Yesterday I bought a crowntail betta from PetSmart and he was beautiful and swimming well, his fins were open and he appeared healthy. I named him Fabio and put him into a freshly cleaned tank with a pH of 7.0, TAP solution, and a few aquarium salt crystals as well as two drops of anti-ick drops. When he first went in he swam happily around the tank and explored. At night he began acting funny.
His fins shut and he stopped flipping his front fins and floated as though he were dead. It scared me until I tapped in front of him and he backed up. He kept doing this and began to sink to the bottom. I thought perhaps he just liked the tight space between a ceramic decoration and wall of the tank or he was sleeping. In the morning his condition remained the same.
I went to classes (I live on a college campus) and came back after lunch to find him laying on his belly against the rocks and not responding when I tapped. I thought he had died until he made a late reaction. About two hours later I returned once more and found him hidden inside the ceramic decoration, inside a tiny nook with just his tail sticking out. I though he was dead. No matter what I did he would not move. I considered that he drowned, as it had seemed he had a hard time breathing prior. I began to move the decoration and he shot out quickly. After that he began to lay, somethings partially on his side, sometimes not, on the bottom. I tested the pH and it was strangely almost 8.0!
I tried fixing the pH but that made him worse. I called the store and the woman said I should not be putting chemicals in the water and his tank is too big. She said that my temperature of 78ish was too warm and he likes cooler temperatures. All I need in the water, she said, is some TAP conditioner. I did this, but feel uneasy.
He is swimming now and flickering his fins but is breathing heavy. He will try to eat but not make an effort. He seems to need to shoot up to the top of the water quickly to breath. I took a video of him and would like to know if his breathing is abnormal or if I am still nervous after his behavior.
Also, he is only staying in that one spot in the video, he won't swim around anywhere right now.
Please help me find what is wrong with Fabio!
Here is a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeAjLYigHHY
Here is a picture when I first got him (its not the best, but he was active then):