Just joined these forums after lurking for ages because I come to you with an emergency. I've been taking care of bettas for years, but haven't had a problem like this yet. The fish in question is Jace the Sea Sculptor and he has one gill that seems to be enlarged. His tail had a small fray in it (which has now grown a lot after a water change an hour or so ago). He's an adopted fish because his last owner couldn't keep him. He was in distilled water with her and I've been doing a 25% rotation of water each cleaning until 100% tap. I cleaned his tank last night and put him in 25% distilled to 75% tap. This morning I noticed a bit of a frayed fin and later took the only thing that could cut it out of his tank. When I did that I noticed his one gill was sticking out, but acting normal. Not having time to do anything before work I left and prayed he'd live. He lived through my shift and still being swollen and lost a bit of color so I asked my buddy what to do and we decided on changing out the water to a 50-50 mix of tap and distilled water. I put the tank back up in my room in the dark to keep him less stressed. Went up to check on him and his fin was even more frayed and it seems the gill went a bit down, but I'm not sure.
Here's the facts.
What size is your tank? Currently he's in a 1 gallon until he can be moved into a split 5 gallon that will be shared with another betta.
What temperature is your tank? 79F
Does your tank have a filter? No.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? No. It's summer here so it stays pretty constant and when it doesn't I make sure to regulate heat with a lamp and bags of hot water.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No.
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets.
How often do you feed your betta fish? 4 pellets once a day.
How often do you perform a water change? 1-2 times a week depending on ammonia and dirtiness.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Nothing but stress coat to dechlorinate the water. Currently moving him from Distilled water to tap water due to previous owner.
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Ammonia: 0 (just changed water)
Nitrite: no testing equipment for this.
Nitrate: no testing equipment for this.
pH: 6.2 before and after water change
Hardness: no testing equipment for this.
Alkalinity: 120 ppm (using pool testing strips for this -___-)
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Lost a bit of color around his face
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Was active when I left and he flaring up all afternoon because his tank is by my other bettas. Seems still a bit active but his tail is clamped and has lost color. His belly is white too and it normally isn't.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Around 3:15 pm est Monday. It's now 1 am Tuesday.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? 100% water change with 50/50 distilled and tap.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Fairly big so I'd say at least a year. Not sure since he was given to me about a month ago and I have no idea how long she had him.
Let me know if you need any more pictures or information. Feel free to IM me at wtfitslph to talk about my problem as well. I just want this to be fixed asap. I'm so worried. :( Thank you in advance for all of your help!