Hi all! I'm a new member, but I have been using this forum for a while now to help with my betta, Nova.
We've had Nova for about 3 months now. We rescued him when we found him in filthy water at a Dollar Store. He has improved drastically since we brought him home, but lately he hasn't been doing too well.
He had a rough case of SBD about a month back. It lasted about four days and he made a full recovery. Since then we have upgraded his tank with a heater, monitor his temperature to make sure it is steady, and is on a healthy diet. It seems his immune system is really bad, and it is continuing to get worse.
He was fine with a 50% water change weekly and a full change bi-weekly until recently. It seems now every water change is giving him problems, no matter how small. It seems to be a mix of bladder disorder and constipation, though he develops it regardless of if we have fed him that day or not. His bottom swells up and he is unable to swim down except in frantic bursts. He is always on his side on the top of the water when he develops this.
He just recovered a few days ago from another round, so I tried to do a water change today. It was hardly 10%; the water was the exact same temperature and treated with stress coat. I took the water out slowly and added the new in as delicately as I could, but he is still reacting poorly.
I'm very afraid to do a full water change; I think it might kill him. I'm not sure if this is stress or just a rejection of the new water. I am adding in treated tap water during water changes. Nova is solo in his tank and is a very happy and active fish until recently.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have tried all I know how to do and I just want little Nova to be happy again! Thank you!
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 76
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No extra fish, a few bamboo plants with leaves
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Flakes daily
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, unless he has SBD, where he fasts two days and is fed a pea on the third
How often do you perform a water change? Attempted roughly every other day, no more than 20%
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 20% normally for Nova, 50% once a week if he is healthy
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Aqua Plus dechlorinator, Stress Coat
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? I have not tested, only treated the water.
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Still a vibrant blue, has developed slight discolouration on one gill
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He responds to voice and light, but after water changes, he is up at the top struggling to keep himself upright. He loves to sit on top of the suction cup for the heater cord because it keeps him straight. About two days later, he is back to his normal self.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Has been critical about a week
Have you started treating your fish? Yes, to the best of my knowledge
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Only recently has he started getting what seems to be SBD after every water change.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Unknown