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Old 01-17-2012, 12:33 PM   #1 
Tobythefish
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Can gills disapear?

Our betta, Toby, was abused before we got him. Our friends kept him in a 1 liter container and did monthly water changes! When we got him, he was very pale (almost white on his fins and white on his body and head) and I think was sick. We just did nothing but feed him goldfish flakes(which was what they gave us) and started doing weekly water changes. We were just petsitting for them during their vacation. When they got back, they said we could keep him. By then he had red colored fins and an almost black body! It was amazing! We upgraded him to betta food within a week, and upgraded him to a 1 gallon tank with heater before winter. He must have had fin rot at their house as his fins are very ragged with a bit of new growth. There is not any more new fin growth. I never noticed this until we got another betta, but Toby does not have gills! When he flares, there is nothing where the gills should be. They're just gone! So my two questions are:

1. Has anyone heard of gills disappearing and if so, how does it happen? Could it be because of poor water quality?

2. How can we promote new fin growth to make him look better?

We've had him since early June, and other then being slightly sedentary compared to our other betta Ares and the problems noted above, he is normal and healthy. I cant believe we saved him!

Sorry about this HUGE post.

Here are some pics.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:57 PM   #2 
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I have never heard of the gill filaments themselves missing and the fish survive-have seen frayed gill due to ammonia burns, chlorine/chloramines and other toxic substances, however, usually survival is grim-but this depends or how severe it is too since it effect gas exchange/respiration.

The gill plates and the beard- I have seen missing due to injury and the Betta survive.

In the 1gal tank-with what looks like an UGF (correct me if I am wrong)-how much and how often are the water changes, water temp, additives used, any live plants, any tank mates, any treatments tried, is he eating and otherwise acting, swimming okay, responsive to you...etc.....

He is a lovely fella...good thing they let you keep him....
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:10 PM   #3 
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We did have an UGF but he didn't like it so we got rid of it. We do two 100% water changes weekly, water temp is 78 to 80, we add Aqueon ammonia neutralizer, no live plants or tankmates and no treatment tried. He eats more than our other betta (that means a lot!) and never gets a bloated belly. I'm amazed at how much food he can fit in there without getting a swollen belly. He reacts great, swimming up right away whenever we go over there and he loves to flare at his mirror and swims normally and smoothly. He's not quite as active as our betta Ares. His gills are completely gone! He is sooo tough.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:21 PM   #4 
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They are tough little fish.....good that he is otherwise okay and eating well-I would increase your water changes to twice weekly.....1-50% and 1-100%-good that you removed the filter-sometimes in the smaller tanks they can cause more harm than good-especially with the long fin males...

The ammonia neutralizer....this takes care of chlorine and chloramines too?

Can you get a close up, clear pic of the gill area-both with and without the flash and flare and at rest.....

He is one lucky Betta....
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:31 PM   #5 
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The ammonia neutralizer does take care of chlorine and chloramines too. I'll try to get a picture of the gill area at rest, but I don't think I can do it as he won't rest if you're within 5 feet of him. :) We do two water changes a week, both of them 100%, I must not have worded it that good. Sorry.
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