help! We are being told we may need to evacuate because of the
hurricane heading for us... I have 12 bettas, what is the best way
for me to pack them and take them with me?
Karen, I had to experiment the same dilemma last year when huge
fires swept Southern California getting as close as 10 min from my
home (yikes!). Living on a hill next to dry mountains, we were
quite exposed. Fire fighters had long lost control over the
blazing inferno, so it was all up to the winds now. As fire moved
in closer and closer I started sweating bullets (pun intended):
How to move all my stock out of harm's way? I devised a quick
escape plan in my head. Thank God, the winds turn and the fire
backtracked and went the other way, so bettas were not turned into
Back in 1994, I had two large glass tanks in my living room. That was before bettas cast their spell on me :) though, so my tanks were purely decorative, housing a number of larger tropical fish. When the HUGE Northridge earthquake hit that night, it took but 10 seconds for it to wreck havoc in our building. Running down the stairs (still rocking) with Ladybug in my arms, while yelling to my Dad (at the time visiting from France and sleeping on the hideaway bed downstairs) to get the heck out, I rushed through the front door, while a tidal wave came sweeping down the building's entrance (the pool's water was all over the place now - except in the pool, that is LOL). So out I was in the middle of the night, in my sleeping gown, wet feet and with my terrified dog in my arms. When it suddenly hit me:
"Oh my GOD! MY FISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!".
Scared as I was (earthquakes FREAK ME OUT), I handed my dog to my Dad and ran back up to my apartment working my way through broken glass, debris and miscellaneous unidentified objects. It was pitched dark and hard to see anything, but I could feel the carpet was soaked (rats!) . My larger tank (a 60 gal) had completely crashed and was left with only an inch of water at the bottom. Large fish, now laying on their side, were flopping around everywhere. I swiftly (and ever so quickly - cause another shock could hit at any time and I did NOT want to me indoors when it did) picked up fish and tossed them in the other 20 gal which had miraculously survived the ordeal. With a little luck, they would survive (and did).
Thank God our bettas are tough little buggers who can stay out of water for quite some time and still live to brag about it ;). In the case of an earthquake, betta bowls may fly, crash and bettas will probably be OK, for as long as they lend in a puddle or a saturated carpet area. Of course when it comes to a hurricane or a fire, that's another ball game all together.
So if you are ever faced with a sudden, unpredictable catastrophe (fire in your house, earthquake, sudden tornado, husband coming home buzzed, etc... LOL) and you have to, at the drop of a hat, get all your bettas out of there FAAAAST, this is what you could do (sorted by best but slower method and ending with split second make do method ;) ).
Needless to say when you have advanced warning and some time and resources, the best way is to evacuate a betta in his jar, placed in an empty cooler (as in one with NO ICE - duh X2). Needless to say it might be smart to keep a spare plastic jar with lid just in case. or even buy a few fish bags from your local fish store next time you are in there and put them aside for a rainy (or fiery) day ;). Remember that when it comes to transporting bettas, what they need most is AIR and NOT water. So always have a 20/80 rule, where 20% is water and 80% is air. A betta in a 1/4 jar with 2 inches of water and LOTS of air can survive up to 7 days even if the jar is sealed. But if you fill the jar up to the top and then seal it, he may be dead within 3 hours or less. So there you have it. remember that "s...." happens, and not always to the other guy. Wise Faithyoda spoken once again, has. Having said that, I hope the hurricane changes its mind and decides to turn right and back out to sea and that you don't have to worry about it in the end.
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