Yesterday morning when I went to feed all of the fish, and I knew something was wrong when I lifted up the feeding hatch on Arcturus's tank he didn't come zooming over like he always does. I don't know what could have happened....I did water changes the previous day, but I did the same things I always do, and my other fish are all fine so I don't know if that had anything to do with it. I'd had him for about a year, and I suspected he was no spring chicken when I bought him, but he was perfectly active and healthy-looking up to the day he died, so I'm not sure it was age-related either. In any case, I just hope that he wasn't in any pain when he passed.
He was the smartest betta I've ever had. Everyone thought he was ugly because he was "brown" and "grizzly" (he was a copper dragon), and his tail was stumpy because he was a chronic tail-biter, but I loved him more than my "pretty" bettas. He was very sickly when I got him...I didn't think he'd make it through the first night. Though I still don't know what happened to him in the end, I'm glad I was able to give him a year more than he would have had in that filthy little Petco cup.
He looked so horrible when I got him.
But with some salt and TLC, he got much better, and I think he was lovely, even with his chewed-up tail.
Thanks guys. Coming to this section when my bettas pass away really helps; it's nice to talk to people who appreciate how easy it is to get attached to bettas, instead of just shrugging it off and saying "it's just a fish."