Betta gasping for air at bottom of tank HELP

Cometbetta

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Hello there

I have had a lovely koi betta female named Bean for almost a year. In the past month, she has developed what I am now guessing is gill Hyperplasia or cancer. I first noticed that one of her gill plates was bulging and seemingly being pushed open by some sort of growth. I moved her out of her planted 10 gallons into a hospice tank. I wasn't sure what this was so I treated her with aquarium salt and then a fungal cure for about a week. I saw no improvements so I moved her back. I admittedly do not have a lot of knowledge about treating fish with medicine and have been wary of giving her a lot of medicine as without the know-how I fear I would do more harm than good. Currently, I don't see as much of a mass, but she is acting a lot worse. She uses to swim around but now she lies on the bottom of the tank or near the surface working her gills open and closed like she isn't getting enough air. She also has her fins pretty clamped. The only positive thing I am seeing is that she still has good color and is eating. I keep good water quality, filtration, and temperature. I am thinking it is gill Hyperplasia and it has caused irreversible damage, but if someone has any other suggestions I would be most thankful. Otherwise, I would love setup suggestions for a fish in her state to make her more comfortable. If her diet is useful information I feed her bug bites and very rarely blood worms I see her nip at the surface of my plants as well. I feel so bad for her right now as she is clearly not feeling well and gasping for oxygen :( . Apart of me feels that I should humanly euthanize her, but If there is anything you think I should be doing for her please let me know! Right now I want to keep trying.
 

thatfishlover122

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If you're worried about her oxygen levels you could try out an airpump? And get some air stones?
is mine (i hope this worked, if not just go on amazon and search up air pump, mine is white and comes with air stones). You could also get a floating tunnel or betta hammocks for her to sit on while getting air to make her comfy? I'm really sorry i can't help much, it must be very hard for you. I've seen people do 'operations' on their fish that get gill growths but personally i wouldn't like to do that
 
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Cometbetta

Cometbetta

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Thank you for those ideas bubblebettas I appreciate it! I am defiantly heading to the pet store today and will look at what they have for those items. I think that would help as she will sometimes dart to the surface to grab air before heading back to the bottom. I agree with you on the possibility of a gill operation as I have never done that before. I wish there were more fish veterinarians.
 

thatfishlover122

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Cometbetta said:
Thank you for those ideas bubblebettas I appreciate it! I am defiantly heading to the pet store today and will look at what they have for those items. I think that would help as she will sometimes dart to the surface to grab air before heading back to the bottom. I agree with you on the possibility of a gill operation as I have never done that before. I wish there were more fish veterinarians.
yes! fish vets would be so so helpful. I hope she does ok and maybe even recovers :)
 
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Cometbetta

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bubblebettas I'll keep her condition updated on here. I hope she does too!
 
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Cometbetta

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Yes, I do. I took her out of her tank so this is not where she lives. Sorry, It is not the best picture :/ . Additionally, the gill is held so far open because at this moment she was opening and closing them and that happened to me when I took the photo. I will try and get a better photo of her once I get back from the store. She also lies on her side while opening her gills, I believe she is in pretty critical condition :(
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Cometbetta

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Ok update: she is now set up with a air pump, leaf hammock as well as a floating in tank isolation area. She has the correct dosage of aquarium salt ,according to the bottle, in her water too. If anyone has any other suggestions please send them my way. :(
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AvalancheDave

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How is the other side?

One month is a bit fast for a tumor.

In the , I think this is described as a flared opercula.

If I couldn't take it to a vet I would assume it's bacterial and use human antibiotics.
 
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Cometbetta

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AvalancheDave The first picture is the side that did not have the growth on it and the last two are showing the gill that did. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the gill that was not effected by the growth seems to be normal. Although whatever the mass was does not seem to be there anymore. I wish I took better documentation of when it first appeared and it’s progression. But she started to get noticicbly worse this last few weeks. I will have to do some research on flared opercula as I have never heard of it. As far as using antibiotics do you know how or were I would go to learn about that? Thank you for your info!!
 

AvalancheDave

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Cometbetta said:
AvalancheDave The first picture is the side that did not have the growth on it and the last two are showing the gill that did. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the gill that was not effected by the growth seems to be normal. Although whatever the mass was does not seem to be there anymore. I wish I took better documentation of when it first appeared and it’s progression. But she started to get noticicbly worse this last few weeks. I will have to do some research on flared opercula as I have never heard of it. As far as using antibiotics do you know how or were I would go to learn about that? Thank you for your info!!
I don't think a mass is required to get a flared operculum. I don't know the mechanism behind it but a quick Google Scholar search for "fish flared operculum" turns up a lot of paper mentioning infections.

My strategy for fish disease is to figure out if it's water quality or infection/other. If it isn't water quality then the next most common problem is a bacterial infection. Almost all are due to Gram negative aerobes which makes things easier.

Unfortunately, the aquarium antibiotics are the wrong ones or underdosed. It's somewhat uncommon for people to report success.

So, once I get the point where I suspect it's a bacterial infection, it's ciprofloxacin or trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole or a trip to the vet. They're the best antibiotics you can obtain without a prescription in the US. I have had vets prescribe trimethoprim and enrofloxacin (basically ciprofloxacin after it's metabolized) in the past.

At this point, I would look for a vet. You might not even be able to get "fish" ciprofloxacin right now due to COVID-related hoarding.
 
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Cometbetta

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Hmm ok. Thank you this is really interesting info. I think you may be right and a vet would be a good idea. I’ll have to see if I can find a vet near me who sees fish.
 

AvalancheDave

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Cometbetta said:
Hmm ok. Thank you this is really interesting info. I think you may be right and a vet would be a good idea. I’ll have to see if I can find a vet near me who sees fish.

Try their search engine:



It's not complete so I also use Google.
 

LadfromLondon

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If you can’t find a vet, keep the air stone bubbling to allow for agitation and then oxygen, and chuck in an Indian Almond Leaf to the tank so she can rest on it and utilise the tannins to try and recover. While this is hard, try to avoid going too close to the tank in order to not spook or stress her. You’re doing the best that you can and I think if this was me, I’d use the tannins to try and get her to naturally recover, leave the air stone so there is enough oxygen in the tank and then leave her to it-I hope she recovers!
 

Beccaradke

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I called my vet and gave them info on what was happening with my fish, he had fin rot and they had a specialist call me back. A call would do some good, you can call a vet or a fish specialist and ask them what you can do :) hope your fishy is okay!
 
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Cometbetta

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Hi all, sorry I have not been updating, but I did read all the suggestions posted here. I have been busy setting Bean up better in her tank as well as school finals. Sadly even with my intervention she died before I could get in contact with a vet :(. I won’t post the pictures but I was able to get a good look at her gills before I burried her and the side with the mass had lost the majority of (lack of a better word) gill tissue. I miss her dearly she was such a good fish. I didn’t expect to loose her so early in her life.

I did end up putting a bunch of my fake plants in front of the glass to try and block her from seeing me walk around my room. But I was out of almond leaves and they didn’t have them at my pet store. ordering some now to have them in stock as well as antibiotics. Learning from all this I am saving all your suggestions and dedicating my self to do more research so I am more prepared and can act faster in the future. It pains me to think about how hard she was struggling, I wish I could have done more, but I know you can’t go into “what if’s” :( THANK you all for you advice it was really very helpful! This is such a good fish community! Here is a picture of Bean during a better part of her life. You can’t tell, but her other eye is a light blue (back when this picture was taken I had almond leaves in the water so that’s why it’s stained)
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LadfromLondon

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Cometbetta said:
Hi all, sorry I have not been updating, but I did read all the suggestions posted here. I have been busy setting Bean up better in her tank as well as school finals. Sadly even with my intervention she died before I could get in contact with a vet :(. I won’t post the pictures but I was able to get a good look at her gills before I burried her and the side with the mass had lost the majority of (lack of a better word) gill tissue. I miss her dearly she was such a good fish. I didn’t expect to loose her so early in her life.

I did end up putting a bunch of my fake plants in front of the glass to try and block her from seeing me walk around my room. But I was out of almond leaves and they didn’t have them at my pet store. ordering some now to have them in stock as well as antibiotics. Learning from all this I am saving all your suggestions and dedicating my self to do more research so I am more prepared and can act faster in the future. It pains me to think about how hard she was struggling, I wish I could have done more, but I know you can’t go into “what if’s” :( THANK you all for you advice it was really very helpful! This is such a good fish community! Here is a picture of Bean during a better part of her life. You can’t tell, but her other eye is a light blue (back when this picture was taken I had almond leaves in the water so that’s why it’s stained)
1589068944006.jpeg
I‘m sorry you lost your little buddy :( If you need any help/advice on your Betta tank don’t hesitate to message me directly! Wishing you well.
 

thatfishlover122

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Cometbetta said:
Hi all, sorry I have not been updating, but I did read all the suggestions posted here. I have been busy setting Bean up better in her tank as well as school finals. Sadly even with my intervention she died before I could get in contact with a vet :(. I won’t post the pictures but I was able to get a good look at her gills before I burried her and the side with the mass had lost the majority of (lack of a better word) gill tissue. I miss her dearly she was such a good fish. I didn’t expect to loose her so early in her life.

I did end up putting a bunch of my fake plants in front of the glass to try and block her from seeing me walk around my room. But I was out of almond leaves and they didn’t have them at my pet store. ordering some now to have them in stock as well as antibiotics. Learning from all this I am saving all your suggestions and dedicating my self to do more research so I am more prepared and can act faster in the future. It pains me to think about how hard she was struggling, I wish I could have done more, but I know you can’t go into “what if’s” :( THANK you all for you advice it was really very helpful! This is such a good fish community! Here is a picture of Bean during a better part of her life. You can’t tell, but her other eye is a light blue (back when this picture was taken I had almond leaves in the water so that’s why it’s stained)
1589068944006.jpeg
awh i'm so so sorry :( she was a gorgeous girl and you tried your best!
 
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Cometbetta

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TW2AQUATICS said:
I‘m sorry you lost your little buddy :( If you need any help/advice on your Betta tank don’t hesitate to message me directly! Wishing you well.
Thank you she is missed :( And that’s very nice of you to offer. I’ll keep that in mind!

guppyandbettaowner said:
awh i'm so so sorry :( she was a gorgeous girl and you tried your best!
Thank you! :(
 

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