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Betta Acting Strange


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New fish owner here.

When we got our betta he was super active and followed us around the tank and readily ate. He stopped eating about 5 days ago became lethargic. I thought i may have over-fed him pellets and thought he could go a day or two without eating. Day 3 of him not eating he started hanging out behind the filter and near the heater. Day 4 of him not eating and being lethargic and after some research, I thought this may be due to low temperature (75F) at the time so I turned up the heater. It measured about 77F and soon and he started to move around more. About 30 minutes later he was going between breathing heavy on the bottom of the tank and rushing to the surface and then back down. Yesterday afternoon I did a 25% water change with tempered water because my test kit was reading a pH of about 6.8. I went to get a cup of coffee this morning and found him dead on the bottom of the tank. Throughout the last 5 days I have been sampling the water daily and have had no difference in what I have below with the exception of pH. 

Other things to note, I have a Ramshorn Snail in the tank that's been laying eggs like crazy and am wondering if this is a factor. Also my filter is running very slow and dumping onto some plants so I don't think a large current is an issue. We have an aquarium gravel cleaner for cleaning the tank and a designated bucket for adding water back into the tank as to not introduce chemicals. I've been feeding him Omega One Betta Buffet Pellets.

Water readings last night at 10pm
pH: 7.0
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5ppm
Hardness: about 75ppm
Chlorine: 0ppm
Alkalinity: 0ppm

I've attached a picture of "A the Fish" as of last night.

Any advice is much appreciated.


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Were you testing your water parameters before the death? If you were, and the kit was reading everything fine, then its possible the kit was giving false readings. A second kit or bringing it in to compare results with a lfs is a good idea when seeing problems.

How long has your tank been running? Is it possible that you didnt have a strong cycle? Or that your cycle crashed if you had one to begin with.

What type of flow is in the tank? I normally would use a tiny low flow filter, tiny submersible pump, or a air-stone turned way down located close to the surface. A feeder ring (air tube with a coupler is a easy way to make one) helps to keep high surface tension at a minimal in his hang out areas. ~my first betta in a community tank didn't make it due to flow (I was to dumb to know at the time)

The reality is some fish just aren't going to make it, and its possible he was doomed from the start. Since he seemed in good health its possible that something else that you couldn't know happened. Such as he was raised in high ph water, and you having a normal ph for bettas was a bad idea. Its hard to say but we all try to prevent such things from happening.

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Thank you for your response. 

I tested the water with both a the dip stick type and the liquid Master Test kit during the 5 days he was not eating both kits provided the same results. 

Our tank has been up for about a month now. We had it running for 2 weeks prior to putting our fish in and I've been using API Quick Start and Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus for each water change. 

There is almost no flow in the tank. The filter is adjustable and hardly moves the leaves on the plants when the water runs off the opening.

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Seems like it may have been bad luck... Also they sometimes live for months with no food or water changes, in stores. And before that raised at horrible fish farms that keep them in tiny living conditions.

When you buy a full grown betta there is a chance that they are 3 years or older, in which case in bad water conditions that is most of their life. Look for one that flares up nicely and keeps his fins fairly raised even when not flaring.

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