The past 10 days I have been gone every 3-4 days and then I return home to feed my betta. I'm usually not gone that much, and when I came home Monday my fish looked dead.
My betta fish has always been very active and when I come home he swims back and forth like he's really excited. He's always swam around and would follow my fingers and follow me when I walked by the tank. Actively ate, I feed him dried blood worms once a day and he always ate within 5 minutes. There was always bubble nests covering the top of the tank.
When I came home Thursday he was laying at the bottom of the tank which I have NEVER seen him do. I sat and watched the bowl for 5 minutes and it didn't appear he was breathing or moving at all but he wasn't white and didn't appear dead. I tapped on the glass lightly and he didn't respond. I went to pick the bowl up to flush him and when I did he jumped up and swam. I put the bowl back down and he slowly floated to the bottom. I immediately put food in the tank thinking he was starving from only being fed once every 3-4 days the past 10 days but he wouldn't move he just laid back on the bottom. I gently turned the bowl again to try and get a reaction and he jumped up and swam really fast to the top then went back down to the bottom, it looked as if he ate some of the food but I'm not positive.
I kept trying to get him to eat, at one point he slowly swam to the top and attempted to inhale food and failed and then just floated back to the bottom. I used my hand to try to assist him to the top (I know I should not have but I figured if I didn't he was going to die anyway and didn't have a net). At one point he was actually turning gray/white and had managed to get his body in a you shape and that's when I really thought he was dead. The water was ice cold because I like my heat at 65 and my fish has never had an issue. Read online about how they like 75 water temp and he could be freezing so I filled my sink up with warm water and held his tank in it until it warmed up. He started to regain color and was being a bit more active. He ate and seemed OK but I'm worried he's sick/injured/going to die now.
I have him in a 1.5 gal tank with aquarium gravel and a small fake plant and a small statue. I change the water once every 2 or 3 weeks when it gets this clear foggy slime on the top (don't knpw what this is?) And begins looking a little dirty. I put betta safe water conditioner in the new water.
I've been home the past 2 days and he eats within 5 min again but is not moving. He just floats at the top at a slight angle, which I've never seen him do, with his fins hanging and slowly drifts around the top of the tank. If I turn the bowl he reacts slightly. He doesn't respond to my fingers anymore or swim actively or anything. I turned my heat up to 70-75 and I'm going to go buy a heater now that I know they like warmer water. Also getting a 10 gal tank with a filter but if he's going to die I'd rather not go buy a bunch of new stuff. I don't want him to die but I don't know how to help him or what's wrong with him.
I have to leave again for 3 days and don't know if it would be smart to bring him or leave him home.