Hello from Tennessee!
Hello! I'm new here, but not new to bettas. :) I started out with bettas about ten years ago when the "betta craze" began, all those poor fish living in dixie cups and going home to people who thought they just needed to pop a lily in the bowl and they'd never need to clean or feed the fish again... It was pretty awful. I had to save them. I didn't know what I was doing, but I knew that no-one wanted to live in a port-a-potty, and any care and maintenance that I could give would surely be better than that. So, my education on bettas began.
I was that silly case who bought all that I could, especially the ones who looked sickly or were just plain ugly...hoping that I could give them a home for at least a little bit before they died, or, if possible, could become well. :) I had many who didn't make it, they came from the store sick and weak...and I made a point to give them all a name first thing, in case they didn't make it through treatment. No one was going to die without a name, a tank, plants, a hiding spot, and enough room and clean water for at least a small portion of their lives. It wasn't much, but I wanted them to experience care at least once before they died. Over time, I got better at diagnosis and treatment, and I actually got to a good survival rate. If they could make it through treatment, then likely as not they'd be good to go. At one point, there were fifteen betta living in my bonus room, and tank cleaning became a major chore. Over the next six years the numbers dwindled, and from that point on I had one or two at a time, until a few years ago my last fishies had died of old age, and their tanks were simply not refilled.
Then, I was at PetSmart picking up some dog food...when I found Blue Fish. ;) (So named for the Dr. Seuss book...and because I couldn't really think of anything better I hadn't already used before...) He's a FanTail male, royal blue with black around his face and a bit of white along the edges of his fins. He's a really lovely guy, and the only fish I've ever had who "begs" for food. ;) When it's time to eat, he starts swimming back and forth, going up and down, waiting near the top of his tank...ready for his betta bites. ;)
He started out living in a 2 gallon bowl, but has recently moved into a 10 gallon tank after I got better information about betta living conditions. Since then we've had arguments with the filter (he hates it, the flow is not to his liking) but he loves his new tank heater and spends most of his time "warming" in front of it. He hasn't started a bubble nest yet in the new tank, but I recently put a baffle on his filter, so hopefully this will relieve his ire and he'll be happy and starting bubbling. :) I also realized that he could see his reflection in the glass because of the black filter...so I had to tape some white paper to the glass in front of the filter to prevent him from fighting his reflection for hours on end. ;)
He's a cute little guy, and now I've got to get him some new "toys"...his old hiding coral just looks so small and alone in his new tank...even with all the plants :)
I did build him a lego castle though...I know that sounds ridiculous, but he loves it. Plenty of arches and doorways and holes for him to cruise through. He's the only fish I know of with his own legos. ;)
Anyway, other than Blue Fish, I'm the proud keeper of two dogs (Mountain Curr/Feist/Mutt rescue boys, Beny (chestnut, white, and a bit of black around his muzzle) and Chase (brindle black and brown with white socks markings)) who are my sweet boys; and Loppy, aka Little Mare, a Connemara/TB mare with whom I do Combined Driving Events with Carriage Driving. She is the most fantastic little horse...and she knows it. :) Bay roan, one white hind sock and a big white star, Secretariat Granddaughter. She's one of a kind...literally. Her dam only had one foal, and Loppy's it. :) Many connemara half-siblings, but as for Loppy, there's only one. :)
So, if you made it all the way to the end of this saga, you definitely deserve some kudos. ;) Have a wonderful day!!