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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok so I might as well change my name to hypochondriac fish mother. Anyways I notice my fish "coughing" a lot almost like hes choking then he swims up really fast to try to get air then he's fine. He seems to be breathing heavily these days. He is also "clearing" his gills a lot more than usual. Today I turned the light in the tank all the way up and he started flaring that's when I noticed something almost like an extra gill on his gill if that makes sense. One side of his gills looks a lot longer than the other basically I'm wondering if its Hyperplasia? I don't know what to do cause google is telling me if he has that it means its irreversible :(

How many gallons is your tank? 6 gallons
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What temperature is your tank? Around 75
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes
Does your Betta have tank mates? What kind? Zebra Nerite snail (just got it 2 days ago)

What food brand do you use? Hikari and Fluval bug bites
Do you feed flakes or pellets? Pellets
Freeze-dried? No
How often do you feed your Betta? How much? Two to three times a day morning and night and sometimes a snack

Before your Betta became ill how often did you perform a water change? Once a week
What percentage of water did you change? 50%
What is the source of your water? My pipe water that’s filtered
Do you vacuum the substrate or just dip out water? Vacuum
What additives do you use? What brand of conditioner? Only water conditioner by Fritz and almond leaves

Water Parameters:
What are your water parameters? Please give exact numbers. If tested by pet store please get exact numbers. "Fine" or "Safe" won't help us help you. Important: Test your water before the regular water change; not after one.
Ammonia: (Trying to get a tester that tests for ammonia)
Hardness (GH):25
Alkalinity (KH):180

Symptoms and Treatment:
When did you first notice the symptoms? A couple of days ago
How has your Betta’s appearance changed? His gill on the right side is definitely longer than the other.
How has your Betta’s behavior changed? He coughs a lot and has labored breathing.
Is your Betta still eating? Yes
Have you started treating your Betta? If so, how? No cause I don’t know how to treat it
Does your Betta have any history of being ill? No
How long have you owned your Betta? 5 months


Its hard to take pictures of him cause he's so frisky lol but if you need better pictures I can upload more!

7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is really interesting, and I'm surprised that nobody has commented. I want to know why this is happening to your fish also!
Yea I figured no one knows too much about it. So I tried to do as much research as I could. He definitely has gill hyperplasia. There are a few reasons that it could have happened such as he injured his gill on something in the tank or water parameters etc. I’m not exactly what happened in my case but what happens is when the gill is injured it grows extra cells as a way to try to heal itself. It can make breathing harder for the fish but they can still live with it. I’m not sure for how long but my betta fish Ralph is still thriving.

Super Moderator
23,872 Posts
I found this in WikiVet.. Don't know if it adds anything.

Don't know if it would help but you might add a bubbler or air stone to better oxygenate the water. Betta are facultative breathers and use their gills as the primary breathing apparatus when possible.

I was reading a study on Goldfish and increasing oxygen level is one of the suggestions. As Betta are obligate breathers and use their gills as the primary breathing apparatus when possible it might help to add an air stone or bubbler
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