Can Betta Fish Breath Underwater Aswell As Out Of Water

  1. M

    Murderface the fish :P Valued Member Member

    Obviously Betta fish surface to get oxygen to breath, but if you had an air pump in your tank, could it just breath underwater?
     
  2. BReefer97

    BReefer97 Well Known Member Member

    They don't like lots of water flow, so if you mean an air stone/bubbler, I would advise against it. It will oxygenate the water but your betta still has to surface to breath. Plus I had an issue with the bubble irritating my betta's gills.
     
  3. Jason Watkins

    Jason Watkins Valued Member Member

    There's a lot of debate on that apparently but they do breathe underwater so an air pump wouldn't be a bad idea at all in my opinion. From what I understand, they "can" gulp air at least temporarily but are not obligate air breathers and do not have to surface, at least for oxygen.
     


  4. goplecos

    goplecos Well Known Member Member

    Bettas also have gills, so yes they can breath underwater. Some fish society (don't remember which one) dissected several Gouramis (another labyrinth breather) and found that Gouramis that have lived in tanks with a lot of aeration all their lives have a shrunken labyrinth system (that's what they use to breath air), and Gouramis that have lived in tank with little to no aeration have a very large labyrinth system, so I would assume that it is the same with Bettas. It all depends on the Bettas since IME air doesn't irritate their gills, but a strong current can cause issues for a long finned Betta. I currently have a Placket that loves the extra air but a longer finned Bettas probably couldn't handle the current.
     
  5. BReefer97

    BReefer97 Well Known Member Member

    My betta liked playing in the bubbles, but it lifted his right gill up - hence irritating it. Bubblers are just too much movement for a betta fish. The bubbles catch under their fins and move them about all over the place.
     
  6. Cranks_Tanks

    Cranks_Tanks Valued Member Member

    bettas are pretty bad swimmers, but i think people dont give them enough credit. you dont want to blow them around the tank with bubbles, but a small amount of water movement will keep them active. they still prefer to hang out toward the top and will breath however they feel like
     
  7. SunnyAde

    SunnyAde Valued Member Member

    So what's the consensus, air bubble or not?

    Currently I do, but it's set relatively low because I know they ain't great swimmers.
     
  8. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutch Fishlore Legend Member

    Huh didn't Mother Nature give this fish a system so they can live in water that are low of oxygen? To me in normal conditions they use their gill breating but in low oxygenated waters they also use their labyrinthbreating.

    Corys have got another system (by their intestials) for conditions alike.

    An airstone will hardly oxygenate the water itself but causes an increased waterflow which does takw care for an increase.

    To my knowledge Bettas don't live in waters with much current / high oxygenated and don't need an airstone therefor.

    But I am a Betta nitwit