No matter how long we want our bettas to live, there comes a time in our lives, and theirs, when their death becomes inevitable. How can we better grieve for our little guys.
No matter how hard you try, your betta’s life will eventually come to an end be it to an untreatable illness or old age. It’s not something I like to think about, but I have had my share in losing bettas in the 17 years I’ve been keeping bettas.
The average lifespan for a betta who has been cared for well is 3-4 years. I have heard of bettas living longer than that and unfortunately, some do not live quite as long due to unforseeable circumstances. If you didn’t know already, most bettas are sold at the age of one year – so this means you only have a minimum of a good 2 years with your guy if he doesn’t contract some sort of infection or illness.
Now, don’t feel so glum about it. You can provide a betta a wonderful life. But what can we do after they pass on? How can we carry on without them? Believe it or not, it is possible, but sometimes the porcelain graveyard is not exactly how we want to say goodbye. Here are some great ideas that were brought to light after a death (or two) on the HB.com message board. I hope you can use some of this information. (these are not exact quotes but recognition has been given)
After the death, take your betta friend to a nearby creek and release him into it and let nature do what comes naturally to him. A symbolic way of sending him back to the wild.
Plant the betta in a small pot with some flower seeds that will bloom close to the same color has s/he was.
Bury him outside and mark his little grave with a large rock
First find a private pond, lake or stream. Hopefully you aren’t crowded with kids when doing this ceremony. You make a small raft out of hobby sticks – make sure it floats. Cover the little raft with dried twigs, creating an alter affect. Place fish on the “alter”. Strike a match and ignite the raft. Then gently push it out into the pond, lake, stream or river of your choice. I think is referred to as a Viking funeral. You don’t have to burn the raft though – just push it out into the current and watch your fella drift away.
I know some of these ideas might seem a little un-orthadox to the non-betta owner, but to us, we want to give our fellas the most dignified burial – one we can say goodbye to him and know we have done the best for him/her.