Yesterday morning I noticed that Sam had developed a little lump on his chin, and his left gill seems slightly inflamed. I immediately did a water change and added some aquarium salts.
Today it's a little better.
He's eating but not so much as usual. However I think I may feed him too much so if he doesn't eat for a while that's okay. He is not lethargic and is swimming around as usual.
He is eating though.
I asked the pet store owner, and he's very good and never gives answers like 'ah he's alright, Bettas are tough', etc., so I trust his advice but of course I'd like people's advice here as well.
He said Sam might have a skin problem and that while water changes are good, it can be stressful for the fish and the sudden change in environments can be tough.
I've noticed that Sam stopped making his bubble nests a while ago and generally he's very keen to notice when I'm about to take him out of the tank and do his water change, which goes against what I know about fish's memory span but he seems to figure it out quickly. When the lid comes off, he goes in his house. If i just slide it back to feed him, he comes to the front.
I truly think once a week water changes of 100% are mentally and physically stressful on Sam.
The pet store owner suggested changing half
the water once a week.
But my tank is unfiltered. Is this still okay?
What about changing half the water twice a week? Is this not the same as all the water once a week?
Tank is 5 gallons.
Is there anyway to add a filter to my tank without having to take Sam out yet again? Would adding a simple air pump with built-in changeable filter be better than nothing at all? I already have one that came with the tank but I don't use it because I read Betta's prefer still water. Can I buy a filter from the petstore and immediately begin using it?
Thanks for your help.