betta fish in tank

Betta Fish Behavior Before Death

We all know that fish experience pain and anxiety when they die, but how do we know that they are about to die? There are a few different behaviors betta fish exhibits before they ultimately die. In this article, we are going to look at 9 things that betta fish do right before their death. So let’s get started.

Betta Fish Behavior Before Death

dead betta fish at the bottom of tank

1- Decrease In Appetite

This is the most common behavior in betta fish before its death. This can occur for a number of reasons, but it should be noted that this is not always a sign that the fish has only a limited time left.

When a betta fish does not eat for several days, it is important to make sure there are no other problems that may be causing this behavior. The first thing you should do is check the water quality and temperature and make sure these are at proper levels. If they are, then you need to consider if there may be something wrong with your tank or another reason why your betta fish might not be eating properly.

If your betta does not eat for more than three days, there could be something wrong with the tank or with the fish itself. This could include parasites, bacterial infections, and other diseases that affect how well they eat. It may also mean that their mouth is sore or their teeth are broken off due to fighting with other fish or even from eating too much gravel when they were younger.

Another reason why your betta might not want to eat might be because there are too many other fish in the tank competing with them for food or space in general.

2- Color Fade

Betta fish are known to have a lot of colors, but they can lose their color when they’re sick or near death. The reason is that they need a certain amount of oxygen to live. If they don’t get enough oxygen, then their bodies will start to shut down and stop working. This will cause them to lose color in their body. If you notice this happening, then it could mean that your betta fish is dying.

3- Less Responsiveness (Lethargy)

sick betta fish

Betta fish are quite intelligent. They can recognize their owners and respond to them. They will also respond to the sound of the human voice. If you have other pets, your betta fish may be able to tell the difference between you and them by the sound of your voice alone. But when your betta becomes less responsive, this could mean he’s sick or close to dying.

Inactivity is one of the earliest signs of impending death among bettas. If your pet doesn’t move as much or seems lethargic when he’s usually active, he may be sick or close to death. If this happens, then you should consider taking help from a vet or emergency care.

4- Feeling Stressed

Betta fish are extremely hardy and adaptable to many conditions. However, there are times when these fish can become stressed, and near death, illness is one of them.

5- Eye Swelling

When a betta fish is about to die, it may develop eye swelling. This happens because the fish’s body is trying to fight off infection. If left untreated, this infection will eventually kill the fish.

6- Living Alone Or Isolation

Bettas are very social fish and enjoy the company of their own kind. When they are sick or dying, they will try their best to hide and avoid other fish. They may also begin to live alone, which is a sure sign that something is wrong.

Betta fish can be very difficult to spot when they are sick because they will start hiding in dark corners and out of sight. If your betta fish has been acting strangely for more than one day, then it is probably time for you to take the next step.

7- Gasping At The Water Surface

betta fish near leaves

Bettas display this behavior when they are dying. They have a special organ called the labyrinth which allows them to breathe air from the surface. This organ is only found in bettas and other fish that live in shallow waters like catfish, etc. When they are sick they will gasp at the surface as if they were trying to get air, but there is no water in their gills.

8- Clamped Fins

If your fish’s fins turn white and clamped against his body, this is a sign that something is wrong. If they’re just slightly clamped or sticking up at strange angles, it could just be normal behavior. However, if they’re completely white and clamped against his body without any movement at all, this is a clear sign that something is amiss and you should take your betta to the vet immediately. This may also be accompanied by other symptoms such as lethargy or difficulty in swimming.

9- Laying Down

betta fish behavior before death

Bettas are very active fish and love to swim around the tank. When they start to lay on their side, it means something is wrong. The most likely cause for this behavior is that the water temperature is too high or too low. If your betta starts laying on its side, immediately check the temperature of your tank water and make sure it’s within acceptable ranges.

How To Let A Betta Fish Die Peacefully?

 I know it is heartbreaking, but at least the best thing that you can do is to let him die peacefully. Here are things that you should do:

1- Give Your Betta Fish Peaceful Space

The best thing you can do for your dying betta fish is to give it the most peaceful space possible. A small tank with a heater will help keep the water at an ideal temperature, and it will allow oxygen to flow through the water easily. The less stress on your betta’s body, the better its chances of dying peacefully. Do not disturb him or try to feed him because this could cause damage to his digestive system and make his death more painful

2- Make Sure Your Betta Is Comfortable

Your dying betta may not be eating because of pain or discomfort from its illness or injury, so make sure that its tank has enough room for it to swim comfortably without bumping into anything else in the tank (like plants). This will help keep your pet comfortable as its life comes to an end.

3- Provide A Quiet Environment

Another important step is providing a quiet environment for your dying fish. If possible, place him in another container away from loud noises and other pets — even if he can’t see them — so he has some peace during his final days. It’s also important not to handle him too much as this can cause stress and pain.

4- Allow Your Fish To Be Near Surface

Allow the fish to be near the surface of the water. If you notice that your betta has started hanging out at the top of its tank, this could be a sign that he or she is ready to pass on from this world. Allow him or her to do so by keeping his tank covered in case he needs air but not too tightly so he can still move about freely within his tank.

5- Provide Your Fish With Plenty Of Clean Water

Make sure that your betta has plenty of clean water at all times — replace any old water with fresh every day if necessary until he dies; if your betta has stopped eating for several days before dying then you should change out all old water immediately since it’s likely to become toxic due to bacteria growth from decaying matter in it (keep an eye out for any other signs.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

How Long Does It Take A Betta Fish To Die?

It depends on the type and severity of the disease they have. Some diseases can kill a betta fish within days while others can take weeks or months.

Do Betta Fish Feel Pain When They Die?

Every living being feels pain when they die, same is the case with betta fish. The only difference is that some living beings can express their feelings and some not. Betta fish don’t have the ability because they are not able to communicate so we can’t know what they are feeling or thinking.

I believe they feel pain when they die because I’ve seen them behave differently before dying. My male betta had his last meal two weeks ago and he was doing fine until yesterday when he started to float upside down on top of the water and didn’t move at all. His body was still there but his spirit was gone, so I knew he was dead. I’m sure he didn’t go painlessly either; it must have been horrible for him since he couldn’t even breathe properly anymore.

Final Thoughts

When you see your betta fish doing any of the 9 things listed above, don’t panic. Although it is true that these are signs of a dying fish, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your pet is about to die. Most likely, he or she will be just fine after a few days of rest. But if the fish’s behavior does not improve after a few days, then you should probably go ahead and get some medication from the vet. The water quality can be corrected with the help of some aquarium chemicals that are available on the market but do keep in mind that always contact a specialist if you are not sure about what you are doing.