Yesterday, my family bombed the house with foggers to get rid of a few pests (y'know, that time of year and all). On the back of the fogger packaging it highly advises to turn off fishtanks and/or remove them from the area. It was a sunny day outside and warm, so I put Cinder, and his tank, out on the patio just so he could get some sun. I figured since it was sunny and warm, Cinder wouldn't need his heater.
The day went on and we came back to the house, cleaned up after the foggers were finished and mopped down the whole house. I was so tired that I fell asleep, nice and cozy in my warm bed.
I woke up this morning and got up to feed Cinder.... and I realized all too late that he was still outside!!! What was worse, THE TEMPERATURE DROPPED TO BELOW 60 DEGREES F OVERNIGHT (hooray for weird Texas weather) and he had NO HEATER.
I rushed outside barefoot and found the tank still right where I left it. I tapped the glass, hoping to get a response.
I moved around the tank, looking frantically for my Betta. I finally found him literally curled up inside of his castle. I picked up the castle and looked at him fully.
He rolled over, pale and unmoving.
I about cried. I covered him with his castle again and prayed aloud that my Heavenly Father would preserve his life. I got inside the house and set the tank near a window and quickly thought of what to do. I couldn't waste any time; he was already on Death's doorstep.
I started dipping out the frigid water with large glasses and slowly refilling the tank with less-than-frigid water. I knew that if I poured straight hot water in the tank, the glass would break and Cinder would die from shock.
Then, I had an idea. I'd like to call it divine inspiration. I got a bucket and filled with with water that was about 80 degrees. I got a plastic baggie, scooped Cinder and some freezing water up into it and floated it in the warm water.
Gradually, Cinder came back to life. For about ten minutes all he could do was sit with his nose in a corner and flutter his fins. I kept checking on him for signs of dropsy. I feared his kidney would have failed with the freezing temperature. But no, Cinder relieved himself and I knew he was gonna be okay. Eventually, I offered him food and he took it. By the time almost twenty minutes had passed, Cinder was moving around like his old self again. I knew he was ready to go back into his tank because I stuck my fingertip in the baggie to check his water and he BIT ME.
I guess he's still pretty upset that I left him outside all night!!
So the lessons learned:
1. Don't leave your Betta outside. Ever.
2. If your Betta does have the unfortunate fortune to nearly become a popsicle, act quickly.
3. FLOAT YOUR BETTA IN WARM WATER. Do NOT immediately dump hot water into cold (you could break your tank!!)
4. Pray. I'm convinced that it works. I know it works.