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Old 04-13-2010, 06:58 PM   #1 
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Betta having trouble breathing?

Hi. We have three female bettas and have had them for several months now without any problems. They're in a 10 gallon tank with one dwarf frog. Recently, one of them has started acting strangely. Her gills are always fanned out and she usually rests at the top of the tank like up against the thermometer where she can take breaths. Rarely have we seen her swim around, and when she does it's just for a second and she's back to resting at the top again. It seems to me like she's having trouble breathing. The other two fish are fine and acting normally.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:45 PM   #2 
Join Date: Sep 2009
First off, I would suggest getting at least one more female. Two will gang up on one and they could be attacking the one that's sick. Have you ever seen them picking on her? What do you mean by "she's having trouble breathing"? Is she gasping for breath?

When you see her gills out does it looks like this? This is called flaring and females do it as well.
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Old 04-14-2010, 03:34 PM   #3 
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No. We've never seen the other 2 pick on her. In fact, they seem worried about her if that makes any sense. Every so often they'll go over where she rests and swim by her a little, but they never bug her.

What I mean by her gills fanned out is just like flaring but she has been holding them out constantly, and she's not doing it at another fish or when she sees us look at her. It's all the time and a new thing. She didn't do this before. I wondered about trouble breathing because of her holding them out all the time and sitting at the top of the tank taking big gulps of air. Plus, she doesn't swim around much like she used to. That's my question I guess. What would cause her to constantly fan her gills out all the time all of a sudden? There has been no change recently in the tank.
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Old 04-14-2010, 05:15 PM   #4 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Sometimes when a fish is in high ammonia like at the pet shop in the dirty little cup they will get ammonia burns on the gills and then as the burns heal- scar tissue can develop to the point that it impedes closing of the gill plates and struggle with breathing in bad cases, since only one fish is showing this behavior...this could be the reason...another thing it could be is gill flukes or other parasites and if the other fish start to show symptoms you may need to treat.
Not much can be done once scar tissue has developed except to make them comfy by providing clean water and removal of uneaten food ASAP to help keep ammonia levels at 0ppm.
In a 10g tank with 3 females and an ADF I would recommend 50% weekly water changes with substrate cleaning, adding live plants would be helpful and especially a taller plant in the area that the inactive female like to stay in to give her some support and a place to rest.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:09 PM   #5 
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Ok. Thank you.
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