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Old 12-11-2011, 02:44 AM   #1 
konekoanni
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Losing a Betta after less than a day?

I'm new to the forum, so I'm not sure if this should go in general care or in betta health problems...

I've previously raised two other bettas, one of which was a rescue that lived for a year, and the other a Petsmart purchase that lived for two years. This morning, I bought my third betta from Walmart. He died six hours later.

The bowl, habitat, and rocks were clean, the water was filtered and heated, and I matched the temperature of the original water to reduce the risk of shock. This was all the same equipment I used to raise the previous two fish, though all of it has been in storage for six months or so.

My question to you is was this a fluke, and I just shouldn't buy from Walmart next time, or did I possibly do something wrong while transferring the betta to his new habitat?
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Old 12-11-2011, 03:09 AM   #2 
Luimeril
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he could have already been sick. i had a betta last that long on me. he was a beautiful boy. deep black body, blood red fins, with a few streaks of blue in his dorsal. his name was Mister Auron, and i bought him from Petsmart. every one there was sick, except Mister Auron, and that's why i picked him.

so, i don't think it was your fault. i think he was already sick.
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:11 AM   #3 
Arashi Takamine
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Agreed. WalMart is the worst place to buy fish from by the time you get them their immune systems are already almost nuked. I bought a female from them and she died two weeks later from parasites she could have only gotten from them. I don't think it's your fault it's theirs.
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Old 12-11-2011, 06:14 AM   #4 
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Almost all my fish came from walmart and most of them I picked because i felt sorry for them. Chances are, he was sick when you got him. I test the ammonia in all the cups when i get bettas and all of them had ammonia levels of at least 4. Even if he looked healthy, he may of been suffering from ammonia or nitrate issues. That being said, out of 25+ walmart bettas that I have, only 1 has died in less them a week. Petco bettas on the other hand.......
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:53 AM   #5 
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Other then matching the temp, did you acclimate him to the chemistry change?

Floating in the tank for 20-30 minutes, while periodically removing some of the water from the cup and adding in water from the tank (every 5-10 mins); that way he will adjust to the temp and the chemistry without going into shock from the change- which could of happened as well. Either that or with the consensus that he was sick prior.. sorry to hear he passed though :(
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:06 PM   #6 
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Thanks for the support everyone! None of the ones at Walmart were particularly active or vibrant, so I think you all maybe right that he was sick beforehand. It's too bad, but at least I didn't have a lot of time to get attached. I'm going to try again later today or tomorrow, and will definitely go to a real pet store, just in case.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:10 PM   #7 
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Don't discount Walmart for bettas, as even Petsmart and PetCo have at times ill fish. I have a couple from Walmart with no health problems.. just depends on how long they have been in their cups and whether they were healthy prior to being shipped.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:13 PM   #8 
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Are there any other good ways to tell if they're healthy other than just color and how active they are? I know it varies by pet store, of course, because not all pet stores have full-time fish people. This was only the second betta I've bought (the first was a rescue) so this is one area I'm not very familiar with.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:44 PM   #9 
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Like I said earlier, all my fish are from walmart and petco and I tend to get the ones that needs TLC. What I use as a guideline is:

1) Most likely they aren't going to be active in their little cup, since its small and usually has very little water in it. What I look for instead are ones that are alert. When you pick up their cup, they should "respond" to you and not just continue to float in one spot. I'm not saying they should go zooming around their cup, but they should at least flap their little flipper fins.

2) aviod ones with "Fuzzies". Fuzzzies can either be fungus, or columnaris. Columnaris is hard to treat as it can kill in a day. I've had 5 girls die in the past month of columnaris

3) Clamped fins. While most bettas with clamped fins are clammped from stress or high ammonia, it CAN be a sign of illness. in my experience, a day or two in clean water clears up clamped fins. However if you choose one that is clamped, make sure there are no other signs of illness like fuzzies or Ick (which looks like grains of salt).

4) Fin Rot. Alot of them will have fin rot or ammonia burns - fin rot makes their rail fins look raggid and torn. It can be bacterial or fungal. However its easy to treat with aquarium salt (NOT table salt) and daily water changes.

The last one is swim bladder disease. It's not fatal and is usually caused by over feeding. Generally the fish is unable to swim down and just floats back up to the surface. Fasting and epsom salt cure SBD. Sometimes they can only swim on their side. Unless you are sure the fish has SBD and not some other serious issue, avoid fish swimming funny or having bouyancy issues.

OOOH and make sure the fish is NOT pineconning. Pineconning is a sign of Dropsy and is almost always fatal.

And that's my guide to betta shopping at petco and walmart. Good Luck

You may also want to pick up some aquarium salt and epsom salt, they are good to have on hand, as is stress coat water conditioner.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:57 PM   #10 
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Thanks for all of that! I knew about the fungus, fin rot, and pineconing already, but I'll definitely be on the lookout for the rest. I'll probably end up going to Petco tomorrow, since I want to let the tank dry overnight before I refill it.

Also, I like that your fish have awesome names. Mine in the past were Rand Al'thor, Drizzt Do'urden, and the new one was/will be Gaius Baltar. I also have a hermit crab named Starbuck.
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