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Old 04-16-2013, 11:20 PM   #1 
Starscream the Bearded
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Join Date: Apr 2013
First Betta Died, Looking to Not Make the Same Mistakes

This Sunday, I went to Petsmart to grab some dog treats. I walked through the fish part of the store, and saw the Bettas. I then made a very impulsive decision. I talked to a worker for a few minutes, read a pamphlet, and bought a 1 gallon tank, some Betta Bits, some gravel, some water conditioner, and a blue male Betta. I brought them home, rinsed the tank and gravel, filled the tank, conditioned the water, and let the water sit until it was the same temperature as the water in the Betta's little container. I plopped him in, and set the tank near my desk. I experimental dropped in a few bits to see if he was hungry at all, and he wasn't ready to eat. I watched him for a few minutes here and there, and went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, he was just sitting in the corner of the tank. I tried feeding him again to no avail. I wondered if the water was too cold, so I dipped a finger into the water. It seemed cold, so I turned on my desk lamp overhead to see if I could warm it up a bit before work. It seemed to do the trick, and he started moving around a bit. He shied away from my finger instead of following it, but I assumed that was typical and something he would do until acclimated to his new home. Got home, tried feeding him again, nothing. My morning was the same. After work, I stopped by Petsmart again, and bought a small heater, a small fake plant, and a little container of bloodworms, daphnia, and mysis. I put the heater in along with the plant, let the heater sit for a few, then plugged it in. Within an hour, the water was warmer, and the fish was moving around much more. He started relaxing and I could see his fins better. I went downstairs for a few, and left to go to a little get-together for an hour. I came back, hopped on my computer, and watched him while a few games loaded. In the middle of a session, I looked over and noticed him flailing in the water. He eventually stopped, nose down in the gravel. I was scared, and dipped a small stick into the water to see if he would shy away from it. He didn't move until I nearly touched him, at which point he flailed some more and settled. I had to answer a call though, so I figured maybe he was just doing some betta thing, so I went downstairs again. When I came back, he was white in some places. After a bit of Google-fu, I concluded he was dead. I left him there for about an hour more, just in case, but was even more white when I returned. I took some pictures, removed him, and flushed him. In the event he wasn't dead before, he is now.
So tomorrow, I'm going to buy another Betta. I dumped the water and gravel, rinsed the gravel for 10 minutes along with the plant, and cleaned the tank more. I filled it back up, this time with water from my fridge and applied the conditioner. I am now currently heating it to an ideal temperature, so that tomorrow I can get a new fish and hopefully have better luck. I'm coming to you guys to see if I can get a cause of death (to avoid it again) and to get any advice you guys have. I would like to have a happy, not dead Betta, and I'm pretty sure you can help. Attached is a link to a gallery with my tank setup and the fish itself.
Also, I removed the food after several minutes of him not eating it.
I don't really feel sad, just disappointed that I can't even take care of a fish.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:47 AM   #2 
jadaBlu's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Midwest
The Petsmart pamplets don't give accurate information at least not the pamplet I saw. While bettas can survive in a one gallon tank they are difficult to heat properly because most heaters get too hot for one gallon. If you still have your one gallon box I would suggest cleaning it with bleach and exchanging it for a minimum of a 2 gallon but preferably a five gallon. (or you can keep the one gallon in case you need hospital tank) Given that your betta was ok initially when you put the heater in but later was flailing and uncomfortable an hour later I'd say the tank overheated. That is just a guess though.
Get a thermometer and a bigger tank and please read this:

You should also go to fish emergencies and read disease 1 and 2 so you may notice sickness when picking out your fish and you will notice if your fish falls ill.

Choose a betta that is active and responsive and whose body and fins look intact and healthy. You may find one that is looking at you and is alert. I go for that fish every time. If you get a big enough tank you and the fish will enjoy each other much more.

I bought my 5 gallon from a store called Meijers for $10 if you have any locally. If you have Petco in your area I think they are still having a $1 per gallon sale.

This is Nano one of my first bettas enjoying his five gallon tank

He immediately swims back and forth when I come into the room and he races my finger along the side of the tank. He does a little fishy dance when I call his name. Bettas are quite personable if you take the time to interact with them. With the right care your next fish can do much better. Come back and ask all the questions you have people will help you.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:18 AM   #3 
mermaid77's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Massachusetts
Hi..sorry your little guy didn't make it...

I agree, the heater may have overheated the tank...a larger tank and an adjustable heater that you should set to 78-80 degrees are your best choices and of course a thermometer to monitor it...they don't handle drastic temp changes well ( keep in mind that to them, only a few degrees difference is drastic ) and anything over 86 is too hot. The other thing that may have been an issue is the way he was acclimated...Making sure the water is the same temp and plopping him in isn't enough. The water chemistry in his cup is very likely different than your tap's water chemistry...slow acclimation by pouring in a tablespoon of your tap water every 10-15 minutes into his cup will slowly help the betta to adjust to his new water....the more time you take to do this, the easier and smoother the transition will be for the betta...
Best of luck to you and your future betta!!! :)
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