Beware of torpedo female bettas!

FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
23
38
East Aurora, NY
#1
I opened one of the glass versa-tops on my 55g community tank today to drop in a pinch of flake-food. During the process, one of my four female bettas literally shot out of the tank and plopped down on the tile floor. :eek: As she flopped around I was able to gently get her into my palm and get her back into the tank. She didn't look good at first, but within a half an hour or so, she was cruising around like normal, aside from a horrible looking eye. One of her eyes is badly swollen and cloudy. Is that eye going to be a goner? I hope the little gal can pull through. That was a long way to fall and a hard landing onto a tile floor.
 

FishDad

Superstar Fish
Mar 4, 2012
1,218
1
38
Cleveland
#2
I can relate. Just two days ago I was sitting with my neighbor by his koi pond, they were going crazy for the midges that invade this time of year. Well one of the two footers jump clear out of the pond and flopped on the pavers. We got him back in but it was funnier than hell.
 

FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
23
38
East Aurora, NY
#4
Yeah, I had one of my silver hatchet fish take a header out of the 10g some months ago. When I found him he was dried out and covered in dust/pet hair from flopping around. He looked TERRIBLE when I dunked him back in the tank. Thought he was a goner for sure. A few hours later I couldn't tell him from the other two hatchets in the tank! Still around today.

The female betta still looks and acts great aside from the pop-eye. Pretty sure she's blind in that eye. No signs of bullying or whatnot. She's swimming with the crowd as usual. She's the 2nd largest of the 4 female bettas.

I don't want to QT her for any length of time given what a pill this type of fish can be to a "newbee".
 

CAPSLOCK

Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
3,682
33
48
36
Cape Cod
#6
Good thing you were there to return her to the tank.

I had a paradise gourami who regularly clunked off the tank lid... Good jumper. I have also lost a few fish that way who jumped when no one was around :(

Arowanas are also notorious for jumping (they will catch critters out of low trees in the wild).
 

FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
23
38
East Aurora, NY
#9
Just an update..

It appears the eye healed on this betta! I never thought it would given how damaged it looked from the leap/fall. She looks great. I'm glad too, because this is a really cool looking betta. Kind of an orangish-pink color with blue eyes.
 

FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
23
38
East Aurora, NY
#11
Thanks OC.

I usually do ~30-40% weekly WCs on this 55g. I don't think it's ever read higher than ~20ppm nitrates. The water sprite and wisteria are pretty huge in this tank. I've had to trim the wisteria a few times already. Some small java fern and anubias in it as well.
 

FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
23
38
East Aurora, NY
#12
Dangit, the same female betta shot out of the tank and plopped onto the tile floor again this evening. Ugh.. I partially lifted a versa top real quick to sprinkle in some food and heard a PLOP. Room was dark aside from the lit-up tank. Got her back into the tank w/in seconds, but it was a hard hit. She's hiding in a plant at the moment...
 

Feb 27, 2009
4,395
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#13
Hope she recovers. Only time will tell with possible internal injuries.

Does this tank have any floating plants? This can help prevent jumping for some fish.

What type of filter does the tank have? If you use an HOB type filter, you may be able to put food in without opening the tank's top by using the opening where the filter is.
 

FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
23
38
East Aurora, NY
#14
Thanks OC.

The water sprite and wisteria cover more than half the surface. Some of the water sprite grows right out of the water until I trim it back, plus what ever parts break/float loose. Good news is I just checked on her and she's swimming around with the others. That's one tough little fish if she makes it unscathed again.

Oh.. I've got a canister filter on this tank and don't keep the plastic strips on the back of the versa-tops, because my plants cover much of the back. Guess I gotta feed only from the opening in the back. Sometimes I do, but the fish are used to the front for feeding.
 

Feb 27, 2009
4,395
0
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#15
When I had saltwater tanks, I ran sumps on all of them. I would put whatever food I was feeding in the last chamber and let the return pump spray the food everywhere. The fish had no idea where the food came from, they just went crazy! HAHA!
 

FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
23
38
East Aurora, NY
#16
Yeah, I'm going to have to change my 'feeding spot'.

Good news is, my jump-n-plop betta looks and acts like nothing happened. One tough little fish. In people distance, that's got to be like a 20-30 foot fall and splat.
 

Thyra

Superstar Fish
Jun 2, 2010
1,891
0
0
Yelm, WA
#17
Somehow I think that the fact they weigh so little, it doesn't have quite the same effect plus they are air breathers. I think more damage can be done with the retrieval. lol
 

FreshyFresh

Superstar Fish
Jan 11, 2013
1,337
23
38
East Aurora, NY
#18
That's gotta be it Thyra.

Little bugger sounded like a meat-ball hitting the floor. I flipped the light on, gasped, then just grabbed her up and dropped her back into the tank. She drifted to the bottom lifelessly like she did the first time, then eventually sprung back!

It must put them into a bit of a shock with the force on their organs and whatnot.
 

Thyra

Superstar Fish
Jun 2, 2010
1,891
0
0
Yelm, WA
#19
I dropped an oto on the kitchen counter - try retrieving one of those. I finally slid a kitchen knife under it - it grabbed on and I got it back in the tank. I don't know how I would have managed if it was on the floor - I no longer bend very well! lol
 

Feb 27, 2009
4,395
0
36
#20
I had an oto get her fins caught on a net and wouldn't let it go. Their spines can become entangled so easily (which is why I don't use a net for them, but this fish had run into the net while I was getting some Badis badis fry out). After 30 minutes, she still could not let go of the net. I eventually freed her by taking her and the net out and using a small pair of nail clippers to clip the net away. She lived, but it did not look good for her for several days afterward.

They are not easy to grab ahold of if they get out of the water. Sounds like your knife was the right width to encourage yours to 'grip' onto to make the move back to the water.