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Old 06-07-2012, 01:55 AM   #1 
Norella
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Basic Questions from a new Betta owner.

Hello all! I have to start this out by saying I am VERY new to the Betta world, so needless to say I am one clueless person. I thought I knew the basics about a month ago when I bought a Betta from PetSmart, but obviously I was more than wrong.

Here is just a sum up of my background with Bettas, I bought my 1st one from PetSmart. He lived 2 days.
I bought my 2nd one from Wal-Mart. He lived 18 days. They both died of what I believed was columnaris. They both had the white patches on them & floated vertically head up. I did try to treat the 2nd betta with Maracyn, but on the 5th day of treatment he passed on.
Here is a picture of the 2nd Betta. This was taken 2 days before he died.

I have a 2.5 gallon tank that is filtered.
I kept the water at 76 - 78, I do have a SMALL heater also in the tank.
I tested my water & everything was normal.
I conditioned the water with "BettaBowl" Plus
*side note* While treatment with the 2nd Betta I conditioned the water with "AmQuel Plus" along side with Aquarium Salts to help the Betta breath better - I did this per instructions from a PetSmart worker when I bought the Maracyn.
While I only had the 2nd fish for 18 days, I did do full water changes on 2 Sundays that I had him (Once a week water changes) - I did not use any chemicals or such when cleaning the tank.
I feed them "TetraBetta" Pellets

I think that should cover the basics.

Now my questions are:
Did I do something that could have caused these poor fish to die?
If I decide to buy another Betta, what are the best places to buy one.
Should I buy a new tank, gravel, decorations if I choose to buy a new Betta.

Thank you ahead of time for any & all constructive comments.
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:39 AM   #2 
mursey
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I'm only answering because so far no one else has ..

I'm new to betta keeping but I do have 4 that have stayed alive and seem very happy (for a few months now.) I have read a lot .. I don't see what you did wrong yet, maybe I missed something. Are you picking the saddest, most pathetic fish in the store?

I have nice set ups for my guys, done more as I have learned more, but having said that, if you conditioned the water and fed them, and the water wasn't a terrible temperature, and not too different from the store water temp, I don't see why they should have died so fast.

I'm sure someone with more experience will find something to say but .. . I say next time get a betta NOT from Walmart and maybe pick one out that doesn't seem like it's about to kick the bucket. Pick one that seems lively and strong. Keep reading and researching. Acclimate the fish to the new water temp . . etc.
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:42 AM   #3 
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And oh yeah- Even though I am new to this by a few months, after going to Petsmart and Petco .. . I looked online and explored some other local pet stores and aquarium stores. I went to one that people gave super high ratings to. Their description did not mention selling bettas but they actually had them, and they were beautiful and healthy looking and better taken care of.

I would suggest googling and researching and maybe taking a trip a little out of the way to a better store that sells them. Call aquarium stores and ask. Good luck!
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:06 AM   #4 
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I agree with mursey..

These fish came sick and got sicker.. I suggest you find somewhere that obviously cares for the fish (ie, you can see no sick ones at all, the cups/containers are large & clean..), and buy the healthiest one you can possibly find. Or buy through a breeder (which I am swearing to do... really.. no more pet shop fish!..or shopping there with empty tanks..)

Leave 'rescue' to when you're more experienced with medications and fishkeeping. It sounds to me like the store you buy from isn't fussy about contamination...

You pretty much seem to have done everything right. I do like to add a little AQ salt for the first week with a new fish, just in case.. none after that, though unless needed for medication.

Before you replace a new fish in that tank, maybe rinse it with a non-detergent bleach solution and leave it in the sun a few days to deactivate the bleach. That'll likely stop any new fish catching whatever your other fish came home with.

I'm sorry you had all this tragedy as your intro to betta-keeping, and I hope you have a great experience with your next one!
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:47 AM   #5 
Norella
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Thank you for both for at least replying. I do appreciate it. I was hoping for more replies & maybe some in site to what I went wrong. It just seems like every time I talk to anyone else they look at me like I fell out of space because Betta are Hearty fish.

To answer if the fish was "sick looking" - The 1st Betta did look sick somewhat. He didn't have a lot of color on his body, but his fins were bright and red. He seemed "lazy" that is why I didn't think anything of it.
Then 2nd, also didn't have a lot of color but was very very very active, but started to go down hill in a week. That is what makes me worry about the tank. Maybe the 2nd fish got sick because I didn't clean it correctly before putting the 2nd fish in after the 1st one died. I used regular tap water to clean the tank & everything that was in it. I also cycled the tank 24 hours with the conditioner before I acclimated the fish to the water.

I didn't use any kind of cleaner because I didn't think you could use ANYTHING to clean a fish tank....
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:11 AM   #6 
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Hello, and Welcome to the forum, So sorry to hear that you lost your betta's..but at the same time, It does sound like you have done everything the correct way.

I am pretty new to fish keeping as well, I cannot offer much more..other than what is already being done..but again, your prev. fishy's could of already been sick, and unfortunately it was thier time, and other than trying to medicate them, ( in a hospital tank) I wouldn't of been able to do much more either. But if and when you get another fishy..

I hope you have better luck and have your fishy around for a long time.
I am not sure if using the same tank would cause probs, but just in case would get another one..:) I sincerly hope it works out:)
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:15 PM   #7 
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It's really hard to say what your fish had.. it could have been a combination of things, ammonia distress in the store leading to weak health, swim bladder issues, plus columnaris (which doesn't always show up in moldy patches right away), parasite/bacterial infection, or any number of things. Only an autopsy by a vet could tell you without a doubt what the fish both died of, probably..but I seriously doubt the 2nd fish died in a week from anything caught from the 1st fish. These sicknesses tend to take time to dig into a fish, and fish can live with them for a long time before succumbing.

IMO, what's more important anyway is that you cared for them well while they lived. And this is a betta forum, nobody's going to look at you oddly for asking questions about sick bettas, lol. We all know what's what there.


I hope I've 'at least' been a tiny bit helpful. ;)

Last edited by Aus; 06-07-2012 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:16 PM   #8 
Norella
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Thank you! I am happy to see so many nice people trying to help each other out. This is not something I am getting around here.

A little update. I did some searching and found only one aquarium store here, actually right around the corner. I'm going to go there this afternoon and see what they have.

Now my biggest worry will be what to look for so I have a fish that will last me longer than 2 weeks. :/
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:42 PM   #9 
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Good luck! :)

Look for an active, bright-eyed fish who responds to your finger moving, or just seems to have some zip. Don't buy any fish that looks droopy or that has even a little bit of fin rot.. some get better fast, in others it's a symptom of something worse.. and after your experiences, it'd be so nice to get a 100% healthy fish!

Really, I'd take a look at how the store keeps it bettas - if they're in dirty little cups and most of them are sick, walk away! No, really! And if that's the only store nearby, try aquabid or a breeder who'll ship to you.

All my fish so far have come from a LFS who are totally crap at caring for bettas (though they've made a marginal improvement lately..). One was poorly when I got him and died of chronic illness, one stunted guy we bought has the most persistent fin rot.. Two are just fine, but we bought those the same day they came in, I think, to judge by the poorly looking crowd around them.

I keep swearing to not buy fish there again. But guilt hits me every time I see healthy fish waiting to get sick there.. anyway, I really ought to practise what I preach =P Having healthy fish is a total joy and they tend to recover faster from whatever issues might crop up.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:49 PM   #10 
Norella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aus View Post
Good luck! :)

Look for an active, bright-eyed fish who responds to your finger moving, or just seems to have some zip. Don't buy any fish that looks droopy or that has even a little bit of fin rot.. some get better fast, in others it's a symptom of something worse.. and after your experiences, it'd be so nice to get a 100% healthy fish!

Really, I'd take a look at how the store keeps it bettas - if they're in dirty little cups and most of them are sick, walk away! No, really! And if that's the only store nearby, try aquabid or a breeder who'll ship to you.

All my fish so far have come from a LFS who are totally crap at caring for bettas (though they've made a marginal improvement lately..). One was poorly when I got him and died of chronic illness, one stunted guy we bought has the most persistent fin rot.. Two are just fine, but we bought those the same day they came in, I think, to judge by the poorly looking crowd around them.

I keep swearing to not buy fish there again. But guilt hits me every time I see healthy fish waiting to get sick there.. anyway, I really ought to practise what I preach =P Having healthy fish is a total joy and they tend to recover faster from whatever issues might crop up.
How does Aquabid work? I can't comprehend the idea of having a fish MAILED to me. I would be scared to open the box (or whatever they are shipped in) and be dead.

As for what to look for, thank you for the tips. A friend called and told me she heard that there was an out break of sick fish at PetSmart (where I bought mine) and that there are practically none there. Something about the breeder not conditioning their water or something. Maybe that is what happened to mine. Who knows.

I would just like a happy & healthy fish to take care of. <3
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