04-10-2008, 05:36 PM
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First off, I'm very sorry about your Betta. They can be very interactive, curious little fish, so it's very easy to get attached to them. Like all fish, they're also very delicate, and can easily get sick or die from bad water condition, getting caught in something, overeating, etc...
I would suggest putting a live plant in his tank, something that a fish could not possibly get caught in. Make sure that the plant doesn't take up too much room. Bettas love swimming around the leaves and branches, and even resting or sleeping on the leaves. Put in a thin layer of gravel, and make sure there are absolutely no spaces, as the fish can also get stuck in the gravel. This once happened to my betta, and thankfully I was there to help him get out. Anyway, gravel helps keep the aquarium clean, and even produces beneficial bacteria.
I bought my betta from Petco, and most of the fish I see are not entirely healthy, though some are. They do not take good care of their betta, it's really sad- Petsmart is the same. If you do want to buy a betta from them, make sure you look for these signs of a healthy fish: bright colors, swims and seems curious, no splits or tears in fins. I would suggest getting a fish at a private Tropical Fish store, they'll probably have better advice and healthier fish.
Make sure to feed your betta a healthy, varied diet, and keep his water temperature at least 75 F., and keep him in at least a 1 to 2 gallon tank.