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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I am writing because my daughter's betta, Mr. Limpet, suddenly passed last night. I am very sad, sadder than my daughter, even! When she got the fish just three months ago, I told her I didn't like anything to be caged.

Well, I became so attached to that little guy. Before I discovered they are not supposed to be moved often, I would take his bowl from room to room with me. He was always happy to keep me company.

Yesterday morning, I noticed something seemed lethargic about the little man. We bought some water conditioners recommended at the pet store, some new plants recommended, and changed his water as suggested. He suffered terribly all day, in the way some here may have witnessed. But there was nothing we could do.

I am thinking one of two things happened. He either got too cold because we had him near (not in front of) a window and left our attic fan on all night several nights. He was near the air flow and it became quite cool in the home all night. Or, he got a drop of soap in his bowl from being kept near our kitchen sink.

Anyway, I am pretty devastated. I am 50/50 on whether I'd ever get another fish. Never in my life would I think of having a fish myself. I worry, though, that something that fragile is not meant to be in our care.

I hope others are doing well with their fishes. I would love feedback, if any is out there. :)

I write this in memory and honor of a very happy little fella, our incredible and very loved, Mr. Limpet.
 

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If you'd like critic on what you did wrong, would you mind filling this out?

Housing
What size is your tank?
What temperature is your tank?
Does your tank have a filter?
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration?
Is your tank heated?
What tank mates does your betta fish live with?

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish?
How often do you feed your betta fish?

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change?
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change?
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change?

It sounds to me like Mr Limpet was in poor living conditions. It's not your fault, as pet stores market bettas all wrong. People don't make a large fuss about fish abuse, so it continues on. Bettas ideally need a 5 gallon tank, 2.5 gallons at the last, with a filter and heater.

There's something called the ammonia cycle, which involved colonies of bacteria which break down your fish's waste so you don't have to change the water as often. Even so, 5 gallon tanks need a good 50% water change once or twice a week depending on parameters, while I'd change a 2.5 gallon at least three.

There are a lot of water additives out there, are some are better than others. Here, we generally recommend Seachem Prime.

As long as they're treated well, bettas live happy, healthy, and above all, long lives in tanks. There's nothing wrong with keeping them. Especially given that through many, many years of selective breeding, first for their aggressiveness, then later for their flashiness, the bettas you see in pet stores are very unlikely to make it in the Thailand rice patties of their ancestors. We can only hope people that know, or are willing to learn, how to take care of them take them home!

I'm very sorry you lost Mr Limpet. Bettas have a lot of personality, and can be very good friends. Swim in peace, Mr Limpet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Housing
What size is your tank? It was one of those standard fish, medium bowls, maybe only 1 gallon.
What temperature is your tank? We had no thermometer in it.
Does your tank have a filter? No filter.
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? We had stones in the bottom, possibly gotten at the store (i.e. recommended), but perhaps just regular stones without an air stone. I haven't heard of an air stone, but my daughter is a teen and she set it all up.
Is your tank heated? No heating in the bowl.
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No other fish.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? small fish granules/
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once daily, recommended amount.

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? We tended to mainly just add filtered tap water when the water got a few inches lower than full. I had just a day or two before he died added cold tap water (filtered) to fill up his bowl. Rarely did we change it out fully (i.e. 75% fresh water); maybe only twice in two months, so once a month.
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? My daughter usually did it. I would say 25%, but will ask her.
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? We did not add additives when topping it off with fresh water or changing it out with a bowl cleanse.

Thank you so much for your kind words.....
 

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Yeah, it really sounds to me like he just didn't have the right tank setup. Like I said, it really isn't your fault if you didn't know any better. My guess is, given it was unheated, he probably got too cold and went into temperature shock, compounded by poor water quality. If you do decide to get a new betta, I'm sure people here will be happy to make sure you have the right tank setup so your new fish will be happy as a clam, and something like this won't happen again.

You could read around the stickies in this forum if you want more information, regardless of if you're planning on a new fish, starting here: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=232570

At least you had those three months with him, and I'm sure he was happier than he would have been stuck in a store cup.
 

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1. Bettas are tropical fish and require a heater. 2, ALL size tanks should be cleaned a MINIMUM of once a week. Cold water slows down a bettas metabolism and makes their digestive system slower. That makes them more prone to bloating and constipation which can kill them. And with anything, do research before buying.
 

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RusselltheShihTzu
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So sorry about Mr. Limpet.

Most pet stores don't give suitable information when guiding Betta buyers. They often advise a one-gallon is plenty for Betta and they don't need heaters. My PetCo may be the exception.

Water changes: A one-gallon, unfiltered aquarium should receive 25%-50% water changes 3-4 times per week. Between times a turkey baster can be used to pick up waste and leftover food. Top-offs, unfortunately, allow Ammonia and Nitrites (both bad) to concentrate. Water changes remove them.

Additives: Always use water conditioners. Over time the chemicals used to keep our water "safe" will concentrate and kill fish. I recommend Seachem Prime.

Aquarium: I prefer two gallons+. PetSmart has a 2.5 with canopy for around $15.00. PetCo has a 5.5 which is what I use. To set my 5.5 up with canopy, filter, heater and thermometer would run around $50 but it is so easy to maintain with once a week 25% water changes and substrate vacuuming. You can fashion a canopy out of craft mesh or even use plastic wrap.

Heater: Most important equipment for Tropical fish. Betta should be kept warm; I prefer 78-80. Lower temperatures can compromise their immune systems and leave them open to disease and death.

Filter: Not as important as the heater but makes maintenance much easier. Whereas unfiltered tanks of 2.5 and less require 3-4 water changes per week, once a week will suffice for a Betta-only filtered tank.

Again, sorry about Mr. Limpet but I hope the above will help in future.
 

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Sorry for your loss......
Plus, at my petsmart, they said that minnows eat other fish. That is clearly a lie! I have a bunch of minnows living with my Zebra Danios and do I see any floating carcasses? No!
 
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