Why is my betta fish dead?

In this post, we will answer the question “Why is my betta fish dead?”. We will also list and discuss the most common reasons for a betta fish’s death.

Why is my betta fish dead?

There are several reasons for a betta fish death, among the most common are:

–       Poor water conditions;

–       Stress;

–       Improper diet;

–       Improper tank filtration;

–       Improper cleaning techniques.

What are the most common reasons for a betta fish’s death?

Even though it might not appear to be the case at first glance, there is always a reason for your Betta bestie’s death. It may take some investigation to determine why your Betta fish died, but it is possible.

Poor water conditions

If there have been any recent fluctuations in the water quality of your Betta’s tank, such as temperature changes or a decrease in the pH levels of their tank, this is most likely the cause they died. Even though Betta fish demand extremely clean water conditions, any alterations to their water might have devastating consequences.

Poor water conditions are the most common cause of Betta fish death, and half of the time, their human partners were completely unaware that anything was wrong. This is due to the use of incorrect water, the introduction of your fish into your water too early, and the usage of incorrect water temperature. 

Maintaining the proper temperature for your Betta fish (between 76°F to 85°F for a Betta fish) is extremely crucial, and dipping below the recommended 76°F can be deadly to your Betta fish. Because any variations in your pH level might be the cause of sudden death, it is equally critical that your pH level remains consistent (pH 7). 

To determine whether poor water conditions were the reason for your Betta fish’s untimely death, start with an aquarium water test to determine the cause. This will provide you with information about the pH levels in your aquarium, as well as any other chemicals that you have added to the tank. A temperature reading of your tank should also be taken. The results of these tests will assist you in determining if the water conditions in your tank were suitable for your fish to survive. If they weren’t, you’ll know that any future tanks will need to be modified in the same manner.


The sensation of stress may be felt by any species, which includes fish! Stress may be life-threatening for fish, just as it can be for many other creatures, which is why it is important to handle stress properly. The signs and symptoms might be difficult to spot, and they can be caused by a variety of factors, including putting unsuitable animals in the same tank or neglecting to maintain the aquarium. 

When it comes to stressful events, there are many different types, and while some stress may naturally pass away, you must keep your fishy friend’s exposure to stress to an absolute minimum. Stress is one of the few fish that does not kill the fish immediately after being stressed. Instead, this one-of-a-kind ailment might take weeks to take its toll, making it impossible to pinpoint the specific source of the problem.

Stressful situations might be:

·      Poor water quality

·      Poor aquarium maintenance

·      Aquarium set up inappropriately 

·      Malnourishment/overfeeding

·      Change of environment

·      Illness/disease

·      Handling/transport

·      Abrupt water changes

Stress may be caused by a variety of factors, each of which has a different severity level. You should rule out any recent additions to your tank that occurred in the weeks before your fish’s death. If you have just added something to your tank, this is most likely the cause of your fish’s “sudden,” stress-induced death. Although it was not an instantaneous occurrence, the tension that led to it was a steady building over time.

Improper diet

Unsuitable nutrition for your Betta fish is a common cause of betta fish death, and it may be prevented. The amount of food that your colourful friend consumes every day should be limited to around 4-6 food pellets. You should also make sure that all fish food is up to date and authorised for your betta fish.

Common diet problems:

·      Overfeeding

·      Underfeeding

·      Expired food

·      Wrong food

Overfeeding is a huge issue for Betta fish, mostly because they are masters of the phenomenon known as “eyes bigger than their stomach” (except that their stomachs are the size of their eyes!). Your Betta fish will consume their whole box of food if given the option, which is why you must be careful about how much you feed them daily. 

In addition to catastrophic intestinal blockages, overfeeding Betta can result in weight growth and even obesity, which can fish fatally. All of these things can have a negative influence on their quality of life and raise their stress levels. You should pay close attention to the amount of food you are feeding your Betta and carefully examine their growth to ensure that you are not overfeeding them. 

Your Betta, on the other hand, might grow malnourished if they are not given enough food. Bettas get underfed for a variety of causes, including behavioural changes or neglect on the part of the owner. If your Betta has suddenly turned standoffish and has stopped eating, it will almost certainly result in starved fish as a result. 

The likelihood of your Betta fish dying from malnutrition increases if they were not fed before their death. This is especially true if they have gone more than five days without eating, which is the maximum amount of time you should allow a Betta to go without food in captivity before it becomes ill. If your Betta isn’t eating, you should look into every possible solution to get them to eat.

Improper tank filtration

If you noticed your Betta struggling for air on the surface of the water before they died, probably, they were not obtaining enough dissolved oxygen to survive. Yes, for fish to exist, they require oxygen in their water (weird statement, I know). Surface agitation, which may be produced by filters and agitators, is essential for fish to get oxygen. 

You must provide oxygen to your aquatic companion. This might result in abrupt and unexpected death when there is no disturbance on the surface of the water. Most likely, your fish was not receiving enough surface agitation since you were not utilising a filter in your tank.

Improper cleaning techniques

If your fish dies unexpectedly after you clean your tank, you may want to rethink your cleaning procedure procedures. From the beginning to the end, you should be thinking about your Betta’s health at every step of the journey. When something does not seem quite right to you, it is most often a hint that you should rethink what you are about to undertake.

In the process of transporting their Betta from their aquarium to a temporary bowl, one of the most common mistakes people make is forgetting to clean their aquariums. This is especially true during the transit procedure. Many new fish owners may fill up a random bucket with tap water and immediately place their fish in it while keeping their fish in a temporary bowl or bucket. However, this lack of care for their fish’s well-being is unsafe and can result in death.


In this post, we answered the question “Why is my betta fish dead?”. We also listed and discussed the most common reasons for a betta fish’s death.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Why is my betta fish dead?

What is the best way to resurrect a dead betta fish? 

Take your fish in your hands and submerge it in the chilly water from the fish tank, if possible. The oxygen in the water will assist the fish in breathing and, as a result, will resuscitate it. In most cases, placing the fish back in its original fishbowl will result in the water reviving your lifeless fish once more. 

When betta fish die, do they float to the surface? 

This may be one of the factors contributing to the propagation of this picture. While this is true in most cases, the betta fish does not float immediately after it has died. Because of the degradation and ability of the body, the fact that a betta fish dies and floats on water is connected to its death. 

Is my betta fish dead or just resting in its tank? 

Keep an eye on your betta once the water has warmed up sufficiently for him. If he continues to float in place and does not move, he is most likely deceased. If he looks to be regaining his colour and ultimately moves, it is possible that he has gone into shock and is recuperating now that the water is warmer for him to be.

Do betta fish have a high mortality rate? 

Betta fish are not easily killed, but they do require specific water parameters as well as specific nutrients to be healthy and live a long and pleasant existence. They are sturdy fish that should survive for between three and five years if properly cared for and maintained. 

What should you do if your fish dies? 

Remove any dead fish from the water immediately since its corpse will soon decay in the warm, bacteria-filled water. The presence of a body will contaminate the water, putting the health of the other fish in the tank in danger. After all, the last thing you want is another fish ingesting its body parts if it has died as a result of sickness, so remove it quickly. 

What is the proper way to bury a dead fish? 

Make a double bag for the fish by placing it within two sealable Ziplock plastic bags — Put the fish in the first bag, seal it, and then place that bag inside the second baggie. Place it in the freezer, away from any other food that can get contaminated as a result of the process.


Why Did Your Betta Fish Die? – https://www.bettacarefishguide.com/why-did-your-betta-fish-die-and-how-to-prevent-it/

Young, T., & Bone, J. (2021). A better life for betta fish. Every Child, 27(2), 8-10.

Song, M. (2006). Caring for Betta Fish. Lulu. with.