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Old 06-07-2013, 02:11 PM   #1 
sainthogan
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How long can a Betta go without breathing from the surface??

I ask this because my male is freaking me out. Ever since the biggest leaf on his Lilly plant died a few weeks ago, he's taken up hiding and getting stuck behind his filter. Literally stuck, I have to move the filter so that he can get out, and get air. Then, he swims directly back behind it and wedges himself right back in. I did have a 3 hour commute, so I wasn't home most of the time, and as soon as I'd come home, I'd get him unstuck, he'd dart to the surface a few times, gulp some air, then squeeze himself back in. I have no idea how long he was there when I got home. I'm leaving in a few weeks to go on a weekend trip with my grandmother and I know my hubby will forget to check on him. I know he wouldn't last the whole weekend, but how long can he last without surface air? And what can I do to stop this? The closest pet store is 4 hours away, so I can't just run out and get some new things for him to hide in. The leaf that died was perfectly positioned in front of the suction cup on his heater, so he could hide behind the leaf and rest on the suction cup. He still has plenty of other places to hide, but NOOOOoooo, he wants to hide in the one spot that could kill him!!! Grrr!!!
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:20 PM   #2 
NeptunesMom
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I do not know the answer to your question, but why don't you just remove the filter from the tank? None of my tanks have filters, and all my fish (well, excluding my rescue who I brought home sick) are healthy.
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:34 PM   #3 
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I've thought about it, but I'm worried I'd have to start my cycle all over again, I've got a sponge filter in there.
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:39 PM   #4 
BlueBettaSplendensLover
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I've thought about it, but I'm worried I'd have to start my cycle all over again, I've got a sponge filter in there.
You could just take out the filter when you leave, so that your husband doesn't need to worry about it, and then put it back in when you get back. How big is the tank?
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:49 PM   #5 
Lindsaypez
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I've wondered this myself, and hope someone answers! A few days ago my fish was very sick; laying at the bottom of the tank and struggling to swim to the top to breathe. I was convinced he was going to drown since he surfaced so sporadically. But he magically got better and the lack of breathing didn't hurt him. I'm not sure how long he went without breathing and I wish I paid better attention for you! If I were you, I would just remove the filter for the weekend you're gone (Unless somebody here has a better answer for you!) despite the possible messing up of your cycling...
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:42 PM   #6 
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My tank is 5 gallons.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:20 PM   #7 
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I wonder if he would keep doing it if you moved the filter to the other side of the tank.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:46 PM   #8 
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I wonder if he would keep doing it if you moved the filter to the other side of the tank.
I thought about that, but I've got one of those tank lids that has specially sized cutouts for certain things. The lid doesn't fit with the filter on the other side. I tried turning the lid upside down and it leaves huge gaps between the lid and the tank, and I don't want to risk him jumping out without a lid.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:51 PM   #9 
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My tank is 5 gallons.
You could probably just ditch the filter, but you'll have to start doing 100% water changes every couple weeks.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:09 PM   #10 
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Can you get one of those hammock leaves or another plant or decor item and put it where the dead lily leaf was? That way he'd be happy and you wouldn't be stressed.
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