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Old 07-06-2013, 09:07 AM   #1 
CrazyFishDude
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Betta Guilt

I used to have a betta named Jimmy. I got him for Christmas in 2009 with some red gravel and his own 10 gallon tank kit. He was the grumpiest betta one could have, but I still loved him (and even talked to him, which made me look like a psychopath but I really didn't care). He moved with us and had to be in a smaller 3 gallon, but he was still happy. Sadly, once 2012 hit, I stopped taking care of him other than an occasional feeding and a water change every few months. All I cared about was school and whatnot, and I should've given him away to a better home, but I didn't even think of it. He got so sick he died, and I still remember the look on his face (I sound crazy, don't I) like he forgave me. I almost cried, snapping back to reality instantly and remembering I owned him in the first place. I haven't had another betta since.

So what does this sad memoir have to do with anything? (TL;DR version here) I have wanted a betta for ever since I made this account. It's been a year, I've been researching betta care, and have a newfound maturity and responsibility. I love bettas beauty and personalities, but whenever I think of getting one, I immediately remember Jimmy and feel guilty, like "how could I even think of killing another fish?" Should I feel like this? Should I let it go and get a new betta? Is this a normal feeling? It's not just that jimmy died, its that I was responsible for him getting sick and eventually dying. What do you guys think? Sorry this is so long.

EDIT: Mystery, the fish in my signature, is not my fish. She is my stepsister's fish that I help take care of. I am considering taking her off my signature, given that she's not mine and my stepsister does most of her care.

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Old 07-06-2013, 09:33 AM   #2 
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I think the important thing here is that you learned your lesson and I don't think what happened to Jimmy will happen again because of that.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:36 AM   #3 
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I think the important thing here is that you learned your lesson and I don't think what happened to Jimmy will happen again because of that.
Thanks. And I suppose that is true, because that guilt, if anything, would probably knock the "I really don't feel like doing a water change today" right out of me.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:46 AM   #4 
TheOnlyCanvas
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I'm not going to lie - I've done it.
My very first betta, the only one I owned before my curent babies, was a male veiltail I named Rainbow. I was young, maybe 10 years old.

I got tired of taking care of him... so I purposely did everything I could to kill him. And when he finally died I was relieved.

I've felt guilty for that ever since, and it definitely made me fight with myself when I decided I wanted to get a betta fish again. But I learned from it and the desire to never treat another living creature like that again has driven me to spoil my fish absolutely rotten.

It all depends on you, really. If you're determined to love and care for the new fish properly then I say go for it. You make mistakes, you learn, you grow. Take this opportunity to right the wrong :)
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:52 AM   #5 
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You may have neglected Jimmy but since he was 3 years old he may have died of old age. 3 years is a pretty good old age for a betta to get to.

Since you now know better I doubt you will repeat your neglect plus maybe your sister can help you out now and then with his care.

Go for it!
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:05 AM   #6 
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You may have neglected Jimmy but since he was 3 years old he may have died of old age. 3 years is a pretty good old age for a betta to get to.

Since you now know better I doubt you will repeat your neglect plus maybe your sister can help you out now and then with his care.

Go for it!
Thanks for all your advice. I think I'll use this experience as inspiration to be that "crazy fish dude" (see what I did there?) and spoil a betta... or two... rotten.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:15 PM   #7 
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My first betta, Beta, was kept in a small fish bowl, only double the size of his cup, he really didn't have anything to hide in, and after I did all the research on here, I felt so guilty about how I kept him, not to mention his sudden death when I went home one weekend from college and found him dead in his bowl (I saw that my roommate had indeed fed him as asked). I felt so guilty that I didn't want another betta.

However, here I am, with two boys now that share a 5.5 gallon tank. I know for a fact that once I'm on my own with my own house (can't go crazy in an apartment XD) I will probably try my hand with a sorority and having more males (breeding scares me still, but who knows, maybe I'll feel confident enough later in my life), and probably having other species of fish as well.

We all learn from our mistakes, and it definitely sounds like you've learned from yours, so I don't really see why you couldn't get another betta so long as you remember the lessons you learned from your first.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:41 PM   #8 
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When I was young, I won a goldfish at a carnival. I knew nothing about fish, so I put him in a vase and fed him bread. He died overnight and we made a grave for him. :( I wish I would have done my research, but I now have 3 healthy goldfish!
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