The Punny Fish
I got my first betta when I was quite young (5ish) and looking back now, I probably took terrible care of that fish, but he lived forever and started my betta obsession. I had a string of bettas and guppies as I was growing up. My last "childhood" betta moved with my family from Illinois to Texas in the passenger seat of the car inside my crayon tank, and then lived another four years after that. I don't really remember why I got out of the hobby, but a few months ago my roommate randomly decided she wanted another fish, and one thing led to another...and that is how I acquired "Swim Shady".
Our beginnings were not the best. My roomie bought a female at Petsmart (I saw a marble who caught my eye but balked at the "premium" price), so I told myself I would buy a tank first with her at Walmart before going back to get a fish. At Walmart we went the cheap route and bought one gallon tanks, water conditioner, a few decorations, gravel, and food. The Walmart had a tiny fish display and about seven bettas on the shelf. Five of them looked close to death, but in the front there were two CTs who still had the spunk to flare at each other. I liked the red fins on the one and took home "Sushi".
We took the fish home, set up the tanks, and acclimated the fish. "Sushi" was quite the ornery fellow, he tore his plastic plants out of the gravel and in general was a huge grumpy-gus. All my friends blamed his bad attitude on the fact that I named him as something edible, so "Sushi" became "Swim Shady".
Hindsight is 20/20 and the longer I had Shady the more I realized he deserved better than that dinky one gallon, but lacked the funds/space at the moment to remedy that problem. Instead he got driftwood and marimo moss balls to spruce up his living space. Shady moved home six hours with me and got a new 2.5 gallon tank (National Geographic Aqua Oasis). He enjoys the space, but also likes to scare me half to death by wedging himself in the most precarious positions possible.
A month or so later he seems like he 90% made of fins and will flare at anything and everything (nothing) he sees. Shady is a very picky eater and either refused or choked on all the food I tried to give him (soaked, pellets, flakes, frozen, etc) until I found the Hikari Betta Bio Gold, which he loves. The only problem with him is he hates the current from the filter in his tank, which I think is a by-product of him being all fins, so his filter is baffled with a water bottle. He is not the most visually stunning fish to look at, if he isn't in the light he just looks "Shady", so his new name fits him quite well!
He doesn't have a heater, but it is so hot here his tank is always right around 78 degrees. I'll probably look into one when winter gets closer, but since it is only going to get hotter here I don't think its an immediate need.
There's a few pics of Shady, his tank has always been on my desk in my room so he loves to spend all day interacting with me. The newest pic is the one with the pot since I had to do some re-arranging with the new addition (see next post).
Since I probably won't have too many updates after a while, I'm going to space out the introductions, etc so these aren't unbearably long. Hopefully I can look back and watch how far the boys have come!