I wasn't able to find everything I wanted (the aquarium shelves at Petco were a little sparsely stocked.) I did find Stress Coat, a thermometer, bloodworms (which she didn't eat), and Epsom Salts.
I was not able to get a heater or aquarium test strips. Might order those online.
Do you use a lot less Stress Coat than other conditioners? The water conditioner I was using before says 5ml per gallon, and Stress Coat says to use 30ml for 60 gallons (but it has a measuring thing on the cap that's marked at 1ml and 5ml. I put in 1 ml.)
I am new here as well, and saw your post. It sounds similar to what mine is going through, and unfortunately I have no clue whats wrong.
I have had mine for 2 years, and about a month ago he started laying on the bottom. The kids thought he was dead, but when I sat down at the computer next to him, he was darting all around the top of the tank and seemed as happy as normal.
The past week though, he just lays on the bottom, mostly on his side, and occasionally picks his head up to look around. About every 15 minutes he will dart to the top of the tank, but then comes crashing down. He will wiggle around on the bottom to put himself in a somewhat upright position by leaning against the side of the tank.
His breathing looks labored, and he is rarely moving side fins other than that burst of energy to the top.
I have tried everything, and am just waiting now. It's really pitiful to see him like this.
Deb: Yes, Stress Coat is a little more concentrated than a lot of the other water conditioners out there so you can use less of it, but it's okay if you go over a bit, it won't hurt her at all. It's a bummer Petco was out of a lot of things but keep trying with the bloodworms. Hopefully when she perks up after being warmed by her blanket (fish in a blanket, sounds funny!) she'll get an appetite back.
cgchad: Welcome to the forum. I'd recommend you start an individual thread so you can post all your personal info (tank size etc). That will help us diagnose your guy's problem and we can come up with a remedy. For now, if he is having trouble breathing, lower the water level in his tank to about 2-3 inches so he can reach the surface easier.
Sadly, much worse this morning. She is on the bottom on her side; still moving a little but can't swim at all. Thanks so much for all your help. I would have never dreamed that there was so much to do for a sick fish.
I am scared to get a new one. Maybe it's because I've spent all my time this week on the sick fish part of the forum, but it seems like a lot of them come home from the store sick.
:( I'm sorry to hear Roberta's worse. You can lower the water level to roughly 1" if it helps her breathe a little easier. I wish there was something else that could be done but I'm afraid it's too late to start any medication. :( Keep her as calm and warm as possible. I'm really sorry, Deb.
Sadly, yes, a lot of pet store bettas are sick because they receive such lousy care there. One of my friends routinely tests the ammonia in the cups of her new bettas and it's usually 4.0-8.0ppm, an insanely high amount. One tip for getting a healthier pet store betta is to watch for the most active ones. Take the bettas you're interested in and set them next to each to see if they will flare. Sick bettas often don't care about flaring anymore. Also, if you do fall in love with that one betta who isn't as healthy, you can come here right away for advice on how to nurse him/her back to health. We're always happy to help.