In August, I helped choose a beautiful black halfmoon for a friend as her college pet. I taught her how to carefully handle him and do tank changes, etc. However, as I visited her dormroom every now and then, I noticed that he was continuing to shred his fins. Since she is transferring to a school in Minnesota, I have now inherited "Muffin", and I am deeply concerned.
Muff has virtually no fins at all, other than his pectoral fins, which he relies on to swim (when he so rarely does). He lies at the bottom of the tank and hides behind a plastic plant... ALL DAY. I stroked a finger by his tank to make sure he was still alive today and he flipped out and swam faster and more frantically than I've ever seen a fish do. I think this fish has PTSD. I later found out that my friend had been scooping him out for each water change, which I assume is the reason he began tearing his fins.
His water chemistry is perfect. His temp, although not perfect, is bearable (I'm in the transition of getting him a new heater). I give all my fish regular water changes. Salt treatments have not worked on him. He lives in a 1gal tank, and his setup, along with water temp and chemistry, are the exact same as my two babies, Harlot and Merlotte, who are incredibly active and happy Bettas.
Muff, on the other hand, struggles to swim. I put a hammock in his tank in the hopes that he'd use it to get air more easily, but he refuses to move from behind the plant, and even when I get him to move, he goes back and just lies there at the bottom, burying himself into the pebbles. When he so rarely comes out, he seems to float on his side and even upside down. I know the signs of Betta diseases, and he does not possess any of them.
My question is, what do I do? Is he beyond hope? Do, I dare say it, put him out of his misery? I don't want to have to! But this fish is clearly miserable and traumatized.