Cesar, the pretty Betta picked up by a first time owner - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2013, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Humboldt County, California
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Cesar, the pretty Betta picked up by a first time owner

It all started with a fishbowl. Given to me as a gift from my boyfriend. It fell into his lap, and ended up in my apartment even though I had no intention of getting a fish. It sat in my apartment for a year. Eventually the boyfriend and I moved in together, into our new home.

Due to limited space in our cozy Victorian, we had a garage sale. The fishbowl was put out for sale. Almost every person commented on it. It was cute. It had a bronze base and a bronze kitten looked over into the bowl. I joked with my boyfriend if it didn't sell, that meant we needed to get a fish. The joke turned serious. It didn't sell. That Monday we picked up Cesar.

Once he was home, I realized I had no idea what my little guy needed to live a happy life. I quickly learned his home was not suitable for him..or probably any fish for that matter. I used to own another pet (not going to say which kind, in order to protect the anonymity of the forum I'm about to talk about). I was too ashamed to admit to you guys that Cesar stayed in a tiny bowl. At this other forum, there was an obvious pecking order. Anyone who didn't follow best practices in husbandry was instantly ridiculed, accused of not caring, and generally made to feel like a terrible person.

After more experience on this site, I can't express how different you members are from this other forum. You all offer advice, educate, and sympathize for people who do care about their Bettas, but were just misinformed. AKA you guys are awesome!

One day in that fish bowl was enough. Cesar now lives in a 5gallon. My neighbor was gracious enough to immediately bring over this aquarium (he has plenty of extras!). $10 later, Cesar had a 5gallon with a filter and light.

The boyfriend and I had fun buying decorations for Cesar. He has a cave, a "No Fishing" sign, black gravel accented with shiny marbles, and plenty of plants to hide behind.

The day I bought Cesar his new home, I also realized I desperately needed a heater and a thermometer. Living in the pacific northwest, it's quite cold here. We've had an amazing summer, but here an amazing summer means it barely has rained and we may have had a day or two of 70 degrees.

I work in the school system, so summer time is a nice vacation for me. During summers, I fill out surveys online to make some extra cash. I had a pile of amazon gift cards, and decided to buy his heater online. Oh did I mention I live in the pacific northwest? Although this heater was ordered on the 1st, it is now the 10th and still haven't arrived. I swear, the mail system is a black hole up here. I'm crossing my fingers it arrives tomorrow.

So Cesar has a new, roomy home with plenty of hides. I'm done right? Oh no. Now I'm searching for local pet stores, and found an amazing one. I was just going to pick up one live plant, just because I feel they look so amazing. Did I get my plant? Yes. Did I buy more stuff? Duh! Cesar now has a mystery snail and an amano shrimp.

I was so nervous Cesar would eat my new shrimp. Eventually the shrimp was introduced into the tank. Some posturing ensued. The shrimp held his own and actually jumped at torpedo speed and jumped on Cesar twice and swam away. I'm such a nervous mom. My boyfriend even jokes I worry more about the fish than the dog. I think this is in part because I know dogs. I know if our dog is sick, or hurt. With fish? Not so much--yet!

Cesar and the shrimp seem to ignore each other now, and have a harmonious home. Now just to get that heater in. I'm afraid to check the temps, I'm sure they're in the low 60s. Luckily, Cesar seems healthy and very active. But I know he'll be so much happier once he is in a nice, warm home. My goal is to see a bubble nest, it's sort of become a goal of mine for some reason. Some sort of reassurance that Cesar is lucky to have come home with me.

Yesterday I managed to figure out how to correctly baffle his filter with a plastic water bottle, surface currents seem to be completely gone! I'm still managing to learn how to use the turkey baster in an efficient manner. Getting better every day!

Sorry for such a long post--I decided to start this journal after having Cesar for over a week!

Pictures: Cesar's first home, his new home, then Cesar himself!
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File Type: jpg ceasar 2.jpg (42.5 KB, 117 views)
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2013, 12:54 PM
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Cesar is quite the handsome fishy!! I'm sure he's loving his new home and happy to have an owner who takes the time to figure out what he needs to thrive. :D

As for the kitten bowl, that would make an adorable planter! Some of those clear plant marbles, a few faux fish and maybe bamboo plants. I dunno, just an idea if you're looking for uses. XD
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2013, 01:04 PM
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He is a very pretty boy! And I'm sorry you had a bad experience. We're all ignorant until we learn and scolding people who are trying to learn is wrong.

Do you know what that fishbowl needs? A nice spider plant in it. :D It's a lovely decorative piece. I love to find things like that and get a nice plant in them.

Lol, Huffle Puffle - great minds think alike
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2013, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Oooh I like this planter idea! I may have to invest in something, after my savings get back up after the dent it took for Cesar :).

Thanks for reading that long post and for all the compliments. It took a long time to pick out Cesar, I'm just glad my untrained eye seemed to pick out a very healthy fish! Now I want a crown tail lol time to exercise some self discipline and hold back!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2013, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Mini update:

I was checking over the tank (as I do multiple times a day--such a nervous nelly!). And I see my shrimp, lifeless, on the ground. It happened, I killed something. I scooped the poor thing up with the net..something didn't look right. Boyfriend confirmed, this looked like a shell of the shrimp. Further searching, my shrimp is happily cleaning my Java Fern.

What I learned today: Shrimp molt. I had no idea! My mystery snail appeared to be working his way over to it. Will they eat it? It's long gone and flushed now, but it would be nice to know for next time.

Ah such relief and feeling silly too, so happy everything is still alive!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2013, 07:09 PM
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Glad to hear that Cesar and your shrimp seem to be getting along. I would have freaked out too about the shrimp since I didn't know that they molt either!

Cesar is a beautiful guy, good to see that he has a nice couple gallons to swim in. That is a pretty bowl though! I can understand why you wanted to put it to some use!

"Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal." ~Alfred A. Montapert

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2013, 08:32 PM
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Good read. Welcome to the forum, though i just joined myself.

Black gravel + marble accent... I like the way you think.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-10-2013, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!

MJ-I have been following your journal as well! And I noticed your thread about Sashi's eye...Yes, I'm on this forum waaay too much. I hope Sashi is doing better, I know you and your gf are really trying!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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I think I'm done buying stuff..hopefully for a while.

My heater arrived! While I was impatiently waiting for it, I did some research. When I initially ordered the heater, I was planning on buying a Critter Keeper for Cesar (at that time he was still in his bowl). I ordered a heater suitable for a 2.5-3gallon. The next day my boyfriend reminded me that our neighbor runs an aquaponics business and may have an extra tank laying around. Hence Cesar ending up in his 5 gallon.

I didn't think much about the heater I had already ordered until a few days ago. The heater arrived, and despite reading reviews that it was woefully inadequate for a 5 gallon I placed it inside. After several hours the tank had risen almost 1 degree. It was cold to begin, and this heater didn't seem like it would cut it.

After speaking with some people on the forum, I got the confirmation that it probably wouldn't do me good to wait. The heater didn't have enough juice. I could have saved myself some money by ordering a new one online. I'm far too impatient to wait until 10ish days for my new heater to come. I went to the store and bought an Aqueon 50watt. It's working great. Tank is at a stable 80 degrees.

I moved it down to 79 today though. My shrimp seems to be freaking out. I woke up this morning to him swimming in circles near the surface. Bumping into Cesar and all, just zooming around over and over again. Seemed like he was dying to get out of the tank. Cesar as well seemed a bit lethargic, staying near the surface. What the heck? I've heard debates over proper tank size..but there seems to be no debate that Bettas need a heater and need warmer water. Why did he seem so much more active at a chilly 69F?

I'm hoping he just needs some time to acclimate. He's still eating..and it's not like he never leaves the surface. He's still swimming around occasionally. I'm insanely paranoid, and am trying to keep myself in check.

Oh, did I mention I picked up another plant? Took forever. I would find a plant I liked, google it, and find out it actually was not an aquatic plant (thanks, PetCo). I ended up going with an Anubias, cause at least I know for sure that one is aquatic. I like the broad leaves. It looked very healthy, so hopefully it does well in my tank.

Cesar has also been very active and flaring A LOT. (this began before the heater so there's no connection there). I was trying to take a picture of my new shrimp, I'm 99% sure he's an Amano, but I'm far from an expert. While trying to snap a picture, Cesar came into the shot flaring away. I could get a few little flares out of him before using a pen cap. The mirror had no effect. Now, I'd say 7 out of 10 times I approach the tank he flares. Becoming a feisty guy I guess. I got some good pictures, I'll have to post some soon!

Last edited by JennNP; 07-12-2013 at 01:48 PM. Reason: fixed a word
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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