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A few months ago, I woke up and came downstairs to find my little betta gasping for breath in his tank. Concerned, I watched him for a bit because his behavior was very strange: He would dart around the tank, bumping into the sides of the tank, while also gasping for breath at the top. He had been acting just fine the previous day, so I was taken aback. Immediately, I grabbed a plastic cup and eased him into it with enough water so he could rest at the bottom of the cup and his mouth was just a few cm away from the top of the water (so if he felt he needed some air, he could just lift his head up a bit and get some). I then did an immediate water change and cleaned everything in his tank (and removed an ornament I had that looked like a cave because I noticed the glue on the ornament they used was "melting" off in the water). After doing a 100% water change and letting it sit for awhile, I placed the cup into the water to help him get acclimated to it. After much time went by, I released him back into the tank, taking care to keep as much of the old water out of the new water as possible (Oh, yes, and his name is Nivy [Knee-vee]).

I watched him for nearly and hour after that, and he seemed perfectly fine. No more darting about, gasping for air, etc. He seemed quite tired, though, and just relaxed for a bit on a leaf near the surface of the water. He was the same the next day, too. But on the third day, he perked right back up and was back to his tail-wagging silly self.

I'm just wondering what in the world caused my little guy to get so sick. I'm suspecting it was the glue that was rubbing off of the ornament; perhaps that wasn't healthy for him? I do regular water changes and keep the temperature at a healthy level for him, too. I'm glad he's all right now, and there hasn't been another incident since then, which is a relief for me (I work every day from 8 to 5, so I was worried something might happen while I was away ;____; ).

Just curious what you think might have caused him to become ill so quickly! Thanks a bunch for reading/responding!
 

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Hmm definitely sounds like a toxin in the water was affecting him and it was probably the ornament as you suggested being that it hasn't happened again. Although some ornaments claim to be safe for the fish this isn't always the case. Often as the paint begins to flake off or deteriorate problems can occur. Common symptoms of poisoning include clamped fins, gasping at the water surface and laying motionless on the bottom and occasionally darting to the surface for air. An emergency water change is critical so you did the right thing.

Whenever placing something new in the water always rinse it really well and keep am eye on the fish. I one bought some aquarium heaters and it turned out that the rubber suction cups were leaking something toxic into the water and all that saved my fish was doing 80% water changes 12 hourly which is a massive job when you are dealing with several 4ft barrack tanks.

As in your case the ornament/object does not need to be new to cause problems but such trouble commonly occur when it begins to deteriorate in some way. I in general an very careful about what I put into my tanks and do not have any resin like decorations instead choosing to stick to silk plants etc which really is just a personal choice but it partially based on eliminating such risks.

I am really glad that your boy is okay now.
 
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