My betta fish has been getting sick. Looking back, I would have to say it started about five days ago. He lost a bit of his appetite. He'd see the pellets, but then swim away. Although he would come back a little bit later and eat them, he's always shown a very acute interest in food. It used to be the minute he saw the food, he would eat it.
And then, a day or two after that, he started hiding. Normally he swims around his tank and whenever I enter the room he swims right up to the glass to beg for food. He's been hiding behind the filter, and it takes him about thirty seconds to come out. That's definitely not normal.
And then this morning I woke up to find him vertical in his tank. His head was at the top, with his tail facing downward. I watched him for awhile, and he just stayed in the corner. When I went up to his to where he could see me, he started swimming normally. However, the scales on the top of his head have pulled away (looking like dropsy, but only on the top of his head) and his belly has lost it's color.
I keep d'Artagnan in a ten gallon tank with an eight gallon whisper filter (the only kind of filter that doesn't suck d'Artagnan into the twilight zone) and a ten gallon heater. Theres your normal run of the mill gravel. There are two java ferns, a mondo grass, and two sprouts of lucky bamboo. He also has two fake plants.
I did a water test, and everything was in the normal range, except for the pH (it registered as a 6.0, but since that's as low as it can test for, it could be lower). My alkalinity is a bit low as well (40 ppm), which could partly explain the low ph.
I feed him mainly top fin color enhancing pellets (about 4 a day) as well as the occasional meal of flake food. I also give him frozen food about every 5 days.
Any help would be appreciated. I know this might just be old age, but I'm hoping there's at least something I can do for him.