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Old 05-15-2012, 01:53 AM   #1 
Lynntastic
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Exclamation What did I do wrong?

I purchased a new betta at petsmart less than 12 hours ago (around 5 or 6pm EST) and put him in a filtered 2.5 gallon tank (I was planning to move him up to a 5 gallon later, but the 2.5 is what I had on hand).
No heater, but it's generally warm here so room temp water has always been perfect for my bettas in the past. I conditioned the water with Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus and fed him the recommended amount of Top Fin betta bits.
For hours he was swimming around his tank happily with much more energy than any fish I'd kept before and he was also the healthiest looking I'd ever kept.
Then about two hours ago he stopped swimming around and was very still. I thought he was only resting but then I noticed that his color had gotten lighter. I kept an eye on him and he just kept getting worse until he finally died.

I don't understand what happened. It was so sudden. I'd like to try again since I have the tank set up again, but I don't want to end up with anther dead betta.

Any ideas?
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:02 AM   #2 
bahamut285
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There are two things I can think of at the present moment:

1. Many fish are not well when they come out of the stores. It is not uncommon for fish to pass away within a few days or hours of coming home. I myself had a betta that died after a week, and other fish that died before I even got home... (20 min drive)

2. How did you place him in the water? Normally fish have to be acclimated (i.e. slowly introduced) into the new environment, both temperature wise and water chemistry wise. For temperature, you just float the bag/cup that you bought him in for a few minutes. For water chemistry, you just slowly add your tank water to the bag/cup a few times before releasing your betta.

I'm sorry for your loss, but I hope that this doesn't discourage you from this amazing hobby :D
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:21 AM   #3 
Lynntastic
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I floated him for a bit, but I didn't really chemically acclimate him. He'd been in the tank only about 4 hours when it really started, so that could be it. It's been a few years since I've kept betta. A friend suggested that it might be because I used tap water, but I used conditioner and let it run through the tank filter for a few hours before I put the fish in.

Do you think I'd be safe putting another fish in after a light cleaning, or should I completely scour the tank and start from scratch?
Thanks for the quick response. :)

Last edited by Lynntastic; 05-15-2012 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:25 AM   #4 
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If it was after 4 hours I would doubt it was your water (in my opinion). Usually chlorine in tap water will kill a fish FAST. It sounds very unlikely to be your fault :(

I would clean the tank just for safe measure. 2.5 Gallons isn't that difficult to clean (for my anyway, haha). I usually use above-warm water (not scalding hot) and some white vinegar. Followed by a good rinsing :D
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:37 PM   #5 
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It doesn't sound like you did anything wrong. Who knows how long, in what conditions, etc etc the fish was at the store.

One of my first two I got when I re-aquired fish recently died after 3 days, and he was the picture of a healthy betta. His (divided) tankmate is still going strong, and was, to be honest, the less robust of the two at the time I purchased them.

Many stores will refund for a death in under a week, although that does probably mean you have to return the unfortunate fish to them.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:06 PM   #6 
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Thanks. I took him back today to get a refund, but instead of getting another fish from petsmart I plan to go to a local aquarium shop and find a new one.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:19 PM   #7 
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Try not to feel too bad about it, it sounded like he might have just had something wrong with him whether you were about to see it or not. I tend to look for sick fish to buy to try and make them better and then either keep them or rehome them. If they don't make it I always try and tell myself at least he died in a home, in a filtered tank and not a filthy cup on the shelf of a store.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:34 PM   #8 
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Chances are, he was sick when you got him - stress from shipping and lack of clean water at the petshop all add up. He may of had a high ammonia level in his cup - almost all the ones I have had been at 4,0 or higher.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:50 PM   #9 
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Like others said, it was probably sick already.

If it did have anything to do with your water, I must say that I dealt with a betta water issue before. I was extremely uneducated about bettas and I put my betta in plain on water from the sink (no conditioner!!) and into a puney 1 gallon tank. He actually lived for MONTHS like this, I don't know if my city's water just didn't have much chlorine, then suddenly had more or what. Then I went and got a new betta that died one day after I got him.

Then I talked to the petsmart lady and she explained to me that you cant just give them plain old water without conditioner. It was my fault and i felt really bad... :/
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:25 PM   #10 
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Often if you return a fish and tell them you would like to bury the fish they let you do so. Just an FYI anyway.

Don't really let one bad experience keep you from getting another fish from any kind of store either.

It sounds like it could have happened to anyone. I would just make sure to clean the tank really well and rinse it out even better just to be sure there wasn't anything that settled in the tank during storage if you had the tank for a while. Maybe get new gravel if it is old and re-used? --- Just ideas anyway, gravel isn't very expensive and if it is old it would probably be worth replacing if it was used before storing it.

Check your water conditioner too and make sure it isn't expired to be on the safe side.

Sorry for your loss, and I hope your next betta settles in nicely :)
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