hello, i am new to this site and the world of bettas. i recently adopted two male bettas, sirius (a crown tail) and bobby darin, from my best friend who went out of state...(well, sirius belongs to me but my friend took him in because she has more experience with betta fish and could take better care of him).
sirius has always seemed a bit off considering he seems to prefer floating toward the top of his bowl rather than stay at the bottom like bobby darin and other bettas i have seen. lately (in the past week) he has been acting different. about four days ago, i noticed his tummy looked bigger and he was acting sluggish, so i didn't feed him that day (monday). the next day, he didn't eat the few pellets i offered him. so i salted his water with sea salt and hoped perhaps that he just needed a day or two to recover from perhaps constipation or something...i don't pretend to know what's going on, that's why i joined this site. anyway, here are his symptoms:
-losing color, especially in fins (recent-past two days)
-hasn't eaten in five days (doesn't even try to eat)
-swimming erratically (bumping into plant and side of bowl, swimming backwards very twitchy-like)
-doesn't react to my voice anymore...he used to swim to me excitedly when i'd say his name :(
-he seems to have goldish growth on his face area, which i read could be velvet but i am unsure
i know i should have an aquarium for each of my fish, but i honestly can't afford them or keep up with them. i feel like an awful owner as well as naive, as i assumed in the past that betta were perfectly content in bowls. after reading so much on the site and others i realize that they are better off in aquariums.
i don't know what to do...can anyone recommend any suggestions/advice or what it sounds like he has and what i can do for him?? i bought him in the summer of 2009. he went to live with my friend in january of last year and was fine all this time. i just brought him and bobby darin into my home at the end of january this year and b.d. is fine, but sirius is just getting worse... :( please help, i don't want to lose him, he's such a great little fish.
(that's a hair on the bowl, by the way, not a scratch or anything like that on him...this was taken wednesday night, two days ago. his bottom fins have begun to whiten and he just looks terrible now. i'll try to post a current pic soon.)