Alright, so I have currently asked this already on the Tropical Fish Forum, but I'm posting it here on the chance someone has any clue what's going on with my poor betta.
In advance, I understand as it is right now "technically" my tank is overstocked, although neither fish are full grown yet. I am planning to get a 10 gallon tank soon. I have been having to clean the tank often as a result of the pleco, so I don't think water quality is the issue.
I've had my male Crowntail Betta for about 3 weeks now, and I've been very religious with keeping up with the tank cycling(new tank setup) as well as the 10-15% water changes. Up until today he's been very active, happy, he built a bubble nest earlier this week, was eating fine, greeting me when I walk in the room, etc. However, today he's started acting very different and he has varying symptoms and I'm so far unable to pin down exactly what is going on. I originally thought it was Ich, but now I'm not so sure WHAT it is...
I know for sure he doesn't have swim bladder disease, or ammonia poisoning..
What size is your tank? 5 gallon.
What temperature is your tank? 78* F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No.
Is your tank heated? Yes.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? One Albino Bristlenose Plecostomus.
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? BettaMin Tropical Medley Flakes & Baby Shrimp(only on occasion)
How often do you feed your betta fish? Twice a day in tiny amounts equivalent to 1 feeding a day.
How often do you perform a water change? Full water change twice a month- gravel vacuum.. Partial water change twice a week.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 10-15% for a partial change.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? No vitamins added, except dechlorinator (Tetra: AquaSafe). I also have a minimum 5 gallons of treated water standing by at any given time if I need to swap for any reason.
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?
I have been testing with strips, and I'm not convinced it's being very accurate.
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 1 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
pH: 8.5 ppm
Hardness: 0 ppm
Alkalinity: 180 ppm
Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed?
Cloudy eyes, a grey-ish cottony spot above his right pectoral fin, and a few white spots on his head, and droopy fins.
The white spots don't look raised to me, but they don't look salt-like, like ich either. I just noticed he also has a few scales that used to be iridescent on his sides, but are now just grey and flat.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed?
He's not eating, if he does "eat" he spits it back out, when he goes up for air his gills flare rapidly a couple times after going below the surface, he's being lethargic; resting at the top of the water surface or in a corner on the bottom of the tank.
He's also just recently started to lay on the bottom of the tank against his hide "house" and seems to be only moving to get air.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Today.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? I have so far treated the entire tank for Ick, and put the recommended 1 teaspoon aquarium salt per 2.5 gallons.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? Not that I'm aware of.
How old is your fish (approximately)? About a year old.
I don't know what's going on. I'm grasping at straws with this. He seems to have a bunch of symptoms of various illnesses, almost none that make any sense.