Betta Having Trouble Breathing

Nightshadethebetta

Valued Member
Messages
191
Reaction score
53
Points
38
Experience
Just started
For the past 3 days, my little fish has been gasping for air at the surface. He will hang in one spot for hours and I see he is breathing rapidly. He has a heater and I just put in a filter yesterday. I know they get oxygen from the surface, but it seems he is having trouble breathing Yes, I know he has popeye and I’m the process of trying to treat it. I’ve included some photos of the way he floats. Why could he possibly be breathing this way? His issues kind of all came at once out of nowhere. I’m really worried that I’ll lose him and I’ve been trying to get as much advice as possible on here (hence why I post often, so if I get annoying..I’m sorry, I’m a newbie).
 

Attachments

Fanatic

Fishlore VIP
Messages
9,159
Reaction score
6,119
Points
758
Experience
3 years
What is the temperature currently reading?

I am unsure of the cause of the breathing, but what are your water parameters?
There could be a lack of oxygen in the water if it's too warm, but it could also be caused by the illness.
Personally, if he's having trouble swimming then I would lower the water level for easier access to the surface.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3

Nightshadethebetta

Valued Member
Messages
191
Reaction score
53
Points
38
Experience
Just started
Fanatic said:
What is the temperature currently reading?

I am unsure of the cause of the breathing, but what are your water parameters?
There could be a lack of oxygen in the water if it's too warm, but it could also be caused by the illness.
Personally, if he's having trouble swimming then I would lower the water level for easier access to the surface.
I tested my water today and got the following results:

Ammonia: .5
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0

The temperature is currently at 80. Due to crazy weather, I had to unplug his heater today because it got too warm. I just started using prime to help with the ammonia as my tank properly cycles. He also won’t even eat, even if it’s right in front of him. He has no trouble swimming. But he’s always floating at the surface, occasionally will come out of hiding but not often. It’s the breathing that really worries me.
 

Fanatic

Fishlore VIP
Messages
9,159
Reaction score
6,119
Points
758
Experience
3 years
Nightshadethebetta said:
I tested my water today and got the following results:

Ammonia: .5
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0

The temperature is currently at 80. Due to crazy weather, I had to unplug his heater today because it got too warm. I just started using prime to help with the ammonia as my tank properly cycles. He also won’t even eat, even if it’s right in front of him. He has no trouble swimming. But he’s always floating at the surface, occasionally will come out of hiding but not often. It’s the breathing that really worries me.
I would try to get the ammonia at zero, are you cycled?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #5

Nightshadethebetta

Valued Member
Messages
191
Reaction score
53
Points
38
Experience
Just started
Fanatic said:
I would try to get the ammonia at zero, are you cycled?
Being the newbie I am, I didn’t know enough about the cycle until now. I’ve had the tank and my betta for 2 months now, and I just installed a filter to help get a cycle going. So I’m the process of it now.
 

BettaNation

Valued Member
Messages
144
Reaction score
48
Points
28
Nightshadethebetta said:
For the past 3 days, my little fish has been gasping for air at the surface. He will hang in one spot for hours and I see he is breathing rapidly. He has a heater and I just put in a filter yesterday. I know they get oxygen from the surface, but it seems he is having trouble breathing Yes, I know he has popeye and I’m the process of trying to treat it. I’ve included some photos of the way he floats. Why could he possibly be breathing this way? His issues kind of all came at once out of nowhere. I’m really worried that I’ll lose him and I’ve been trying to get as much advice as possible on here (hence why I post often, so if I get annoying..I’m sorry, I’m a newbie).
Correct me if I am wrong but, dropsy has either two ways the betta can act, they'll either float at the top, not being able to go down from the top, or they'll sink and not be able to get up to the surface for air easily. If your betta struggles to swim downward, I fear that's what your betta has. Dropsy is not curable, only treatable and it always comes back even if you fix it one time, it will seemingly just keep coming back. If that's not what happening, then I'd just check water parameters and make sure the water is heated and not dirty.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7

Nightshadethebetta

Valued Member
Messages
191
Reaction score
53
Points
38
Experience
Just started
BettaNation said:
Correct me if I am wrong but, dropsy has either two ways the betta can act, they'll either float at the top, not being able to go down from the top, or they'll sink and not be able to get up to the surface for air easily. If your betta struggles to swim downward, I fear that's what your betta has. Dropsy is not curable, only treatable and it always comes back even if you fix it one time, it will seemingly just keep coming back. If that's not what happening, then I'd just check water parameters and make sure the water is heated and not dirty.
He goes to the bottom to hide in his cave sometimes, but he seems to prefer the top for easy air access, I guess. His scales aren’t pineconing, but he is losing color, I’m assuming from stress? He also hasn’t eaten in a couple days now, so no bloating.
 

BettaNation

Valued Member
Messages
144
Reaction score
48
Points
28
Nightshadethebetta said:
He goes to the bottom to hide in his cave sometimes, but he seems to prefer the top for easy air access, I guess. His scales aren’t pineconing, but he is losing color, I’m assuming from stress?
It's possible and most likely he is but I'd just make sure his tank is ok and fast him with a pea for a day or two. Unless it's an internal parasite so I'd be on the lookout for that too. But id seriously check the water.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9

Nightshadethebetta

Valued Member
Messages
191
Reaction score
53
Points
38
Experience
Just started
BettaNation said:
It's possible and most likely he is but I'd just make sure his tank is ok and fast him with a pea for a day or two. Unless it's an internal parasite so I'd be on the lookout for that too. But id seriously check the water.
So I just checked on him again (photo attached) Is it me, or does it look like his scales are starting to look pine coned? I also listed my parameters (above). Is this Dropsy, then? I’ll eventually make a new post to see if that’s what’s wrong. Never thought Dropsy would be a problem.
 

Attachments

Aquafina

New Member
Messages
41
Reaction score
12
Points
8
Experience
4 years
Nightshadethebetta said:
So I just checked on him again (photo attached) Is it me, or does it look like his scales are starting to look pine coned? I also listed my parameters (above). Is this Dropsy, then? I’ll eventually make a new post to see if that’s what’s wrong. Never thought Dropsy would be a problem.
I think it might be your stress seeing pinecones, but it's hard to compare with the slightly unclear first photo. I remember when my betta had fin issues when I first got him and from paranoia and articles I was convinced that he had fin rot, dropsy, popeye and everything else all at once lol. I hope to see your fishy recover from this strange problem soon.

Also if you don't have a suction cup leaf hammock yet, I recommend getting one for him to sit and relax on since he's at the surface so much. It might take some stress away from him.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #11

Nightshadethebetta

Valued Member
Messages
191
Reaction score
53
Points
38
Experience
Just started
Aquafina said:
I think it might be your stress seeing pinecones, but it's hard to compare with the slightly unclear first photo. I remember when my betta had fin issues when I first got him and from paranoia and articles I was convinced that he had fin rot, dropsy, popeye and everything else all at once lol. I hope to see your fishy recover from this strange problem soon.

Also if you don't have a suction cup leaf hammock yet, I recommend getting one for him to sit and relax on since he's at the surface so much. It might take some stress away from him.
I hope he can recover. Here’s another photo of him. If you zoom in a little, you can see it. And he’s turning from a bright beautiful blue, to pale-ish on the sides. It’s so hard to get a good picture, because he hides literally the entire day and will dart away at anything.
 

Attachments

  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12

Nightshadethebetta

Valued Member
Messages
191
Reaction score
53
Points
38
Experience
Just started
22B8C472-2973-4518-9680-0E986DB81ED6.jpeg
22B8C472-2973-4518-9680-0E986DB81ED6.jpeg
Nightshadethebetta said:
I hope he can recover. Here’s another photo of him. If you zoom in a little, you can see it. And he’s turning from a bright beautiful blue, to pale-ish on the sides. It’s so hard to get a good picture, because he hides literally the entire day and will dart away at anything.
Here’s this pic again, too. Tried to make it clearer.
 

Aquafina

New Member
Messages
41
Reaction score
12
Points
8
Experience
4 years
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom