Why Did My Betta Die?

  1. Heavy Metal Lion

    Heavy Metal Lion Valued Member Member

    Hello, I'm new to the aquarium hobby, but I've had my betta for about 3 months now. He was a gorgeous koi betta with a calm, friendly personality.
    • A couple of weeks ago, I upgraded him from a 2.6 gal tank to a 10 gallon tank and then last week, i added some tank mates (6 Neon Tetras, 2 zebra danios and 1 oto cat). He seemed to love his new room mates and no one ever bothered him.
    • 2 nights ago, when I went to feed them, he was sitting near the heater at the back of the tank and came up to me, but didn't eat. he then swam to the bottom and laid down on a rock on his side. he's never done that before (that i know of). He didn't move for several minutes. I watched a pellet of food fall on him and even a neon tetra brush against him, and still he didn't move. This worried me, so i grabbed my net and stuck it in there and as soon as it touched his fin he got up and started swimming again. I noticed then that his normally very pale pink/white head was a darker pink color, but he was recently in tannin filled water and i heard that it brings out their color, so i didn't think anything of it.
    • last night, i came home from work and he was at the top of the tank, with his mouth out of the water. he remained at the top the entire night, mostly just floating, but occasionally darting from one side of the tank to the other. He still didn't eat. I did some research online and thought maybe he was constipated from overeating due to his behavior, but i wasn't 100% sure.
    • Today when i woke up, he was dead. This is when I really noticed that his head was a much darker pink than the rest of his body, yet his lips were still white.
    Does anyone know what has happened? my mother used to breed bettas and she has no idea what happened to a seemingly healthy and happy betta fish. RIP my sweet Nova. (Attached is a picture of him from his 2.5 gal, with his normal light pink coloring)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. dansamy

    dansamy Valued Member Member

    I'm sorry for your loss.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Heavy Metal Lion

    Heavy Metal Lion Valued Member Member

    thank you
     
  4. kayla.s

    kayla.s Well Known Member Member

    Did you cycle the tank before transferring him?
     
  5. DylanM

    DylanM Well Known Member Member

    Although I don't know the cause of death, but the fact that you put 2 types of fish in a 10 gallon tank that are so active and hyper that they are known to stress other fish out and need a 20 gallon tank minimum may have caused an issue. If you still have the neon tetras and zebra danios, they should both be in schools of at least 6, and the zebra danios NEED a 20 gallon long tank if you want them to live a normal length life. On top of this, the fact that he was introduced to these hyper-active tank mates at the same time as he was moved to a new, uncycled tank probably also contributed to his death. But frankly, these are just things that may have contributed to his passing, I really am just as confused as you as to the exact cause of death. Beautiful betta by the way, I am sorry for your loss.
     
  6. R

    Racing1113 Well Known Member Member

    I agree with the previous comment. Neon tetras also need a 20 gallon minimum like the danios, due to how active they are. Keeping other fish with bettas is never recommended. When fish are stressed it lowers their immune system and they become susceptible to illnesses that they may otherwise have been able to fight off. They can also die simply due to stress. If you can't upgrade your current fish to a 20 gallon I would recommend rehoming them. Craigslist, Facebook, donating to a local fish/pet store. The store you purchased them from may still let you return them for a refund. Did you cycle your tank before transferring him? Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Heavy Metal Lion

    Heavy Metal Lion Valued Member Member

    okay,
    1) the tank was new, but i was told to put all the water and media from his old tank into the new tank and he would be okay (and he did fine for a week?)
    2) i've been told by several people that neon tetras were okay with bettas, but the guy that sold me the fish said that the danios were good, too (i didn't know anything about the danios other than that they need to be in small groups). he told me to only add two that week and to get more the next week so i wasn't adding too many fish at one time. (he was also aware that I only had a 10 gal).

    its frustrating that the guy that sold me these danios knew that i had a 10 gal and a betta and said they would be fine together and only as a pair, even though i knew they were a schooling fish. thank you for the info. what's really bothering me is why did his color darken? i can't find anything about that. could lighting have been an issue? i was using the hood/lighting that came with the tank, so it had 20 watt candlescent bulbs. i just today got a new hood with LEDS, i felt like those bulbs were too hot.
     
  8. n

    nedpatrick Well Known Member Member

    Yes if you added the old filter media to the new tank with rinsing the media it would have been ok but from my understanding you added 8 other fish immediately (or were the fish added over a longer period of time) The media cannot keep up with all the bioload from the new fish which could have led to a spike in ammonia. Neither danios nor neon tetras belong in a tank with Bettas. Both neon tetras and danios need much cooler water than Bettas. The best sites to use for water temperatures are seriouslyfishy and fishbase. Most other sites are innacurate. What was the temperature of the tank?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Heavy Metal Lion

    Heavy Metal Lion Valued Member Member

    Hi, so someone else just pointed out the temperature difference to me on my post about my danio. The tank was set at right around 79 or 80 (it has a weird dial on it with dots, so it was right around the 79 mark). since my betta is not in there anymore, i just lowered the temp on the heater, seeing that all the other species require a lower temp. I feel so bad for putting these fish through this.

    also, i added the fish a week after i put the betta and all of his old media into the tank
     
  10. R

    Racing1113 Well Known Member Member

    Unfortunately pet store employees routinely give bad advice. They simply don't know any better and probably just repeat something they heard at some point. Sorry this happened to you. As far as cycling the 10 gallon, transferring the water didn't matter but the media was a great idea. However, you probably experienced a bump in the cycle since you were going from a small tank to a larger tank and added more fish on top of that. Without a test kit you wouldn't have known if that happened or not.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Heavy Metal Lion

    Heavy Metal Lion Valued Member Member

    so if it helps, i bought an ammonia test kit and a ph test kit today (after i already did a 50% water change)
    the results are 4.0 in ammonia (how can i lower this quickly?) and a ph of about 7.6
     
  12. R

    Racing1113 Well Known Member Member

    I just saw your other post about the ammonia and responded to it. The ammonia was at 8.0 or higher and the color change on the betta was most likely from ammonia burn.
     
  13. n

    nedpatrick Well Known Member Member

    That is extremely high ammonia. Test your tap water too please to see if that contains any ammonia. If you have no ammonia in your tap water I would continue to do water changes of 50 percent until it lowers. Also are you de chlorinating water before adding it to the tank? Do you have any Seachem Prime? Also just to clarify you added all the fish at once one week after the betta? That would explain the high ammonia.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Heavy Metal Lion

    Heavy Metal Lion Valued Member Member

    okay, i just did a big water change, and i was also testing my tap water in the process. my tap definitely has some ammonia, it looks to be around .5. i think i was over feeding my fish, which attributed to my ammonia issues. also, i tested the ph in my tab and it is about 7.6 (thats as high as the chart goes, and this is a darker shade of blue... not sure how important that is).
    yes, i added all those fish about a week (7-9 days after, all the same day) after i moved the betta. again, i was told this amount would be okay, but clearly it was not.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Heavy Metal Lion

    Heavy Metal Lion Valued Member Member

    oh man, would that make him change colors? i can't find anything about why a betta would darken. (maybe because most bettas are dark).
    i feel so bad for all my fish. i wish i had researched more.
     
  16. F

    Fish-whisper Valued Member Member

    Also you say you're setting the temperature by the dial on the heater, do you have thermometer that verifies the temp ? heaters have been known as not accurate by dial setting.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Heavy Metal Lion

    Heavy Metal Lion Valued Member Member

    yes, but honestly it was one of those $1.99 add-ons from amazon, and i feel like its the one that doesn't work properly. but it is usually within the same temp range (i keep forgetting to buy a new one)
     
  18. n

    nedpatrick Well Known Member Member

    Ah yes that definitely is the problem than too many fish at once which led to ammonia spike. Overfeeding could also be a contributing factor. The ph is not too important unless you are dealing with Wild caught fish most captive bred fish Can and will adapt. Do you have any water conditioner?
     
  19. OP
    OP
    Heavy Metal Lion

    Heavy Metal Lion Valued Member Member

    yes, like 4 different kinds (came with different aquariums). I've been using tetra bettasafe conditioner for my premixed water and then i recently got an API quick start pack that has the "quick start" (starts aquarium cycle) and the "stress coat" (makes tap water safe, with the healing power of aloe vera).