Betta Sorority - Irritated Gills, One Fish Is Panting


I have several female bettas in this 29 gallon tank, as well as some community fish.

Last month, I dealt with ich in this tank.

Then one of my bettas had tapeworm, and I quarantined her and dealt with that.

Everyone was better for a while. So I reintroduced the one who recovered from tapeworm. I thought she was going to be fine, as she had been lively and active and eating again in the quarantine tank for a couple of weeks. But when I put her back into the 29 gallon, she spent the next 2 days hiding. When she did come out, it was to lay on the substrate and pant heavily. I ended up putting her in a breeder box. She's still in it now. This was three days ago. She also has not eaten since being reintroduced to the 29 gallon.

I took 2 videos of her breathing, one from each side. Both of them close ups of her gills. It looks like something is inside her gills. I've read that although gill flukes are too small to be seen with the naked eye, when there's a large enough quantity of gill fluke parasites, their presence will be visible. I'm wondering if that might be what I'm seeing here.
Yes, I know she has serious damage to her scales. Her scales were like that when I got her. Actually, they have healed some since I got her. They are better than they were.

In addition to the one betta who is breathing heavy and not eating. My other bettas are showing some sort of irritation on their gills. Pics attached. On some of the bettas the gills have redness on them, and on others the same spots look silver metallic, but its the same exact markings on all of them. When I got these bettas, only one of them had these markings, and I thought it was just her natural markings, but it has now spread to all of my bettas. I'm wondering if I have a gill fluke infestation in my tank. Or is it possible these markings are irritation from something else?

0 Ammonia and 0 Nitrite in my tank right now. I'm out of Nitrate test fluid, but I just did a 50% water change 2 days ago.

I removed the carbon from my filter and added API general cure to the tank, in case it is gill flukes. Does anyone have any insight or recommendations for me?


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It very well could be gill flukes as that’s exactly how mine looked when he had them. My first guess would be ammonia poisoning but since it’s reading 0, that’s not the case.

Can you get your hands on some PraziPro? I would treat the entire tank with this for at least 2 weeks. PrazI is gentle and won’t hurt your cycle, your plants, or the other fish in the tank (unsure about shrimp/snails though). I think it’s best to treat the tank as a whole at this point instead of quarantining them individually. Even if some of the fish in the tank don’t have flukes, PraziPro isn’t going to hurt them. Just also make sure when you’re cleaning the tank that your hands/arms don’t have any open cuts on them because gill flukes have been known to enter the human blood stream on rare occasions (I found this out watching animal planet and made the joke that they should treat the guy with some Praziquantel... turns out that’s exactly what they treated him with! Huh!)


I agree the entire tank needs treated. I didn't quarantine any fish, but the one who is breathing heavy and laying at the bottom of the tank has been put in a breeder box. I want to be able to watch her, and she hides if I set her free in the tank. I don't want to have to hunt for her every day (and sometimes not find her) to make sure she's still alive.

Like I said, I started treating with API General Cure already, but I would be open to a different product if need be. PraziPro huh? I can probably get some of that.

Should I go ahead and complete the General Cure treatment I've already started, do you think? See if that helps before switching meds?


I would continue using the API general cure as it does have praziquantel in it, but if it doesn’t seem to work I would try a bottle of PraziPro.

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