How do you deal with feeling like you failed you fish?
Not sure if this is the right subforum to post this in. Apologies if not.
My betta of a few months died yesterday. I got him on sale and he was already a little worse for the wear, but nothing horrible. He was doing really well for a while and the tank was cycled fully, but then I noticed him acting odd. I checked and the water quality had dropped drastically within the few days since I had checked it last, and he was showing symptoms of both the beginnings of fin rot and swim bladder disease. I immediately did a water change and looked up how to treat him for the swim bladder issues, which I think occurred because I hadn't noticed that there were gnats getting into his tank that he was eating in addition to his food. (I blocked off entrances that the gnats had as soon as I realized.) He seemed to be getting better over the course of a week or so with treatment of small bits of pea soaked in garlic and smaller than usual portions of food like bloodworms and and other frozen betta food rather than his usual more pellet heavy diet, plus daily water changes while I tried to figure out why the tank had somehow uncycled. He was getting more active and starting to be able to float a little. And then suddenly on Sunday he started getting worse again, and on Monday when I came home he was dead.
Even though I did so much research about bettas before getting one, I just feel like I missed something. Like I did something wrong. And that if I'd done more research before getting him or something, I would have been able to give him a longer life.
Like, I don't know how to feel. Like, I keep feeling this conflict between people saying "Oh, fish die easily so..." and knowing that he was a living creature with needs and feelings, even if not the same as a person's, that died under my care... Every time I look at the tank I expect him to be there, swimming around and he's not, and it's so like. I dunno.
I know I'll get another betta once I've mourned my lost boy and have made sure the tank is safe, but right now I'm just grappling with my feelings of responsibility for his death.
For other people who have felt this way after a betta's death, how did you get past it?
Last edited by bobonaca; 11-19-2018 at 07:41 PM.