The DANGER of Terra Cotta

  • #1
Just in case no one has ever mentioned this before I have to share this story.

I put terra cotta pots in my tank as caves or hiding places. I heard from people here on the list they were a good thing to use because the terra cotta houses beneficial bacteria.

Well .. my new wild bettas arrived today and I put them the tank. All seemed well until I went to check on them about an hour later and one of my females was stuck in the small hole that's on the bottom of the pots. I'm guessing someone else came in with her and she thought that was her only escape door.

1/2 in and 1/2 out she was killing herself in her efforts to wriggle free. I had to break the pot to get her loose but there was no way to do that gently. She has an enormous gash on her back with a huge flap of skin sticking up from her struggles and probably from my efforts as well. I doubt she'll make it through the night but I'm praying she's a tough girl.

I'd suggest if you're going to use Terra Cotta pots plug that hole with aquarium silacone or drill it out big enough your fish won't do what mine did.

Freak accident but very costly for me. :'(
  • #2
Wow, I can't believe no one warned you about the holes in terra cotta pots! I found this one out the hard way myself. Had a cory get stuck in one of my smaller pots in the 55gal and die. Because the back of the pot was very close to the back of the tank and my cories were adept at hiding (plus he was a peppered cory, so he blended in very well with the darkness back there under the sword plants), I didn't find him until it was WAY too late. Sorry to hear you had to find out about this the hard way. Hope your girl makes it.
  • #3
Gosh, that's horrible for both of you! I hope your girl makes it, MzMolly. I never thought of a fish getting stuck in the hole. My betta tank has a really small pot which Nelix only just explored today - it's only been in there for a month and the other pot which is fairly big has a much larger hole. But I have a cory and the small barbs... I best be plugging it up, as I would fear the sharp edges if I made it bigger. I was actually going to stick a plant in the hole with the roots inside the pot and the leaves poking out. I may just do that.
  • #4
Good morning,

So sorry to hear about your betta MzMolly. Best wishes for a full recovery.

If anyone wants to increase the size of the hole, be sure to sand down any rough edges with sand paper, rinse the pot and put it back into the aquarium. Anytime I have a new pot, I sand any rough edges that I find, including the hole area.

I have moved your thread from General Discussion to More Freshwater Aquarium Topics.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I'm tired .. I stayed away from this list for quite a while because I feel over-moderated.
I came back to make the post about the terra cotta because I felt it was important to other fish owners and for the sake of the fish.

First thing that happens .. a moderator moves my post. From my perpective there is nothing wrong with this post being in the general discussion and I put it where I thought it would do the most good.

But ... the moderators feel the need to move it.

Have a happy list. It's a great place for information but I feel someone's having far too much fun playing "god" and I'd rather find a list where the moderators don't sweat the small stuff.

Wishing you all well ....
  • #6
I have never understood why people take offense to a post being moved! It is really not a big deal and the mods are doing it to help posts get quicker as well as better answers.
Chicken farmer
  • #7
I have never thought about the little hole in the bottom. Some of my fish are just the right size to get stuck. Better take care of it.

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