Teaching a child about loss can be challenging. A pet is a great way to teach the concept of loss, responsibility, and caring for something or someone else.

While dogs and other pets may not be ideal for every family or situation, a betta fish is a great candidate for kids and parents alike. Requiring minimal investment, space, and daily care, a betta will allow you to educate your son or daughter as they grow up.

The Betta Fish Bond

With large personalities and beautiful flowing fins, betta fish instantly become our friends the moment we find the perfect one and bring them home. Then we name them, further strengthening that bond.

I’ve been there myself, never wanting to reuse a name for another betta, even though I loved the name. It just didn’t seem right, especially because it was befitting of his (swim in peace Finley) personality.

Little Boy Doesn’t Want to Flush Cupid

After watching the video below of a little boy named Pierce, you’ll see he too had a very tough time saying goodbye to his buddy Cupid. He even thought for a moment Cupid was still moving, but ultimately with the guidance of his mom Dee, wishes him farewell.



While his mom handles the loss with a little laughter, it was certainly an emotional time for Pierce and an emotional lesson. Luckily for him, she said they could go to their local PetSmart and get him another one.  Pierce overfed Cupid (learn about food and feeding), which led to his short-lived life of just a month. I bet he won’t do that again.

Never Flush a Dead Fish

This is also a great time to let you know that you should never flush a fish, living or dead, down the toilet. There’s obvious reasons like cruelty for a living betta, but there’s also important health and safety issues with dead fish.

Flushing a dead betta introduces bacteria and disease into our water which can eventually harm other fish species or even impact our own water sources. I recommend burial, cremation, or the easiest method which is sealing them in a plastic bag and then disposing of them in the trash.

Educate and Support

Loss is tough, and it affects us at all ages. If you’re a parent, use this time to educate and support your son or daughter. If a betta fish seems insignificant to you as an adult, it could mean the world to a child. Yes life goes on, but not without meaning and learning. As Dee said, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, water to water.”

If you have your own story about losing a betta fish, please share it in the comments below.


About The Author

Founder & CFO (Chief Fish Officer)

Founder of bettafish.org and betta fish enthusiast. With over six years of betta husbandry experience, I wanted to create a place that was educational and fun for other betta keepers. Stick around, you'll learn a lot!

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