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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have owned three bettas in my lifetime, but I only have two now. (Rest in peace, my veil tail.) Just a few minutes ago I began to change the water of one of my fish. As I was about to put his net inside the temporary home with clean water in it, he jumped out of his net onto the (clean) counter. In a matter of two seconds, I scooped him up with the net and put him in his temporary water changing home. He swam up to the top of the water in a corner, and started biting/gasping up at the air. There were no bubbles. I cleaned his usual two gallon bowl with gravel, water cleanser, and a new hiding spot, and then transferred him without error in his clean regular bowl with a temperature around 74 degrees Fahrenheit. It's been six minutes now, and he's still biting at the air, but he's not making a bubble nest. He won't take any flakes/pellets. His fins are moving, and he's moving around. Is he just in shock or is something wrong? What do I do?

Update: He's stopped biting the air. He's being unusually still, but his fins are moving really fast for some reason. Can someone tell me what is happening and what to do?
 

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He's probably just stressed and/or shocked. Keep his tank dark (you can cover it with something, just make sure he can still get fresh air) to help him relax. You can add some IAL or rooibos tea if you have any. Keep a close eye on him and if he doesn't get better soon post back here.

I'm not sure if I understood correctly, but are you putting him in new water when cleaning the tank or old tank water? I'm assuming you're using conditioner, is that right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
He's probably just stressed and/or shocked. Keep his tank dark (you can cover it with something, just make sure he can still get fresh air) to help him relax. You can add some IAL or rooibos tea if you have any. Keep a close eye on him and if he doesn't get better soon post back here.

I'm not sure if I understood correctly, but are you putting him in new water when cleaning the tank or old tank water? I'm assuming you're using conditioner, is that right?
I have two tanks. One that's two gallons and one that's one gallon. He is almost always in his two gallon tank, but I put him in his one gallon tank when I'm cleaning out his two gallon.Yes, I am using water conditioner. I just noticed that one of his ventral fins is curled. I don't remember him having this before, do you think it happened when I dropped him? Also, he doesn't seem to like his new hide.
Thanks for helping!
 

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If it makes you feel any better, my fish Larry jumped out of his cleaning mug which was on the bench and landed on the dirty floor (a good two or three foot drop) and I didn't find him until I stood on him. :-O

That was over a month ago and he's still alive and swimming well. Larry also had a similar reaction if I remember correctly. Just give him a dark place to relax and hopefully he should be ok by tomorrow. He's probably just stressing out a bit. :)
 

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He should be kept in old tank water during a water change. This is to avoid shocking him :) do you acclimate him every time he goes back into the clean two gallon?

Don't worry about the curled ventral, it's nothing to be concerned about. Many bettas have curled fins, and as long as it doesn't affect his swimming, he's fine. Fin curling is usually caused by hard water, but as I say, don't worry about it.

How is he feeling today?
 

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If it eases your fears, my late female jumped out of her tank and was out of the water for at least a half an hour before I found her in a very dusty corner behind the dresser. I thought she was dead, but when I picked her up, she started flopping around. I rinsed her off and put her back in her tank. She didn't move much for about 3 days, and most of her fins had dried up and stuck to the floor, so she looked pretty awful. But after about 3 days, she perked back up and went on to live for 2 more years.
I agree with the others that you need to up the water temp, they are tropical fish and thrive best in temperatures between 76 (some say 78) and 82. Also, always keep him in his tank water when changing the tank, it reduces stress and eases the acclimation process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How do I keep him in his tank for water changes if I want to use the same tank? I can't rinse the tank out that fast. I usually like to do full water changes so I have more time in between them.
 
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