Why Do My Betta Fish Keep Dying?

Why Do My Betta Fish Keep Dying?

Betta fish, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, is a complex fish species common in fishing keeping hobby. Their ability to gulp air outside the water allows them to survive in unaerated tanks.

Unfortunately, this beautiful creature is kept in cups and sold to people as an easy-maintenance beginner’s fish due to this ability. As a result, they keep dying and die in the hands of fish keepers who purchase this magnificent fish.

So, why do my betta fish keep dying and what could I be doing wrong? Here are a few common reasons Betta fish die.

Why Do My Betta Fish Keep Dying?

white and orange fish in water
Betta fish

1. Poor Water Conditions

Poor water condition is one of the most common causes of Betta fish death. Although Bettas can be kept in tiny small cramped containers, lack of clean water and space will often cause death.

Betta fish can survive in poor water conditions for some time, but this will drastically reduce their lifespan. In some cases, your Betta is also likely to die quickly from ammonia poisoning if the water in the aquarium gets so bad.

Keeping the tank at the optimal Betta fish water temperature (between 76-85 degrees Fahrenheit) is essential for your Betta fish, but dropping below the required 76 degrees Fahrenheit may be fatal. It’s also essential to keep your tank water clean and at a pH level of 7.

Any change in pH can cause sudden death for your Betta.

Read: How to keep betta fish water warm without heater

two blue betta fish
Betta fish

2. Overfeeding

Overfeeding is a major issue that leads to Betta fish death.

Bettas are greedy eaters and giving them a variety of foods, including freeze-dried bloodworms and Betta fish pellets, may be fun for both you and your pet fish. However, it’s crucial to know how much you should feed them per day and when your Bettas are not eating.

Betta fish should only be fed twice a day and should only be given small fish food portions, generally 5-6 pellets per feed. However, pellets usually come in different sizes. Remember that a Betta’s stomach is only about the size of its eyeball, so you should only feed it about that amount of food.

Overfeeding can lead to serious digestive obstructions, weight gain, or obesity. Furthermore, it may cause waste accumulation in your aquarium.

Read: Ways to tell a betta fish is dying

3. Stress

Any creature can experience stress, and Betta fish is no exception. If you have noticed that your Betta fish has become lethargic or lost its appetite, these can be signs of a decline in health. The signs can also be symptoms of stress, which may lead to various health issues and, in some cases, sudden death.

A Betta can become stressed for several reasons. For instance, when they don’t have sufficient space to swim or the water in the tank is not in good condition, they can become stressed. Also, if they are in a community tank and the other tankmates, such as tetras or cichlids, are scaring or harassing them, your pet fish may become stressed.

Your Betta fish is also prone to stress if the water flow in your tank is too high. Bettas prefer calm water, so turn on aerators and filters to create a cooler and more comfortable environment for your fish.

Another great way to reduce a Bettas’ stress is ensuring the fish has enough space, checking your water parameters, and eliminating aggressive tankmates.

4. Injuries

Betta fish can be fragile, and since they tend to have long, flowing fins, they are very prone to injuries. Betta injuries may lead to infections or illnesses, which can eventually cause death.

To prevent your Betta from injuries, ensure there are no sharp or rough objects in your tank that the fish can rub against or catch its fins. In addition, make sure that your Betta is not sharing an aquarium with an aggressive tankmate. The best option is often keeping a Betta alone since this prevents injuries incurred during territorial fights.

Read: Is it cruel to keep betta fish in small bowls?

Aquarium, Fish, Pet, Betta
Betta fish

FAQs on Why Do My Betta Fish Keep Dying 

How Can I Tell When My Betta Fish Is Dying?

Telling whether a Betta is dying can be tricky since some fish may die unexpectedly.

However, if the fish look stressed or seem to be suffering from a disease, there are some signs you can keep an eye out for to know whether your Betta is dying.

Stressed Betta fish usually spend more time hiding or resting than usual. They may also lay on their side at the bottom of the tank, and sick Betta may lose its appetite.

Other common signs that a Betta is dying include discoloration along the body, such as brown or white patches. Strange swimming or eating away of the fins can also signify severe illness.

How Can I Help My Betta Live Longer?

A Betta fish purchased from a pet shop is lucky if it leaves 2-5 years. The unlucky Betta don’t even make it out of the aquarium store. However, Betta fish can live much longer, with some pet fish living up to 8 or 9 years.

Most Betta fish only survive a year or two in captivity because some fish keepers treat them as cold-water fish, providing only a small container with no filter or heater. Fortunately, you can take some actions to make your fish live longer.

If you want your Betta to flourish and swim excitedly against the glass when it sees you, then provide them with the appropriate tank, filtration, and heater. Better fish do well when kept in an adequate-sized tank (5-10 gallons), with filter, heater, and plants.

Why Does the Fins or Tail of My Betta Look Torn, Short and Ragged?

A chewed-up tail or tattered fin is most likely caused by a tankmate’s nibbling or fin rot.

When your Betta starts looking a bit worse for wear, you should determine the cause and treat it as soon as possible. Fin rot is a sign that your Betta has a bacterial illness.

The best way to prevent these infections is by using proper tank management practices, proper feeding, and keeping the water clean.

Most Betta fish deaths in the tank are caused by user error. This can be a mistake or just not having enough experience with fishkeeping.

Having your Betta fish die all of a sudden can be tragic and concerning, but you don’t need to be discouraged. Instead, ask yourself why your Betta fish are dying without being proactive. Doing some research will also help you avoid preventable Betta deaths.

In addition, monitor your pet fish and their water conditions regularly and stay on top of your tank cleaning routine. Doing these will ensure you have active, healthy Betta fish.

Read: What antibiotic treats Popeye in betta fish?


Tankfacts: 10 Reasons Why your Bettas keep dying?

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