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Old 03-19-2013, 08:19 PM   #1 
shushcat
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Gill + swimming trouble?

Housing
What size is your tank? 10 gallon divided
What temperature is your tank? 82F currently. Slowly trying to get it back to 79/80F like they're used to.
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, Marina i25.
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? He shares a tank with another betta, but he has his own space.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Aqueon betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once in the morning. Eris will take around 4-5 pellets. This morning he took 4 but spit out 2 at the same time

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? This is a new tank.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? N/A
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: .25 (which is weird because this is a new tank and I have a filter...?)
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: ---
pH: 7.6
Hardness: ---
Alkalinity: ---

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? His color is good, and so are his fins. When he's stressed, he quickly gets pale stripes, but he's been fine right now since moving tanks.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? He expels bubbles from his gills, and while his breathing doesn't seem labored, one gill sticks out more than the other. He was resting on the bottom of the tank two separate times in the span of ten minutes, and again while his gill movement wasn't labored, one would flare out every once in a while. Other than his trip to the bottom, he's been resting very still in his betta log. Also, when he swims, he doesn't glide - his back fin has to work hard. Other than that, he's been very alert and responsive. The other betta shows no difference in behavior (nor have they noticed each other).
When did you start noticing the symptoms? Like...less than an hour ago. I'm freaked out :(
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? No. I was going to do a water change and add in aquarium salt.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? None.
How old is your fish (approximately)? A month.

This is my first time having a divided tank, and I didn't expect to run into fish problems so quickly. If I did add in aquarium salt, would it hurt to do it for the entire tank or do I need to take him out separately? Considering this was his first full day in the new tank, I'd rather him stay put to reduce stress.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:30 PM   #2 
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How long has it been cycling? How often do you do water changes? Have you tested pure tap water? How did you cycle?

You must do a 50% water change ASAP... Maybe another one later. Ammonia is to high. It's probably not related, but aqueon is not good food. Omega one or new life spectrum are better choices.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:43 PM   #3 
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I wrote that it was his first full day in a new tank! I previously had him (and the other betta) in an unfiltered tank with partial water changes every other day without issue. In the other tanks, ammonia never reached higher than .25ppm. I was going to keep up the same schedule even though I have a filter just because it's easier - I don't know why having a filter would change anything? I'm confused as to why the ammonia level is so high now.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:52 PM   #4 
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you still need to do a water change. x: that ammonia's pretty high, but not unusual, since it's a brand new tank. filters don't remove ammonia from the water, only water changes(and i think lots of live plants? but i'm no plant expert) do...

can you get a picture of the boy with the gill issue? it won't help us with the bubbles(which i've never heard of), but it'll give us an idea of the sticking out issue...
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:07 PM   #5 
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I know. Did you actually cycle the tank though?
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:13 PM   #6 
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Yep, I also wrote that I was doing a water change! Also, I do have a few live plants - only swords now, though. I never thought that filters did remove ammonia, which is why I was going to continue my water change schedule without concentrating on cycling, but I've never had the ammonia be so high before on the first full day.

His gill isn't sticking out all the time (not like I could get a pic), but it's like he'll take a "deep breath" with them and one sticks out way farther than the other - like gill hyperplasia. When he does it, it's also asynchronous, but I'm not sure if that's normal or not. I've never had a betta have so many bubbles come from his gills before, but I have noticed since getting him that he's more prone to that. But he had never acted off before, so I didn't think anything of it?

He had never really flared much before (even in front of a mirror), but while I was floating the two bettas in cups to acclimate to their new tank yesterday, they had a big flare-off. Apparently they could see each other when I didn't think they could. Is that something that could cause some kind of injury for a betta unused to flaring? I'm reading mixed things online about it.

Back to my original post, would aquarium salt help soothe his gills?
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:19 PM   #7 
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I would stick to clean warm water. I have heard of there gills getting "stuck" after flaring. There is something wrong if ammonia is that high on a brand new tank.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:19 PM   #8 
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EDIT: YOU RESPONDED TAKING CARE OF ALL THAT I'm just worried so sorry for snippiness. Do you think aquarium salt would be a good idea, or should I wait to see if it persists after making water changes?

Last edited by shushcat; 03-19-2013 at 09:21 PM. Reason: oh he responded!
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:21 AM   #9 
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Eris has lost a lot of color in his face and has stress stripes (pic attached, compare to my avatar), but he otherwise seems to be active this morning.

He had trouble eating the first two pellets (every time they would touch his lips, they would fly away, he chased, they flew, etc. until I removed them), but he ate them in one go for the last two.

Watching him this morning, he seems to be resting on the bottom of the tank a lot more after periods of activity, like it wears him out or something, but other than that and his appearance, he seems to be normal. He's not doing the half-flare thing with bubbles coming out anymore, but I haven't seen gill movement at all.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:52 AM   #10 
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It is possible he is adjusting to the change in tanks & some Bettas don't do well when they are able to see another Betta all of the time so keep an eye on that, he looks clamped in the pic. Have you tested your tap water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate & Ph? If not, I would suggest doing so. It is possible the .25 ammonia you are seeing is coming from your tap. I understand the fish have only been in it a day or two & its possible the .25 is coming from having 2 fish in the tank. Because you are showing ammonia your tank is NOT cycled & you will need to be diligent in testing the water with a liquid water test kit & doing water changes as necessary per the test results.
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