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Bartholomew


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bart2.jpg

bart1.jpg

Bartholomew was a great classroom betta. He was always very active, blew great bubble nests, and ate with gusto. He would show off his beard when people came to the side of his tank, but beg for food and follow a finger when approached from the top. He was also visibly healthy enough that some kids would comment on how much more active he was compared to their fish, which would give me an opportunity to talk to them about things that bettas need, like good water and (in our climate) a heater.

Unfortunately, he died due to toxic water, I'm pretty sure. I'm a teacher. I got Bartholomew last year during winter break, and took him home for the summer. So, he's never spent an entire break at school. His tank is an unfiltered 2.5 gal, and usually I change 100% of the water weekly. Over break, I didn't make it in for two weeks, but he did have a vacation feeder and his heater when I left, and somebody even left the heat on in my room, so when I came in yesterday he was fine. He ate some bloodworms and some pellets. Right before I left for the day, I changed his water.

Now, the water at our school turns brown when it hasn't been used for a while. Usually I let it run for a bit and it's fine. That's why I waited until the end of the day to change his water. Since we've had break (our school isn't back until Monday), the water was particularly bad. I used as much as I could during the day scrubbing my classroom tables and stuff, but when I filled his tank it still had a yellowish brown color that it doesn't usually have. I put a few extra drops of water conditioner in, and watched him for a few minutes, and he didn't look distressed. So, I went home.

I came in today, and he was dead.

So now I know- the brown water doesn't just *look* bad, it *is* bad. :( I was so worried about getting him into fresh water that I killed him. If I would have waited until a school day, he probably would have been fine.

Still, he had a good life, and brought joy to a lot of students. They liked to read books to him, and he would come to the front of his tank to listen.

We get to spend the first day back from break talking about death. While that's not fun, that's an important bit of their education, too, so I guess it's not all bad.

Except for the water at my school. That's bad. :(

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