Remembering Bubba- A Tribute And Learnings To Share.

Bubba's Mom

If anyone has seen my postings from day 1 - my mission was to give this $10 Betta from Petsmart the best life possible. Not having a clue about what this great hobby is all about I got my boy and placed him in an uncycled tank ( January 2018) where he not only survived Fin Rot his first week but grew out all his fins as on his profile .
He thrived for a whole year albeit small spikes of ammonia as I struggled to cycle his tank. By summer he was just beautiful and happy filling his tank with weekly bubble nest. What a joy for me to see I had saved him!

As I was taking pictures of his 1 year anniversary I noticed a slight scalloping of his beautiful fins that slowly continued and by end of Feb he was visibly sick and not moving much.
I made contact with numerous local fish stores and made the mistake of trusting one who took him in to care at her store.
She tried a bunch of different meds as she admitted she didn't know what it was- in the end she said it was fluke though she only treated him for three days with PrazI ( later realized the dose is at least 5 days).

I trusted everything she was telling me including the biggest mistake of placing him in a new larger tank with her water and letting cycle finish.
Although I was new to this still I kept telling her the Nitrates were 80+ she insisted on it being part of cycle to let it alone and no water changes. By third week Bubba was not eating and hardly moving- Nitrates were close to 160. His fins started looking fired so I researched and realized he was being poisoned. So another local fish store told me to do a 50% WC and keep testing and gradually lowering the Nitrate.

It was night and day and thought my Bubba had survived.
He did only however within 2 days secondary issues appeared due to the stress- immediately got fin rot- then the scalloping returned - then thick white poop (which now I am convinced was intestinal damage due to all the meds) and not intestinal infection.
All meds causing further damage after his Nitrate poisoning. I stopped them all and let him be.

If Bubba was slow my day was sad. I would wake up fearing he would be bad. He continued to decline- especially the last two weeks staying in his log all day or his champagne glass. He had been gradually loosing color as well as some scales- the edges of his fins also deteriorated. However he always found the strength to greet me. To add to all his problems in doing water change two weeks ago I noticed tip of thermometer had broken!!! so the insides had partially spilled into his tank for over a month. No chance for this poor guy.

I researched euthanasia for weeks- made notes-purchased the correct Clove Oil according to video.
Watched multiple different peoples take on Clove Oil. Seemed like the best option when the time came.

On Wed June 26th Bubba was not interested in his pellets- a rare thing- he had been in his log all night and I knew the time was near. He had had the huge thick mucous poop hanging literally every day for past two weeks.

I watched him all day through my security camera. Barely moved -stayed in log on his side all day- when I got home I found him unresponsive on a leaf hammock close to surface. Lots of little bubbles close to his mouth. I yelled and tapped but no response. I thought he had died. At touching him he moved. I swear I though he was dying and I should put him to sleep.

Went through the process outlined for Clove oil euthanasia. To my horror it failed. Bubba would wake up again and again- I called my local fish store- the good one- and they recommended another dose.
IT WAS A NIGHTMARE . The last thing I would have wanted was this end. I had prayed for him- I had planned. It was awful to watch and now awful to have in my memory. He literally was swimming really fast in circles, going up for air- to fall to bottom then try to get to again and fall. At one time he would hang perpendicular to surface. This went on for an hour and a half...when he finally fell the last time I just took him and placed him in the freezer as fish store had suggested. I am pretty convinced he had died. I WOULD NEVER WISH THIS ON ANY OF YOU IF YOU LOVE YOUR FISH. How I wish I could take time back and just let him die on his own. I am so broken as you can tell from this long post but pls remember the points below and don't make same mistakes I did:

• Cycle your tank first and foremost
• Test your water levels
• Don't over feed
• DO NOT RUN TO MEDS - identify what is really ailing your fish
• Rinse your filter
• Keep water clean
• Do not trust anyone who tells you not to change your water for weeks
• Nitrates over 20 are NOT GOOD.
• Unless you have done it before do not go the Clove Oil route for euthanasia. IT CAN FAIL and cause great torture to your fish- and ultimately to you.

I wish all you hobbyists great luck in your fish keeping. And if you have made it to the end of this post I sincerely thank you.

Never forget you buddy.
You were a true Champ- a true fighting fish til the very end. XO


I'm sorry you and Bubba had to go through that experience, it seems like a lot. You put in a lot of effort in trying to treat Bubba and that's what matters. Wish you the best!

Bubba's Mom

You are so kind to reach out. Thank you. Your profile shot looks a lot like my Bubba - had thermometer placed in same spot.

I am still very upset and can't stop thinking of the poor boy. Praying I can put the visuals behind me. THX again and wish you and your Finbabies all the best.


You are so kind to reach out. Thank you. Your profile shot looks a lot like my Bubba - had thermometer placed in same spot.

I am still very upset and can't stop thinking of the poor boy. Praying I can put the visuals behind me. THX again and wish you and your Finbabies all the best.

So sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to make that decision and for it to not go right is heartbreaking.


What a terrible thing to go through and I’m so sorry. I tried the clove oils method once too and it did not go well. Find comfort knowing he is now at peace and no longer suffering.

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