11-16-2007, 11:29 AM
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After reading all of the posts in this thread, I'd say I have to agree with what the others have said thus far. With regard to water changes, if you decrease the amount you change each time, simply do it twice/wk instead of once/wk and you'll have much better water quality overall.
I did notice a couple of other possible issues... for starters, the filter... does your fish hide behind it, under it, or close to the intake at all? An easy mistake that many people have made is to use a filter on a betta tank not realizing that most filters will stress a betta severely. Bettas need a very slow moving or still environment. This stress will usually cause the symptoms you described about the hiding, the not eating, etc. Stress can do amazing things to anyone or anything, in particular a fish.
Another issue I noticed was an obvious fungal or bacterial infection. Without being able to see the fish in at least a photo, I can't ID it exactly, but I can suggest a medication for you that should help kick the illness problem. This might seem a bit complicated, but most bettas will respond to this treatment. Do you have Methylene Blue in your meds collection? Most meds are either very ineffective with the bettas, or toxic... so be careful not to experiment with all the different types out there. Betta fish are super sensitive to meds and most of the fungal and bacterial issues they usually come up with are immune to most of the standard meds out there. The methylene blue is one of the very few I've found that actually works and seems to work quickly if you keep the water changes up and follow the dosing instructions. With the betta in a 5 gallon tank, if this were mine, I would unplug that filter, for starters. This will help to determine if the stress of the filter is causing some of the problems. Dose the tank with the methylene blue, then for the next day, use a bucket of water to do your water change, about 1 gallon... and dose the water in the bucket with the methylene blue (according to dosing instructions). Each day do a 1 gallon water change with treated water, continue this for 5 - 6 days.
If you notice after you unplug the filter that the fish's behavior changes back to something more "normal", then you know the filter is simply too strong and you can downgrade to something smaller and less powerful, or you can choose my route... I use no filter on my betta tanks and/or bowls. I simply do water changes every other day which keeps things plenty clean enough for the 1 fish without the need of a filter.
Oh... and keep him warm!! 80 - 83 degrees will help him get well much faster. Make sure his temp doesn't drop below 75. If you don't have a heater in the tank, I would highly suggest getting one in there asap!
I hope this helps, let me know if there's anything else I can do for you and your little Joey. Good Luck to you both!