When Betta Fish Die Young
Siamese fighting fish are among the most popular freshwater tropical fish out there, and it’s easy to see why. They’re beautiful, with their flowing fins and brilliant colors. They’re mysterious, originating from far-off lands in the East. And, of course, they are very dangerous, having been trained in super-secret fishy fighting styles.
There is no escaping the Angelfish of Death. Unfortunately, for many betta fish it all ends far too soon. If you are the keeper of such a fish it can be pretty disheartening when it dies before its time. You begin to wonder what you did wrong, what you may have done differently and if you deserve to keep a fish at all.
I’ve been there, with bettas and other species of fish. All you can do it take an analytical view of your fish-keeping habits and try to puzzle out whether or not you made a key error somewhere along the line. In some cases you’ve done nothing wrong. Just like other pets, and even people, fish can suffer from congenital issues that shorten their lives.
However, any time you unexpectedly lose a fish it is worth your time to take a look at things and see if you might need to change some of your practices. This article can help with that process. Here I’ve outlined some of the typical reasons betta fish die, and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Poor Water Conditions
Dirty water is one of the quickest ways to doom any fish tank. And it doesn’t even have to be visibly dirty. Chemicals from decomposing fish waste and uneaten food can contaminate your tank, rendering the water toxic.
Betta have a reputation for surviving in harsh environments where most fish would perish. This is because they are anabantids. They have evolved the ability to take gulps of air from above the water when the water itself is polluted and low in oxygen.
Sadly, this is also what makes people think it is okay to keep bettas in bowls and tiny tanks. Sure, he’ll survive for a while. But small volumes of water pollute very quickly, and it won’t be long before he is feeling the negative effects of poor water conditions. Fin rot and other diseases may be the result, as well as a marked increase in stress that will shorten his life.
Here are three things you can do to avoid this situation:
– Choose at least a 5-gallon tank for your betta. This not only means a better living space for your fish, but the tank will be easier to maintain.
– Use a filter. Yes, betta fish need filters in their tanks. Some 5-gallon tanks come with filters. Otherwise, there are nano filters out there choose from. If you go with a 10-gallon you will have many more options.
– Vacuum the gravel and perform regular water changes. If you suck up the debris and perform a partial water change every-other week your betta’s home will stay much cleaner.
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