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I recently moved towns with my two boys. I've had my royal blue veil tail (Tin) for months now, recently got a multicolored half moon (Ran) the other week. The half moon concerned me because of course he's been living in a cup on a shelf for who knows how long. He looked rather heavy, almost 1.5x the size of my veil, I think he was bloated. Also no sign of excrement or scale flake at the bottom of his cup. I took him home and fed him a bit of a soft unshelled pea a day later.
Fast forward a bit, and I have the half moon living in a one gallon bowl because a dorm room can only hold so much. His appetite was healthy despite being very skittish to swim to the top for pellets.

In his tank, I used this rock that I've never used with my bettas before, I'm not sure what the material is, though it's heavy.
Ran died overnight, unfortunately. I'm disappointed with myself, he was a beautiful betta that I was already so fond of. I don't know the cause of death, and I wonder if it's the rock. I don't want to risk losing Tin as well so I won't be using these rocks for his tank.


Do you guys think this is the cause?
 

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I am sorry for your loss. That's probably not the cause but since you think it could be where did the rock come from?

One gallon is smaller space for a betta but if you did enough water changes it can work and it is better than a cup which can't be heated. Some might say it's not enough but I've learned dorm rooms can be very limited. I discovered my niece was keeping her fish in a tiny cube in her dorm room because technically that's all that was allowed. I didn't even know she had a betta. So an upgrade to a gallon (which she had to hide) was great for the fish. Clearly you had good intentions and if you tell us more about the bloating, his behavior and such we might be able to tell you more.
 

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I don't think it was the rock, unless it was new and porous and leaked chemical .. It doesn't look like that type o decoration to me though.

Even though you didn't see excrement or loose scales at the store he was probably very sick when you got him. Stress takes a huge toll on their health so the moving and new tank syndrome combined to an already sick fish :< I'm sorry for your loss.

Often when these cups in the store are not cleaned the fish is living in it's own built up waste. The stress and shock of being acclimated to a new tank sometimes causes more problems than it fixes if the fish has bad genes or immune system. The shock from poison water to pristine water is actually quite harmful and the recommendation is a gradual change so they can acclimate properly. It's our compassion that drives us to remove them from the poison water asap.
 

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Probably ammonia poisoning, bettas have to have a filter and heater to live, without a filter toxic ammonia builds up and kills the fish.
Bettas also need a minimum of 2.5gallons.
In most dorms you can have up to a 10gallon tank, I would get a 5 gallon tank asap, with a proper size filter, heater and lid, you'll also need prime water conditioner to dechlorinate the water as chlorine I very toxic to fish and even humans. Also a API master test kit is very helpful to monitor your levels of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates as all these can kill the fish.
 
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