why is only one of my fish gasping for airAs a former fish store and longtime hobbyist who’s responded a similar betta questions from customers more times than I care to bear in mind, I’ve reached the conclusion that either side of the betta argument are right and both are wrong. So dive in, if you are going to, to the underwater world of the bettas, and let’s answer once and for all some of these prickly questions about our flamboyantly finned friends. Understanding the biology and herbal history of Betta splendens is paramount to actually knowing your fish. Hailing from the nice and cozy, oxygen poor waters of Thailand, Burma, and surrounding areas, bettas belong to a group of fish known as labyrinth fishes, whose name comes from a respiratory accent organ known as a labyrinth. Functioning as a form of rudimentary lung, this organ allows the fish to gulp air directly from the atmosphere; the fish need only break the surface with its mouth, swallow some air, and slip back under the water while the atmospheric air absorbs into its bloodstream. While not a very effective technique of respiration, this approach to augmented respiration is very advisable to bettas.