Ok I'm starting to panic. A friend came to housesit/babysit my dogs just for a night about two weeks ago.. When I came home the next morning my fish's water was orange and cloudy and there were food pellets covering the gravel floor!
I pulled him out right away and went crazy with the vacuum.. obviously 100% water change, technically more because I had to keep adding more water and vacuuming it out to get every bit of food. Reset everything in the tank, took the new water to be tested and it was perfect.. put fishy back in..... he was happy, built a nest right away. Did 50% water change after a week.. fish still happy.. another week went by and he started to go down hill so I did a 90% change and added aquarium salt. He spends most of his time on the gravel floor at this point and never ever did this before. He won't make a nest now and he only swims around when I'm near the tank or when it's feeding time. He's still more than happy to eat
Oh and also his color has darkened considerably in the last few days also.
Is he just depressed? Should I worry? What about changing to epsom salt instead of aquarium salt?
I tested the water 2 days ago and everything reads fine. He's in a 1.5 gallon tank with a filter and heater and 2 small live plants.
Thank you for taking the time to read this! Any advice or reassurance would be appreciated!