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Housing:
How many gallons is your tank? 20 gallons
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? Always between 76-80F
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? No tank mates

Food:
What food brand do you use? Aqueon
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? He gets freeze-dried brine shrimp and bloodworms sometimes.
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Daily. As much as he'll eat.

Maintenance:
Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Bi-weekly
What percentage of water did you change? 25%
What is the source of your water? Conditioned tap
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Prime

Water Parameters:
I stupidly panicked and didn't do parameters before cleaning the tank. Everything is now at zero.


Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? A week ago?
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? His fins are clamped and he has lost some color.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? He lays at the top of the water and won't eat.
Is your Betta still eating? No.
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? Epsom salt, peas, small amount of Melafix, etc.
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No.
How long have you owned your Betta? 4 years, but he is around 5 years old.
Was he or she ill or suffering some sort of damage when purchased? Not that I know of.

My male (elephant ear) betta, Barney, has been acting odd. He's pushing 5 years of age, and because he is old... I hadn't thought much of his decreasing appetite, slight discoloration, and his laziness. I summed it up to old age, but now I know something is wrong. He's always hung out at the top of his tank behind the filter. I know he doesn't like how much "current" his filter creates, but some days I would catch him sleeping on the bottom of the tank. I recently watched him attempt to swim to the bottom of his tank, but he floated right back up to the top. I knew it was probably a Swim Bladder issue, and I felt guilty for not noticing it sooner. I cooked him peas that I let soak in garlic, but he wouldn't eat the slivers. So, I let him fast for a few days. After fasting him, he was still having buoyancy issues. On day 5, I attempted to feed him his regular pellets that I let soak in garlic juice. He wouldn't eat them, and he usually gobbles garlic-soaked pellets right up. It's been around 12 days since he has eaten anything. I try every night to feed him, but he ignores the food.

Last night, I panicked. I removed him from his tank, put him into his old bowl, cleaned the tank, and I gave him an epsom salt treatment for 15 minutes. I decided to leave him in his bowl last night. He looked so pitiful just floating on his side in the tank as the filter pushed him around (it was on the lowest flow setting, too). I thought this was just a constipation issue, but now I am worried that he may be close to passing away. Is there anything that I can do? Am I overthinking this? Could he just have a permanent buoyancy issue?

Any suggestions/advice would be great!

Thanks.
 
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