I'm new to the forum, but really need some help understanding a betta problem. I've bred bettas before, so I'm familiar with their general health requirements and symptoms; but my current fish is presenting a sad puzzle.
I bought him 3 weeks ago, and he has been the picture of betta health. Then this Wednesday, he became lethargic, started swimming jerkily/spastically, and refused food - see detailed symptoms below. There were 3 things that occurred that could have triggered the problem, and I would appreciate any help identifying the real culprit: 1) he's accompanying me on an extended car trip; 2) my hotel room has been too cold for him; 3) he's always been kept in Poland Spring water; but the last gallon I bought for him had a nasty plasticky taste, which I wasn't aware of until I sampled the leftover water after noticing the change in his behavior.
Today, I changed his water for fresh, uncontaminated Poland Spring; moved him to a warmer location; and added Betta Revive. I also took him to a local aquarium store, who checked him for parasites and thought he looked "clean" and that he was probably lethargic due to the low temperature exposure. But as of tonight his symptoms are unchanged.
My question is: if his lethargy was caused by contaminated water or cold exposure, should I start to see improvement soon? Or is it more likely that the stress of travelling left him vulnerable to an infection or parasite? His darting/rubbing behavior makes me think it may be a case of Velvet that is not bad enough to be visible yet (he's a dragon betta, so detecting velvet on his white scales would be difficult)...
Any insight into his symptoms, or suggestions that I can feasibly implement while travelling, would be much appreciated! Thank you for your help!
What size is your tank? 0.5 gallon bowl - I realize not ideal, but the best I can give him while travelling; poop/food is vaccumed out immediately (2-3x per day)
What temperature is your tank? Room temperature - recently low 70s, now mid 80s
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
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? HBH Betta Bites
How often do you feed your betta fish? Several times a day, for a total of about 6-7 granules per day
How often do you perform a water change? Vacuum debris 2-3x per day, partial water change every 3-4 days, complete water change weekly
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? None - pure Poland Spring water
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Not at all, oddly enough - took him to aquarium store, they inspected with flashlight and confirmed he looked "clean"
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Drastically - went from enthusiastically eating, regularly pooping, and being very interactive (following fingers, etc.) to clamping fins, laying at the bottom of the bowl, moving jerkily and sometimes darting frantically or rubbing along the bottom, shying away from objects outside his bowl, and refusing food - looking at it without biting, or biting and spitting out.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Wednesday 8/10
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Added Betta Revive and Betta Ultimate - but since the aquarium store thought nothing was wrong with him, I was hesitant about adding anything stronger.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Only had him 3 weeks, but he has been extremely healthy and vigorous
How old is your fish (approximately)? Young - maybe 6 months? Still too small to eat a Betta Bite before it's soaked and softened in the water.