I feel terrible about this. Luke is my sister's betta. He has been put in my care until we move, and then he will officially be mine. Right now, I have to ask my sister before I do anything to him (such as water change, or adding medication).
Luke lives in a 3 gallon tank. I need to net him out because I needed to add an airstone to aerate the water better so I could add a maintanence product. This is an AquaView360. They are nice and tall, but (one of) my problems with them is that they aren't very long and they have an undergravel filter in the very middle; making it nearly impossible to stick anything in the tank.
I really hate to net any fish, especially delicate bettas. I put the cup I was netting him into as far in the tank as I could (so the top of the cup was just about an inch higher than the surface of the water). I went to net him out, but I couldn't do it quickly since the net barely fit. I think it was a 4x5" net. I got him up out of the water and placed him in the cup very quickly.
I put him to the side and put in the aristone and maintanence product. I looked over at him and then realized that his gills were inflamed and his back was bent! What have I done!? Actually, I have an idea of what happend.
I understand why the gills are inflamed. Fish's gills are basically supported by the gravity in water. One thing bad about netting is how the gravity pulls down their gills because underwater the only thing properly supporting them is
water. I have never seen inflamed gills on a fish, though.
I really hope the gills aren't permanent, but I am really worried about his back! When I netted him I saw that there was slack in the net. This is a course net (I wish I had a fine mesh net but I don't), and they are designed for moving through the water quickly. I moved it slowly, so it looked like Luke wasn't properly netted. My biggest question is if his back injury is permanent. I guess there really isn't a good way to tell just from my description, but did I break his back, or was it a defense mechinism?
I feel so bad about this, and I have to let my sister know if it continues. Are there any possible conclusions to draw from this short description of the netting issue? Has this ever happend to anyone before?