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osyris
12-10-2014, 08:37 PM
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?

Slaphppy7
12-10-2014, 08:41 PM
He will stay at the surface, with his mouth practically sticking out of the water...gasping for air

osyris
12-10-2014, 08:42 PM
Ok, I was getting worried because he does open and close his mouth a lot. It almost looks like a yawn.

Slaphppy7
12-10-2014, 08:49 PM
Nah, he should be OK....mine does that, too

fishmommie
12-10-2014, 11:09 PM
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.

mommy1
12-11-2014, 01:41 AM
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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=airbKJLXC5I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFQoxYH9ePg

aquaalex
12-25-2014, 04:32 AM
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!

fishmommie
12-26-2014, 04:38 AM
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.

James`
12-26-2014, 05:03 AM
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.