Did I kill my beta?


I haven't posted in a while but have been reading. I had a betta named Swimmie, and a gold mystery snail named Jesse Owens, in a 5.5-gallon tank with heater and filter since June 3. Both were doing awesome. I stupidly added 2 otos on Saturday (10/14). By Monday, everyone in the tank was dead. I tested the water before adding the otos, after adding them, and after everyone died. Nothing was wrong. There was no indication of disease or anything. I had the otos quarantined prior to adding them. When I purchased them they looked good. Stomachs were full and round with pink on their undersides. Why did I add them? Did adding them stress the betta out and he died. The aquarium store refunded my money for the otos and will replace my betta for free. I think they feel as bad about it as I do. Any thoughts as to what I did wrong?


Sounds as though the tank was overstocked. With a 5.5 gallon I wouldn't put anything more than one Betta in there. Snails produce a LOT of waste and can really raise the ammonia levels. If you must put in a snail with him I would leave it at that and not add any more fish. I have a 10 gallon with a Betta and recently added a snail and I  cannot believe how much that snail poops! I had wanted to add otos too but have decided a Betta and one snail is all that tank can handle.

I'm really sorry about the loss of your fish! I know I'd be heartbroken if anything happened to mine. Make you you thoroughly clean and sanatize the tank and re-cycle it before adding the new Betta. Best of luck with the new fish. I'm sure you will give him a good home.


I've said it before and I'll say it again: having a fish tank means maintaining an artificial environment that is actually alien to our own. Sometimes you honestly have no idea what kills your fish. I've had several fish die that seemed fine the day before.

I'm sorry too that your fish died, it does make you feel bad. However it sounds like you were doing your very best and that it was just one of those things.

I have to add this though: I don't think it was necessarily overstocked. Rose keeps a similar setup to the one you tried and it has worked fine with her. If there is anyone who pampers and anxiously watches her tanks it is Rose, and yet now and then she's had fish get sick and die. It sometimes just happens. Please don't blame yourself. I'd suggest just watching your water situation and giving your tank a good cleaning and starting the cycle again.
  • Thread Starter


Thanks for the replies.

Poefox, yes, I found the post that Rose made about my tank and yes, it should have been fine but who knows. Stuff just does happen. I just feel lousy. I took a water sample to a different aquarium shop and it was fine. In fact the guy said "gee, I wish everyone's water was this good." So, I'll do a water change, put in a new sponge for the filter, and see about getting another beta. They had really nice looking crowntail betas at this place. This one will remain in the tank by himself. Hopefully, I don't kill this one. And I'll wait til I've had him at least 2 weeks before naming him, although that never seems to work. I usually have them named before I even bring them home.


I am so sorry for all your losses and yes you should have been fine with the tank. I have two five gallon tanks that are heavily planted and one has a betta and 2 otos and a snail and the other a betta and 3 otos. They have been that way for months and been fine, but I do have a 50% water change with wiping down the inside of the walls and all every week and I am careful to use a biological waste eliminator as well to help dissolve the solid waste produced by all the little "poopers" and it does a surprisingly good job since it is very difficult to vacuum well with all those plants. The plan with a small tank is more water changes and more maintenance and you can have the 1" per gallon with no problem. A betta is about 2 1/2" and each Oto can run 1 1/2" the type I get so I may be a little over but with all the water changes and testing every single day, I never let things get out of hand.

Yeah, I pamper and coddle them but it sure is fun. They seem to like their lives and have me just where they want me, I do assure you.


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