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823 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

So my work's supplier finally had EE bettas in stock, and so I ordered one for myself. I woke up at 7am to drive 2hrs to the city to pick up the fish order the moment it arrived at the airport in hopes of preventing any deaths.

I checked them all over and saw the EE they sent was TINY. My pygmy corydoras were almost as big as him. He looked stressed in his bag, so I put him in a cup so that he could at least get fresh air on the drive home.

When I got home, I immediately floated him in the tank so that he could warm up a bit, and then went to deliver the rest of the bettas to my work. After I took care of all the bettas at work (took me about an hour), I went home to find my little guy was breathing heavily, his gills looked a little red. Thinking it may be due to poor water quality, I scooped him out of the cup and carefully set him in the tank. It's like he didn't know how to swim, he just sank, and then would spazz his way back up to the surface for air. He barely used his pectoral fins and would just let the water take him wherever...

I scooped him up with the net and floated him near the surface, in the net, so that he didn't have to struggle to reach the surface. He was breathing so heavily that I wasn't surprised when he died an hour or two later.

The tank I was placing him in was seeded by my other cycled 10 gallon, so my cycle was already started. I am really disappointed that he died, he was absolutely adorable and I've been saving this tank for an EE betta...

What size is your tank? 10 gallon
What temperature is your tank? 79*F
Does your tank have a filter? Yes, Aquaclear 20
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? Yes
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? The tank has 10 pygmy corydoras.

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? My bettas eat NLS betta pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? couple pellets twice daily

How often do you perform a water change? Every week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? Roughly 30-50%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Prime water conditioner.

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: .25ppm
Nitrite: My friends have my Nitrite test kit (long story)
Nitrate: 10ppm
pH: 7.6
Hardness: N/A
Alkalinity: N/A

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Just picked him up from the airport - colours were bright.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? Breathing heavily, not swimming, always sinking.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? When I picked him up from the airport this morning.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Nope, I was hoping warmer water would help him out...
Does your fish have any history of being ill? N/A
How old is your fish (approximately)? Very young..

I just wanna know if it's something I did, or if this guy was, for a lack of better words, doomed from the start? Other than his heavy breathing, his colours were fairly bright. He would just sit at the bottom of the cup, and I noticed he often tilted to the side in the cup...

This is when I picked him up.
Hand Insect Glass Finger Plant

And this is how he looked when he died... Stuck in that shape, wasn't moving or breathing anymore, even when I moved the net...
Organism Textile Boa constrictor World

823 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks haveyouhadyourteayet.
I was rather disappointed. I told my husband not to hug me about it, or the water works would start. He was rather upset that he could not cheer me up after the event, but I told him that's just the risk we take when we order bettas...

I didn't think I had done anything wrong (seeing as how my other 6 bettas are doing just dandy, and my pygmies are chipper as ever...). I just wanted to get some other opinions. Poor little baby :(

823 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
From the sounds of that he went into shock and that's what killed him. Acclimation is essential, and that goes especially for weak, young, sensitive, and shipped fish. When a fish is dumped into water with a different chemistry (or temperature, but that doesn't sound like the case since he floated in the tank), their body can often not handle it... Sometimes even to the point of shutting down completely. I've watched it happen, both unintentionally (bag fell into the water while I was eating, fish died) and induced (when done properly, temperature induced shock is a humane method of euthanasia).

To acclimate properly the fish is not only being adjusted to the temperature, but to the new chemistry. This involves slowly (over an hour or more in some cases) adding small amounts of water from the tank into the bag or cup, and letting the fish go after the bag is now almost completely filled with tank water as opposed to the original water. Another method is the drip method, where you drip water slowly into a container holding the fish and original water. This is a bit of extra trouble for bettas, but is arguably the best way to acclimate fish.

I'm really sorry for your loss. Shock sucks, and I'm sure the two hour drive to get him didn't help.
That's what I feared, and was kicking myself for after it was all said and done. I was told to not allow the old water to enter the tank (especially since some of them have filthy water when they arrive), so that's why I had scooped him out without thinking to slowly add the tank water to the cup...
I had kinda panicked when I saw him not doing so well in the cup (gasping and sitting kind of sideways) that I made a pretty amateur mistake :(

All in all, a pretty disappointing day...
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