BettaLover1313's Pets V-Merlin: His Story So Far
You know when you say you want another betta? Yeah...I'm regretting saying that since Merlin is sick with something (you can see my post in the Emergencies Diseases forum). Hoping it's just body slime infection and not columnaris. I just don't like seeing him so lethargic and all around sad looking. I can't lose my little guy who's helped me get through so much! I'm not saying in the future I won't get more bettas, but seriously, fate, life whichever of you likes picking on me: Leave my little guy alone; do not take him away from me anytime soon, that's just too cruel, even for you!!!
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(Warning: Bit of foul language)
I know many of my friends think me a bit odd for caring and worrying so much over a fish, but hey! I lost Beta very suddenly and I certainly don't want a repeat of that, it was a hard enough blow as it was.
When Herbie passed, I entered a state of depression (though I didn't realize it at at the time). I wanted people to be with me, and I got upset when they didn't seem to want to hang out, yet when I was with people, I wanted to be alone.
Many nights I cried myself to sleep, unbeknownst to my room mate. There were even times I balled my eyes out only minutes before she returned to the room, but I never showed it. I put on a smile, even though I was broken. I'd lost my best friend after all.
It took several months of constant strain from classes, work, and just my crappy life, but I eventually had an emotional breakdown one morning...I couldn't stop crying no matter how hard I tried, and the words just kept ringing around my head: I'm a failure, worthless.... Amazingly, I did call my mother and she reassured me that she was proud of me and everything I'd achieved thus far. Even so, I didn't attend classes that day, and amazingly, my room mate didn't know about my breakdown (I hid in my bed, the top bunk, and managed to keep my breathing normal when she was in the room, I just told her I was ill).
I'm not sure how I realized it, but I needed something to care for. Sadly, I was limited to either a fish (which I was wary of getting) or a plant. I liked the idea of a plant. I wanted a particular type of cactus (can't even tell you what type, I've only seen some cacti and I like the looked of one in particular).
So I went to Wal-Mart spontaneously (can't tell you how many days after my break down though), and I went to look at their plants. I was disappointed that they didn't have the cactus type I was looking for. All of theirs were bound to harm a nosey kitty, whereas the type I was looking for hadn't appeared as harsh. (I know some plants are fuzzy with stingers, I wasn't looking for that type either).
I found myself in the betta section then, and I was determined to take home a fish that was active in his cup, not sickly looking. Beta had left his mark, and I didn't want my inexperience to kill this new fish. I looked through all the bettas, and I was starting to become disheartened, none of the fish seemed very active. That's when I saw this blur of red in one of the cups. Bending down so that I could get a better look, that's when I first saw Merlin. He was full of spunk and life, and I knew that he was the type of fish I was looking for. I grabbed the other items I needed first including a 1 gallon critter carrier, a plastic plant, a moon cave, and some gravel. I walked back over and gently picked him up, but he still went berserk. I wanted a better look at my new friend so I lifted him up to eye level only to see the most pissed off expression a fish has ever given me, if he could speak, I'm pretty sure he would have been saying "WTF?!!!"
I couldn't believe this was the little guy I had picked out. I REALLY liked him now! If that wasn't a sign that he was full of life and spirit, I didn't know what was! I almost named him Hoodoo, having been listening to CCR's "Born on a Bayou" but I thought of the television show, Merlin, and decided that he was like Merlin...guess that made me Arthur...wait a minute!
At my dorm, after acclimating him, I let him out of his cup, and honestly, that first moment of being in his new tank, that's one of the few times he's ever looked extremely happy! He flared up, but not aggressively, and swam around his new, slightly larger home, and I felt really good about bringing him into my life.
Little did I know, my little guy wasn't as hardy as he seemed.
First he went through a bought with external parasites, then as soon as I took away the aquarium salt, he'd go downhill, lose his color, and that's when I learned that he was the type that needed the salts, and I started to panic. How could he need the salts if they could ruin his kidneys? What was I supposed to do?
I did find an answer though. I started using the least amount of salt possible, and it worked! As long as a little bit was in the water, Merlin flourished! It was a great relief to me. What would I do without my little glaring betta?
We did have some issues with filters, me learning that long finned bettas did not do well with filters at all, so for awhile, he was filterless when he was in his 3 gallon half-moon tank. Then I purchased him a different tank since I didn't like the half-moon, and to my surprise when I put him in the new 3 gallon, Merlin hadn't liked it much either. Plus, the new filter that came with the tank had a low setting that didn't disturb the water as much, so I could leave it on for short periods of time and Merlin would be fine.
Things were going fine again at home, since it was summer break, Merlin was no longer in a high traffic area, which he seemed to like, but then I came home one day and he was tremendously happy to see me...too happy. I had a feeling he missed being able to keep an eye on me 24/7, and that's when I bought him a room mate...Dragoon.
Yeah...so maybe I misinterpreted his expression, but he eventually adjusted to Dragoon's presence and he knows he's still the top betta, getting fed first and his treats first, not to mention being greeted first when I enter the room.
So now we've come full circle, where we're at right now, my lovable grump of a betta ill, and me worried sick that he won't make it. I don't want to lose him. He really gave me the betta bug to begin with, and he's just such a special fish...I know all fish are special, but he's my special little guy and I don't like even thinking that there's a remote chance that he's going to pass anytime soon...
"Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal." ~Alfred A. Montapert
My Bettas: Dude-Male Salamander HMPK & Molly-Female Marble HM
My Goldfish: Rory
My Nerite Snails: J & K
S.I.P. Beta-Blue & Black CT//Dragoon-Dark Copper DSPK//Merlin-Red VT