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Old 02-10-2012, 12:45 PM   #1 
automata
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betta out of water

My fiance and I just bought a betta a few weeks ago. Yesterday I discovered our cats had completely knocked over his tank while we were sleeping. Not knowing bettas could survive out of water my fiance placed him in the trash thinking he was dead. I decided it would be nicer to bury him so we took him out of the trash and he immediately started flopping around. We quickly placed him back in some tank water and he slowly began swimming around. Since he was thrown out of his tank while were sleeping so I have no idea how long he was laying on the carpet before we found him. My question is how I should care for him since I would think this would be traumatizing for a fish. I'm also wondering if being out of water so long could have damaged his eyesight as he doesn't quite respond to my hand near the glass anymore. He also hasn't eaten much since returning to the tank but he is swimming around and appears to be feeling better than yesterday.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:54 PM   #2 
Myates
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Poor guy :(

Is there a lid on the tank? Bettas are great jumpers and don't always need a cat to help them escape ;)

Bettas can actually survive for hours out of water- sometimes there could be health issues afterwards, but for the most part if there were no injuries such as being scratched, missing scales or bitten.. he most likely will be fine in time.

In the wild when the rice patties are drained they will burrow under the mud and stay there til the patties fill back up- one of the reasons why myths came out about them living in puddles.. it's been known to find a betta in small puddles, and even hoof prints left by cows that have filled with rain water- the bettas thinking the water had returned throughout the field.

Go ahead and make sure there is no debris in the water after you replaced him, in case he had picked up anything off of the floor.

If you see no wounds or scale missing, then nothing is needed other then clean water and Stress Coat or Prime- either of those conditioners help promote slime coat health and reproduction and can help him get it back quicker.
He will eat once he calms down, and he isn't reacting as he normally does because of his experience.

Keep him warm, keep the lights in his tank dimmed to give him a stress free environment, make sure the water is clean and has Stress Coat or Prime, even Tetra AquaSafe has slime coat protection which would work.
Tomorrow see how he is doing.. turn on the lights, offer food. The next 24-48 hours will show how he fairs after his ordeal.

If you see wounds on him, cuts or missing scales go ahead and place him in 1 tsp per gallon of AQ salt, pre-dissolved, with the water conditioner and change it 100% daily for the next few days to make sure infection doesn't set in, in the wounds. Otherwise, I wouldn't do the AQ salt treatment unless needed, as it's added stress.

Poor fella..

Last edited by Myates; 02-10-2012 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:51 AM   #3 
automata
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Thank you so much for your help! We cleaned his tank and treated him for injuries as he has some dark spots on his body. I wasn't sure if he had been scratched by the cats so I thought I would just be safe. I've also been keeping a screen on the top so that he doesn't have another near death experience. He's doing so much better now and swims around the tank quite a bit! Much better than when he was floating sideways after we first found him. =) Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:36 AM   #4 
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wow! thats awesome you thought you'd give him a proper burial and then realized he was alive! Hope he's fully recovered.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:36 PM   #5 
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It is awesome.. they can be resilient when we least expect them to be sometimes. Silly fish, glad to hear he is doing good :)
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:46 PM   #6 
daniomania
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Wel thats good hes fine!! :) id put a lid on or put the tank in a unreachable are!...never new bettas can live out of wtaer!
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