Help! Betta is lethargic and is breathing heavy

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youbettadont

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By RO water you mean reverse osmosis?
If so, any place that has a machine where you fill up one gallon or 5 gallon jugs is reverse osmosis water. There should be a panel on the machine telling you how the water it dispenses is processed, but they are almost always RO. It should be about 25 cents a gallon. Just for future reference.
I do mean reverse osmosis water. I don't have a car, so it might be hard for me. I'll check it out though. I know a guy who sells RO water for 75 cents and I thought that that was kind of expensive.
 
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youbettadont

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If this is the first time he has eaten, then give him another day and see how he goes. But if the breathing doesn't go back to normal then, I would remove the gravel and ornaments and do another huge (90-100%) water change to dilute anything that might be in their.
He's been eating most of the time, except that morning. My betta isn't looking that great so I'm going to remove everything tonight. I feel like the large rock cave or the blue silk plant are leeching toxins because those are the only items new to the tank. I got them from PetSmart and petco respectively, so I thought that they would at least be aquarium safe.
 
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youbettadont

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I see you have a floating log. I've heard bad things about those and good things. A bad thing is that a great number of people have had theirs leach toxins in their tanks. not all do this but I'm just throwing it out there.
I think that my betta log is safe since I've had it for a while, but I'll definitely be taking it out just in case. I have seen some paint chip off of it though but it's never caused a problem.
 
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youbettadont

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I felt bad for leaving him in the potentially toxic tank so I took everything out but the heater. Should I also put the filter back in also?
 
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youbettadont

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I also have seachem stressguard on hand and am wondering if I should put that in also.
 

Colin_T

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Yes, have the filter and heater in the tank, but remove everything else.

Do the big/ complete water change and see how he goes in the bare tank with filter and heater. If he gets better, then add one item and see how he goes over a week. I would add the betta log first if he normally uses that. Then simply add one item each week and see how he responds. If he is good with an item and it doesn't cause him to breath heavily, then that is not the problem. Continue adding one item each week until you find the trigger.
 
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youbettadont

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Yes, have the filter and heater in the tank, but remove everything else.

Do the big/ complete water change and see how he goes in the bare tank with filter and heater. If he gets better, then add one item and see how he goes over a week. I would add the betta log first if he normally uses that. Then simply add one item each week and see how he responds. If he is good with an item and it doesn't cause him to breath heavily, then that is not the problem. Continue adding one item each week until you find the trigger.
Ok. Thank you so much! I will keep everyone updated.
 

Tannie

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My betta swam around for like 5 minutes, but now he's back in the cave :/. As I said, I'll update in the morning and post pictures and videos if needed then.
I love melafix! It has saved the day for me so many times it's like magic! I have used it on bettas also.
 

Colin_T

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I heard that melafix was bad for bettas due to the tree tea oil?
Melafix, Pimafix & Bettafix are oil based treatments and can leave an oily film on the surface of water. This can prevent fish from taking in air from the atmosphere. If a fish does get air from the surface, it can get oil in as well.

In regards to labyrinth fishes (Bettas & gouramis), if these fish get oil on their labyrinth organ, it can prevent them being able to breath air from the surface. The labyrinth organ is located in the fish's head and lets them use oxygen from air, to breath. If it gets oil on it, the fish can't breath air from the atmosphere.

The oily film also reduces the gas exchange at the surface and can limit the amount of oxygen (O2) entering the water and carbon dioxide (CO2) leaving the water.

If you use any of these oil bases treatments, you need to increase aeration/ surface turbulence to help maximise oxygen levels in the water, and to help prevent the oily film stopping gas exchange on the water surface.
 
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youbettadont

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My betta seems to be a little better. Although he seems to still be breathing heavy at times despite removing everything in the tank.
He is less lethargic and more active though, but his swimming seems erratic at times.(possibly because he is seeing his reflection??) He is also still eating. His top fin seems to be missing and there is a large wound, this came from the day he stressed himself out flaring at the filter. I have been adding seachem stress guard to the water, but I'm not sure if it is actually helping.
 

Colin_T

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He seems to be in reasonably good shape and is exploring the tank. He can see his reflection in the bottom glass and is trying to work that out. In a few days you can add the gravel and see how he goes. The gravel will stop him seeing his reflection and he should act more normal.

I didn't even notice the dorsal fin, but if that happened when you moved him, he might have been stressed and in pain. This could have contributed to his behaviour.

As long as the dorsal fin doesn't appear to be infected, just monitor him and start adding things back to the tank. Do the substrate first so it covers the bottom. Then wait a few days to a week and see how his breathing is. If it's fine, then add another item and monitor his breathing.
 
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youbettadont

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He seems to be in reasonably good shape and is exploring the tank. He can see his reflection in the bottom glass and is trying to work that out. In a few days you can add the gravel and see how he goes. The gravel will stop him seeing his reflection and he should act more normal.

I didn't even notice the dorsal fin, but if that happened when you moved him, he might have been stressed and in pain. This could have contributed to his behaviour.

As long as the dorsal fin doesn't appear to be infected, just monitor him and start adding things back to the tank. Do the substrate first so it covers the bottom. Then wait a few days to a week and see how his breathing is. If it's fine, then add another item and monitor his breathing.
Thank you so much! I'm going to siphon out his fecal matter and then add the gravel in later tonight. I might post later to update after adding the substrate.
 

Colin_T

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Give the gravel a good wash before adding it to the tank and only add a thin layer to start with. Just enough to cover the bottom so he can't see his reflection. If he is fine for a few days with a thin layer of gravel, then add more if you want to.
 
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youbettadont

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So I haven't added the gravel back in yet since I want to sort out the rainbow bits, but today my betta has only been hanging out at the top of the tank and he doesn't really move unless I go near him. I think it's because he is slightly constipated since I haven't seen any new fecal matter at the bottom of his tank. I haven't seen him near the bottom of the tank at all, so I am suspecting a buoyancy issue. I have not fed him at all today since I think it would be better to fast him. Is fasting him the right move?
 

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