Last night at Walmart I saw two Bettas in the most disgusting conditions and poorest shape I bought them and brought them home thinking I could try and save them, or maybe just give them a happier place to be in their last days. I have called and complained several times before to the store manager, and my complaints fall on deaf ears so I rescued them myself... I have no idea what I am doing! I don't know anything about Betta care, and I am dealing with two very sick boys. I hope someone can advise me.
The first (Stumpy) has an inflamed right gill which is red and sore looking. It is wide open, and inside I can see a sort of black velvety fold of skin. His eyes are almost completely black and he has no discernable pupils. His scales look a little rough, but not what I would label Dropsy based on the examples I have seen online. Since I changed his water, I also now see long stringy clear "wormy" looking things hanging from his gills, side fins, top fins and tail... basically everywhere... I don't know if these are new, or if they were just not visible in the filthy water they were previously in... He floats around a bit, but hangs out near the bottom for the most part. He pops up and grabs a mouthful of air from the top every now and then.
The second (Red) is in better shape but still not great. He also has the rough looking scales. His colors are dark, but he also has black splotches all over his coat. Since changing him into a clean bowl I see that he also has a few of the "wormy" things hanging from him, but nowhere near as many as Stumpy had. he floats very lethargically around the top of the bowl.
I read different forums and sites late into the night last night, and many advised Amicillin but none of the 3 stores I went to today stocked this and one told me that no one stocked this anymore. He sold me Betta fix which he proclaimed would fix everything that could possibly be wrong with the fish.
To answer the forum questions:
What size is your tank?
I don't have one for them -- yet. Right now they are in two large bowls, one is about a gallon and the other about 2 gallons
What temperature is your tank?
No heater, just a bowl.
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?
None until they are healed, then I may put one in my tank with a Danio and Catfish... But it's only a 10 gal tank, so I am concerned about space...
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
Betta fish pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish?
Only had them 24 hours, but plan to feed once a day.
How often do you perform a water change?
Just did a complete change today as their water was cloudy and had a thick layer of food and poop on the bottom of the cup. I would guess that it had been weeks and weeks since it was last changed.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
I did a 70% change last night, and this morning I had room temperature distilled water so I did a full change.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?
I followed the bottle dosage of Stress Coat (using some complex fractions a calculator and a scratch pad to figure out the dosage for each bowl)
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Don't have the tools to test water.
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
When did you start noticing the symptoms?
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?
Does your fish have any history of being ill?
How old is your fish (approximately)?
All of these are answered above.