I've finally figured out my betta must have a swim bladder issue. Luckily, he's floating at the top of his tank, so I don't have to worry about him struggling to get air. However, I'm struggling to figure out how to cure him. I've heard that this issue doesn't mean they are in pain, but I feel really bad for him (he just sadly floats on the edge of the tank).
Here's what I've tried so far:
I don't think it's a bacterial infection or disease. I read if they still show interest in food, that can rule that issue out. He's still ravenous for food and will eat whatever I give him. Plus, he's still colorful and I don't see any external signs of damage.
I've been cutting back on his food (2-3 pellets a day), and have intermittently fasted him, too, in case it's bloating or constipation. He doesn't seem to produce regular bowel moments, that I can tell, but it's been like that his whole life. I have a black sand bottom and rarely see his waste, but I've had him for nearly a year now with no issues. Fasting hasn't seemed to help, he's just mad when he doesn't get fed. I've tried feeding him different brands of pellets and blood worms, but he doesn't want to eat anything but what I've always fed him.
What else can I try to help my betta? I've read about feeding him a pea, aquarium salt, other medications... but these always make me nervous because I hear both good and bad things (like easy to overdose/injure the fish).
Tank parameters: 5ish gal, filtered, heated, 3 live plants, treated water with stresscoat +, 50-75% water changes every-other week (amount of water changed depends on algae levels and waste). Ammonia, pH, etc levels are checked regularly. Ammonia used to be high for a while a few months ago, but it's been better for about a month or so now.