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Old 10-19-2010, 08:27 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Had new Betta 1 day before he died

My son's Betta Vader passed away last week, we had him 2yrs. On Friday We went to Petsmart and got a new Crowntail, Rex. We have a 2 gal Eclipse with a 10W StealthPro heater. Temp is usually around 78. He was placed in the tank Saturday and on Sunday, I noticed he was not doing too well. I did not feed him Sunday at all and in the evening, I found him laying on the bottom of the tank. I scooped him out into the cup that I bought him in. Then I noticed this white fuzz all over his body that was very very faint. He was also clamping as well. At this point, he was alive but barely. Monday am, he was dead. He was totally covered in the white stuff. I took him to Petsmart and they said it was a fungus. I have had several Bettas and never seen this before. So, my question is what do I need to do to this tank to decontaminate it. How do I keep this from happening again? Are the fish from Petsmart bad? Rex was our 1st Petsmart Betta.My daughter's Betta is also in an Eclipe 2gal and he is fine. There has not been any cross contamination at this point. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:39 AM   #2 
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If the tank is not being used then you can wash it out with a strong salt (aquarium salt) solution. I don't know anything about PetSmart quality but you can avoid getting sick fish by observing them. The betta must move around in the cup when you pick it up and watch for them coming to the surface to breathe. Also look for any spots or fuzz. Most of the time fungus is very treatable with Anti-Fungus meds. Even the natural stuff works well.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:21 AM   #3 
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Location: WV
Are the fish from Petsmart bad?
Well, to be honest, I am less than impressed with Petsmart. Granted, the one in my area is brand new and perhaps they did get a "bad shipment" of fish in like they told me. But here is my story, this happened just about 2 weeks ago:

The new Petsmart was finally open and my Mom and I were there. It had been a long time since I had a Betta, so I wanted to see what they had. They had some Crowntails (which I had never seen in person) and the Veiltails. I just had to get a Crowntail, so I got one active looking male, and all the other necessities. Not two days later, the fish was dead. He never ate a bite while I had him and showed no obvious signs of illness other than lethargy. I thought he might be adjusting, but he was ill.

Since they had the 14 day policy on live fish, I decided to exchange him and try another fish. Again, this one was a Crowntail. I could tell from the start this fish was sick too, as he didn't eat.. And again in two days he was dead. I got my money back as I was tired of having fish die on me... I did find out from them that they did have a problem with their Betta fish dying. This is when I was told it was a "bad shipment".

I got another Crowntail from a different petshop in my area. He is still doing well, very active and eats normally. So, it was not my water, the Petsmart fish were indeed sick.

I went back to Petsmart to get a live plant (as the other petstore was sold out) and while I was there one of the employees told me Crowntails were less hardy than the other Bettas. I've found this to be pure BS... And, the plant I got there died within a week too!! I didn't bother to ask about a refund, as it was less than three dollars.

I've since gotten some live plants from the other petstore and they are doing fine. I don't know why the Petsmart plant died.

I personally will never by another living thing from Petsmart. I also will only buy other items there if I have no other alternative. I don't want to give them my money considering the trouble I had.

One more thing I will note:

The Petsmart Bettas were kept in blue colored water. When I asked about it, they said it was "a lot of stresscoat". I wonder if they were 'overdosed' on the stresscoat and this caused the deaths. The Bettas from the other petstore were at least in clear water.


This is just my experience, maybe my store is not the norm. Still, I personally have had it already with Petsmart.

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Old 10-19-2010, 12:53 PM   #4 
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Washington, USA
wystearya's experience with petsmart is about how mine have always been. At my local petsmart, all the Betta's always look very sick. I also don't understand the blue water. Even if the fish looked healthy at all, I don't think I would buy one there because I don't like that the water coloring makes it hard for me to truely see what they look like.
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:20 PM   #5 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
Washing out the tank in hot water from the tank should suffice. Keep in mind that once you thoroughly clean it, the bacterial colony that is helping to maintain good water quality in your tank will be compromised. You should research the nitrogen cycle to learn more about cultivating a beneficial bacterial colony in your tank.

Unfortunately, bettas are so overbred and so carelessy treated by shipping companies than many are seriously compromised before they even enter the pet store--and at the pet store itself, they're exposed to poor water quality overfeeding or underfeeding, and cold temperatures. Obviously there is nothing we can do about fish being kept in unheated cups, or coming off of the truck severely stressed out. However, if there is mistreatment occurring in the store, such as lack of sanitation, overfed bettas, emaciated bettas, and unreasonably cold temperature, you should write a letter stating your concerns and deliver it to the management. Then if nothing improves, write to the regional manager.

Whenever I choose a new betta at the store (which rarely happens these days--I prefer to adopt on craigslist whenever possible) I always test the water for ammonia content just to get an idea of how severe the fish's ammonia exposure has been, and then I give the fish a methylene blue bath. If the fish has been exposed to an unreasonable amount of ammonia, I keep them in a quaratine tank with a small amount of methylene blue for a few days. MB is a stronger preventative than aquarium salt that helps fish recover from ammonia poisoning while discouraging the growth of external parasites, fungi, and bacteria. For this reason, you should not dump methylene blue into a tank with live plants, or a healthy beneficial bacterial colony. Use a different container such as a plastic storage bin.

Remember to take a lot of time acclimating your new fish each time you do water changes and transfer him to new tanks. They have been exposed to such adverse conditions that the shock of being placed in fresh, clean, warm water can be enough to push them over the edge.

Sorry for your loss. Hopefully these tips will help you with the next one.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:32 PM   #6 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Central Texas
I've had very few problems with my Petsmart.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:51 PM   #7 
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Location: Fargo, ND
Sorry about your petsmart experience. I bought one betta from petsmart, Skittles, and he's doing fine. He's more cautious than Little Guy (who I got from walmart) but I don't attribute that to his stay at petsmart. I got a couple plants from petco, one died, but the sword took off and is doing well (at least as far as I can tell).
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