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Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Gasping for air

  1. #1

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    Default Gasping for air


    1 Not allowed!
    I have been doing some reading on things to watch for in Betta fish, and I keep reading about "gasping for air" being a warning sign. I don't think there is anything wrong with my fish, but I do want to keep a close eye on him to make sure it stays that way and for the life of me I cannot imagine what it would look like for a fish to be gasping for air. What does that look like?
    37 Gallon Freshwater Tank
    1 Male Betta
    11 Cardinal Tetras
    2 Kuhli Loaches

  2. #2

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    1 Not allowed!
    He will stay at the surface, with his mouth practically sticking out of the water...gasping for air
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  3. #3

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    0 Not allowed!
    Ok, I was getting worried because he does open and close his mouth a lot. It almost looks like a yawn.
    37 Gallon Freshwater Tank
    1 Male Betta
    11 Cardinal Tetras
    2 Kuhli Loaches

  4. #4

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    1 Not allowed!
    Nah, he should be OK....mine does that, too
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
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    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  5. #5

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    2 Not allowed!
    Since bettas are labyrinth fish, he will go to the top frequently to grab a bit of air. As long as he doesn't stay there for an extended period of time, he's fine.
    30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
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  6. #6

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    1 Not allowed!
    Here are a couple of videos of different ways fish can/will gasp for air, because it isn't always at the surface of the water.



    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  7. #7

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by osyris View Post
    I have been doing some reading on things to watch for in Betta fish, and I keep reading about "gasping for air" being a warning sign. I don't think there is anything wrong with my fish, but I do want to keep a close eye on him to make sure it stays that way and for the life of me I cannot imagine what it would look like for a fish to be gasping for air. What does that look like?
    My Betta did this some when the ammonia got a bit high in the new 10G. He was very lethargic and laid at the bottom, then he would shimmy to the top, gasp at the top, and then drift back to the bottom.

    I believe (correct me if this is an incorrect assumption), that the "gasping for air" sign is due to ammonia "burning" the gills and making it difficult to diffuse oxygen. This makes them do the funny breathing and have the lethargy. I hardly ever read about anything else causing this symptom, other than having a tank with little to no oxygen diffused (with on-time water changes and a small filter I've never heard of any issues with O2 amounts).

    So, I'd watch for a not-so-spritely betta, along with the quick darting movements to the top and a lackadaisical swim back to bottom. May be high ammonia!

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by aquaalex View Post

    So, I'd watch for a not-so-spritely betta, along with the quick darting movements to the top and a lackadaisical swim back to bottom. May be high ammonia!
    I believe the first thing I'd do is check the water, not simply watch and wait to see if it has problems. An ammonia test is quick and a hefty W/C could be a lifesaver for the fish.
    30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
    15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, assassin snails
    90 Gal Journal: http://bit.ly/1vC7gVX
    fishless cycling: http://bit.ly/1DARf3T
    fish in cycling: http://bit.ly/1ILvcfp

  9. #9

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by aquaalex View Post
    My Betta did this some when the ammonia got a bit high in the new 10G. He was very lethargic and laid at the bottom, then he would shimmy to the top, gasp at the top, and then drift back to the bottom.

    I believe (correct me if this is an incorrect assumption), that the "gasping for air" sign is due to ammonia "burning" the gills and making it difficult to diffuse oxygen. This makes them do the funny breathing and have the lethargy. I hardly ever read about anything else causing this symptom, other than having a tank with little to no oxygen diffused (with on-time water changes and a small filter I've never heard of any issues with O2 amounts).

    So, I'd watch for a not-so-spritely betta, along with the quick darting movements to the top and a lackadaisical swim back to bottom. May be high ammonia!
    Likely that isn't the case here, but yes ammonia can become toxic to fish.

    If the op feel ammonia is a concern id simply perform a water change to restore healthy conditions for your betta friend.

    betta actually get air from above the surface and it is not unusual to see.

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