The two blue females looked like...well...two blue females. Egg spots and everything! I was so grateful that Larissa was kind enough to get me started as a show betta breeder by giving me these two girls for one the males I had bought at the CBS show before the meeting. I was already envisioning little royal blue marble doubletails...but it was not to be...
I frantically messaged Larissa, who responded (very patiently) with how to deal with the jumper. (This was before I started to obsessively saran wrap everything). My frantic message:
Feb 29th 2012 10:12am: Larissa! Tragedy! One of my girls jumped out of her bowl in the wee hours of the morning! I found her this morning...she was still slimy, but she's got a lot of scale and fin damage I gave her clean water, a heater, Attison's betta extract (no more IALs!), pinch of aquarium salt...she started swimming with difficulty when I put her back in the water...by the time I left my apartment she was using her pectoral fins again, at least. I was worried about her eyes but they seem to be fine. She was the one I really wanted to try breeding first, too! What is the expected outcome of a betta that's been out of water for max 4 hours? (I didn't get to bed until 4:30am last night and I woke up at 9:30). Is there anything else I can do?!
What to do if your betta jumps!
Feb 29th 2012 11:42am: You're doing good so far! Lower the water level down to just above her body height so she doesn't have to swim far to take a breath - if you've got her in with a heater, maybe put her in a deli cup inside the heated water instead so it has the lower level with the heat. The Attisons (which really is just more expensive IAL, lol) with as high a dose as to make the water brown, and the pinch of salt. Daily water changes, slowly starting to raise the water level up. Keep an eye on how much effort she's using to go to the surface to breath. Keep this up for at least a week and then re-evaluate her at that time. She should, actually, be fine. If she's still alive and slimy now and swimming, then it's mostly now buffering her through the shock and letting some of the scale damage repair. Fin damage is inconsequential to the health of a betta, so that's not a problem as long as she doesn't get fin rot on top of it, which the Attison and salt should help prevent. I've had fish do this before too. One of my very first bettas, in fact, did it in the dorms - found him so dried up on the table that half his fins stuck to it when I picked him up. He ended up living to over four years old (though his fins were never the same!). So don't despair! If she's not dead already, she's got a really good chance of recovering. Bettas are pretty hardy little fish.
Thankfully, she survived her ordeal, and actually managed to heal very quickly. I put her in a 5 gallon planted all by herself to finish her recuperation...and that was when I started to notice that her fins were growing. Keep in mind that I had never, ever kept a show betta before this - I had no idea what was going on!
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