I lost my baby betta today and I need to share my thoughts...
When my husband came in this morning to tell me that our baby betta had died I felt such sadness, of course. I also felt guilt and anger.
Three weeks ago on a whim, compelled by pity to see such living conditions I bought her, a one inch baby betta. And with my children's help we named her Freedom. Within hours I was online reading, reading and reading. That evening I went back to the pet store and purchased a 2.5 gallon tank, a heater and some more silk plants. I was determined to provide a good home for her. Unfortunately, determination does not always equal wisdom. No matter how good my internet search abilities are, there is a lot of hands-on experience that needs to be gained. I am sorry that my very first betta, my very first fish in fact had to be sacrificed in order to gain that insight.
Truth be told it was my ignorance that killed her. I have never heard of "cycling" and "babbling" and "dropsy, ich, or velvet." I know now. I also know about substrate and water conditioning. And unfortunately I know about Epsom salt baths. And I learned that even the tiniest of God's creatures can nuzzle their way into your heart in ways you never even imagined. Seriously, I never, ever would have thought that a fish, in this case, a betta fish, could have such a little personality. I won't make that mistake again!
Nor will I make some other mistakes. I upgraded to a five gallon and this tank will remain fishless for at least a 6 weeks or further, until I am satisfied with the cycling. I plan to get another betta. I feel like I owe it to Freedom to provide a good home for another betta who is desperate to be loved and cared for instead of being subjugated to the bottom line of a chain store. This leads me to my anger.
Shame on the employees [no, shame on the higher-ups who allow the folly to prevail in the first place] who blissfully sell delicate creatures to equally blissfully unaware customers. Shamefully, I was undoubtedly unsuspecting of my newfound responsibility, and for that I will make amends. I was also unsuspecting when it came to falling in love with something I never thought was possible. I am quite happy about that.
First of all I'm sorry for your loss. Don't get too down on yourself sometimes it just happens. A 2 1/2 gallon container does not need to cycle so you were O.K. there. Not sure if your water is chlorinated. If it is you should dechlorinate it first next time. I find betta's from "chain stores" can be pretty tricky the 1st week or 2. It seems they have a lot better chance coming from a local fish store or a breeder. I've had a lot of pets throughout my life and didn't think there would be an attachment to a fish. Wrong! Betta's are like the dogs of the underwater world. They seem to have little personalities and respond to you when you interact with them. I recommend picking out a very healthy and fiesty fish so you begin learning with a strong fish who doesn't already have a few strikes against it. Best of luck!
I'm sorry for your loss, and you wrote such a pretty memorial.
I know this sounds heartless in the case of your loss but the babies are returnable in case of loss for a month now.... If you got him/her from Petco... They changed their policy, and when I was buying my little guy the employee kept reminding me of that over and over...... They do require you to bring in the poor thing for return or exchange... BUT they let you take the fish home in case you wish to bury him/her.
These little guys have a ton of personality and I believe their spirits know when you've done your best. With more and more people buying the babies I think the babies might deserve their own care sheet/sticky post soon.
If you want a million opinions you can always post a question What people have done to raise their petco baby betta. (or something) So many of us have them now, and you could find a way to care for your next lil one that would work best for you.
So sorry for you loss:( I understand how upset you are. And I know how those tiniest creatures won your heart . I love them the same way , I love all animals. I love my bettas like I love my dog. I just want people to be patient and don’t afraid to buy another betta. I saw many post when people had 3 -4 bettas in a row died. And your betta definitely didn't die because of your ignorance. You care enough to go on the forum and on internet to find out what is wrong. Unfortunately we all had bad experience as a beginner. I would even say a lot of people who has betta for long time still have problems a lot of the time. Fish is just like dogs and humans get sick no matter how good/right you going to do everything.
Also i just want to let you know a lot of time when you buy a betta it can be sick from the store. And i would say a lot of time. So like you say you know what is Epsom salt. I would really buy aquarium salt and Epsom salt in case you will buy sick betta. Don’t want to scare you I want you to be prepare.
I also think since you are not experienced don't buy a baby betta. There might be something different about baby care i would think...i have bettas for long time and I would afraid to buy a baby betta.
Also cycling is not necessity and the same as babblers. All my tanks 2.5 gall and a few 5 gall and I don’t cycle and I don’t have filters. Filter is optional you don’t have to have it.
I do 50% and 100% water changes a week.
Also you already know that you need water conditioner? If you don’t know what kind you want to buy I would recommend Prime by Seachem.
I lost a baby betta too, but I knew with the one I brought home it was going to be rough. It didn't matter, it was still a blow when (s)he didn't make it.
You gave your little one a much better home and care than many bettas ever get. And you read up on it, which is more than many owners will do. I'm sorry that it didn't lead to a long and happy life for that fish, but I hope that with your newly aquired knowledge that you will get one that *will* keep you company for a good long time.
Thank you to all of you for posting your empathy and encouragement. We have the new tank set up and I'm working diligently to make sure the water is the correct balance. We plan to get another betta in August and I will be sure to update then.
Sorry for your loss, I know it is hard to loose a fish. True, they wiggle their way into our hearts! I'm glad you are willing to try again with a new fish in August. Bettas sure are a rewarding and joyfull pet, even though sometimes it is a sad thing when they get sick or die. Even when a person has tried all they can to save them and die anyway. Even so, it is worthwhile to have Bettas anyway because it is such a great a feeling when they do pull through and live.
Good for you for doing research to learn more about Betta care! We all can help you be successful the next time around. There is lots to still learn and to know but worth the time and effort. We are all here to help. :)