hello, new to posting, I appreciate any advice! I'm at wits end...
I have a male Betta that over the course of about a week lost his buoyancy, and that was about a month or so ago now. I'm good with water changes about 3-5 days, I usually use some water conditioner (I have artesian well water in the country) and small amt of aquarium salt. I fed him dried blood worms daily, a few, since I got him, I've had him about 6 mo, he loved them and all was well. Very happy active friendly betta, he was one I could pet almost. I have a reptile pad heater underneath so his water is temperate, I'd say at least 75-78 in the winter, I keep my house at 66. He has no discolorations or issue with his fin, scales or mouth. He just can't float and almost sits on his side at times. But he's so cut when I look and talk to him he makes an effort to turn his head and look towards me.
He's at the point I can see the life in him but he's subjected to the bottom. So now...I have to keep the water extremely low so he can muster his fin strength only to get air, and the last few days he can't seem to even eat, it takes too much for him, but I see the urge and interest but just can't seem to do it and it's like he just eventually gives up and I've tried all kinds of food that may be 'easier' to eat. I'm sure he's depressed.
I ordered special internal bacteria food from jungle, but it's too large and too hard and under the circumstances he won't eat it. (I heard that works very well though? maybe they make a special one for bettas, this is more for larger aquarium fish). I crunched it up but as soon as it didn't float he lost interest.
I had read and was given advice it was internal bacteria, and I did the whole epsom salt thing (teaspoon per gallon, daily water changes, then increase concentration) but could it be something else? Perhaps it takes a long time, months for the epsom salt to help/take effect? Maybe I didn't give it long enough.
I will entertain any advice. Would antibiotics help AT ALL? You experts out there, what does this sound like? I always hated using them unless necessary but I really can't seem to find a whole lot of info on the web on the lost buoyancy issue. And who knows, maybe Bettas can be inbred and I did rescue this one from Walmart I'm ashamed to say but I just feel so sorry for them, they all look miserable. I hate to see him die of starvation but I'm afraid that is what will happen. Thank you, DJ