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Old 11-04-2012, 01:31 PM   #1 
krysiana
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Exclamation Caring for Bettas during a natural disaster/emergency

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone here could point me to "survival tips" to keep Bettas going, such as what has/is happening as a result of Hurricane Sandy. I lost power, heat, and means to get my fish out, and I want to make sure if, heaven forbid another crisis like this happens, that I can get them out of here, or if we have to stay, how to keep them warm & healthy without a power generator.

When people are evacuating, filling trains and buses, what is the safest, most stable way to transport a betta? Is there such a thing as a "betta carrier" to keep them from sloshing about?

I will share what I did, in case it helps anyone. Not elegant, but they made it!

First off, the tank is kept clean in and good order normally - all the water conditions were good at the start. I have a divided tank and each section has filtration. I have a heater to keep them warm & at a stable temp.

When the power died and there was no hot water, I tried to just keep the warm water in the tank as warm as possible, making sure there was no drafts in the room as best as I could. I had battery operated lanterns, but since I had gas on my stovetop & water, I boiled water and lit candles to try and warm the place.

I fed them very lightly so as not to foul the water.

Eventually though, the tank began to lose its heat, so I changed out about 10% of the water daily, took some tank water and mixed it with warmed water I had heated from the stove. I had to test it by touch, becuase my thermometer broke in the dim light and there was no store to get a replacement at! Before putting the water in, I added a tap water conditioner which contained ingredients to support stressed fish.

When the outside temps dropped to the 40s at night, I really started to worry. This might sound crazy, but I took reusable hand warmer packs (wonder warmers) and taped them to the outside of the tank. I even put my hands on the tank to share my body heat. The best I could do was keep their tank about 20-25 degrees warmer than it was outside. But, I guess becuase of the gradual decline, they made it!

By the last day, they were losing a bit of pep, but when the tank light & heater came back on, they were flapping their fins and practically dancing.

Anyway, if someone has a fish survival tip sheet (or a kit!) - do let me know! I want to be prepared.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:17 PM   #2 
sainthogan
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As winter is approaching, I'm beginning to look for this type of advice as well. We are prone to heavy, wet snows that break the power lines. A few years ago, our gas went out, we were one of the fortunate areas, that didn't have power go out as well, so we were able to plug in electric heaters, but there's always the possibility that both the power and the gas will go out during the winter, and I have no idea what I would do in that situation. Our town is a very small tourist town, with about 400 year round residents, so running out to the nearest store to get hand warmers is out of the question - there might be at the ski supply stores, but not very many, I'm sure the tourists will get to them first. And forget about stocking up ahead of time, the prices around here are outrageous and I'm scraping pennies together just to buy groceries right now. The nearest Wal-Mart is an hour away, but if our power and gas go out, the chances are extremely high, that the power and gas is out there too - we connect into the same power grid. (When the gas went out, it was most of the state)
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:29 PM   #3 
Perseusmom
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We all need a plan this winter and make one now not later ! I am buying some of the heat packs that shippers use to ship fish in boxes and some even stay warm for 72 hours. I have a couple of small boxes and a smaller container with lid I would put him in along with the heat packs. I live in the country with trees all around me and the power lines so if they are calling for a heavy snow I will pack up Perseus and my dog and go stay with him where I have ordered a tank to stay at his house in the city since if the power goes out the city would most likely get their power back on before I would. Now is the time have a plan get some heat packs and be ready just in case ! This will be my first winter with a fish who needs to stay warm so of course I am nervous.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:11 PM   #4 
krysiana
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Sounds like I'm not the only one who wants to be prepared!

Sainthogan, I know what you mean, as I'm on a tight budget and in a small apartment. I can't hook up a generator to keep things going if the lights/heat goes out again.

Perseusmom - do you have any places you would suggest online to buy those fish appropriate shipping containers & warming pads? Sounds like a great option if I need/can get them out of here.

Looking forward to hearing ideas from other readers as well!
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:04 PM   #5 
Wendyjo
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A good way to transport a betta is in a quart or gallon sized plastic baggie (double bag). Use a rubberband on it tho, don't rely on the zip part of it.

There are products at all drug and most grocery stores in the pain relief aisle called "Thermal Care Wrap" - they use the same technology as the hand warmers but they are much larger and used for back pain, neck pain, menstrual cramps, etc. They can be wrapped around a small tank and will stay pretty hot all day. So they can be used in a pinch. Put it against the tank and then wrap it all in a towel.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:12 PM   #6 
sainthogan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendyjo View Post

There are products at all drug and most grocery stores in the pain relief aisle called "Thermal Care Wrap" - they use the same technology as the hand warmers but they are much larger and used for back pain, neck pain, menstrual cramps, etc. They can be wrapped around a small tank and will stay pretty hot all day. So they can be used in a pinch. Put it against the tank and then wrap it all in a towel.
That would be good if we actually had a drug store in our area. The closest one is over an hour away, and our local grocery store hardly carries anything at all, basically just the necessities a tourist might need to make meals in their room. They are super expensive too because supposedly the tourists "expect to pay more money" when they are on vacation.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:19 AM   #7 
Myates
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Here ya go..

Emergencies and your betta
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:17 AM   #8 
krysiana
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Awesome! Thank you for posting that (I searched but couldn't find that before I posted). Very well done guide - I'm going to print & save it! Short of the towels (I thought they needed daily light), I guess I did ok.

I also stumbled upon a packing guide here in the forums, so I've gone and ordered a few long lasting Uniheat warmers in case of a future emergency in a long power outage or need to send them to a friend (if that's possible - we had no PO service for a bit this time).

I've also picked up some "breather bags" online - they seem easier to carry in a box than the open topped betta cup I had from Petco.

Thanks again!
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