Are you a Betta Fish owner and you want to know the betta fish behavior before death? Or perhaps you are considering getting one of these beautiful creatures as a pet? While betta fish are known for their vibrant colors, long flowing fins and unique personalities, they also require proper care and attention to ensure they live a healthy and happy life. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, these little creatures can fall ill and may eventually pass away.

In this article, we’ll research the behavior and caring of sick betta fish before death, including common signs that may indicate your betta is ill and nearing the end of its nest eggs. Losing a beloved companion can be an immensely arduous and deeply sentimental encounter. Hence, our earnest desire is to equip you with the wisdom and resources necessary for identifying indicators of ailment and delivering optimal nurturing to your cherished betta fish.

Betta fish behavior before death

Betta fish have become a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts due to their striking hues and distinct temperaments. These fish originate from the shallow waters of Southeast Asia. Where they are recognized for their combative nature and the capacity to breathe air using a unique organ known as a labyrinth. 

While these fish can be quite low maintenance. They are vulnerable to several health concerns that may be tricky to identify and manage. Some bettas may display specific conduct that could indicate that their life is coming to an end. Read the full article to be aware of betta fish behavior before death.

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Healthy vs unhealthy betta fish

Healthy betta fish:

  • Bright and vibrant colors
  • Active behavior
  • Clear eyes
  • Intact fins
  • Healthy appetite

Unhealthy betta fish:

  • Loss of color
  • Lethargy
  • Clamped fins
  • Bloating
  • Fin rot or other visible signs of illness

Remember that providing proper care and a suitable environment is important for maintaining the health of your betta fish.

Signs of Illness in Betta Fish

Betta Fish Behavior Before death can become ill for a variety of reasons, including poor water quality, stress and disease. Some common signs of illness in betta fish include:


One of the first signs that your sick betta fish is a lack of energy or activity. If your betta bubble nest with eggs seems to be spending more time resting at the bottom of the tank or hiding in its cave, it may be a sign that something is wrong.

Loss of Appetite

Betta fish are known for their voracious appetites, so a sudden loss of interest in food can be a red flag that your fish is not feeling well. Why is my betta fish not eating? If your betta has not eaten in several days, it is the time to seek veterinary care.

Changes in Appearance

Another sign of illness in dead betta fish is a change in appearance. This could include a loss of color, clamped fins or visible lesions or growths on the body. If you notice any unusual changes in your betta’s appearance, it may be a sign that it is not feeling well.

Gasping at the Surface

As mentioned earlier, betta fish have a specialized organ called a labyrinth that allows them to breathe air directly from the surface of the water. However, if your betta fish is frequently gasping at the surface or seems to be having difficulty breathing, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue.

Erratic Swimming

Betta fish are known for their graceful swimming movements, but if your fish is swimming erratically or seems to be struggling to move, it may be a sign that something is wrong. This could be due to a variety of health issues, including swim bladder disease or a bacterial infection.

Other Important Signs Before Death

If your betta fish is exhibiting any of the signs of illness mentioned above, it may be a sign that it is nearing the end of its life. Some additional betta fish behavior before death exhibit before death include:


As betta fish become weaker and more ill, they may retreat to hiding places in the tank, such as behind plants or decorations. This behavior is a natural instinct to protect themselves from predators and may be a sign that your fish is feeling vulnerable.

Floating at the Surface

When a pregnant female betta fish starts to get sick, it may become too weak to swim around or fight against the water current. This can cause the little guy to float up to the top of the tank where it’s more exposed and easier for other fish or predators to see.

Loss of Balance

Some betta fish may also lose their sense of balance before they pass away. This can cause them to tilt or float on their sides, making it difficult for them to swim or move around the tank.


As betta fish near the end of their life, they may become incredibly weak and slow-moving. They might spend most of their time lying at the bottom of the tank or floating on the surface. This is a clear indication that their body functions are shutting down and they are getting ready to peacefully pass away. We almost covered the betta fish behavior before death here.

fish tuberculosis

Fish tuberculosis is a bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium marinum that can affect aquarium fish. Symptoms include loss of appetite, abnormal behavior, skin ulcers and skeletal deformities. It can be transmitted through contaminated water or fish and can be treated with antibiotics and improving water quality. Prevention includes maintaining clean water conditions and quarantining new fish.

Betta Fish Behavior Before Death


Dead betta fish, they may become unresponsive to external stimuli, such as movement outside the tank or changes in water temperature. They may also stop responding to food or other forms of stimulation.

You can also visit our worth reading and demanding article about what do betta fish eggs look like?

Why did my betta fish die?

As observed, dead betta fish can perish due to inadequate water quality, excessive feeding, low water temperatures, and hazardous living conditions. In addition to the physical harm resulting from these problems, persistent stress can also make your fish more prone to illnesses and death.


Betta fish are beloved pets known for their unique personalities and striking appearance. However, they are also prone to a variety of health issues that can lead to death. By being aware of betta fish behavior before death and the signs of illness that indicate a betta fish is nearing the end of its life, pet owners can provide the best possible care and support for their fish in their final days.


How long do betta fish typically live?

Betta fish can live for up to three years with proper care.

What can cause a betta fish to become ill?

Betta fish can become ill for a variety of reasons, including poor water quality, stress and disease.

Can betta fish recover from illness?

It depends on the specific health issue and the severity of the illness. In some cases, betta fish may recover with proper care and treatment.

How can I prevent my betta fish from becoming ill?

Regular water changes, a balanced diet and a stress free environment can all help to prevent betta fish from becoming ill.

What should I do if my betta fish is exhibiting signs of illness?

If you notice any signs of illness in your betta fish, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.