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"Gasping Disease?"

Posted By: Joe Loach <jloach@onlinetoday.com>
Date: Monday, 26 February 2001, at 12:55 a.m.

When I saw one of my Botia histrionicas the other day, I was distressed. It's gills were moving very rapidly, and I feared the worst. I waited a couple of hours, the fish remained the same. The rest of the fish in the tank were fine.

I'd seen this happen in some of my other fish over the years, usually if the fish had been exposed to a drastic change in pH or if the water quality was poor. I has made a water change the day before, and I rationalized that the water change had to have something to do with it.

In the past, when this would occur, I would take a stab in the dark, isolate the fish in a treatment tank (or 5 gal bucket) and medicate with E.M. Tablets. More often that not, I'd be successful in ending the "gasping" and return the fish to the tank, but only using that particular med.

So, in the morning (while I was at work), my wife went down to the pet store and picked up some cat litter (clay with carbon), so I could use the 5 gal bucket for treatment (and yes, we do have cats), a heater for the bucket, and some E.M. Tablets. I planned on treating the fish in the afternoon when I returned home.

When I got home, I put the cat litter in a plastic bag and cleaned out the bucket. I then walked over to the tank to see how the sick fish was doing....

Well...it was doing just fine. LOL! I HAD to laugh. That's the first time that a fish has ever fooled me so. I thought for sure that it was sick. Somehow it managed to have a little panic attack for a period of a few hours, and I thought that it had come down with something.

I guess I'll save the meds, heater and bucket for any future emergencies. :-)


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