We just got Luke on Monday. He immediately took to his 2.5 gallon tank and was flitting all around and exploring. Every time one of us (me, my husband, my son (whose fish it's really supposed to be), or my daughter) would come into the room, he'd check us out. I was excited because I've always read that bettas are normally shy upon entering their new home. He ate really really well too.
His tank is 2.5 gal with an airstone, a heater set to around 80-82. I treated the water with Prime conditioner, 2 drops per gallon as on the bottle. I feed him 2-3 Hikari gold pellets per day and have given him bloodworms a couple of times as a treat. He was great UNTIL his water change Thursday.
I changed 50% of the water and refilled it with tap water treated with my prime conditioner. I tried to use water around the same temp as what was in my tank currently, so I bought an extra thermometer to measure what I was putting in my gallon jug to make sure.
It seems like after that point, he's been very lethargic, hiding in any hiding place he can and if he is out when we come in, he hides when he sees us. He only eats 1-2 pellets. I'm having to remove the extra ones.
His color isn't vibrant like it was when we brought him home. He looks faded and darker if that makes sense. Like the vibrant aqua blue and bright reds are faded and have a blackish tint to them almost like you photoshopped them. But they don't look rotted. And he's not flitty and flaring and active either. He's just kind of sitting up or down in a corner or near the heater, behind his leaves or behind his little treasure chest thing. Just sitting and floating, looking depressed.
So this morning, first thing, I got some aquarium salt. I did a 100% water change. I've been reading up on everything I could (on these boards). I put him in a small 1/2 gal. holding tank with a small amount of salt and some conditioned fresh water that was around 80 to start with. Then I rinsed everything really well and put in fresh, treated water and put in 1/4 tsp. of aquarium salt in both gallons of water I used (used 82-degree water). I put him back in and he just seemed the same but a bit worse. Now he's hiding in the way back on the bottom almost like he's mad at me for scooping him up in that net two different times. That was a few hours ago. We had to leave to go to my parents' house for Fathers day.
I just called my husband who is at home. He said he did eat 3 of the 4 worms he put in there and he's swimming more.
So do I keep doing these 100% water changes every day? It seemed to stress him out. I just want him to be back to his old flitty happy self. Is a partial water change (maybe a gallon and adding 1/4 tsp. salt) better? Every day? Every other day? Should I just treat him in the tiny tank with nothing else in it? But it can't be heated.
I'm at a loss and just want him to be healthy and happy and to get his vibrancy back. I'm sorry this was so long.