My girlfriend and I have had Buster the male Betta for almost a year and until this past Monday, everything has gone swimmingly...get it?
I'll give as many details as possible.
water temp: 78-80*
Aqua-Tech 20-40 filter, I know it's a Walmart filter, but I used them exclusively with my Oscars for almost a decade without failure.
Tank mates: 2 or 3 ghost shrimp (bought 3, but we never see them all together and Buster does like to play with them...I know there are 2 left for sure. 2 intentionally bought snails and about 6-12 pests snails...we round them up as often as possible. But he's lived with all of them since we took him out of his cup.
Decor: Well planted, mostly silk, all artificial.
Ammonia: 0-.25ppm (API liquid test kit for all tests.)
pH: 8-8.2, (a bit high I know, but I've found it's better a little high than to mess with it)
Nitrates/Nitrites: I forget the exact numbers, but according to a pretty thorough Googling, they were perfectly acceptable. I can retest if it would help.
On Monday, she came home from work to find Buster laying on the bottom, his fins kind draped, and kinda listing to one side. He was a very active fish until then. His lips were moving almost like normal, if not a bit heavy. Occasionally he'd swim, not dart...swim to the surface, then he'd wander around a bit until he found another spot to lay down. He has shown zero interest in pellets or the shrimp. He doesn't flare, and he used to flare at everything...snails, shrimp, me, his reflection. As of this morning, his lip movements are softer and I couldn't find any external signs of anything wrong. No white spots, gills look normal, no pineconing, fins look good.
This afternoon, we tried feeding him a freeze-dried bloodworm and he couldn't care less. But a few minutes later, he took a brief "exploratory" swim and then laid back down.
We've both searched online and all we can come up with is constipation. He hasn't been fed since Tuesday and yet he still refuses food, so how do we get him to eat the pea?
If anybody has other suggestions, please let me know...I'm a "big fish" guy, but she's grown very attached to him...and honestly, so have I.
Please help Buster.