I have been given the classroom betta to heal. He was pretty bad off when I got him. I honestly thought he was already dead.
He was given to me on Tuesday (3 days ago). At that time his condition was:
- listless/laying on the bottom of the tank
- having difficulty swimming to the surface
- white/gray patches on his head, chin and side
- breathing hard and fast
- red gills - maybe swollen?
- a large open looking sore on his side, behind his pectoral fin, running from the front of his dorsal fin to his anal fin
- no use or movement of his ventral fins
He was kept in one of those plastic "betta boxes" that came in a betta kit from the big pet store. I think the teacher was using bottled water with him (Dasani) and was feeding him flakes. He had no heater, thermometer or filter - only a plastic plant and some gravel.
I moved him to a 1/2 gallon glass fish bowl with no gravel. I gave him tap water conditioned with Prime and added aquarium salt (+/- 1 teaspoon/gallon) and some Clout. I moved a thermometer from one of my betta bowls into this one so I could keep an eye on the water temp. I put him under the halogen light in my kitchen with a light towel shading the bowl from the intense light. The halogen will heat the water to 80 degrees.
At the end of Day 1, he had not eaten anything. (I tried a few pellets and bloodworms) His color was almost completely red again. There were a few grey spots and the sore looked nasty but not infected. He was swimming very little, but also very lopsided. He was breathing normal and his gills looked much better.
Day 2, I talked to the teacher. She mentioned that the students took turns taking him home on the weekends. She suspected they over feed him because the water was usually cloudy on Monday when he came back. She also said she has seen him swim lopsided before I took him. I suspected either swim bladder disorder from over feeding and/or internal illness.
Since he was having problems swimming to the surface, I moved him to a glass bowl with straight sides so I could use shallower water but still give him room to move around. 100% water change with tetracycline added. I also put his plant in with him. It is just floating on the surface but it gives him somewhere to hide. He did eat 1 bloodworm and part of a pea.
Day 3, he is a little perkier but not quite 100%. He isn't eating today. I don't think he has had any poop. He looks like he is getting ich now. He has white dots on his chin and eye. I did a 100% water (conditioned with Prime and aquarium salt added) change adding tertacycline and clout.
He is still swimming lopsided; he doesn't seem to use his ventral fins at all. His little pectoral fins are swimming so hard and he is almost going backwards. He is laying on his tummy now instead of his side. But he is still on the bottom, hiding under his plant.
I haven't checked his water for ph or anything else, since, honestly there probably isn't more than 2 cups in there. I'm afraid to add more as he has such a hard time swimming to the surface if it is deeper.
I sure would appreciate if someone could assure me that I am doing the right things for him, or point me in a new direction. I know it's only been a few days, but I want to be able to tell the kids in the class something on Monday.
If you made it this far, thank you for bearing with me and reading.