I need help guys! Here is some background real quick. I am 42 years old and have had fish all my life. My first betta was when I was 8 years old. So I am not new to fish or betas. Since I have had betas off and on all my life I have seen a lot of things. Right now I have a betta named firefly who lives in a 10 gallon tank with 5 small tetras. (Can't think of their kind at the moment). He has been there since he was a baby and has always got a long very well with them. He is about 2 years old now. He is healthy and happy. I have another betta named Sky who is in a 5.5 gallon tank with only a mystery snail and a cordy albino catfish. He is also healthy and happy. Same age. I got them both around the same time. After two of my other betas finally died of old age. They were both around 5 or 6 years old. Now here is why I am here. About a month and a half ago I decided to get another betta to put in my room next to my Bearded Dragon cage. My Bearded dragon gets bored being in my room and I thought maybe watching a fish might be interesting for her. So, I got a 3.5 gallon tank with filter and heater and bought a young betta I call spooks.It took him about a week to get use to everything and then he seemed to enjoy his tank especially his coconut shell. I also have three small live plants that stay at the top for him to swim and sit on the leaves if he wishes. For about 3 weeks or so everything was fine. Although I am not use to having what I call a "half fish bowl and half aquarium set up". The filter isn't all that because it doesn't have the good bacteria plastic sit in piece and the water is very still which they say betas like but it doesn't get things swirling around so the filter can pick up the poop, extra food and dust. My other aquariums have a cordy fish which helps this while this one doesn't. There seems to be a lot of dust in my room. Most likely from my Bearded dragon who is digging right now. Anyway, and I am not use to the algae blooms that appear so quickly. My other aquariums have snails. So, I took a couple of pest snails I have a few of right now out of a holding container and put them in there to just eat some algae not thinking too much about the waste they themselves leave around. Anyway, I was doing a routine check on my water and the nitrite was really high. At this time though my betta was acting fine. I immediately though cleaned the tank, took out the snails, and put new water in. The tank hasn't had time to get any good bacteria yet anyway and part of the problem and the fish and snail poop was just laying everywhere not going up the filter like it is suppose to. I have to literally stir the water around now for the filter to pick stuff up. (Any advise on this too would be great) So, anyways a couple of days later I noticed my betta not active like he was. And the next day he wouldn't eat. Normally, he loves to eat. I checked his water and its fine. Which is a relief. So, I just gave it some time. Well, it's been over a week now and he still sits on the gravel and does not eat. There is no visible sign of illness however at all. Then I noticed yesterday that he got up to get some air and darted around the tank at top speeds like he was crazy. Almost like his name he just got spooked or something. I thought not much at the time because maybe he did. But I have seen him do it a few more times since. Really bad a minute before I started this thread. He ran into the heater now and is laying slightly on his side like he is caught behind it but he's not. So, most of the time he is lethargic and then flips out. Just once in a while though. I have seen other fish of mine do this in the past but never a beta. Unfortunately, my other fish would start showing other signs of going down hill and eventually die. I do not want that to happen to Spooks. He is truly a beautiful beta. And I feel so bad. I don't know what to do. I don't know what this is. I never did find out what made my other fish that have done that before do it. I usually always know what to do for my betas but I am at a loss with this one because there is no other sign of anything. And his water checks seem normal. I have been making sure it stay's clean. Plus, I have had betas in some pretty crummy water when I was younger and before I knew better and they never did this. So, I don't think it is the water at all. Betas are pretty tough. I have everything else he should need. Like I said I only have had him though for a month and a half or so. I don't really know his personality. But he should be eating and he isn't. Anyone know what's going on here? Advise? Please Help!