat that blood worm this morning...but I have never had a sick betta before....all of my others, as I've said, are brightly colored & have huge bubblenests. So I need advice/help!
I changed his water again today. And tonite his color is back & he is swimming around more. Ate another freeze dried bloodworm. As he is being finicky with the pellets, can you recommend something besides bloodworms to try to feed him with? I know bloodworms are not a great daily feed. I hope he is turning the corner!!! Keeing my fingers crossed!
My bettas all love bettamin flakes...go figure since bettas aren't supposed to like flakes. Make sure that if you ever decide to feed flakes though that they are flakes made for bettas. Regular tropical flakes contain way too much vegetable matter which can lead to constipation in bettas.
If he has eaten and you have not seen him poop, he may be constipated. You can try feeding him some frozen (thawed of course) daphnia or rehydrated freeze-dried daphnia, or if this is not available, a thawed pea with the shell taken off and the inside mashed up (easiest to feed using a toothpick). Only give him a little bit, and hopefully you will see a poop the next day although it can take several feedings to work (only feed once a day if you need to do it a second time because too much food can add to the problem).
The only thing I wouldn't do is use that Melafix. It really won't help in your situation, and is known to do bad things to labrynth fish such as bettas. I used it several times before finding this out, and found that my bettas turned lethargic, lost color, and not to mention it didn't work at all (I was using it to treat fin rot). I think it contributed to the death of my first betta who had fin rot and ick when I got him. He was fine through the ick treatment, but the fin rot did not go away, I think the melafix lowered his immune system, and it eventually went systemic and he died :(
I think the best thing you can do for your fish right now is to try the above and just keep him clean and warm. Hope this helps.
He has taken a turn for the worse again, but he did poop & it was normal....thanks for cluing me in about the melafix!!! I will change his water!!! He has refused to eat again today.....had a problem with the heater today though & he cooled down before I caught that....I am still ever hopeful.....