Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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thyhero 05-29-2007 06:16 PM

What happened...?
I guess it isn't really an emergency anymore, but I don't know where else to put the topic. My beloved Massimo Sementilli (a little inside, I know), a beautiful red betta fish, passed this past week suddenly, and I can't figure out why. It's been weighing on my mind, so I figure I'll throw it out there.

My wife and I had him for about six months, and in that time he received quite good care. We kept in an individual bowl, without a heater or filter, so because of that we had to change the water often - at least three times a week, to keep it warm. I'd normally fill it with tap water that had been set out, and top it off with warm water to about 80 degrees F, and drop in some extra de-chlorinator and stress coat. He had been an extraordinarily happy fish in this time.

We changed his bowl like normal last week - nothing out of the ordinary at all. When we put him back in his bowl, he for some reason kinda' freaked out, and started trying to "dig out" with his head through the stones at the bottom. I went to feed the rabbits, and when I came back, he was dead with his head in the rocks, and his gills had turned a kind of black. His mouth was wide open, and he still looked like he had been trying to get out. I know that I didn't have him in the perfect settings, but we had never had any sort of problem before, and now this. I'm confused.

Anyone have any thoughts as to what may have went wrong?

willow 05-29-2007 06:27 PM

hi thyhero
welcome to the forum,
sorry your first post is a very sad one.
i don't know anything about those beautiful fish
so i am unable to help,
someone will however hopefully be along soon.
is there any possibility that something else got
into the clean water befor you put it back in the bowl ?

GW 05-29-2007 07:56 PM

Sorry to hear about the loss of your Betta.
Having done everything in the same way as previously, in regards to the water, what changed?
From your description of events it sounds like, to me, it was an issue with the water parameters.
From the way you described the fishes behaviour after returning it to the bowl it sounds like some type of chemical(one thats not safe-obviously) was in the water.
Are you on "Well Water" or a "City Water" line?
If you are on "Well Water"...has there been any recent construction in the area near your well???
In my experience I have found that "City Water" can change drastically from one day to the next. Especially when your City treats the water with Chlorine. In the City where I used to live in Florida they treated with Chlorine Gas. Some times it was so strong when you turned on the tap you could smell it! You could test the water coming from the tap with a swimming pool test kit and get a chlorine reading. A reading so high that if you tested your swimming pool and found the same reading you would'nt let your family in the pool!
The reason I mention this is that if the water you had set aside had a very high chlorine content, even with setting it aside for awhile, the normal amount of dechlorinator may not have been enough to do the job.

Something to think about in the wife works with someone who keeps Bettas in large glass bowls. She talked to her recently and found out that when she does a water change she uses distilled water.

fish_4_all 05-30-2007 01:26 PM

This sounds like what happened to one of my wifes prize bettas. Everything was good for about 10 months until my 6 year old son hit the tank with his hand accidentally and the betta went absolutely nuts. It swam laps in seconds and would jump and hit the hood with ease many times in each lap. In less than 5 minutes he died and looked about the same as you explain yours did. The only thing we could come up with was the slap to the tank startled him so bad he stressed out so hard he litterally worked himself to death.

thyhero 05-30-2007 06:09 PM

Thanks all for the replies. We live in the city, and our water has had an issue with arsenic, which is why I was shocked when some other people in the area I knew had told me that it was just fine to use tap water (before that we were using bottled water of some sort - distilled I think, but it was a while ago). I feel bad for the little guy... but with a cat, a biting hamster, and two rabbits, I don't think I'll give the fish another shot for a while, at least not until I can get a real aquarium setup.

willow 06-01-2007 02:16 PM

such a shame it worked out that way for you guys. :(

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