Betta Died No Notice - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-25-2008, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Betta Died No Notice

First thing when I went into the Kitchen yesterday (where my Betta's are located) my Red/Blue male who was 5 and a half inches long (including his tail) he sleeps in his little house, and comes out of it as soon as I come into the kitchen. He didn't. His head was watching me from inside his house. He "bolted" out of the house (he usually slowly swam) and then arched his back invertedly quite severely. He swam erraticly and swiftly helter skelter around the tank for a few minutes, seemingly not able to discern which side had the air.

I got the net out and put him in what I call our "hospital bowl" as it is only about 2" deep and is 14" in diameter and is circular. I can keep him in the net while it is suspended in the bowl of water; he stayed in water fully immersed, but when he needed air, all he had to do, was raise his head out of the water.

I left in the net in the hospital bowl all morning, and then let him loose in the hospital bowl at noon. He did the erratic swimming again. So back into the net for the afternoon. I tried again at night, and same thing.

He died about 9 pm.

He had always been very, very voracious about his food. When I first brought him home, I assumed he was quite old, as he was at least an inch in body and his fins were at least 2" in length. I have had him for about a year and a half. The Pet store where I got him told me that he should eat about 4 "betta pellets" a day. He has never eaten 4 per day, more like 6 at least 2X daily. But the day before he died, he picked at his food. He ate then spit them out. Then he would try again. I think he kept down 3 of them.

I checked his body and fins thoroughly, no fungus, no paracites, does not appear to have had any disease, but his entire coloration had greatly paled and diluted just overnight. He had always been very vibrant in coloration.

Is this a normal way to go? ? ? ? ? ?

He was the sweetest fish. :) I called him my little whale, he was so huge compared to the size of the others. They all have 3 gal. bowls. And he was so totally "respectful" and I thought that he always thought of me as "his person" though the house is full of pets. He LOVED his snail buddies, and would hover over and around them all; but yet always come to greet me when I came into the kitchen; and never showed his "elephant ears" at me, like the youngsters do when I am feeding them .

I will miss him very, very much. I have three others, but they are not quite the "southern gentleman" that he was. The others, all were bought when they barely had fins showing, so I assume they were all quite young, whereas he must have been about 2 years when I got him. :(

The others are (in order by age) white with opal blue/pink fins), khaki greenish beige with ice blue veining on the fins, black w/dark green veining on fins (he is a crown).

Betta's are such cool fish. I just love all of mine. Right now I don't want to replace my Rainbow Whale~!~!~!
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-25-2008, 01:12 AM
you have them in 3 gallon bowls and u used the term "snail buddies" as in more then one did u have filters causes snails have a huge bio load

sorry 4 ur loss
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-25-2008, 01:20 AM
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sorry to hear about your betta
if he ate 6 pellets twice daily you should tone it down to about half of that. and when my fish die they as well loose their color and go pale.

good luck with the others

I am against piracy, please dont sink ships
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-25-2008, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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I had two snails with him at once; but I change the water completely twice a week. It is the snails that don't live long. He was the only one that was okay with a snail. The others try to eat them as soon as they pop their heads out of their shell, and I don't want to watch "betta hanibal lectors" at home in a bowl, so that is when I stopped, but that was over a year ago. They really do LOVE company, they ALL are constantly looking for everyone to "hang out in the kitchen" and they watch intently every step of every meal prepared.

They each have their own 3 gal. bowl.

But to have his coloration so majorly dilute, and die so fast, is that normal or usual?
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-25-2008, 06:45 AM
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Judging by your description of size and possible age it might have just been his time. What size tank did he live in, and do you have any liquid testing kits to check the water? We like to recommend API here. I just want you to check everything to determine if there wasn't some other cause that you might have problems with in the next betta you get.

This is the song that never ends...
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-25-2008, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Testing Water

No. I have not tested the water. I put in the water drops. . .I put 10 drops per 3 gal bowl; and then I put a teaspoon of Betta salt in the water and that is it. I try to make the water the same temperature as the water that I am replacing. I have had the white one and the khaki one for a year. Their fins are quite long now too. At least two to two and a half inches. The crown is still such a baby .

I just love it tho' the Rainbow Whale, never, ever flared at a person, but he sure would those baby boy bettas~! I call their flaring, showing their elephant ears at me.

And, the white one, and the khaki do it ALL the time. The crown only does it when I feed them.

Before the Rainbow Whale died, I had them all in the kitchen, but each one had their own corner where they could not see each other, but each had full view of the kitchen comings and goings.

After reading some of the posts, and after Rainbow Whale died, I now have them side by side along the bar part of the counter so that they can see the kitchen but also now they can all see each other. They flared for awhile, but today, they have only flared when I fed.

The white one has the most "testosterone" of the remaining fish. He is always flaring, at everything. When I put my hand in the water he stops, but otherwise, he flares over any excuse to do so. The Khaki flares only when someone comes in who hasn't been in the room, and at meals. The Crown only flares at the others now, and at meals.

They eat 2X daily, 12 hours apart.

But with Rainbow Whale, I was totally shocked at how much his color paled during the day that he died. That and his arching his back so severely, made me think of a stroke, but I doubt fish can get strokes? ?

Still pretty cool fish.
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-25-2008, 09:10 PM
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How big was the fish when you got him? If he was as big as you describe him as being, then he was already well into adulthood when you bought him. The average lifespan for a well-taken-care-of betta is between two and six years. Bettas that are kept disease-free will actually live longer if kept in cooler water because it slows their metabolism, but they are definitely a tropical fish and thrive in warmer waters (around 78F). If your fish was kept at his preferred tropical temperatures, it might have just been his time.

I agree, though, that testing your water would be helpful just in case there were some adverse conditions that could be avoided in the future.
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-25-2008, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Testing Water

How, and what am I testing for?
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-25-2008, 09:25 PM
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The API Freshwater Liquid Master Test Kit has just about everything you'd need. The most important parameters are pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. That kit can test them all very accurately.

You can also take samples of your tank water to your LFS and they will usually test it for you. However, it's a lot more helpful if they give you the actual number results of the tests rather than just telling you that "it's fine."

Fish deaths, other than by old age or disease or injury, are almost always caused by poor water conditions. You can have poor water conditions without any obvious signs of it (like dirty water, for example) so being able to test for those water parameters is a big help.

By the way, if you're looking into buying that test kit, Petco sells it for about $32, Petsmart charges about $30, Wal-Mart (if they even have it, which is rare) will ask about $26. This website has it for $15:
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-26-2008, 05:46 AM
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Re: Testing Water

Originally Posted by RainbowBridge
No. I have not tested the water. I put in the water drops. . .I put 10 drops per 3 gal bowl; and then I put a teaspoon of Betta salt in the water and that is it.
Betta salt??

This is the song that never ends...
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