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Old 01-12-2011, 11:02 PM   #1 
Biomess
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My Betta Gasping for Air, Help!

Need some advice please, my newer fish "Indigo" started gasping unusually today, he is not as fiesty as he usually is, but is still swimming pretty good, but he seems to be breathing hard and his gills seem to be extended underneath his head.
I noticed that he swims to the top and takes a breath but the air bubbles come out from beneath him around his gills and he immediately goes for another gulp of air almost violently as if he can't breath. After this action, he swam around and opened his mouth widely as if he is trying to dislodge something. This only happend once that I noticed, but he still gulps air and they still come out under his gill fringes...
Do you think something is stuck in his mouth?
I am housing him in a 1 gallon temporarily and did a 100% change last night and again tonight. His water temp is at 76, I am sure I need to raise that, and I use Tetra Aqua-Safe water conditioner and he feeds once in the morning and once at night with a mix of Betta-Culture pellets and 1-2 times a week Hikari frozen bloodworms and/or the Hikari Feeding Frenzy mix.
This pic shows him still fiesty and able to flare at the scenery:
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But this one shows how his gill fringes are hanging low:
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:28 PM   #2 
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I seriously think he has something stuck in his mouth, I just fed him a pellet and he tried to swallow it but had to shake his head roughly and spit it out along with a bunch of air bubbles. He has never had trouble swallowing any food before. Is there any way to see if he has anything lodged in there?
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:21 AM   #3 
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I really need some advice Please!! He can't swallow his food because he is having difficulty breathing. He can't seem to keep the air in when he takes a gasping breath at the surface.

Please advise what I can do!!!

Thanks!!
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:31 AM   #4 
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Start making some 50% water changes and use extra dechlorinator right now and if you have some Epsom salt (Not aquarium salt) mix up a 1gal jug of dechlorinated water and add 2tsp/gal Epsom salt-place him in QT that can be floated in the heated tank to maintain water temp (attach to the side so it doesn't sink) and start making 100% daily water changes with this water-cover the top of the small QT container with plastic veggie wrap to help keep the air above the water warm and humid....
Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:47 PM   #5 
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Thank You for your help!!!! I have him floating in quarantine inside a nice and toasty aquarium, I do have Epsom salt, but it says it expired in 2009 so I will probably have to buy a fresh bag.
I did go out and get some Prime that I see a lot of people on here use, and an API ammonia test kit to see if maybe that was what is causing this. I have been doing 50-100% water changes quite often recently, so I hope it is nothing I related to that.
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:24 PM   #6 
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He is still fiesty in his swimming, but he attacks the surface for air and takes two-three gulps at a time and the air bubble just comes out from under his head around the gills. It's so sad to see him struggle just to breathe, why can't the air just stay in...I am going to continue with the salt water in quarantine, but I wish there was some sort of medication to help his gills. He did eat one small Hikari frozen Bloodworm today, so I hope that will keep his strength up.
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:35 AM   #7 
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This is so stressful, he doesn't seem to be getting any better and now there looks to be two extremely tine white spots on his left side of his face. I hope it's not Ick, how can he get that in the salt water?
Looking with a flashlight into his gill area when he takes a breathe, they don't look inflamed at all but I believe I saw something small and white in one spot. Is it possible he swallowed something that fell in his tank and it got lodged in his throat?
I am posting a short video of him and the issue with his breathing, he still has a lot of energy and wants out of the cup, although he is holding still in the video because he hates my camera. The white at the bottom of the cup is just air bubbles underneath it.
I wish there was something more I could be doing, any suggestions would be much appreciated...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymgiOt6VyEw
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:33 PM   #8 
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He has been in treatment for 3-4 days correct?...he needs more time..are you sure what you are seeing in the gill area is not an air bubble....what color are his gills?
Its a good sign that he has energy
What is the temp at now?
He is a lovely male by the way....
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:53 PM   #9 
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Ah a response, thanks!
Yes, he has been in QT since your post Thursday, his gills are pretty much the same color as the first photo above, if not a tad bit pinker.
I looked long and hard at him, in the video you can see how the air bubbles just roll out, but when I look into the gills before the air bubbles are in there on the right side there is a small white "thing" that's flat and thin, a parasite or some particle that he swallowed I don't know.
I set the heater at 82, but he's floating at 80, so idk. He has energy, but has only eaten once since QT and that was one small frozen/thawed bloodworm. I figured that would be easier than swallowing a pellet.
Thank you, I love blue and would hate to think I killed him, I've only had him for about a month now.
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Old 01-16-2011, 04:07 PM   #10 
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My Crowntail did this for a couple of days and I was afraid I was going to lose him. He would dart around erratically with his gills sort of hanging open like that, take a couple of big gulps from the top and then sit on the bottom.

Since it didn't appear that he had anything stuck and he was still able to swallow when I could get him to eat, I was afraid he had something like gill flukes.

I started a salt bath treatment and my mum was in charge of that for a couple of days, as well as keeping him in a smaller quarantine tank and changing the water 100% every day. Gradually he got better, and is currently back to normal, albeit now getting 50% water changes every day in his 3 gallon.

I still have absolutely no idea what caused his behaviour as his water conditions were all pristine. In your case it could be some kind of parasite, but fingers crossed, your boy gets better too.
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