My name is Sara and I'm a Boston girl studying an undergrad degree in Biology and Psychology! I have long been a fan of betta fish but not until about a year ago did I really start investing myself in getting educated before actually adopting one of my own. I had a male that I ended up giving to my mother (not before educating her, of course!) when I moved on campus again, where I'm not supposed to have fish.
My story with Peach is that I enrolled in a course this semester called animal behavior which, on the syllabus, said we would be working with betta fish in the future for behavioral observations. Come that time, the school purchased a dozen males and females. I asked what would be done with them when we were finished, and my professor said either people take them, or they flush them. This, as you can imagine, made me very sad. I knew I couldn't have one so I tried not getting attached or look at them too much, but that didn't work very well. I ended up falling head over heels for (what i now know to be) a female yellow cambodian betta, who was easily less than 1/3 the size (she's only a little more than 1/2 inch long) of the adult males around her (separated), and obviously still a baby. They were only getting water changes once weekly, so I tried maintaining their cups by cleaning up excretions (I have access to the lab because I'm a TA) when I had time, as often as possible, to keep them from getting ammonia burns. After my spring break, I planned Peach's big escape by preparing the best I could manage for her, which was a heated
2 gal bowl with live plants and a place to hide. It took a while to prepare and getting her home was a hassle because it was very cold out, so I kept her between my warm hands the whole time while plastic (very warm) was wrapped around the container. It took a few days but she's perked right back up and is as feisty as I've ever seen her, loves chasing my finger and my dropper (that i use to clean excretions and food debris), and is just the light of my life right now.
It is still very sad to see those other females and males stuck in the labs, and I'm trying to get people to take them if they know how to care for them, but it feels like a lose/lose situation. At least I know Peach is being well taken care of and is very happy with me now, she is exactly what I needed again in my life and I adore her so much!
Here is a video of her (and what her bowl looks like now):
PS: I would kindly like to remind everyone that while the bowl looks crowded, it is a bit distorted because of the roundness of it and to trust in me that I make sure her hiding/resting place and plants are clustered so she has plenty of room to swim elsewhere. During the summer I also intend on getting her a much bigger tank.