I am at my wits end on what to do for my poor betta.
He is the only fish, with no live plants, in a 10 gallon tank. I have had him for 4 months, but I adopted him from my brother who had him for at least a year.
When I got him, he was a healthy, and remained healthy for a while, but within the past month and a half, he's been having problems. I've cared for bettas in the past and have never encountered anything of this nature before.
Here are his symptoms:
- panting (this upsets me the most)
- struggles to get the surface to eat and breathe (I did lower his water level)
- usually lies at the bottom of the tank
- does still eat
- no bloated tummy, although I have given him two epsom salt bathes, just in case, plus fed him some peas
- I don't see any sort of fungus, velvet, or ick, besides him growing pale
Here is the (long) list of how I've genuinely tried to help him:
- frequent water changes (ever 3 days), using Spring water, while treating water with Stress Coat and Stress Zyme
- PH is perfectly fine, I've tested often
- Heater at 80
- Lowered water to half tank
- Epsom bathes
- Turned off filter to reduce stress
- Interacts with him daily in case of depression
- Have completely broken down the tanks once, washed everything, and set up again (didn't make things better or worse for him)
I have absolutely no idea what to do now. I've tried every suggestion online, including treating for ick and fungus, just in case.
Currently I am just doing the water changes, but not treating (cutting down on chemicals in the water), keeping the filter off, the water at half level, and keeping an eye on the PH.
He is such a trooper. He struggles to the top to eat and breathe, but mostly moves around the tank, lying on the silk plants, on his smooth rock, or inside his little cave.
If he's sick, I genuinely want to help him, but I am at a loss now. I have been at this for well over a month, and feel frustrated at my lack of making things better for him.
Does anyone have any ideas on what to do? I am very open to suggestions.