Betta Shallow Breathing Bottom Of Tank

Katkatt

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He's been doing this for a few days now but usually he'll move to eat or go under his rock for nighttime- but I just did a 30% change in hopes of fixing whatever issue it may be. When I put him in the tank he heabutted the top of the water and quite literally sunk to the bottom, he still hasn't moved yet. The tank, five gallons, is fully cycled and has been established for months, none of my other bettas or fish are doing this.

Help?

(ps. sorry if this sounds inarticulate I'm very rushed currently)
 

Floundering_Around

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Do you have a water test kit? Also, how often do you change your water? If it's not a water quality issue, he may be sick or old :/
More details please
(also, breathe and take care of what you need to )
 
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Katkatt

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I do, and I'll test in a minute. I usually change the water weekly, about 20-30%. The tank is at a constant 79-80F temperature and is filtered. There is some java ferns and a few may be decomposing? I'm not sure if they are, it's a thick brush.
 

Floundering_Around

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Katkatt said:
I do, and I'll test in a minute. I usually change the water weekly, about 20-30%. The tank is at a constant 79-80F temperature and is filtered. There is some java ferns and a few may be decomposing? I'm not sure if they are, it's a thick brush.
huh, have you noticed any other signs of illness? tail rot, raised scales, not eating, etc?
 
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Katkatt

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The most I've noticed is lethargy and an awkward, jerky swimming pattern. He's a little bronze (halfmoon?) dumbo and I've never seen him do it before. His tail is a little shredded (just a bit) from the old filter, since he would always go around the tank and get his tail stuck in it.

But, tl;dr: No, only jerky swimming and lethargy.
 

AllieSten

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I would do a larger water change. If you have a cycled tank it can handle it. Get any dead leaves out and vacuum. If he isn't going up to breath, I would decrease the amount of water in the tank and see if it helps. That way he doesn't have to swim very far to get a breath.

Do you have any methylene blue? You can do a methylene blue bath to help with oxygenation. It couldn't hurt. Until we figure out what is wrong.
 
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Katkatt

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Update: I did a 60% change. I don't have any methylene blue but I did move the filter up to allow for more oxygenation. He went to the top to get air after I did the change so I don't believe I need to lower the water level. He moved for a bit but then stopped... His swimming is still jerky. Updates to continue.
 
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Katkatt

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Update: He's barely moving. Only moved to get to the top, rapidly and jerkily, laid down at the bottom and only moved when I dropped a pellet on the leaf. He spent a solid two minutes trying to find the pellet. Still barely breathing, occasionally breathing heavily. Something's really wrong but I don't know what, still.
Edit: There will be moments where I'm nearly convinced he's dead but he's not and it's terrifying.
 

bopsalot

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Poor little fellow. What were the results of your water test? I noticed you mentioned you changed his filter recently. Did you preserve your media? Just wondering if your cycle was disrupted maybe. I hope he feels better soon!
 
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