My son (9) has an aquarium in his room, and his betta, BluRay (about 2.5-3 years old), has always been a pretty fiesty little fella. He's been getting slower, resting more on his plant, but always knew when we shook the food canister that it was eatin' time. I had done a water change and my son decided BluRay needed a female companion. I wasn't really in love with the idea, but off we go. We get a female from PetSmart. We brought her home, I acclimatized her to the tank water and let her in.
I figured BluRay was gonna take her out and that would be the end of the experiment (not the greatest attitude, but I just figured he'd been a bachelor so long and all). She immediately put the run on him out of his little castle where he often hid. So he sat on his plant and watched her. After a while I noticed she was sitting near the top, where the filter spills the water in. He'd go up to her and flare out, she'd flare out a bit and put the run on him. OK, so there was no massacre at least.
My wife said that she'd noticed BluRay wrapping around her yesterday morning. I figured maybe, ya know, he'd given up his bachelor ways. This is three days since introducing the female, and I've noticed that not very much food is being eaten, and BluRay, while my wife has seen him and the female interacting, I find him sitting at the bottom more.
So last night, he's laying on the bottom and I am feeling concerned, so I try to net him and he swims away. OK, maybe he's not feeling that bad then. Then I see all these little white things, which I can only assume are eggs, caught in my filter. Hmmm.
Well, this morning BluRay was laying at the bottom of the tank again. This time there's no mistake. He's gone. My son took it pretty hard cause he's had BluRay longer than any other pet besides our dogs. Now my questions:
Did the stress of the female kill him? Was he just too old and couldn't handle it? Did the female take him out? He looked OK last night besides being lethargic; but this morning an eye is gone. His fins are OK, so it doesn't look like she pestered or nagged him to death.
Basically: Was it a mistake introducing this female? And should I just leave this as a one fish tank, or should I try another male again? I don't really want babies, to be honest, but I don't want the fish feeling lonely either; my concern is I've never had much luck with more than one fish (or hermit crab, but that's for another forum).
It's a 5 gallon tank, BTW, with a small pad-type heater in one corner, temperature usually hovering between 76-82 (cooler in the morning, warmer in the evening).
Thanks for any insight you can give me (and any guilt you can alleviate).