First time poster, would appreciated any advice for my poor fish Gil. I'm a betta-newbie, so I'm still learning the ropes of proper care; unfortunately, my fish has taken the brunt of my learning!
In December, I got my betta fish Gil a 5g tank with a heater and filter, to upgrade him from his 2.5g unheated bowl.
I made sure the tank was cycled and that the temperature of the tank vs. the bowl were similar (I'd been heating the bowl by adjusting the room temperature to keep it between 75-78, so I did the same with the tank), but, betta-newbie that I am, I didn't realize he'd need to be acclimated to the different water quality and placed him right in the new water. His bowl water was frequently changed, but the cycled tank water would have been a big difference! I placed him in the new tank on December 27th; by the end of the day he was floating on his side, occasionally swimming frantically like he was trying to jump out of the water. Sometimes he'll seem to bend his tail downwards, or lift his head up; occasionally he'll flip upside-down, causing him to swim frantically to right himself. He does not seem to favour one side over the other when he's floating, and does not appear to have any swelling/bloat.
I have scoured this message board looking for information -- right now Gil is in a 0.5g hospital tank with the temperature at 78 in a darkened, quiet room. Because of the floating (and his steady diet of bloodworms -- something else I didn't know wasn't a good idea), I've been following Oldfishlady's treatment for swim bladder disorder -- he's on day 4 of an Epsom salt treatment, and has loose plastic wrap over the top of his bowl. I've been changing 50-60% of his water 3 times a day because I haven't wanted to stress him out by removing him from the bowl; I did do a 100% water change yesterday but am back at the partial changes today. I've also been offering him bloodworms and pellets a couple times a day, but he doesn't even seem to realize they're there. He last ate 1/2 a bloodworm on the 29th of December.
So far there has been no improvements. At this point, I am just looking for advice how to keep him comfortable, or if there's anything else I can do for him.
What size is your tank? Originally 2.5g; briefly 5g.
What temperature is your tank? 75-78
Does your tank have a filter? His usual home, the bowl, did not.
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? Bloodworms
How often do you feed your betta fish? 1-2 times a day; he used to eat three bloodworms a day total
How often do you perform a water change? Every three to five days for the bowl. Was changing 20-30% of the tank water daily before & after I put him in; thought it was cycled but wanted to be safe.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 100% of the bowl.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Nutrafin BettaPlus tap water conditioner, and let the water sit 24 hours before using.
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I did test the 5g tank for ammonia, but never his bowl; I didn't have a test kit until I got the tank.
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Surprisingly it hasn't; colour is the same.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He was a bit more lethargic and eating less as winter rolled in (hence the new tank with the heater). After I put him in the tank, he started floating on his side some of the time and resting a lot on the plants; after 24 hours, it was all the time. In the QT tank, he'll occasionally swim around frantically, bumping into the sides of the bowl, swimming up out of the water. This happens when startled (like when I change some of his water) or when he flips upside down.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? December 27th.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I have moved him to a QT bowl (.5g) and have started Oldfishlady's recommended 10 day Epsom salt treatment - he is on day four. I have moved him to a warm, darkened room in my apartment, and placed plastic wrap loosely over the top of the bowl.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No.
How old is your fish (approximately)? I got him in July of this year - so probably 8 months to a year old.
Sorry for the rambling post! If anyone has successfully coaxed a betta back to health when acting like this, I would love to hear your advice! I really hate to see him so ill.