I did a full water change about a week ago, and my betta, Neil, was completely fine for a few days. All of a sudden he lost his appetite and active behavior, later that day he seemed to have a swim bladder problem (swimming sideways). I did another full water change and stopped feeding him. The swim bladder problem seemed to go away rather quickly, but during the recommended 48 hours without food he has been breathing quite heavily at the surface of the water through his gills and then will suddenly gasp for air. He won’t even think about eating now, and I was hoping I could have some recommendations. The physical changes I’ve noticed is some silver lining around his gills (though that may have always been there) and his body appears to be more of an “S” shape. I’ve had him for 2.5 years, I hate to see him like this, and I don’t want him to be miserable and in pain.
What size is your tank? 2.5 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 80 F
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Wardley Betta Food, pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day
How often do you perform a water change? 50% 1-2 weeks. 100% monthly
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? API Stress Coat Water Conditioner
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters? Yes
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
Hardness: 50 ppm
Alkalinity: 80 – 100 ppm
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Silver lining by gills, distinctive “S” shape
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? No eating, lethargic, heavy breathing, gasping for air. Usually very active, always flaring.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? 3-4 days ago.
Have you started treating your fish? Water changes, stopped feeding.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, never.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Purchased 2.5 years ago.