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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I just joined BettaFish.com. I'm a newbie. :)

I've had Draco, a male crowntail for several months, raised him from a "pup." He was really happy all summer, flaring, bubble nests, curiosity, etc. Then autumn hits, and his water got cold, he clamped up, and hovers at the top of his tank, bored out of his little skull. :-( I bought him a little heater a couple days ago, which is keeping the temp around 76-80 degrees F, but his condition is still the same.

He didn't eat any of his pellets in a couple days, but he ate a little this morning when I crushed them up for him. I think they might be too big (although he didn't have problems before).

He shows no signs of ick, velvet, etc. But I did just notice his gills are black. But his flaring gills always were dark. (I'll try to get a good pic).

He's in a 3 gallon tank, which I admit, I wasn't changing properly out of ignorance. I knew that I was supposed to change some of the water at least once a week, because the tank is small. And of course, I do have betta drops to condition the water.

Please don't scold me! I know I wasn't doing that right, but I want to fix it. I do feel better that he's eating a little, but I don't want him to suffer. I think his fins may be slightly unclamping, but those gills are really concerning. I can't find anything online that shows black gills without bloating; he's not bloated! He's not eating (at least, not much).

What caused this, and how should I treat it? Thank you!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My Crowntail Draco, possible nitrate poisoning?

Here's his info:

Tank size: 2.5-3 gallons
Temp: 78 degrees F
No filter, changing water frequently (starting to; did it wrong at first)
No aeration
Small heater, no thermostat
No tank mates, plastic plants (I switch them out w/ water changes; no more than two plants in the tank at a time)

Betta pellets, once a day, skipping a day if he looks bloated

100% water change bi-weekly, 25% every other day (just starting this, as I wasn't changing enough, which may be the biggest problem)
Adding betta conditioning drops to the water, don't have aqu. salt.

Don't have test strips, need to get some.

He has clamped fins. Color/texture of scales seems normal. Blackish gills, but I think that's just their color. He's breathing okay.

Hovering at top of tank, seems bored. Not curious like he used to be.
Hasn't flared or made a bubble nest in a couple months, but otherwise seemed fine (I assumed he just didn't feel threatened by anything, and kinda "grew up".)

He's about 6 months old. Today, he seems a little better, he's eating a little, and starting to swim around more. He still gets bored, and his color is still faded.

Here's my album on BettaFish so hopefully, you can see the pics. The middle pic is now when he looks sick. :( http://www.bettafish.com/album.php?albumid=14130
 
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