That can be a strong indication that he has intestinal parasites. Luckily, those are very treatable and fish usually respond very well to medication. I recommend a dissolving tablet medication with the ingredients praziquantel and metronidazole. I have had success with Jungle Parasite Clear, but if the pet store doesn't have that brand, just check the ingredients for what I listed earlier. With treatment it usually clears up in about a week.
He's very pretty and he looks like he's doing really well, actually. Just needs some TLC and dewormer. :)
Okay thanks a bunch! Would that cause him to loose him fins though or is that a whole different thing.
Also, I've heard that Prime water conditioner changes the ammonia to a type that's not harmful, but DOES still show up on the tests. So, you might get high readings, but your fish might well be safe, at least as far as the ammonia goes.
Yes that is true about prime. It binds all the bad thi gs together and makes them safe.
When doing a fish in cycle, it takes much much longer than a fish less one.
You can treat him fin rot with waterlife Myxazin. It won't harm the healthy bacteria in your tank.
Is the ammonia at a really high level?
Don't give up hope. But if all the water in you area is unsuitable, you'll have this problem forever.
I'm no expert, but you'd be insane to euthanize that fish! Generally, people euthanize when the fish is lying on the bottom of the tank gasping for breath, barely able to move for days.
I have a five gallon tank and I cycled fish-in, conditioning with Amquel which, like Prime, neutralizes ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite. I changed 50% of the water every five days and managed to cycle in two months.
It looks like your fish may be tail-biting. Again, I'm not an expert, but it doesn't look like fin rot (usually leaves black transparent strands behind on the edges of the fin). Does your tank normally have decor? If it's always as bare as the video, he maybe incredibly bored which would cause him to act weird and bite his tail. Decor can be cheap! Just add a mug from your cabinet (rinsed in hot water) and a bowl, etc.
EDIT: I re-read your original post and I see that you removed the decor because you worried it was tearing his fins. Try re-adding soft things (like a mug) that can't rip his fins to give him some interaction in case he is tail biting. There are tons of threads here on the forum with other suggestions about how to entertain a betta to keep him from tail biting. Good luck! I hope you sort out what's wrong.
I have seen no improvements. His tail has gotten a lot worse and it seems like fin rot but I am pretty sure its not. He has stress stripes everyday all day now and he is getting very thin. I got some parasite stuff too but no signs of help yet. I have to break down his food now because he can't swallow pellets. He tries, but ends up spitting it out and he keeps trying until finally I have to just take it out. He jerks his head back like he is trying to trow it down into his stomach.
I'm sure he's just biting himself. The fin loss is self-inflicted. Many bettas do this in response to stress or boredom--it is not caused by any parasite or pathogen that can be killed. I have had a few tail-biters, but I have never once caught one in the act since they typically do it at night or when there are no distractions.
Only a stable, but stimulating environment will help control this neurotic behavior. It is possible that this reaction is a result of changing water parameters, ammonia content, too much current, too much traffic near the tank, temperature fluctuations, too much light, or any number of other factors. It may be helpful to take a moment to objectively study his environment for possible sources of stress and try out different configurations to lower his stress level. Don't make a lot of changes at once, though, this may stress him further. Limit yourself to two changes to his environment a week.
The internal parasite medication will not change his behavior, but within about 5 days, you should see him start to pass a lot of feces. This feces represents all the dead worms and nastiness in his intestines that is being cleared out. Once he passes the worms, he should perk up a bit.