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Old 11-20-2008, 08:29 PM   #1 
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Unhappy New Betta Owner-Concerned about my fish

This is my first time owning a betta fish.
It's been about a month since I got my betta.
I've been feeding it regulary and have been cleaning its tank and etc regularly. But my betta doesn't seem too healthy.

First, the color- my betta used to have a bright coral blue color but now the color seems dead and its not as bright as it used to be. Also I see some tints of orange.

Also, my mom told me that if fish are pointing their head up, gasping for more oxygen, it could be a sign of their coming death. I realized that my betta fish has been doing this and its gills are moving faster than usual.

also, its behavior has been rather odd. It's been swimming in same patter for almost three days. It would swim to the right of the tank hit the sidde of the tank swim up, go across the tank to the left, hit the side fall down and repeat this. Of course from time to time, it swims in a different course.

I am worried >_<
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:40 PM   #2 
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Location: Forest Lake, MN
We need more info I think. How many gallons is your tank? How often do you do water changes? Do you have a heater and filtration in your tank?
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:29 PM   #3 
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Well, about the breathing above the surface, Bettas can't breath underwater like most fish, they breath from the surface. so that solves the head pointing up. How ever, the fast lungs, he might not have a big enough surface area to get fresh air as often as he needs, so that could be why. My betta is only in a half gallon, but she's only a one inch, and doesn't seem to mind it. I am working on getting her a bigger tank. Good luck with your betta!
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Old 11-21-2008, 10:07 PM   #4 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
You might want to lower the water level so it will be easier for him to get to the surface to get air.
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:08 PM   #5 
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Bettas have gills like any other fish and can get by perfectly fine without access to the surface so long as you've got decent oxygen levels in your water. However, since bettas prefer low water flow there's often not enough water movement at the surface to provide a high oxygen concentration so they often supplement their oxygen supplies with surface breathing.

If your betta is spending a lot of time at the surface breathing, I would take it as a sign that either a) you don't have enough water movement so there isn't very much oxygen in your water, in which case I would consider adding a low-flow filter or b) there is something wrong with the functionality of your bettas gills, which could result from either disease or ammonia damage to the gills.
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