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Are Crystals Bad For My Fish?
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Are Crystals Bad For My Fish?
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7/10/12 - "Okay so my daughter bought a betta and put all her gemstones in it including a huge quartz crystal. The bowl is regular fish bowl size. The Betta wasn't there today. My daughter hasn't been home. And I have fed it. The bowl was sitting on our kitchen table which is round and big. There's no way the fish would've made it off the table if it jumped out. I'm super confused???? Did the crystals and big rock gemstones zap it or something??? -A"

Dear A,

Thank you for your question, not many people really know what is safe for their fish and what is not.

There are a few different things to consider about any set up with fish and crystals.

First - Take the crystals out and be sure he has not managed to bury himself. Many fish are fairly lazy when given the change (in my experience), or like to feel safe in a hiding place, and will choose to wiggle into somewhere that holds them still so they do not have to swim all day, or they feel safer from perdators. Some Fish ever burrow in their natural enviornments, so the behavios translates into the aquarium. They sell little suction cup leafs at the pet store that make a great place for bettas to hang out where you can see them, and caves for larger fish to have a good hiding place. Most fish will be braver about being in the open when they know they have somewhere reliable to hide if they get frightened.

Second - Bettas, like Gouramis and paradise fish, are Labyrinth fish which means they actually have lungs and can breather air when the water is bad or they find themselves in need of a new water source.

Asia's rice patties are the natural habitat of bettas. These rice patties have very shallow water. The water is also muddy and may not contain enough oxygen. When the water level in their puddle gets too low, the bettas will jump out in search of another puddle. 

Many Bettas live in an area with extreme rainy and dry seasons. During the rainy season, a Betta will find itself in a shrinking puddle, and hop from one puddle to another.

Anywhoo, the point of that information is that, your fish may have, in fact, lept from his bowl and made it off of the table. This could have been caused by bad water quality, or your fish may have just been too crowded or bored in his bowl. If you keep a fish in a bowl, the ammonia level will slowly build up to intolerable levels, so you must be certain to change out some of the water on a regular basis.

Third - You should know that some crystals are not safe for fish. They will leach some minerals or elements into the water that are toxic to fish. Your daughter (assuming she's old enough to do it) should do a little research into the types of crystals she has put into the bowl. If the water was becoming toxic, this may have been a good reason for your Betta to go in search of a new puddle.

Lastly - Should you choose to replace your Betta (assuming he does not turn up) consider getting a plant to put on the top. Many pet stores carry little plastic trays that fit into the mouth of a fish bowl, along with plants that like their roots in water. This will help add O2 to your Betta's water, and provide a lid so that he can not jump out.

SO!! I hope I have provided the answer you were looking for, and you are able to locate your fish.

Crystal Blessings,

Robin



Posted on July 11, 2012
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