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Old 11-24-2008, 10:05 PM   #1 
miniflea84
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Betta ate part of a dead fish, or, how I'm a moron

So, a while ago I bought my girlfriend a five gallon tank and a betta. The two of us got the urge to buy some more fish, so after a bit of research we added five neon tetras. Four of them looked fine, were swimming around and such. Number five though was off by himself and right near the surface, about as far away from the others as he could get. Fast forward to the next morning, and the loner is nowhere to be found. Figuring he died somewhere and I just couldn't see the bugger I decided to remove some of the plants (and the other fish) just long enough to find him so that the body wouldn't be in there rotting any longer than it already had been.

Found it pretty easily, but I noticed that about a third of the body was missing, looked like the internal organs and such. Now, I know the betta was completely ignoring them when they were swimming around, he didn't even chase them a little. You think the betta did the eating, or the other tetras? Also, I know neons are very prone to dying (and there are no external signs of disease on any of the other fish, I looked very closely) so how worried should I be here?

I've got the remaining four neons in a seperate container for now. I don't think I'd like to put them back in with the betta but I'm not sure. I've got another tank they can go in (plus some more probably, as its a larger tank and I know four is really too few).

Anyway, just thought I'd share. Lesson learned: resist the temptation to buy fish on a whim.

Oh yeah. For a while I thought I'd also broken the filter, but I did eventually manage to get it running again. Good times.
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:53 PM   #2 
dramaqueen
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Years ago, when I was a kid, we had an aquarium (I don't remember what size) and we had neon tetras and a bunch of other fish. My Dad took care of the tank and I know he didn't know anything about what fish could live together. We also had a betta in that tank. One day, my Mom caught the betta catching and eating one of the neons. She was horrified and had my Dad to flush the betta down the toilet. So, in my experience, bettas will eat neon tetras.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:47 AM   #3 
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That size tank is really too small for a betta and any other kind of fish anyways since most of the fish they usually get along with are schooling fish and are happier in groups (you get a few points for recognizing that anyways) so they need a bigger tank for swimming and the obvious waste issue.
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:09 PM   #4 
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Just to clarify, are you saying the tank is too small for just a betta, or for a betta plus other fish? We have decided (not sure if I was 100% clear on this in my first post) that the betta will remain alone in his tank.

For those of you who saw the picture of the tank I posted in the picture thread, the "I prefer to live alone" sign is now more appropriate than ever.
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:55 AM   #5 
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The tank size is fine for just your betta. What they were saying is that it is too small to keep a betta with other fish.

That's a cute sign :) .
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:59 PM   #6 
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I've never housed bettas with neons, but I've definitely read about them eating neons (in places other than this thread, I mean). I wouldn't rule it out.
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Old 11-28-2008, 04:54 AM   #7 
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I will consider 2.5g as the minimum for a single betta. A 5g is fine. Miniflea described her neon went off by itself. This in itself is very unusual when it comes to schooling fish. Plenty of similar cases are ended with the discovery of their dead bodies or simply disappearance. I firmly believe the neon simply died for various reasons. We all know a lot of neons lately could not even last a month. Whilst the betta could have eaten it, why are the others still alive? Consider the size of the tank. If a betta attacked one, it should have attacked others overnight. Miniflea, your neon most likely either simply died from stress or is already dying from stress and attacked by the betta and the betta couldn't pass the opportunity to eat it. Stressed fish always end up attacked not the healthy ones.
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:24 PM   #8 
miniflea84
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Update:

Even though I removed the remaining tetras (and the corpse) her betta died two days ago while I was out of town for thanksgiving. She called me the first day I was away asking why the betta had white spots and wasn't moving around any more. I didn't actually see it but I figure it was probably ich. He was doing just fine, and even seemed ok after the tetras were removed, but I guess they introduced something into the tank, or maybe the whole ordeal just stressed him too much. Sigh... poor guy.

We're both pretty upset about the whole thing. We tried to take care of the little guy as best we could but sometimes this just happens.

On a side note, at the same store we bought the tetras from, I bought three green tiger barbs to add to my tiger barb tank. Two of them died within a few days, but the third (plus all my others) seem just fine. Perhaps there's an issue with that particular store, I dunno. The betta and my other barbs came from a different store.

I know they're just fish but it still sucks. Sigh.


Edit: Not that it matters at this point, but for those who are curious, the ammonia level was zero. Dunno about anything else, I was out of town and thats the only test kit my gf had at her place. I don't know if water conditions were a factor, I just assume since it happened right after I decided to add fish that they were what caused the problem.

Last edited by iamntbatman; 11-30-2008 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:42 PM   #9 
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I am guessing that the lethargic tetra brought the ick in. Do you have a quarantine tank? It will save you a lot of headache. I would probably avoid buying from that source as well if the mortality rate is that high. Sorry this happened to you :(
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:09 PM   #10 
miniflea84
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Unfortunately, I don't have a quarantine tank. I'm just glad my whole barb tank didn't up and die. And yeah, I doubt I'll buy from that store again. Which is a shame, because it seemed like a really nice place, and the only one around here specializing entirely in fish that I've found.

What caught me off guard though, was how fast it happened. She told me that it was just over a day between the time she first saw symptoms and when he finally died.
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