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Old 12-12-2012, 02:49 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Betta Fish Jumped out of water

Hello everyone. I've come to this site many times before to find information, but this is my first time posting here. I'm hoping I can get some more advice and some second opinions. First off, here is some information:

What size is your tank? 1 Gallon Tupperware
What temperature is your tank? 78 Degrees F.
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

What type of food do you feed your betta fish? A mix of tropical fish flakes, betta pellets, and sometimes freeze-dried worms.
How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day, with freeze-dried worms being a treat every few days.

How often do you perform a water change? NA
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? NA
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? When I do water changes, I add Tetra Aqua Safe "Dechlorinates and conditions".

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia: NA
Nitrite: NA
Nitrate: NA
pH: NA
Hardness: NA
Alkalinity: NA

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? No major change. Some fuzz is still on him.
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? A little shocked, you could say, but swimming around still.
When did you start noticing the symptoms? A few hours ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Yes. I have him in a quarantined one gallon Tupperware bowl with a small heater, heated to 78 degrees. I did a 100% water change and added one teaspoon of aquarium salt (dissolved and mixed with the rest of his water). He has a plastic plant in with him, and he is covered with a lid and a towel.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? He has some minor fin rot.
How old is your fish (approximately)? Maybe three to four months.

Here's some more background information, not extremely pertinent, but hopefully helpful: I got my original betta, Nix, about three months ago. This is about the time that my friend got his betta, Hans. About a week ago, my friend said that he wasn't able to take the best care of his betta (he wasn't able to do water changes very often, and he only got fed once every few days or so) so he offered for me to take him. I took him, and after arranging some things, put him in a ten gallon divided tank with my original betta, Nix. They were working out fine until I filled the tank a little too high and they could see each other through a small hole in the divider. After a day or so of flaring, I decided that I would move Hans back to his one gallon bowl so they wouldn't cause too much stress on each other.

The Incident: After I had moved Hans back to his bowl, I had foolishly forgot to cover it back up. I can't be sure how long he was out of the water (maybe up to three hours) and I'm can't be sure if he was even still moist when I found him, but I had found him under my desk covered in quite a lot of fuzz from the carpet. In my panic, I went to grab him with my hands, and he flopped a bit. I decided to get his net and a small bowl to scoop him into so I wouldn't mess with his slime coat any more. I put him back in the one gallon bowl immediately and he started swimming a bit, but seemed like he was shocked. Kind of still and only moving if he had to. After this, I made some fresh water and added a teaspoon of dissolved aquarium salt to it and then added some water conditioner. I slowly introduced Hans to the new mix of water (which was slightly warmer than the tank water at the time) and now he is in his one gallon Tupperware tub with a heater, his small plant, and a towel covering the entire thing.

I'm sorry this was so long. I wanted to make sure to provide as much detail as possible. I guess my questions are, what else can I do, if anything? Is him reacting to my touch when I went to pick him up a good sign? Is it a good sign that he was moving around when he got into the Tupperware bowl? Finally, is one teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon of water far too much for this situation? I feel horrible that I took this betta into my care and I had let him jump out of the tank. His previous owner said that he didn't care too much about the fish, and whatever happened would happen, but I want to help Hans as much as I can. Thanks for all the help, and thanks for taking your time to read this massive wall of text. If you need any more information, feel free to ask.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:08 AM   #2 
Sena Hansler
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The fact he did react when you touched him is good. A fish out of water, and has zero reaction is usually 1. Dead or 2. Very ill. The fuzz is slime coat, which is common for bettas who try to make the great escape it could also be just the dust from under the desk. adding aquarium salt was a good idea. A daily water change and re-adding the salt you take out help in his recovery. Don't use AQ salt for longer than 7-14 days. Eventually week him off of it, and back to fresh water. He will be shocked, wouldn't you be? :) don't be surprised if his fins go "crispy" or "black" and those parts fall off. If they were dried it's possible that it will have to grow back. A few missing scales have probably happened too.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:08 AM   #3 
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My fish did that as well, only I'm pretty sure she wasn't out of the water as long as yours (I'm guessing at least a half hour in her case). You may want to add some stress coat if you have any just to help him rebuild the slime coat. Don't be surprised if you see white slimy things with dirt and fuzz in it floating in the water after a few days. This is him shedding his slime coat to prevent infection from all the dirt and fuzz from the floor and all the dried up goop.
In my girl's case, it took her about 3 days to get back to her normal, spunky self, and it took almost 2 months for her fins and tail to grow fully back. her tail is slightly bent, but I'm not sure if that's a result of the jump or if it's genetic or because of hard water (her anal fin is bent a little, but it was like that before the jump.) I never had her in anything smaller than her 5 gallon because the day after her jump I was leaving town for several days and my mom was going to be coming over to feed her. I didn't want to burden my mom with water changing, etc., so since my girl was swimming fine after a few hours, I let her stay in her tank.
Keep a close eye on him, watch for infection or any swimming issues, and he should be fine.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:27 PM   #4 
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Thank you both very much for the replies. I definitely would have been worried if I started to see bits of his tail fall off, and if white slimy things started floating in the water, but now that I know it can happen, I can watch for it.

As for an update, today he seemed to be moving around a lot more, and I poked my finger in to see his reaction. He swam right up to it, like he would do before. I gave him a little food, and he ate it right away like he normally would. So at least those are all good signs. I think I'll do the aquarium salt treatment for about three more days, with 100% water replacement in between, and hopefully get to a store that has some stress coat. Since he was already fighting a bit of fin rot, I hope it doesn't escalate. I'll watch him closely and keep this updated. Thank you!
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:31 PM   #5 
Sena Hansler
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Shouldn't escalade with good care :) you're doing a great job
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:51 PM   #6 
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An update: I did two days of the salt treatment, and he seemed to be swimming around normally again. I had to go home for winter break, so he had to be in a car for about an hour. I put him right behind my driver's seat, where I've read is the least shaky and stressful for the fish. He was swimming around normally for a few more days, but then today he seems to be acting a little differently.

He went for his food like normal when I fed him, but now tonight he seems to be going for air more than usual. Most of the time he seems to hold his gills out, like he's flaring, but not the full-fledged flair with the underpart out. There also seems to be bubbles coming out of his gills whenever he takes a breath from the surface. I just changed out his water and added another table spoon of aquarium salt. Any ideas on what might cause this? I'm hoping that it's not a direct result of him making the jump, but I understand it might be. I have some ick/parasite medicine in case I need it, but I want to save it before I know for sure I need it.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:40 PM   #7 
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Just to add a 1 gallon container needs three water changes a week.. two smaller 25-50% changes and one 100% a week. This will prevent him from getting sick in the future.

Is all his fuzz cleared up? I wouldn't feed blood worms more than once a week. I would also nix the flakes and give him a fast day a week. When you do feed the worms make sure to soak them in a cup or something in some tank water to soften them before feeding.

He sounds like he might have a parasite infection.. salt and heat should fix that. Does his body have any salt sprinkling on it? If you shine a flashlight do you see any gold dust? Do you see gill flukes?
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:13 AM   #8 
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Yep, definitely. Besides the first night when he got his first salt treatment, he's been getting regular 100% water changes hoping that it would keep any kind of bacterial growth down. I checked for velvet and ick earlier tonight. He didn't seem to have anything on him when I looked at him with a flashlight, and all of his fuzz that he had on him the original night of the jump is gone. I have not checked up on gill flukes though, so I will do that after this post, and respond soon after. Thanks for the reply!

Edit: After a little searching on the Internet, I cannot seem to find much about gill flukes. All I really saw was that they were microscopic and that they may cause some inflamed gills, which may be why my betta's gill plates are out a lot of the time. He can close them though, so I'm not too sure. I'm going to see if I can get some pictures right now or my betta for everyone and find some more info on gill flukes. Be back soon.

Last edited by nix41309; 12-17-2012 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:50 AM   #9 
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Well, any ability to get a good picture did not work out since I could only get a top view and not the side since the tank is opaque. And as far as gill flukes, it may or may not be the case. The symptoms I got for it were that the fish will gasp for air at the surface, there is mucus around the gills, the gills open and close rapidly, scraping and flashing, and that parts of the gills may be eaten away. The only symptom out of those that I see is Hans sometimes opens and closes his gills rapidly, and bubbles will come out of both his gills and mouth. It's almost as if he is coughing. I don't see anything else wrong with the gills, as they seem to be normal now and not flared out all the time. He is a red fish, so it's hard to see if they are inflamed or not.

The two things that worry me is him 'coughing' by opening and closing his gills rapidly with the bubbles coming out, and the bubbles coming out of the gills when he takes a breath from the surface. He doesn't seem to be gasping for air though, so I'm not sure what to take of it.

Last edited by nix41309; 12-17-2012 at 12:58 AM.
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breathe, jump, out of water

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