Our Betta Fish Committed Suicide

beta fish bowls
For the past month or so our Betta Fish, Friday, has not been looking so great. He actually started to become much more aggressive and yet more lethargic when his buddy FedEx died the month prior but for the last two weeks was sort of laying on the rocks where the water met. I continued to let the water evaporate because he seemed to need to be close to the waterline and at the same time too weak to keep afloat.

But he kept on keepin’ on. So instead of shocking him with a brand new environment, I conditioned some water on the side and slowly added it to his existing water.

This actually seemed to help. He was swimming more but tangling himself in the fake plants to hold him near the waterline.

My husband told me he just needed more water and that he was fine which made me feel like I was slowly Münchausen him to death.

So on Monday, I finally cleaned out his bowl and gave him a new living environment and he seemed happy.

Today is my day at home {which I’m sure you already gathered} so after shopping online this morning and posting my finds, I did a load of laundry and went downstairs to straighten up and make some lunch. I realized I had a missed call from my husband so I returned his call.

While on the phone with my husband listening to him talk about his awesome sandwich AND straightening up a bit, half-thinking, I picked up what I THOUGHT was a leaf someone had dragged in on their shoe but realized it WAS ACTUALLY OUR BETTA FISH …DEAD …IN MY HAND!!!!!!!!


{still on the phone with my husband}


The dogs freaked out and immediately sat on their pillows while I continued to SCREAM BLOODY MURDER and JUMP AROUND THE LIVING ROOM. for at least five minutes …with my husband on the other end having no idea why I was acting like such a freak.

Looking back, I remember seeing what I thought was a leaf on the floor for like TWO DAYS NOW!!! {I am so grossed out you have no idea} The fish must have just jumped out of his bowl, splat on the top of the shelves and then jumped 5 more feet to his slow but imminent death.

I seriously could NOT stop screaming. And even now, thinking about it, typing it, looking at that photo, my skin is crawling and I want to squeeeeeaaaal.

So long Friday …I didn’t mean to kill you. {or, you’re welcome}

{in other pet news our Pug, Bebop is feeling much better. He had a horrible bladder infection but his back seems to be fine which means we spent about $1000 instead of $6000 …thank you for all your kind words and well wishes! We are so glad to have him back}

LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at ...love Maegan.com sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.


  • Hanako66

    March 5, 2009 |

    I love how you can see the pug hair on your fishy…I can relate.

    Sorry about Friday, that is gross and sucks and he seriously jumped out of the bowl? Crazy. Ewww.

    So glad to hear about Bebop:) I have had close calls with my pups too and it sucks.

  • Bambola

    March 5, 2009 |

    I didn’t know whether to laugh or go “awwwwwwwww”… So I think I wound up doing both.

    So sad that your fish died… he just couldn’t live without FedEx.

    Your response however was hilarious… who knows what your husband thought! =)

    Glad to hear BeBop is better xx


  • Sheri

    March 5, 2009 |

    Wow. That is so freaky and I think I’d freak out too. I’m sorry about Friday though 🙁 I can relate. I am glad your Pug is feeling better though! 🙂

    I’ve had a few beta fishies in my lifetime and always hated changing their water. I even killed one once while doing so. I dropped it and it died of shock I think. Sorry Rainbow! I would like to get another, but I think I’d put it in an actual tank with a filter so I wouldn’t have to change the water and it could swim around with more space.

  • Gwen

    March 5, 2009 |

    OMG!!! Fish Suicide is exactlly why I hate fish today. Our fish when we were kids did it all the time!!! Sorry for your loss but glad that your pug is going to be okay. 🙂

  • Sheri

    March 5, 2009 |
  • Hi, I'm Amy!

    March 5, 2009 |

    I have 8 fish and I love looking at them and I don’t mind cleaning out their bowls but I wouldn’t dare touch them. I’m sure I’d react the same way if I did accidentally!

  • Megan

    March 5, 2009 |

    So I know this is supposed to be sad..but OH my GOD. It really does look like a leaf. It was his time to go!

    P.S. the fact that you were able to calm down enough to take a picture is hilarious.

    p.p.s. if it were my dog..there would be no fish on the ground. Poor thing I would have thought it disappeared cause Sadie would have eaten it.

  • Milly

    March 5, 2009 |

    Ok…now that i’m done laughing 🙂
    i can say….i’m so sorry on your loss..but glad to hear your pug is better

  • BDC

    March 5, 2009 |

    Are you sure he jumped? I think he was siting on the edge of his bowl contemplating his living situation. On how long it took you guys to change his water then you walk in and scared the hair out of him and he plummeted to his horrible death.

  • calixta.jive.

    March 5, 2009 |

    seriously couldn’t stop laughing out loud after reading this… i had to take a moment. haha! my students all think i’m nuts in here laughing all alone. ;o)

    the best part is that is the exact reaction i would have had! especially if it involves a spider!!!

    thanks for the laugh! sorry about your loss.

  • Melissa

    March 5, 2009 |

    eww…. poor little guy.

  • Kitten

    March 5, 2009 |

    Poor fishies!! 🙁

    How’d you give the fish the name “FedEx”?

  • Lisa Petrarca

    March 5, 2009 |

    Ewwww…you freaked me out. I lose it like that when I see a cochroach…I think picking up a dead fish might even be worse than a roach!

    Oh yeah…sorry about his death.

  • Dorkys Ramos

    March 5, 2009 |

    Eww! I probably would’ve freaked out too…right before passing out. My betta also died a couple weeks ago, but at least he did it the old fashion way: by floating. I’m sure if he jumped out the dog would have mistaken him for a playmate.

  • Felicia

    March 5, 2009 |

    I know it’s not funny that your fish died, but this made me crack up!

  • Elizabeth Marie

    March 5, 2009 |

    Poor Friday. And poor you…that sounds uber traumatic! What was your hubby saying on the other end?

    I’m glad your puppy is ok 🙂

  • Clare

    March 5, 2009 |

    Oh this freaked me out on two levels. One, my first ever goldfish oommited suicide when our family was on vacation. I blamed the housesotter for years. Secondly, our beta fish hasnt eaten in two weeks.Im getting freaked out

  • Katy

    March 5, 2009 |

    I had a beta that committed suicide a few months ago. We had a newspaper on the floor next to his bowl and he had jumped in the middle of the night. The next day we found him all shriveled up.

    We bought a new one two days later. 🙂

  • Susan

    March 5, 2009 |

    I have a betta fish – now I am scared.

  • Big Red

    March 5, 2009 |

    That story is sad and hi-freakin-larious!

  • valerie

    March 5, 2009 |

    i could actually picture EVERYTHING so vividly. i feel like i was a watching a movie! i feel awful for your fish, but i can’t help but laugh at the picture with the dog hair on it. poor, friday!

  • Namine

    March 5, 2009 |

    That’s soo crazy!! Poor fishy. I love the picture of your dogs!

    I would be doing the same thing… shrieking at the top of my lungs!!

  • bianca

    March 5, 2009 |

    oh my gosh, I had a fish do that when I was younger! Out of control! RIP Fishy

  • Courtney

    March 5, 2009 |

    Oh my gosh, hilarious and sad all at the same time– and I would completely have done the screaming dance had I picked up what I thought was a leaf only to discover it was a dead fish. RIP Friday.

  • Franco

    March 5, 2009 |

    OMG, I Freak ut like that do with dead fish, i cannot pick up a dead fish to save my life, i feel so gross haha.
    poor guy.

  • Robin

    March 5, 2009 |

    So glad your little dog is doing better. Poor Friday:-(

  • freeTEYme

    March 5, 2009 |

    Sorry to hear about Friday. I am not sure what is more traumatic, finding your pet dead or holding a 2 day old dead fish. *hugs*

  • Nicole Marie

    March 5, 2009 |

    OMG!!!! and I am so glad that was your reaction because that is EXACTLY what I would have done!

    but poor fishy. he’s happy in fish heaven now with his buddy fed ex

  • ~alison

    March 5, 2009 |

    O.M.G. but at the same time – AAAAAhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! I can TOTALLY see the scene play out in my mind! This picture is freakin’ me out too – damn it! I can’t believe Bebop nor LeRoy tried to eat him for that long! AAAAAAAhahahahahahaha – you picked him up! BTW – I would have TOTALLY been flailing around and screaming {WITH my toes curled – I might add!!}

  • Holly

    March 5, 2009 |

    im so sorry, but the whole dead leaf thing is hilarious!

  • Gabby

    March 5, 2009 |

    ahahaha! It TOTALLY looks like a leaf….if I squint my eyes a lil. 🙂

    Sorry about the fish, but happy your pooch is ok!

  • Belle

    March 5, 2009 |

    RIP Friday.
    It was hilarious that you thought it was a leaf but ughh i would have been running around screaming too.
    Glad your pup is better 🙂

  • Morgan

    March 5, 2009 |

    ooooh [shudder] – I’m screaming on the inside just thinking about it.

  • Cathy Voyage

    March 5, 2009 |

    Wah, that is so freaky!

  • heathergyoung

    March 5, 2009 |

    Fish suicide! Thank you–I really needed a laugh this morning!

  • Erin

    March 5, 2009 |

    Well thats just a little creppy! Who knew beta fish were prone to suicide?!?!? Im glad to hear little Bebop is feeling better!

  • brooke

    March 5, 2009 |

    these crazy suckers…i too have witnessed a beta jump to his death and commit suicide…i was helping a friend clean her beta’s bowl and she had her little guy in a cup next to the sink and she turned on the garbage disposal and he just jumped out of his cup straight into the disposal! we both screamed and jumped back because he started flying back out in bits…quite nasty! sorry for your loss…but happy behop is doing well!!!!

  • Lump

    March 5, 2009 |

    ohmygoodness it was suicide! that’s kind of sad. 🙁

  • FJ

    March 5, 2009 |

    Poor fish. Honestly, fish sort of gross me out. Slimy little things.

  • miss alice in wonderland

    March 5, 2009 |

    oh gosh a) im so sorry for you b) i laughed so hard my tummy hurts *laugh*

    i guess maybe the spherical bowl isn’t good for the fishs! i wanted to buy one too but i read that they need a bigger water surface so they can get more oxygen! so if the bowl is bigger then the surface they have problems with “breathing” because there is too much water… actually i didn’t get it exactly *laugh* all i remeber is SPHERICAL BOWLS + FISH = DEAD something like that *laugh*

    but im totally in love with your blog, your hair and your dogs AMAZING!

  • Matt

    March 5, 2009 |

    Poor little guy.

  • Sometimes Sophia

    March 5, 2009 |

    Sad fish story… I’ll pray for him.

  • Tim

    March 5, 2009 |

    That is so sad, but the way you explained how you ran around screaming….I could just see it. Sorry, I had to laugh on that one. Especially the IN…MY…HAND!

    That was rich!

    Love and Prayers,


  • anhesty

    March 5, 2009 |

    sorry your fish died… but i couldn’t stop laughing reading about your reaction… only because i had a similar experience. loving the new shoes you purchased!

  • Pretty Little World

    March 5, 2009 |

    Oh my, I’m terribly sorry about your little fish!

    I had a fish commit suicide once also, and since have a screen lid that goes on my aquarium – no more fishies leaping to their deaths!

  • Carolyn

    March 5, 2009 |

    hahahahahaha!!!! I would act the SAME WAY! Ewwwwww

  • tanya

    March 5, 2009 |

    oh my god. That is the freakiest thing I’ve read this week. Wow…just wow.

  • The Seeker

    March 5, 2009 |

    I’m sorry and it’s a sad thing about your fish, but I couldn’t stop smilling because your writting was so funny, imagining the scene….

    Poor pet….


  • drollgirl

    March 5, 2009 |

    your stories make me scream. sure i am sorry about the fish dying, tho.

  • Kelli

    March 5, 2009 |

    It’s like I was reliving it with you! I am sorry your fish are dead but I had to laugh, this story was to freakin funny!
    Glad to hear your pup is better 🙂

  • Mama Kat

    March 6, 2009 |

    Ahahhaahaha!!! I would have SO done the same thing…the whole screaming and running and flailing bit! Ewwww!!!

  • Mademoiselle Frou-Frou

    March 8, 2009 |

    this is one of the funniest posts i’ve read in a long time – thanks for the laughs! r.i.p. little beta…

  • lookrichbitch

    March 9, 2009 |

    a depressed fishy?? i don’t know what’s sadder than that!

    but your play by play was quite hysterical…


  • Chris

    March 9, 2009 |

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear this. I know a lot of people think fish are just that, fish, and don’t affect you when they die. But you get attached to them and they do have their own little personalities. And when one commits suicide like this, it’s heartbreaking, isn’t it?

    I had a dream once that one of my fish was sick, so another one jumped out of the tank and landed on the carpet in front of my husband, trying to get his attention and get some medical aid to his sick friend. My husband was like, “What is it, boy? What are you trying to tell me?” and sure enough he figured it out and helped both fish. Not too far off the truth, eh?

  • Anonymous

    March 22, 2009 |

    So you did not feed it for 2 days?

  • PinQue (Michelle)

    March 27, 2009 |

    OMG, that totally happened to me too! I had a beta who continued to jump from his bowl…he was determined to commit suicide. So after I found him laying on my desk several times alive, he finally went to fishie heaven.

  • Anonymous

    May 6, 2009 |

    Sorry that I have to say it, but I think that it’s your own fault. it is commonly known that Betta’s jump a lot (out of their aquarium). You always have to put something that lets air though on the bowl or aquarium, otherwise this sort of things will happen more often… 🙁 (So it is quite stupid to think that that fish commited suicide, he was just freakin out -.-”)

  • Alison

    May 15, 2009 |

    My Beta died too. But I left it sitting for a few days because of my inability to deal…

    Then one night after several glasses of Wine I thought, well, I thought he was alive again… EEEEEEEEEEEEEK FLUSH

    thats how it ended.

  • Richelle

    May 23, 2009 |

    :(. That’s sad. My betta fish died too. I named him alex. and my two fish died. Alex, and the other fish without a name. Then, I have the girl betta fish left. She’s really small… but… I’m gonna try letting a male betta fish in her bowl. :’) to make little baby betta fish. but i gotta be carefule cuz the male might attack the girl.

  • Michelle Grubbs

    May 29, 2009 |

    lol. Our betafish committed suicide today. I had graduation practice and we left the top off when we changed tanks and we had no idea that betas jumped out. Well, my grandpa could not find the betafish and I found him stiff on the carpet:( It was gross, and I felt sorry for the little guy… Oh well its just a stupid fish lol He was a beutiful beta though.

  • Anonymous

    August 7, 2009 |

    OMG, one of my betta fish did that once. We stuck a male and female together thinking that was how you bred them (IT’S NOT!). We left and came back to see our beautiful male shredded to pieces in the bowl and the female had leaped to the floor. She was still alive tho lol.

  • Jayci

    August 13, 2009 |

    Holy shit – this is one of the funniest things ever. I’m laughing so hard!

  • Chrissy

    February 24, 2010 |

    Reading about your betta gave me serious flashbacks to the Siamese fighting fish I got for my tenth birthday…He was beautiful yet looked so lonesome swimming around by himself. “He needs a lady friend!” I shouted, running out the door to the pet store. Three days & three trips to the pet store later, all three betta “blind dates” I had arranged for him were all dead, all as a result of suicide. (What a charmer he must have been, a little like the aquatic version of the guys I’ve been going on dates with lately. D’oh! ; P)

  • Kate

    April 2, 2010 |

    The SAME thing happened to my betta! He was so pretty the night before, then the next morning – “where’s the fish?” I stared in his bowl for 5 minutes in complete confusion. I thought someone played a practical joke on me. I looked on the floor, on my shelf, on the window pane – no fish. Then I started my freak out. WHERE is this dumb fish?! I didnt want to step on it, or touch it – yet I couldnt find it! Finally I saw it – behind my printer, looking just like yours. All dry and crispy. I still cant think about him the same. I only see the gross nasty dried betta I had to pick up with a tissue. YUCK.

  • Anonymous

    October 27, 2010 |

    Yeaaaah. You’re supposed to put something over your betta bowl so that they don’t jump out.

  • Anonymous

    November 19, 2010 |

    you have to be careful when choosing a Betta habitat…you MUST choose one with a top on it (one with holes that allows for oxygen flow of course…but some sort of covering) bettas will do what some call “committing bettacide” or jump out of the water (thinking they are escaping one water filled habitat into another..when actually escaping to your air filled floor or table) if there is a covering on the container they can not escape and they wont die….hopefully that helps if you decide to acquire another beta fish (and for the record other types of fish do this as well…thats why just about any fish aquarium you can buy comes with a lid…)

  • Anonymous

    February 26, 2011 |

    1. How is it that people think this is funny?

    2. You said you thought you remembered seeing a dead leaf on the ground for like 2 days. So you didn’t feed him or even look at the bowl for 2 entire days?!

    3. Um, hello google! When I got my betta I did actual research on them. I found out that they were jumpers, what ailments they dealth with, how to fix said illnesses, et cetera because I actually happen to give a crap. >.< My ability to feel sympathetic for people has failed for the writer of this article due to her own negligence and lack of common sense. Also, those bowls you're keeping them in? That's completely asinine. They're probably not a decent enough size, for one, and with bowls like that(all small and no filtration) you need to do regular water changes, which I guess you weren't bothering to do because you didn't even look at the tank for two days.

  • Anonymous

    November 30, 2011 |

    When I was around the age of thirteen (and for the record, I’m almost seventeen now), I had a pretty blue male betta fish which I lovingly named Fishy. That was not my first one however; I probably raised at least three betta fish before him. Fishy was never a very active fish, but he seemed perfectly healthy to me.

    I would leave the feeding to my mom sometimes and apparently she forgot to feed him for a couple days that week. When I went to check up on him, he was nowhere to be found. There was no way he could jump out because the lid was shut, so I turned the tank around, and to my horror, he committed what appeared to be fish-suicide.

    He buried his head well below half-an-inch under the rocks. I was freaking out. His once-beautiful blue color became so discolored (it became grayish) and his flesh was rotting all over. His dead eyes glared at me fiercely. At some level, I was traumatized. I never planned to find him that way and from that day on I could not bear buying another fish for the childhood memory of something so strange and horrific still haunts me to this day.

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