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Heavy Breathing Betta

Discussion in 'Betta Splendens' started by TotalyTropical, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. TotalyTropical

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    I feel like I post here way too often nowadays....
    Anyways, hello all, I’m back with an interesting problem.
    I work at a high end pet store chain now (which is pretty cool imo), and one of the things we carry are bettas! It’s always tempting to take home a third, fourth, or 15th betta, but I tend to hold myself back and admire the two cuties that I have. Unfortunately, since we keep them in tiny containers as usual, I’ve seen at least one death and one illness in the 2 months I’ve been there, which was bound to happen.
    Since my boss is pretty chill, I asked him if I could take their old tank in the back (that they used to use to keep bettas of their own in the store) and nurse the sick fish that was left back to health. Of course, my boss said yes, and not to worry if the fish died during the process, and to even take him home to keep if I grew attached (to which I politely declined lol).
    Anyways, long story short, I have a mess of a setup with what looks to be a gold halfmoon betta with a swimbladder disorder. My plan was to fast him for 3 days and feed him peas after to see if that would help since he gets fed like 10 pellets daily in the store :S
    What I’m worried about now is if I’m accidentally doing a fish-in cycle with him, and if the water’s too warm. The tank is a 1.8 gallon bowl thing that was supposed to have a filter, but they lost the cord for it. I had to buy a seperate filter and heater, and I also bought some Nutrafin Cycle to try and cycle the tank quickly.
    I know this sounds terrible, but he survived the night and has perked up in terms of actually trying to swim around, and the only thing I’m worried about is the fact that he’s breathing a bit heavily. This could be because of the tank possibly cycling or because of the heater but I don’t know which one or if I should be concerned.
    I would have bought a new, better tank and cycled it but I’m not technically allowed to have a third tank in the house and I was in a bit of a rush to get this guy home. The only reason I could bring this tank home was because I was borrowing it and it was only temporary, meaning my parents wouldn’t have to look after it after I move off to university. I also have no money left after Christmas shopping...
    So, basically, am I setting myself up for a dead fish instead of fixing up a sick one?
    If things are really that bad, I can divide my 10 gallon and place him in there; it’s cycled, properly heated, and probably much better, but I don’t have a divider anymore and I don’t really have the funds to get one.
    I guess I’m just confused and looking for opinions here haha. Sorry for the long post.

     
  2. The Lumpfish Guy

    The Lumpfish Guy Fish Fanatic

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    Kudos to you for trying to help a fish :-

    If you are concerned about doing a fish in cycle, have you considered putting in some cycled media from your other tanks? or take some of the media from the sump they were in at the shop? I tend to keep extra media in a mesh bag in all of my tanks (somewhere out of sight) just in case I need to set up a tank in an emergency ect. might be worth considering in future if you have the space?

    Test your water, and water changes will help. First thing I do if I see anything wrong is a water change. Gasping to me means the fish is trying to move water over it's gills suggesting an issue, but " a bit heavily" could just be reacting to changes between the store and your tank.

    Monitor and water changes (maybe add in some cycled media if possible)
     
  3. TotalyTropical

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    Thanks so much for the quick response!
    I can try and put some established media in, but the filter is rather small. I think I can try and fit some sponge I have in one of my other filters into it if I cut it or something. I’ll also do 50% water changes every other day until he’s looking better. I suppose a water test is needed too to make sure he’s not getting ammonia poisoning or anything!
     
  4. The Lumpfish Guy

    The Lumpfish Guy Fish Fanatic

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    Yeah, if you are not already regular water testing is essential, and can help problem solve if you know what your levels are.:book:
     
  5. TotalyTropical

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    I just tested ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate with a (hopefully) reliable test. It’s one of those API liquid master test kits with the pH tests as well, but its a few years old.
    Everything came back at 0, although the ammonia looked a bit off to me, so it may be between 0 and 0.25ppm? If that’s the case, that could be my problem. I want to keep the little betta as stress free as possible though, so I was thinking of giving him today off and starting the water changes tomorrow.
    I did get some established media in his tank though! I hope it helps the tank cycle faster without hurting him, because not only do I not want to lose a fish in general, but I want to prove to my coworkers that I know a lot more about fish than they think I do ;)
    Right now they treat me like a 10 year old who just got their first goldfish! I’m sure I can solve this and many more cases in the future
     
  6. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Just change the water every day and use water from a bigger tank to do it with. eg: drain the 1.8gallon tank and tip that water onto the lawn, then fill it back up with water from one of your other tanks and then top them up with dechlorinated water.

    If the fish are eating 10 dry pellets per day it might just have air in its digestive tract. Feed it frozen (but defrosted) or live food for a week and see if it helps.
     
  7. TotalyTropical

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    I’ll try the water trick, thanks!

    I’m not sure if he was eating at the store, but he was definitely being overfed if he managed to eat any of the pellets given to him. I just defrosted some brine shrimp for him to try and he showed no interest, so I’ll continue fasting him until Sunday and try some blanched peas then. If I had some bloodworms, I would try those, but I don’t know if he’d show interest in those either. Maybe more so than the brine shrimp as my two healthy bettas even seem to have trouble recognizing them as food
     
  8. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    What about live brineshrimp?
    Most pet shops sell them and I have yet to find a fish that won't eat them.

    Alternatively look for some mosquitoe larvae. If the fish refuses them there is something seriously wrong.
     
  9. TotalyTropical

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    No live brine shrimp around here, unfortunately. I can try raising some, but I’m not very good at it.
    As for mosquito larvae, the snow has fallen and temperatures have dropped, so I’m all out of luck for trying those out :(
    I’ll get the bloodworms and see what he thinks, and look around for live brine shrimp, or hatch them myself like I said. He’s spending a lot of time near the surface on one of those leaf hammocks since he can’t really swim up there himself for air, so at least it’s easier to try and feed him
     
  10. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    You can drop the water level down so he is in 2-4 inches of water.
     
  11. TotalyTropical

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    I got some bloodworms, he rejected the bloodworms, so we’ll try again tomorrow before I do a water change. I’d drop the water level but I’d like to keep the filter and heater running, which would be hard to do in less than a gallon of water. It’s hard enough as in less than 2 gallons. I really wish i thought this through.
     
  12. NickAu

    NickAu Member
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    Im sorry but just NO never transfer water from one tank to another especially if it has fish in it, that is the surest way of spreading god knows what from 1 tank to another.
     
  13. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    If they have a healthy tank, there is no problem using water from it to do water changes on smaller tanks.

    That's what we did in the shops when it came to water changing Bettas, we get a clean container of water from a tank with fish in, put the Betta into that and then tip the water from his old tank into a bucket to be thrown out. We wipe the inside of his container out, give it a rinse and fill it with tank water. Then move the next male into that and repeat the process.

    I used tank water to do water changes on containers with newly hatched fry in so they were kept in the same water as they were hatched in.

    Fair enough, don't drop the water level if the filter and heater need it deeper.
     
  14. NickAu

    NickAu Member
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    No, No, No. I have healthy tanks and never share hoses or tools between them, each tank has its own tool kit.

    I once infected my tanks with ICH because I used the same tools on all the tanks. Never again.
     
  15. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    You shouldn't have ich in your tank then :p
     

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