It’s the question that has plagued pet owners for years: do betta fish float when they die? The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. In fact, it all depends on a number of factors such as how long the fish has been dead and what type of water conditions it was living in. If your betta fish died recently and if its body is buoyant, then yes it will most likely float. But if your betta died a few days ago or longer, and/or if its body sinks to the bottom, then no-it won’t float. We explain why below.
How to Tell if a Fish is Dead
The first step to knowing whether or not your fish is dead is determining if it’s alive. If you know what normal betta behavior looks like, this makes the job much easier. For example, a healthy betta will swim around its tank at all hours of the day and night-even when you’re nearby. It also has a voracious appetite for live food such as worms or brine shrimp that can be used to supplement its diet of flake foods. On the other hand, an unhealthy fish may spend most of its time resting on plants or inside hiding places; it may also appear listless (not swimming) instead of energetic (swimming). Its eating habits could change too-for instance, if your normally hungry pet is reluctant to eat, you may want to check its overall health.
Why did my betta fish die at the bottom of the tank?
If your fish died at the bottom of its tank, then it had most likely been dead for several days before you noticed. This is because betta fish for sale corpses are not buoyant and will sink to the bottom-where they usually remain until their owner disposes of them. If this describes your situation, there’s nothing you can do about it now except learn from whatever mistakes led to his demise so that they don’t happen again with any future pets or aquariums.
What to do when your betta fish dies?
There are two general ways to remove dead fish from your tank: you can either scoop them out with a net or pour the water into another container and then lift the body out. If you go with option number one, be sure that you do so very carefully because betta fins will tear easily-and it’s also possible for their slippery bodies to escape right through even quite small holes in nets (which is yet more proof of why they’re such great jumpers).
If you choose option number two, begin by transferring as many of the live fish as possible into other containers before doing anything else; this way if any diseased individuals die during treatment, others won’t contract it too. Then turn off the tank’s filter (if it has one), pour out half of the water, and lift your betta fish corpse with a net or cup. If you don’t want to take any chances on surviving ich making its way into your main tank-or if there are other dead bodies that need removing after this treatment period is up-drain everything except for some treated tap water into trash bags before restarting the filter.
How fast do betta fish decompose?
Betta fish decompose at a very slow rate. In fact, if the environment is too cold or there isn’t enough oxygen in the water for proper aerobic bacteria to break down their bodies, they can remain intact even after months of being dead! For this reason, it’s best not to leave your pet lying on driftwood where other animals might eat its remains (or you could accidentally scoop them up with plants), and definitely don’t bury him under gravel because his body may eventually be dug up by accident-and/or attract an unwanted snake or rodent into your aquarium.