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i read about red gills can be a bad sign, but to my understanding most fish already have red gills.

And how can you tell heavy breathing vs non heavy breathing?
 

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i don't even know what to google for this.

everytime i read something its with fish that are clearly unwell.

I would to be able to identify if my fish are doing good or not. Things to watch for and how to define normal vs sick

red gills = ammonia poisoning. fine i get that. But how do you know what red mean poisoning vs normal red gills that many fish have?!

thanks for the links I did bookmark them as they are great :) just doesn't really answer my questions
 

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It does take some time to get down what to look for when dealing with sick fish. For the gills, it is a judgement item for sure. Think of it as the inside of your nose. There is a good healthy pinkish/red color that is normal and then there is when you are really suffering and your nose looks like it might bleed at any minute. Gills will be a nice light shade of red when healthy. They require blood flow to do thier job. And really seeing them is difficut. For all those reasons, I go more to what I might find easier to judge. Watch your fish for some time and you will find what they are normally doing. When being chased, they will often be working their gills more than when just hanging somewhere. You can soon learn to spot whether everybody is panting by just looking at the group. Pretty quick you can look and see if there is one doing something out of norm and he is the only one panting, you may begin to suspect he is having trouble.

Not an exact science but more like watching kids. You soon learn when it is important and when it is not.
 
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