Goby breathing fast - when is watch and wait better than treatment?

Fritz05

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My yellow watchman goby is breathing fast (ca. 120 breaths per minute) , spreading the gills and using its mouth. It has been doing it for about a month now, with no change (better or worse). It is otherwise completely fine, as are all other fish, corals and inverts in the 29 gallon tank (which makes me believe the water is fine). The goby watches out for its pistol shrimp, goes like crazy after the food, and is extremely quick to disappear in the burrow when sensing "danger". The fins are intact, and there are no external signs, spots, or marks of any kind. There was a tiny red dot on one side, but it went away within 3 days. I suspected flukes and treated the tank twice with PraziPro (2 sets of 2 treatments, each 6 days apart) with a little more than the recommended dose, but without any effect. My hitchhikers (bristleworms and tiny featherdusters) also survived the PraziPro. I am now wondering if I should try to catch the goby, do a FW dip and put it in a hospital tank. This will likely put a lot of stress on the little guy and I have no idea what may be wrong. So, to treat or not to treat, that is the question?
 
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Jay Hemdal

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My yellow watchman goby is breathing fast (ca. 120 breaths per minute) , spreading the gills and using its mouth. It has been doing it for about a month now, with no change (better or worse). It is otherwise completely fine, as are all other fish, corals and inverts in the 29 gallon tank (which makes me believe the water is fine). The goby watches out for its pistol shrimp, goes like crazy after the food, and is extremely quick to disappear in the burrow when sensing "danger". The fins are intact, and there are no external signs, spots, or marks of any kind. There was a tiny red dot on one side, but it went away within 3 days. I suspected flukes and treated the tank twice with PraziPro (2 sets of 2 treatments, each 6 days apart) with a little more than the recommended dose, but without any effect. My hitchhikers (bristleworms and tiny featherdusters) also survived the PraziPro. I am now wondering if I should try to catch the goby, do a FW dip and put it in a hospital tank. This will likely put a lot of stress on the little guy and I have no idea what may be wrong. So, to treat or not to treat, that is the question?
While it sure does sound like flukes, Prazipro should have at least given some temporary relief. The other causes for rapid breathing are typically acute issues, and either get better or the fish dies in a week or so (bacteria, protozoans). One thing to try is to add good aeration to the tank via an air stone….high CO2 and/or low dissolved i then can also cause rapid breathing.
Jay
 
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Fritz05

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Update: No change whatsoever. The YWG continues to breathe very rapidly “spreading” its gills and opening its mouth, but not faster than before. Otherwise it is doing well, continues to eat, protect its pistol shrimp and chase off “invaders” of its space. I had an air stone running, but it made no difference. I cannot bring myself to catch it and subject it to speculative treatment, as it may do more harm than good. All other creatures in the tank are doing fine and the other fish do not breathe quickly. Any suggestions?
 

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Update: No change whatsoever. The YWG continues to breathe very rapidly “spreading” its gills and opening its mouth, but not faster than before. Otherwise it is doing well, continues to eat, protect its pistol shrimp and chase off “invaders” of its space. I had an air stone running, but it made no difference. I cannot bring myself to catch it and subject it to speculative treatment, as it may do more harm than good. All other creatures in the tank are doing fine and the other fish do not breathe quickly. Any suggestions?
On your August 4th post, I assumed, but you didn’t actually say - you noticed that the goby started breathing fast/deeply when it had been doing so before? I mean, it hasn’t just been breathing fast all the time you’ve had it?
Jay
 
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Fritz05

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On your August 4th post, I assumed, but you didn’t actually say - you noticed that the goby started breathing fast/deeply when it had been doing so before? I mean, it hasn’t just been breathing fast all the time you’ve had it?
Jay
Sorry if I was not clear. The goby has been breathing fast all the time I had it. I bought it (ORA captive bred) from Liveaquaria and received it on June 30, 2021. It has been breathing fast from that day.
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Sorry if I was not clear. The goby has been breathing fast all the time I had it. I bought it (ORA captive bred) from Liveaquaria and received it on June 30, 2021. It has been breathing fast from that day.
Ok, that changes things in my opinion. I would think normal respiration for this fish would be less than 100 gill beats per minute, but I have not measured that species myself (I have a database of other fish respiration rates).
Also, being captive raised rules out many parasites as an issue.
I think either this is normal for this species, or this particular fish has some developmental issue that is causing it to breath deeply….captive raised fish sometimes have developmental issues that wild predation would have weeded out.
Jay
 

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