TOPIC: betta suicide, betta jumping out of bowl

Q: I'm the owner of several bettas.  I recently had my gorgeous split tail jump out of his vase and pass away :-(.  He had been acting funny for about a day before the "suicide".  I wonder if it was really suicide or was he trying to get in contact with one of female bettas in another vase?

above question submitted by Ryan, Columbus - Ohio

Columbus Ohio, he? I once had a bass player and drummer who were from there... :)) but that's another story for another day... 

Today we are talking bettas. More specifically, bettas that jump. A few things immediately come to my mind:


Les betta sautent. Los bettas jumpa. Das bettas hopperdas. Yin Betta hoopee hoopee. Or in plain old fashion English:

Dude: your betta can and WILL jump.

OK, so now that I put it to you in no less than 6 languages, what's anybody's excuse for NOT covering their #@*%#  jars?? And this is not addressed to you Ryan, it is addressed to the countless people who email me daily to report they lost their fish cause it jumped. Well DUH! If you don't cover your jar, expect to find that puppy on the floor looking like a crisp, flat potato chip. I said it a zillion times and it was covered (twice)  in our E-Magazine section.

This is what bettas that have jumped and were not found fast enough end up like:

Not pretty.

So why oh WHY don't people cover their jars??? If you are not sure how to cover your betta display without it looking ugly, here are a few tricks:

  • use a simple computer transparency sheet. Cut it to match your jar/bowl top, and be sure to make it a bit larger so to have a bit of a "brim" (like a hat LOL). This way the lid won't fall into the jar even if it is slides a bit left or right. The good news is: transparencies are lightweight and easy to remove but heavy enough that they will stop a jumping betta right there and then :). Plus they are hard to visually spot so they do not distract from the beauty of your betta display. Also they are inexpensive, easy to cut with a simple pair of scissors (even a 2 year old could do it) and they last, like FOREVER. One important thing though: make sure to get the IBM sheets, cause they are water proof. I once tried to save money by buying another brand only to find out that their sheets "melted" when exposed to water (not a good thing). So you see, you DO get what you pay for!
  • have a plastic/acrylic shop cut you a simple top. This is the "deluxe" lid LOL. Bring your display with you (minus the betta) and have them make a top (also with a bit extra "brim") for you. It may cost about $5 but well worth it. Prettier, heavier, the shop can even drill a small hole in it to allow you to drop some food without ever removing the top. Also it allows air to get in a bit more freely. It will look like a simple, flat piece of clear acrylic, round or square or whatever your display shape may be. I highly recommend.

So now what's your excuse? Is your betta display still wide open? Then you are leaving yourself wide open to have the heartbreak of finding your pet dried up and DEAD AS CAN BE, on the carpet. SHAME ON YOU! Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...

Now let's look at the above problem from another perspective. Why oh why do bettas jump in the first place?

Well I did ask them, many time (and most of these times I was quite pissed off sorta like :"What in heaven's name were you thinking??". Bettas usually are a bit embarrassed and give me lame excuses that never make much sense (something they have in common with my boyfriend I guess LOL). So since they won't help us understand, we are left to our own device in trying to read their mind... This is what a betta psychic found out for us: Below are the last thoughts on a betta's mind right before he jumped.

  • "Woaw, that's a nice ceiling up there, I want to check it out"
  • "This water SUCKS! I want OUT"
  • "This universe is so small... There must be something bigger and better out there"
  • "I can jump! I can JUMP! Weeeeheeeeee!"
  • "Darn, I really feel frisky today! How about I do me a little hop to celebrate!"
  • "The grass is always greener on the other side..."
  •  "Hey you pretty female over there, get ready cause here comes Daddy!"
  • "I always wanted to be in the Guinness Book of records for highest jump"
  • "As of today, I am officially starting to train for the betta Olympics!"
  • "Darn, I sure am hungry, a little snack sure would feel nice right about now... Not a thing in here to eat. NADA. Mmmmm....Any bugs flying up there I could catch?"
  • "AGHH!! WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT LOUD NOISE???? HELP!! HELP!!! ! I gotta get out of here or I'm gonna DIE!!"
  • "Life sucks and I'm bored to tears."
  • "How could I drive my owner crazy today?... Mmmmm.. Let's see.... Spit my food out? Done it. Get stuck under a rock? Done it. Pretend I am sick? Done it. Really get sick? Done it, too. Get sucked up the filter intake tube? Done it. Stuck behind the heater? Done it. Fall into the sink? Done it.... Darn I am starting to run out of ideas... ....   ....... WAIT! That's IT! Yop, I'm gonna scare the daylight out of her by JUMPING. Oh, she'll be impressed, I can't wait to see her face when she finds me miiiiiiles from my bowl hehehehehehehe... OK, here we go, One.... Two.... Three.. And    HOP"

Above are the last thoughts on a betta's mind before he jumps. Below are the last thoughts on the same betta's mind AFTER he has jumped:

" #@%*@!### "


PS: Since publishing this article I have received many emails from people sharing their betta jumping (bad) experiences. I would like to share at least one with you. Click here to read it.