Betta Breathing Fast at Bottom of Tank

carlyb9

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I got my betta, Sour Patch, around July of this year. He is my first fish. This past Sunday, I noticed him lying on the bottom of the tank breathing really fast. He was fine Saturday morning. He won't eat anything either, and he looks a little bit bloated but it's hard to tell because he barely swims (he will occasionally come up to the surface for air). I've checked the tank for ammonia but there isn't any. I've been doing 25-50% water changes every day, and I started him on a parasite medication yesterday because he's had Gill Flukes in the past. (He has not seemed to make any improvements). Does anyone know what I can do to help him?

GH: Around 25 ppm
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
KH: Around 40 ppm
pH: Between 6.8 and 7.2
Temp: 77F
He is kept in a 5-gallon tank. He has a sponge filter, an air stone, and his water is always conditioned. He has about 4 tsps of API aquarium salt in his tank.

 
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carlyb9

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He looks scared. You need to get some live plants, especially floating ones for him to hide in.
Ok. My only concern with that is that the tank doesn't get a ton of direct sunlight, and I can't really move it anywhere where there would be. I'm worried about the plants doing more harm than good at that point.
I don't think I will be able to get live plants today anyway, so is there anything else you would recommend doing in the meantime?
 

itiwhetu

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Ok. My only concern with that is that the tank doesn't get a ton of direct sunlight, and I can't really move it anywhere where there would be. I'm worried about the plants doing more harm than good at that point.
I don't think I will be able to get live plants today anyway, so is there anything else you would recommend doing in the meantime?
You really need to have live plants in your tank. You may need to move the tank or get a light fitting for it.
 

Naughts

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He has about 4 tsps of API aquarium salt in his tank.
Adding salt and medication reduces oxygen.
Did someone tell you to add the salt and medication? It can be even more detrimental as we don't know what illness / condition you are treating him for.
 

OliveFish05

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I got my betta, Sour Patch, around July of this year. He is my first fish. This past Sunday, I noticed him lying on the bottom of the tank breathing really fast. He was fine Saturday morning. He won't eat anything either, and he looks a little bit bloated but it's hard to tell because he barely swims (he will occasionally come up to the surface for air). I've checked the tank for ammonia but there isn't any. I've been doing 25-50% water changes every day, and I started him on a parasite medication yesterday because he's had Gill Flukes in the past. (He has not seemed to make any improvements). Does anyone know what I can do to help him?

GH: Around 25 ppm
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
KH: Around 40 ppm
pH: Between 6.8 and 7.2
Temp: 77F
He is kept in a 5-gallon tank. He has a sponge filter, an air stone, and his water is always conditioned. He has about 4 tsps of API aquarium salt in his tank.

Hi! Sorry Sour Patch isn't doing well. He is a really lovely betta. You are doing great, especially for it being your first fish! Tank size is good, temp is good, Ph and Gh look fine, so do the other water parameters. What are you using to test the water? Is there anything else in his tank, fish wise?

It is best not to medicate until you know for sure (or at least moderately sure) what is wrong.


Is it possible to get a full tank shot picture? I can see from the video that at least part of his tank has has bright gravel. Stress is the main cause of many, many diseases and issues within the aquarium. Fish feel much more comfortable with a natural tank, like sand or natural colored pebbles or gravel, live plants or realistic ones, and hides. I highly recommend live plants. They look great, help with water quality, and give shelter to your fish, thus reducing stress. Is there a light on your tank? Really any kind of light you could have would allow you to have Amazon sword, anubias, java fern, and others. Do a google search for "low light aquarium plants". I would order online. "YourFishStuff" on Ebay or their website has great prices and great selection. I would buy through Ebay. They offer buy 1 get one 1/2 off through ebay, in your tank size I would get an "echinodorus bleheri" (amazon sword), an anubias barteri. You would be able to get other plants too if you wanted.

Does the tank have a lot of water movement? Does the filter create strong flow? This can be a big source of stress for bettas, as their big tails make it harder for them to swim, so the less flow there is the more comfortable they feel.
 

Myraan

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Some medications leave an oily film on the water surface which is bad for labyrinth fishes.

The issue with the plants is more that he needs hiding places. Live plants also clean the water, but a Betta's water should not be dirty if you feed correctly. Artificial plants and decorations might work but it might be difficult to find ones that do not have sharp edges with a risk of injuring their delicate fins.
 
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carlyb9

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Adding salt and medication reduces oxygen.
Did someone tell you to add the salt and medication? It can be even more detrimental as we don't know what illness / condition you are treating him for.
I added the salt because it looked like he was starting to get fin rot. I added the medication because he has had gill flukes in the past and I thought this might have something to do with that.
 
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carlyb9

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Hi! Sorry Sour Patch isn't doing well. He is a really lovely betta. You are doing great, especially for it being your first fish! Tank size is good, temp is good, Ph and Gh look fine, so do the other water parameters. What are you using to test the water? Is there anything else in his tank, fish wise?

It is best not to medicate until you know for sure (or at least moderately sure) what is wrong.


Is it possible to get a full tank shot picture? I can see from the video that at least part of his tank has has bright gravel. Stress is the main cause of many, many diseases and issues within the aquarium. Fish feel much more comfortable with a natural tank, like sand or natural colored pebbles or gravel, live plants or realistic ones, and hides. I highly recommend live plants. They look great, help with water quality, and give shelter to your fish, thus reducing stress. Is there a light on your tank? Really any kind of light you could have would allow you to have Amazon sword, anubias, java fern, and others. Do a google search for "low light aquarium plants". I would order online. "YourFishStuff" on Ebay or their website has great prices and great selection. I would buy through Ebay. They offer buy 1 get one 1/2 off through ebay, in your tank size I would get an "echinodorus bleheri" (amazon sword), an anubias barteri. You would be able to get other plants too if you wanted.

Does the tank have a lot of water movement? Does the filter create strong flow? This can be a big source of stress for bettas, as their big tails make it harder for them to swim, so the less flow there is the more comfortable they feel.
The flow is a little high, but I turned it up to increase oxygen levels. There is also an air stone which increases the flow a bit. To test the water I use Aqua Care Pro testing strips and Tetra EasyStrips Ammonia test strips.
 

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Naughts

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Are there any other fish in the tank? Assuming you treated the flukes at the time, it is unlikely that he still has them if he is kept alone.
To be brutally honest, the fin rot is the least of his problems. I would gradually water change the salt out.
Just concentrate on fresh clean water and fast him for a day or two.
 
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carlyb9

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Are there any other fish in the tank? Assuming you treated the flukes at the time, it is unlikely that he still has them if he is kept alone.
To be brutally honest, the fin rot is the least of his problems. I would gradually water change the salt out.
Just concentrate on fresh clean water and fast him for a day or two.
There are no other fish in his tank. I have been fasting him since Sunday.
 

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