Sudden betta death

reppyNovember 29, 2006

Came home today to find my betta dead at the bottom of the tank. He was fine yesterday, eating and swimming as usual.

I'm wondering if he could have gotten trapped at the bottom and suffocated? I changed the tank about a week ago and took out the gravel I was using and added large river rocks instead (the gravel kept going down my disposal whenever I cleaned the tank). Is it possible he swam into a crevice between the rocks and couldn't swim out? If he was sick then I'm worried about his tankmate (divided tank) getting sick too. Any advice or opinions would be appreciated.

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Not likely that he got stuck in the gravel/rocks... Check the water quality. That's usually the culprit with sudden, inexplicable deaths.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 5:05PM
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Ok, I bought an Live NH3 test meter for ammonia. Nothing has appeared on the strip so either the water's ok or the tester is not working. How can you tell? What else do I need to test for? I don't want my other betta to die - he seems completely fine and happy but so did his mate before he died. How could the water quality change that suddenly?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 10:54PM
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Test for ammonia and NitrAtes. The test tube kits are more acurate.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 7:24AM
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The water quality can change suddenly for many reasons... among the biggest problems are dirty filters with media that is no longer doing its job... another reason may be recent water changes... can also introduce pollutants via new plants or sticking hands in water or even handling the food you feed them. Many variables, that's why test kits are important... the more comprehensive, the better when you're trying to determine why an apparently healthy fish suddenly dies.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 12:26AM
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Bettas are very nice fish but I so far have never had much luck with them. I had 2 2 years ago and both died within 6 months despite have them in cycled tanks and doing all that is needed. I do great with other tropical freshwater fishes though.

Happy holidays!


    Bookmark   December 9, 2006 at 8:24AM
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sandywesttexas(zone 7)

These fish only live to be about 2 years. It may have been old. I lost one after almost 3 years, and my husband lost his at 2 years. Both lived in 10 gallon tanks alone. Mine got tired and just ate less till one morning he was gone, but my husband's betta was eating and well until he was found the next morning dead. They too can proably have a heart failure or something. If water and care is good no diease then proably age would be a factor. Only a few Betta's make it to age 5 years.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 4:04PM
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Just one more thought. Putting them in divider keeps them constantly stressed. Stress creates adrenal cortisol hormones which can kill eventually. Not saying this was it exactly, but a stressed fish can get sick rapidly... (picked on gourami in three days, dead) same for cat fish I put in with that same gourami... Gourami now only with female betta in one long 20 gallon heavily planted driftwood tank and he still is agressive, but she gets the clues and speeds off.)

Better to have betta alone in private tank. You can put the seperate containers close to each other and card them. Put card in between and on occasion remove for brief period so they can flare. Not often though. in nature they'd be run off and alone again. I have one of those cat toy led light things and (not in eyes) move it over rock wall and they chase it (all the fish do, think its food I guess) great for exercise. Read on another asian forum, they exercise lone fish with pencil or pen tips, moved around so on.

When you found him was he stuck? What size tank, filter, (gentle) heated, temperature, agree tube water kits more accurate. He may have been weak to begin with (esp if gotten from store in cold dirty bowl) and stress from neighbor was the final blow. Water quality adds stress if bad as well. Best Sherry

Also, plants help.. They love them as for the most part they are from areas with plants, darker water ie not bright and in the 'spot light' with no where to hide, and feel secure, that stress again.... (some don't though in the wild some even come from cooler streams so on)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 10:25PM
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My betta who I've had for two years (not sure how old he was when I got him as a gift from a pet store) died suddenly. My roommate was watching him while I was home for the holidays and though I had gotten him a new tank recently (non-filtered, 2-gallon) I used the same plant and rocks and added a new rock with a hole in it so he could sit in it (he loved this) and a little stone skull that he liked to swim around too. I hope this didn't have to do with his death?

She was worried it perhaps got too cold in the house (he was used to his temp going to as low as 60 sometimes... if it were up to me I'd heat the whole house to keep it as his most optimal temp but it's not practical when I'm sharing the utilities with someone :( )

Anyway, she did notice he perhaps didn't eat the last day of his life, but he passed away suddenly and it completely broke my heart. He even survived a tank accident when he was younger and a rough move with me six months ago in my jeep (i stopped every so often to check his temp and cool it off with ice cubes---- i took care of him as much as I could and am broken hearted. Do you think he was just old? Do they die suddenly like that? He was peppy when I left and my roommmate said he was swimming along fine when she left him last....

Thanks for letting me share...


    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 12:54AM
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Hi, I once had a betta who did get stuck in the decorations, this time it was a large sea shell and he caught his gills while passing through one of the holes, so that might be it if you found him caught. The stressing thing makes sense, I dont know if it shortens their lives or not but the six sided aquairium had mirrors on the three back sides, he would flare up and get aggresive on hiself, but after a while he didnt seem to pay much attention to the other fishes in his tank. I once new a lady who kept a betta next to her livingroom chair and she would actually pet it and rub it, it seemed to like it. Id imagine you would have to pay attention to clean hands though. chris

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 3:31PM
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plz my fish is dying im serios
he was fine he was swimming but when i changed
the water he laid their 47 hours straight. hes eyes
are black .the whole thing is black. help me before
he dies. i love him i had it for a long time a little
less the a year. helppppp!!!!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 5:17PM
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    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 2:49AM
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ok so when I first got home last night, I noticed my betta was swimming and being his perky self. when I went to bed and got home the next morning, he was on his leaf hammock resting there peacefully. I opened his tank which always triggers him to wake up to eat but he didn't. he had gotten sick before and recovered but didn't make it

what just happened? please tell me.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 1:43PM
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