Yesterday I found him lodged underneath a decorative cave I had for him in his five gallon tank. I have not seen him for about a week but I thought he was hiding from the new sponge filter I got him. When I got tired of not seeing him I used a flashlight to look inside the cave and I couldn't find him so I lifted it up and he swam frantically from underneath one of the sides. I assumed he didn't get any air so I raised him up with my fish net and he took one or two breathes of hair. I let him go and all he did was sink to the bottom. I figured he would need an easier way to get to air so I put him in a small container with about four inches of water and put some melafix just in case. Later I read that melafix could harm betta's so I did a 50% water change this morning. He's still breathing and moving one of his little fins awkwardly but he hasn't gotten up for any air at all. Right now I'm looking at him and his gill's aren't moving but his fin still is. Please help me, I reallly don't want him to die. And please don't lecture me about not looking for him sooner, I realized this already.
He's currently in a quarter gallon container with no filter and no heater.
He usually stays in a 5 gallon with both a heater and filter with an ottocinclus and guppies. I usually feed flakes 2-3 times a week, pellets 2-3 times a week and freeze dried worms once a week. I also do a 50% water change once a month.
The quarter tank has the following readings: nitrate 0, nitrite 0, hardness soft 75, alkalinity 120-180 (ideal), ph 7.8
The 5 gallon reads nitrate 20, nitrite 0, hardness 150, alkalinity 180, ph alkaline 7.8
I used a quick dip strip for these results.
I don't want to put him in the tank with other fish because I'm afraid they might start trying to pick at him and he really doesn't seem to care about his life right now. He's not eating or trying to get air. He barely moves.