10 Gallon Tank Why did my Betta die? Please help

pin3c0ne

I just typed all of this out, and it got deleted - I don't know if there's a drafts button. God. Haha

Hello. This morning I woke up to my betta fish dead at the bottom of my tank. I'm not sure how long he had been dead, possibly most of the night. He had his head tilted back a little, and his gills were wide open.
I had this betta fish for approximately 2 and a half years, his name was Fig. He was my second ever fish, so I'm quite new to fishkeeping. If you guys could offer me any insight as to possible reasons he could have died, I am all ears. I don't want to get a new fish until I know what may have happened.
He was living in a 3-4 gallon tank for the vast majority of his life. In the last week, I got him a bigger tank (8-9 gallons), and did it up for him. It was a natural planted aquarium; driftwood, dragonstone, java ferns, amazon swords, anubias, moss balls, etc. I cycled the tank using some water from his old fish tank, and his filter. Once the water parameters were perfect, I put the little guy in. In the last few weeks I had noticed he was missing some of his fins, so I had started changing the water more often. Once he was in his new tank, I also started him on some Pimafix (this is what the "fish expert" at the pet store recommended, and they didn't have any bettafix) for his fins. I followed the dosing directions on the bottle, but on day 5 I noticed he was just a little more lazy than usual. He was still swimming a lot, but just taking a few rests and didn't swim up to me, when usually he would jump up and swim to see me. However, at the time I didn't take this as anything to worry about. However, the next day he was in one spot in the tank for almost the entire day. On the occasion that he would swim to get a breath, he'd go right back down to it afterwards. I started researching why he might be doing this, and just in case I also googled people's experienced with Betta fish and Pimafix. Quite a few people had mentioned that after a few days of medicating with this, their betta had become pretty lethargic. A lot of people were also saying that this medication is unlikely to hurt your fish, so that was relieving. I figured he was just sluggish due to it. Several people had said to do a bigger water change than the bottle recommends to get some of the medication out, so I did a 50% water change. I checked the parameters after and they were still perfect. My betta hung out in the same spot for the rest of the day though. I managed to get him to swim up that evening to eat some food. I gave him a pellet and he couldn't get it down. It's like he couldn't chew it or something, he just spat it right out. So I tried some blackworms and daphnia, he successfully ate most of this - but he did spit out 1 or 2 blackworms. After eating, he went back down to his spot he was all day. I didn't want to do too much else to bother him, so I went to bed and figured I would do a water change in the morning. However, as you know, I found he had passed that morning. I have no idea what happened, or what I could have done to prevent his death.
Other than those 2 things, I can't think of anything else I've done different. His tank mates are still completely okay. A nerite snail, and several cherry shrimp.
I'm not sure if it was old age, the medication, the stress from the tank change, water changes, a combination of these, or something else entirely. I am devastated, I feel like I failed the little guy. I didn't even have time to heal his fins fully before he passed.

Here are some pictures and screenshots from videos of him, so you can see his fins. The first 2 are from August and October 2021 (they were the best ones I could find to show his fins, but I'm not sure when he actually started losing them, as I only really noticed in the last month).
The second one was taken JUST before putting him in his new tank. I did notice some regrowth during the time in his new tank, the ragged parts at the end of his tail had began to even out.

Thank you, any help you can offer would be so greatly appreciated. Please, let me know if I did something wrong. I don't want to make any of the same mistakes with my next fish. I know I should have noticed his tail faster, and done water changes in his old tank more often, but I won't make this mistake again.

Also, while I have you here - any recommendations for plecos that work well in an 8-9 gallon tank with a betta fish? Or other bottom-feeding fish.
 

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TropicalFlow

He was a beautiful betta, How old was he when he passed?
 

StarGirl

Welcome to Fishlore! :)

1st Dont use any of the "Fixes" for Betta fish. Even Betta Fix. They are essential oils and mess with their labyrinth organ. They really don't DO anything.

How often were you changing water in the new tank?

For fin rot you want to change water at least a few times a week. Maybe try some stress coat if anything.

I think his death may have been a combo of a few things, age being one who knows what else. SIP Fig. :(
 

pin3c0ne

He was a beautiful betta, How old was he when he passed?
I don't know how long he was in the fish store for, but I had him for about 2 - 2 and a half years :)
Welcome to Fishlore! :)

1st Dont use any of the "Fixes" for Betta fish. Even Betta Fix. They are essential oils and mess with their labyrinth organ. They really don't DO anything.

How often were you changing water in the new tank?

For fin rot you want to change water at least a few times a week. Maybe try some stress coat if anything.

I think his death may have been a combo of a few things, age being one who knows what else. SIP Fig. :(
Thank you for letting me know about the "fixes". I regret using them, I should've researched beforehand.
Well, the Pimafix said to do a 25% water change after 7 days. I did a 50% after 5, because I noticed the energy problem, and did some research on it. But, I think I went wrong there. I should've just done water changes every 2 days and not used the Pimafix.
And okay, it's nice to know about the stress coat. Thank you so much.
 

StarGirl

I don't know how long he was in the fish store for, but I had him for about 2 - 2 and a half years :)

Thank you for letting me know about the "fixes". I regret using them, I should've researched beforehand.
Well, the Pimafix said to do a 25% water change after 7 days. I did a 50% after 5, because I noticed the energy problem, and did some research on it. But, I think I went wrong there. I should've just done water changes every 2 days and not used the Pimafix.
And okay, it's nice to know about the stress coat. Thank you so much.
Just remember stress coat is dechlorinator, so using it when doing water changes you do not need any other dechlor. My general rule is if you see something funny....Do a water change. :)

I know it is sad when you lose fish but everyone is a beginner at some point. ;) You live and learn. Believe me I am learning new stuff every day about fish and I have had them for 20 years!
 

OutsideFoodBlob

So sorry to hear this happened! It does sound like a combo of things that may caused this as others have mentioned. Sadly you were not given good advice/recommendation regards treatment to boot.
Two and a half years is a good long betta life. I sadly lost mine after only a little more than a year to a tumor.
This is a great place for support and advice and lots of betta keepers so please stay connected. When you are ready: you can introduce us to your future betta.
 

pin3c0ne

So sorry to hear this happened! It does sound like a combo of things that may caused this as others have mentioned. Sadly you were not given good advice/recommendation regards treatment to boot.
Two and a half years is a good long betta life. I sadly lost mine after only a little more than a year to a tumor.
This is a great place for support and advice and lots of betta keepers so please stay connected. When you are ready: you can introduce us to your future betta.
Thank you so much. :) I'm sorry to hear about your betta <3. I will definitely stay connected!
Just remember stress coat is dechlorinator, so using it when doing water changes you do not need any other dechlor. My general rule is if you see something funny....Do a water change. :)

I know it is sad when you lose fish but everyone is a beginner at some point. ;) You live and learn. Believe me I am learning new stuff every day about fish and I have had them for 20 years!
Okay, that's great advice! Thank you. I'll definitely think about that rule in the future.
Yeah, I understand! I've definitely learnt a lot just from this thread alone. That's wonderful to hear about how long you've been in the hobby!
Thank you again.
 

CindiL

Hello, sorry you lost your little guy! By the time you buy a betta at a pet store they are usually adults so if you had him for 2 1/2 years, he was probably well over 3 years old when he passed which is a “normal” age. As they get older they succumb pretty quickly like yours did to disease they would have been able to fight off when they were younger.

I do agree on any of the “fixes”. Throw that stuff out. I don’t think that killed him though, it probably didn’t help him though. In the future Seachem Stress Coat is good for the fins as it acts like a bandaid on their sores. Sea Salt at 1 tsp per gallon is also good for healing fins and Betta Revive, a combination of malachite green and methylene blue is a good bath (not good in a cycled tank).
 

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