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Old 06-07-2011, 01:44 PM   #1 
ThirdPotato
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Panting Fish

Hi, I've read through some other threads of possibilities of what a heavily-breathing fish could mean, but I was hoping to get more specific feedback for my fish, Giles, in particular. His tank got past 80 degrees last night because of his tank light. I've since turned it off and added cooler water to slowly bring the temp down.

Symptoms: Panting/heavy breathing since last night, he seems to have bouyancy issues that has been going on for a few weeks. He can move around the tank, but for the most part, he tends to drift upwards, and stay towards the top most of the day. Otherwise, he's healthy besides some fin rot. He eats well, he's active, and still greets me happily. Fins aren't clamped, but aren't particularly floofy. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb593V5O_ik
Video of his tank set up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcgkdZ3SK_o&NR=1

Male Betta, 1.5 years old (possibly 2.5 assuming he was 1yr when I bought him)

2 Gallon Tank
74-78 degrees
6 live plants (I don't know the species, sorry)
Weekly water change
Just changed his tank last night


I've had a discussion previously on the type of water I was using for my fish. Basically my tap water, I'm afraid may be contaminated after the last time I tried to use conditioned tap water for Giles and he almost died. We put him into conditioned Deer Park water, and he recovered. Ever since then, I've been afraid to use anything else but conditioned Deer Park water. I've heard it lacks necessary minerals. I have Equaline brand Epsalm Salt but I haven't ever put any in his tank. I'm afraid of changing the conditions too much. So my question is,
What can I do to better the conditions of his water?
If I have to use salt, is Equaline Epsalm Salt okay, and how much to put in for a 2 gallon tank?
What else could/should I use to give him proper minerals?
IS a lack of minerals the problem with Giles?

Any help is much appreciated! Thank you!

Last edited by ThirdPotato; 06-07-2011 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 06-07-2011, 03:17 PM   #2 
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Its okay for the temps to get past 80, mine sit at about 78-82 but sometimes hit 85 on hot days. If the panting began with introduction of the new tank id say to do a 50% water change right now with water conditioner and turn off his light, maybe the new tank has him shocked. He looks a bit skinny though, how often does he eat? If hes having issues swimming properly he could have a swim bladder problem, and since hes got fin rot its probobly a good idea to increase the water changes at least, and maybe use some aquarium salt to help get rid of it. Hopefully osmeone more experienced comes to help you soon but yeah, change half the water out and see if that helps calm his breathing. With swim bladder issues he cant swim to hide and a new tank is sometimes scary.
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Old 06-07-2011, 11:57 PM   #3 
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Thanks for the info!

I don't know if it has to do with him being scared of his new tank. When I first put him in, he has never been happier. He was doing fine all day, but the panting is still a persistent issue. I'll try changing his water again, mid-week, and see if maybe this tank just hasn't been fully cycled. Though it belonged to my friend's betta she had for a while. But I'll see if that fixes it too.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:29 AM   #4 
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Something else is up with this fish...He doesnt swim right at all, and he looks thin and generally unwell :(

I suggest doing a full, 100% water change with proper acclimation for the moment, see if he improves.

The treatment for epsom salt is 2tsp/gallon for 3 days, then 3tsp/gallon for 7 more. Each day requires a 100% water change, so a smaller QT tank is needed. The epsom might help clear up the rot, along with the frequent changes.

Epsom salt will only add magnesium sulfate to the tank, which isnt something you really need in high doses (except to treat the fish).

What do you feed him? He's thin :c
And why dont you use tap water thats conditioned? Just asking, because usually, its fine.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:33 AM   #5 
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Not to creep, but is this the same fish?
http://www.youtube.com/user/ThirdPot.../2/rIrFFr7xfFI
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:49 AM   #6 
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LoL Yup; All the vids of the blue betta on my channel are Giles. That video was from my days in college with him.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:53 AM   #7 
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He looks a lot different now, but almost not in a great way :c

Still, I suggest a full water change and all that. If he's been panting only since you added cooler water, it may be from stress incurred from that- even though it was a "gradual" cool down, it may have still been too fast and stressed him out.
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:03 AM   #8 
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I wonder if this isn't old age taking its toll? Giles is an estimated 2.5 yrs old, assuming he was a year old before you got him. Betta life spans average out to be 1-3 yrs. If it WAS old age, he'd be thin no matter how well he was fed because geriatric animals have difficulty keeping weight on.

At any rate, I agree with Pew that a smaller QT tank is needed, both for salt treatments and to keep him closer to the surface. It looked like he was having trouble staying at the top to breathe so a shallow container will help him not have to struggle up to the top.
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:35 AM   #9 
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Exclamation

Hi, still having problems with the panting... I don't know what's wrong with him. He seems happy otherwise, and is healthy in all regards. He's actually not as thin as he looks in that video. he's got a full pot-belly, and if anything may be over fed XDDD He gets 1-3 pellets a day, depending on if he's looking thin or not.

yeah he looks a lot different than he did in the original video. He had fin rot so his fins are a lot shorter since then. Could that attribute to his shallow breathing? Maybe its harder for him to get around?

I also did shallower water. He still pants, and sticks around the top. Not -all- the time, but mostly. After his water change just now, he was hangin' around near the bottom which is a good sign, but the breathing is still an issue. Still afraid to use salt. I don't know what's the best kind and the amount. I have equaline Epsom Salt "saline laxative, magnesium sulfate, USP, soaking acid" I also have "Aquarium salt" from Petco. HOw much to use for a 1.5-2 gal tank?

I'm just afraid to change his water conditions, you know? It seems on these forums, people say "do this to the water," "do that to the water," "now it seems like the water change has upset him" XDDD So... I don't know when to add/change things, and when to hold back. Adding salt killed my female betta, barely even a rock/grain to her tank but then she was always sick from when I first got her. The salt put her over the edge. Ever since then I have been weary of using tank salt.

Does anyone have any good photo references of what a good weight is on a Betta? Giles has a small potbelly without him looking bloated. I've seen him bloated before, where he looks like he swallowed a tiny pingpong ball and I've seen him thin, where his belly is perfectly straight. He's now at a slight poochy belly, so I assume that's healthy isn't it?

Please let me know! Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:47 AM   #10 
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Can you describe this panting? Is it heavy gill movement or does he open and close this mouth a lot? Does he look like he is literally gasping for air?

Aquarium salt is 1 tsp to a gallon.

I don't have a picture but a healthy betta should have a more or less straight line along the belly and a bit of a "hill" or hump in his back taht slopes into his head. He may bulge a little after eating but he should always be going back down to a straight line within hours. A thin betta will have his sides sunken in so he looks like a 3D head on a 2D body. You can usually really tell a too-thin betta by viewing it from the top.
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