Thank you for being the first fish I've ever owned. You made me realize that a bond between a person and a fish truly can exist. We spent many afternoons getting to know each other and playing our "silly little Betta games." I did everything I could to make your life better. A new tank filled with fun decorations, good food, and I even gave you a Betta hammock to lounge on (you loved it). I bought a master test kit to test your water with, researched Betta's, and even spent numerous hours on sites like this, learning everything I could to give you a good life. A healthy life.
I failed you, Jack, and I'm sorry. I missed an ammonia spike that caused your death. I promise to let people know how quickly ammonia poisoning can happen, and how important it is to constantly test the water for it. A lot of mistakes can be caught in time to fix, but you can't take a chance with ammonia! Do NOT underestimate how quickly it can kill. I doubt I'll ever be able to own another Betta fish after this. I just wanted to say, thank you Jack, for being my first Betta.... and my last.
Im so sorry for your loss. Jack was lucky to have you as an owner at least you cared. We have all made mistakes so don't feel too bad. Its a steep learning curve and even with the best care stuff happens. Trust me even great keepers have had fish die. Ammonia can be very quick and I like a few live plants just to slow the spike. I like a new product called ammonia alert by seachem but it is a little pricey still. I hope you don't give up on betta because of this, fish need people like you.
I completely second Logisticsguy...bettas need wonderful people like you. :( But, I am also so sorry for your loss! I know it can be so hard when they go, but if it's any consolation at all, he had SUCH a good life with you! If not for you, he would never have known love and care and such wonderful times as he had in the wonderful tank you created for him. Far better to end his days knowing that he was loved than cold and alone in a petstore cup.
Still...I'm so sorry. :(
Also...it may not have been the ammonia. When in those tiny cups, their ammonia can get to the point that it's off the charts high...and they still survive. Sometimes, because they come from such awful conditions, they have something already wrong and it just never shows until they just suddenly die...sometimes without any symptoms or any obvious reasons why. Please, don't beat yourself up over his passing believing that it is your fault. It could have been the spike, but it could also just as easily have been something else altogether that there would have been nothing you could have done to prevent. It doesn't help now, but I hope that it might alleviate your guilt, if not your pain. :(
Again, I'm so sorry...and I truly believe that they appreciate and understand the care and quality of life that we try so hard to give them. There are worse eulogies for creatures than that.
I'm so sorry for your loss! Thank you for reminding us of the dangers of ammonia poisoning- I'll certainly keep it in mind. That said, though, he may well have had something else going on that he may have gotten from the pet store or breeder. It sounds like he had a wonderful life with you, and he was much better off than many (most?) bettas to have had someone who spent so much time with him and provided the best care that they could. Don't give up on betta care! It sounds like you're a great betta mommy, and there are lots of bettas out there that are in desperate need of a great mommy!
The reason I believe it was ammonia poisoning was because of the tell-tale silver areas around his gills, and his trouble breathing. He was hanging at the surface and not swimming when prompted. I removed him from his tank, put him in a hospital tank with salt, and headed off to the store to get meds for him. He was dead by the time I got back. The water readings were fine the night before, and I was performing water changes every two days as the tank was cycling....
Just didn't catch it in time to save him.
It does sound like ammonia poisoning, but it could also have been gill flukes, or any of the inflammation-based gill diseases. They can mimic the signs of ammonia poisoning and will kill much faster. They're unfortunately very common, especially among the petstore fish. :( I completely understand your reasoning though. :(
You are a fantastic betta keeper, I hope that you are able to connect with another rescue who needs your help in the future. :) Everyone who tries to save the ones who just can't make it have these stories...sometimes we win, sometimes we lose...but at least you tried! Never give up on trying to make a difference. :) When you're ready, I'm sure that another fish will be ready and waiting for you. :)
Ugh NO! Oh, how I HATE when people do that! And not just fish, dogs and cats as well. As if a life is EVER *JUST* anything!! A life that cares, that responds, that loves, that feels, that enjoys and experiences...that is not *ever* JUST anything. Anyone who says that lacks an experience that would truly enrich their lives. :( Limiting the space reserved for respect of life to only those who are your fellow humans...I will never understand this way of thinking.
Unfortunately, I cannot remember who said it, but there was something I once heard concerning just this circumstance. The gist of it was: the truest measure of a person is how they treat those who can do nothing for them in return. But, even there, I refuse to believe that this is *ever* the case. Just by caring for another creature, whether they can respond in kind or not, gives the caregiver a feeling of worth, of value, of love. That, in and of itself, is the reward for the actions given. There is no action in the world that is without a reaction of some type or another.