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I have a little question. Let's say, hypothetically, that a Betta is living in a small(ish) tank that gets knocked onto the floor and spills out. Would 1) said Betta survive the fall and 2) how long would they survive? And don't worry, this is strictly for a book I'm working on and I'm not planning on hurting any little fishies ;)
 

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If it's not a great distance onto a hard surface they would likely survive. As to how long they can survive out of water, they can survive until they start to dry out. I'm not really sure exactly how long that would take.
 

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Typically yes, the Betta would survive the fall if put back into water soon.

A Betta can live out of water hypothetically forever if you are washing water over him since he can breathe the air around him unlike non-anabantoid fish. But then there is still the act of feeding you've have to be concerned about haha. But if the fish happens to jump out of the tank or the tank is knocked over and the fish starts to dry out, it could either die if it's dried to a crisp or if it's returned to water soon enough, the fish could be fine. A fish, when returned to water after a fall whether it's been a minute or an hour, will then shed it's slime coat and sometimes lose finnage if it started to dry up. After about a week of good water parameters, the fish's slime coat would be healed and a new one regenerated with the old one shed and gone. The fins could take longer to heal depending on the damage, sometimes it takes many months to fully regenerate a tail. A fish could also lose an eye if it dries up against the carpet as well.

It's also about how far the Betta has fallen as well. Some die on impact if the fall was too great, usually six feet or higher is not good. Lower, they'll just sort of bounce on impact and then flop around trying to find a water source. Or, if the tank is glass and it falls and breaks, it could kill the fish if some shards hit the fish. But I assume that isn't part of your book lol. Just writing out all the hypothetical answers to your questions!

As for how long they can live out of water without any water around them, it could be 1-2 hours possibly depending on what they landed on. If it's carpet, it's likely going to be less time because carpet will absorb the water. If it's tile or some sort of laminate flooring, they might live a little longer if they stay in the little puddle. I've had a fish who was out for almost 4 hours before I realized. He fell on carpet and was still alive when I picked him up but died in the night afterwards. His fall was about 3.5 feet from the tank top and he flopped quite a ways before I saw him.
 

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So Bettas are actually super hardy as far as fish go. I discovered the hard way that my girl Equinox is a jumper. I picked her up to do a routine examination for disease (I pick up all my fish, they're pretty used to it by now) and she freaked and jumped out of my hand behind my dresser. So after a panicked few minutes of trying to move a dresser without spilling my fish tank, I managed to get her out from behind the dresser. It was probably a drop of about 3.5 feet for her, but she was fine. And this wasn't even the cushioned fall of a tank spilling out, this was her with maximum gravity impact. She was completely fine.

Physically, Bettas can survive falls.

However, what kills Bettas during falls is stress. They get stressed soooo easily, and if they get too stressed they die. They'll sit on the bottom breathing heavily and you're like "oh okay they're fine" and then 10 minutes later they're floating. I've had this happen to me so many times.

So yeah. Hypothetically? They can take a hit, but the stress catches up to them really fast. Hypothetically if you were worried about a fall I would keep some kind of anti-stress or tranq to reduce stress and give your fish the best chance of survival, although I'm no expert.
 

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Thread closed. It's almost one year old thread. Betta Fish Rule #12.

12. Do not resurrect or bump threads without reason.

Please do not post to a thread that has not received a reply in a long time that is not more appropriate in a new thread. Similarly, please use "bumps" sparingly and do not bump your thread unless a significant amount of time has passed without any response.
 
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