My friend and I went to PetCo yesterday, and we found this guy. His colour was the reason we picked him up and looked at him, and while we were deciding if we should get him or not, we noticed that he kept kind of tipping over to his side. Finally, he just laid down on his side and was breathing really hard. His water was dirty so we pulled a PetCo associate aside and asked him if he would do a water change for the fish, to see if that would help his condition. The associate notified his manager, and he did the water change for us. The fish's condition (clearly) did not improve, so we asked the manager if they did the free adoption of sick/disabled animals like PetSmart does (he said no) and then recommended that we just pick another fish since the one we wanted was sick. Then, he took this guy and put him in one of the larger tanks that they keep their community fish in (said that putting them in the bigger tanks usually "livens them up") and left to help customers. My friend and I stuck around pretending to browse while keeping an eye on the fish, who after a minute did start swimming around a little bit, but his swimming was/is very jerky, not smooth at all, like he has trouble staying afloat. He had a hard time making it to the surface for air in that big tank so after a few minutes we suggested that the associate should probably not leave him in the big tank, because of his swimming issues.
Long story short, we got the associate to put the fish back in his little cup and proceeded to buy him and bring him home with us.
We set up a "hospital tank" for him, a one gallon tank with a light, under gravel filter, heater, and one plant and a tiki man decoration we bought for this fish.
The fish sits at the bottom all the time, breathing hard and when he does swim, it's very jerky, like he hits a lot of speed bumps, not smooth at all, and he'll gasp for air at the surface before he goes back to lay on the bottom. He sits mostly on his side, though he sometimes will sit up, sometimes with the help of a plant or the side of the tank, sometimes by his own accord. He's responsive, if I put my finger up to him he moves, and he'll go to the surface to breathe. I've seen him curl up, almost bending in half, a few times, as well.
I have been giving him small doses of Stress Coat every 12 hours or so.
My friend looked his symptoms, trying to see what he might have (I worked today, so I didn't have time) and his symptoms all seem to point to Nitrate poisoning.
Aside from the water changes, bacteria supplements, and stress coat, I'm not sure if there's anything better or more to do for him, but if anyone has suggestions, I'm very much open to hearing them.
What size is your tank?: One Gallon
What temperature is your tank?: about 72 degrees
Does your tank have a filter?: Yes, and under gravel filter
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?: *see above*
Is your tank heated?: Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?: He's by himself.
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?: I haven't fed this guy anything since I brought him home.
How often do you feed your betta fish?: I haven't fed him.
How often do you perform a water change?: Just out him in a day ago.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?: Haven't but planning a 50% here within the next day or two.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?: I have: Jungle Start Right, API Stress Coat, a Top Fin Bacteria Supplement, and Aquarium Salt.
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?: His colour lightens sometimes, and is normal other times, but since I've only had him for a day, I can't REALLY say.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?:
When did you start noticing the symptoms?: At the store when I bought him.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how?: Since at first we thought he might have just been in a severe state of shock, I've been giving him half doses of stress coat twice a day (about 1 ML every 12 hours or so) and I put a few drops of Bettafix in his tank, but not a whole lot as I didn't want to medicate him if he didn't need it or OD him. He also has about 2tsp of Aquarium Salt in his tank.
Does your fish have any history of being ill?: I've had my fish for a day, I really don't have a "history" with him at all.
How old is your fish (approximately)?: I've had him for a day. I don't know how to tell how old he really is, so... Your guess is as good as mine.
Here's a picture. It's sideways, because I took it with my phone, but you can see that I found him all curled like this when I came home from work tonight. Poor baby. =/