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Old 01-12-2005, 09:32 PM   #1
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I've had it with petstore bettas

I just euthanised my last male betta.

This same scenario has played out five times, and I've had it.
The betta looks healthy and behaves normally for about three months. Then, he becomes bloated. Thinking constipation, I feed peas, which he gobbles down and poops out. But, he is still bloated. So, I isolate him and treat with Epsom salt for a few days - still bloated, getting worse, and having trouble diving. I figure he has a bacterial infection affecting the swimbladder, soI treat with BettaMax. Aftera few days, the bloating becomes full-blown dropsy and the fish stops swimming.

The water quality is great (0 NH3, 0 NO2, 10 NO3). I feed Hikari betta pellets supplemented with peas once a week. Tank is filtered, heated, and I do 40% water changes weekly.

I'm convinced that the petstore bettas are either sold near the end of their lifespans or badly inbred, or both. I'm not getting another betta unless I can buy fry from a local breeder.
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:21 PM   #2
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Can't dropsy remain in your tank for a really long time? Did you ever clean EVERYTHING with a bleach and water solution, then replace the gravel with a new substrate?
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:30 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your betta, QTOFFER . I totally agree with you, though. I'm doing everything right (based on my research and you guys, at least), and I still lose fish on a regular basis.

Luckily, I've got my local fish club's auction to look forward to next month
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:38 PM   #4
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Rubysoho, you make a good point.
I isolated the betta about two weeks ago when the bloating did not go away after feeding peas. The dropsy didn't become apparent until yesterday, so I don't think the corys in the tank are at risk.
To be safe, I did bleach and rinse the quarrantine bowl that the betta was being kept in.
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Old 01-13-2005, 12:17 AM   #5
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I must agree with you, QTOFFER. I have quit buying bettas, though I have small Eclipse tanks that just BEG for them. I think in the future I will do like An t-iasg and buy from a betta breeder, either locally through a club or from Aquabid, or through a forum like ours. It is just too frustrating, and mine always end up just like you describe.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:19 AM   #6
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I have never had that problem. One of my last males had a fungal problem and the female before that just died Currently, I have a red female betta in with my Badis and she has been great for months. In my divided tank, I have two males. They seem to have fin rot, which I have been treating. Yesterday I got quite a scare though. I saw Blue Cheese on Ketchup's side and no Ketchup!!! Well, Ketchup was tucked in behind the sponge filter. I put BC back and Ketchup came out--all torn up Today both seemed fine and ate well. I will have to keep the water level down in their tank from now on.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:45 AM   #7
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QTOFFER, I'm sorry...
I've gotten all my bettas (except my very first two in 2002) from the hatchery that I go to. I remember that recent topic that asked something like "how do I pick out a healthy betta?" and I thought how lucky I was because the hardest decision I have at the hatchery is what color to get

But my betta who died recently was like yours -- first he was slightly swollen, and over a week and a half he progressed to very swollen, and I tried epsom salts, antibiotics in the water and food, and he kept getting worse. He ate Hikari pellets every day, plus freeze-dried bloodworms occasionally, and pea pieces once a week. I had him for a year, and that's the first time he got sick -- he wasn't sick throughout his life. So I'm thinking that it's something bettas are prone to, although a well-bred betta shouldn't be sick almost as soon as you get it.

You could probably find a local breeder easily in NY. I would give you the link to the hatchery, (I'll still post it if you want) but he's not shipping right now.
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Old 01-13-2005, 11:33 AM   #8
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hmm.. Do you know if the place where you've been getting the bettas from always gets them from the same mass breeder? That could be a factor (and one that makes me mad thinking about all those poor inbred bettas....). Like Menagerie, I've been successful with my bettas, so perhaps it is some genetic line. I dunno... I think a respected betta breeder is the way to go... they are just so expensive.
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:15 PM   #9
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Feed more variety of foods. Feeding pellets alone doesn't give him enough nutrients (especially protien, as bio-gold only has 38% and bettas need something like 45%), leaving him weakend. Feeding with live or frozen is best. You can still feed the pellets but try giving them frozen foods once and a while.

Sorry to hear about your betta
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