The Kyrenora Chronicles - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Post The Kyrenora Chronicles

Hello wonderful people and welcome to the Kyrenora Chronicles. These are the stories of my adventures in fish keeping.

The Back Story


My love for fish keeping came from my dad. He had a community tank while I was growing up, and I used to be allowed to pick out one fish to add every time we visited our LFS. When I was very little, I had two orange goldfish (Thing One and Thing Two) and one black one (Thing Three) up in my room. I was very good about feeding them, so after they all gradually passed, my dad allowed me to pick out my first betta. He was a male veil tail, and I had no idea what he really needed. I read online that they liked small, stagnant bowls of water, so that's what I went with. Oh, the shame of it now that I know better!

I had five more over the years - two more veil tail males and three females. By that point, I had learned that they DID need a filter, but still did not understand how much space they needed. It was another few years until I started keeping fish again. At that point, my father was the one taking care of my remaining silver dollars. One of them is over sixteen years old now.

The Empty Fluval


For a while, my adopted companions were all furry friends - hamsters, bunnies, cats, and a dog. After coming out of remission from severe illness, I was no longer able to live on my own. I moved back into my parents house to recover. There, every day, I would walk numerous times past my sister's old Fluval Edge 6-gallon. Aside from a few sad-looking bits of aquatic grass, it was empty and halfway evaporated. It just looked depressing. There used to be a betta and a rescued feeder guppy in there, but they had long since migrated to another tank and then passed away. The Fluval had been entirely unattended for many months, although the filter was still running.

It took quite a bit of time and elbow grease, but I got that grass and the tank itself looking happy again. However, it was still too sparse for my liking. On 3/10/17 I visited my LFS with the intent of getting some more plants and a betta. I left with the plants. (I got more of the same grass, some java moss, and a dwarf lily.) None of the bettas had called to me. Although they were all in 5 or ten gallon community tanks and healthy, I just didn't feel the connection to any of them. I had recently seen some very healthy-looking bettas at my local PetSmart, so I decided to swing by there on the way home.

The betta shelves were empty. I asked one of the store personnel what had happened to them, and it turned out that they were simply having their water changed. He showed me where the water change cart was, and I got to look through far more than they had had on display only a few days prior. There were some gorgeous specimens, but there was one that called to me. I knew as soon as I lay eyes on him that he was meant to be mine. He was a very pale EE HM with a gorgeous shimmer to him. I named him Chalcedony because of that shine - Cal for short.

The New Home


Cal burst into color almost as soon as he hit the water in his new home. By the second day, he looked almost like a new fish. That's the day we realized that the 25 watt heater was busted. It was producing no heat whatsoever, and the next few days were projected to be cold ones. As fast as I could, I went online and found a cheap heater on Craigslist. It was a 50 watt with an adjustable temperature setting, and it was perfect.

The seller had tanks too, so I ended up getting myself another ten gallon and a lid "just in case." (HAHAHA) The new heater worked perfectly, and Cal's colors became impossible to ignore. He was gorgeous. On day 3 I rearranged the plants a little, then tested the pH again and found it a little low, so I bumped it up a tiny bit.


The Addiction Takes Hold


On a whim, I placed a bid on eBay for a white EE HM female with a similar shimmer to Cal's. Last night I found out that I won. She'll be getting shipped out to arrive on Friday after the upcoming winter storm should have passed. Today, I offered my services as a web developer to my beloved LFS in exchange for store credit. Fingers are crossed that they'll take me on. We'll see. I have a feeling that if I can't work out a deal with them, I'm going to run out of money very quickly. Fish keeping is a dangerous habit. I'll be keeping you all updated on my
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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So I forgot to add the pictures I meant to onto my last post, so here they are now. There's one picture of him on the way home from the store, and then another one taken on day 3 of having him. His colors really came out and I'm so happy.

In other news, I found an online aquarium simulator that I am now obsessed with. It's not entirely accurate, but it's fun. You can keep all your bettas in the same tank peacefully, and breed them to see how the genetics work in each individual fish. You then can place the fish you don't want to keep in your "Store Tank" where they can be bought. I played all last night until like 2 this morning, then woke up and started playing again.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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If anyone is reading this, I started a naming thread for my incoming girl. I'm attaching one of the listing images of her. No idea as to her personality as of yet. She should be here Friday once the snowstorm has passed.
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Chalcedony (Cal) - Male HM EE | Kyanite - Female VT | COMING SOON: Akoya - Female HM EE

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 08:40 PM
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Girl is being delayed due to the weather here. Just as I was thinking about messaging the seller about it, he/she contacted me and said that they checked the weather where I am and ordered more heating packs just for my shipment ^_^ Just waiting for those to come in, and she'll be shipped out on Monday instead. I'm super stoked. Her habitat is almost ready. She's going in a ten gallon in my room that currently is housing just a lonely, floating dwarf lily. I still need to get substrate. I'll probably do that tomorrow with my daughter. Her favorite place is my LFS. The kid loves fish. We took her to the LFS last week and she was just running up and down the aisles laughing maniacally. I only got a chance to look at fish and supplies once my dad finished finding the stuff he needed for his tank and took over the munchkin chasing.

In other, non-fish-related news, I'm having very mixed feelings today. I realized a couple months ago that I'm now too sick to take care of my angora rabbit. I came out of remission about six months ago and went into very aggressive treatment, but was determined to keep my furry family together. Unfortunately, when I had to move back in with my parents after becoming so ill, bunny was sent to the former office, which is now really just a storage room. My parents and sister are all allergic, so we can't let him run freely around the house shedding everywhere. The room he's in is a little colder than I'd like, and he's not getting as much attention as he's used to. I don't have the energy day in and day out to play with him as much as I'd like. He's still being fed and watered daily, and I'm able to keep his area clean, but once I'm done with the basic maintenance, I'm completely wiped out. No one else in the house is willing to help out much with the bunny. The dog they'll feed and take outside. My sister even helps me change my cats' litter box every so often, but poor Tribble is not getting the social time he needs. He's all alone out there almost all day in his little pen (we can't let him roam free in the room because there are piles of stuff that could collapse on him).

So why the mixed feelings, you ask? Well, today I may have found him a new home. It's a family that knows a lot about rabbit care, and he's going to become a true member of their family, not just furry decoration. He's going to be able to run around freely indoors, and just go in his pen at night. All in all, it sounds like he's going to have an excellent life with them - a much better one than I can provide right now. On the other hand, he's not going to be with me anymore. I love him very much and I want what's best for him, but I'll miss him terribly.

I'm also the kind of person who believes that a pet is a lifelong commitment, not a "until they're inconvenient" kind of thing. But when I really looked at it logically, what's important is that he is happy and healthy. Right now, I'm only able to keep him healthy. I know he's not happy, and I don't know how long this situation is going to last. It will be months or maybe years until I'm better again, and that's being optimistic.

Who knows? Maybe I'll get a consolation fish or two out of the deal. I have a lone 16+ year old silver dollar who lives in my dad's community tank, but all his buddies passed away at a more average age. I'd love to get him a couple younger companions. Fish are easy in this house. Everyone knows how to care for them, including water changes and balances, so if I ever have a day where I just can't do it, I can ask someone to help out.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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I started off this morning by doing some cleaning and a water change on Cal's tank, then immediately proceeded to wipe the water spots off the exterior of my dad's tank. After that, I was in full-on productive mode. I got some chores done around the house and set to cleaning up my overly cluttered room. It feels so much more open in here. Now, everywhere I look, I'm seeing places that could fit this size or that size tank. The file cabinet next to my desk is the perfect dimensions to hold a 20 gallon. I could fit a 2.5g next to it on my desk, and another 10g on my night table. I haven't measured the top of my dresser yet. Of course, I don't have money for all of these setups yet, but I'm addicted. I just want to plan ALL THE TANKS!
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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So I got bored this morning and started designing (yet) another website for myself. I want to get into breeding eventually, and I'll need a place to showcase my broods. Nothing is launched yet, obviously, and there's not much in the way of content, but it was still a fun exercise. I played with a new theme that looks really cool so far. I'm kind of sad that I don't have any web design work right now. I haven't heard back from the LFS whose site I offered to redesign for store credit. I'm hoping it's just a delay, rather than a dismissal of the proposal, but I can't keep my hopes too high.

I'm also in the market for golden eel kuhli loaches, but I can't seem to find them anywhere - just the standard and black kuhlis. If I can get my hands on a few, I plan to set up a breeding tank for them right away, even if I don't decide to breed immediately. They just seem to be so rare that I would love to increase the supply. They are truly a beautiful fish with a pink and blue sheen on a silvery body. Take a look.



I know, gorgeous, right? I can't stop looking at pictures of them. My best hope for finding them right now is the anecdotal evidence that sometimes they get thrown in the same tank as your standard kuhli at fish stores. Hopefully I can get my LFS to keep an eye out for me and pick up a couple at a time. If that's the way it goes, the few I get will go in the sorority-to-be tank until I have enough to set up the species tank.

I'm also kind of obsessed with pea puffers right now, but they can't go with bettas because they nip at flowy fins. I'd need a dedicated tank right off the bat, and as cute as they are, I'm not sure I want to pay for a full setup for them. For now I'll stick to baby-talking the tank of them in my LFS whenever I go. They're just so adorable! Look at them!



In the meantime, I'm still looking for what would be the best option(s) for Cal's companions. He's in a 6 gallon, so I don't have a lot of options. I'm not a huge fan of shrimp and snails, honestly, but it looks like those may be my best bet. According to AqAdvisor, an ADF would also fit, but I haven't decided if I really want one, or if I'm just desperate to get Cal a friend. He's just so chill that I really want to give him more of a community. So far since I've had him, he just finds a spot and chills. It's possible that his true personality hasn't come out yet. I've had him less than a week. Seriously though, it makes me a little nervous because if this is just what he's like, I'd never be able to tell if he's getting lethargic. I'm going to give him a little more time to come out of his shell just to see what happens. He doesn't even get excited at feeding time. He's just like "oh, food. Cool." He's going to be getting his first meal of bloodworms today, so we'll see if he's more psyched about that.

He's also very skittish. I don't think this guy has ever had so much space. Like I said in my first post, he came from PetSmart, and I don't know what their breeder's conditions are like, or how long he was in that cup. I'm considering getting a 2.5 gallon for my desk, so I might try putting him in there (alone of course) to see if he adjusts better with a smaller tank. I'm literally wondering if I have an agoraphobic fish. I just want him to be happy!

I'm also wondering if his filter is creating too much of a current. It's pouring right at the water level, so not splashing down or anything, but he stays away from the center of the tank unless it's behind the outflow over by the heater. That could also be because the light is there, though. I know I saw a post on here about someone's betta who didn't like light. Some people have mentioned possibly putting a sponge in the filter's outflow, and I've thought about cutting a piece of kitchen sponge to fit, but I know a lot of the major brands put chemicals in them that I don't think would bode well. The one other thing is I'm not sure he's getting enough oxygen. The Fluval Edge has a closed top, with only a small area to place the filter and heater as well as squeeze food in (could be another reason he's less enthusiastic about food - it drops down right by the filter's outflow). Because bettas breathe from the surface occasionally, I don't know if I need to keep the water level down a tiny bit so there's actually a surface that he can get to. I posted a thread about it, but no one answered.

I'm going to try and take some more pictures of him today. I haven't yet been able to capture the sheen of his fins. They reflect this incredible light blue and cyan. When the light hits just right, it's breathtaking. Still, every time I pull my phone out to capture it, he hides. I'm going to bust out the camera at the bloodworm feeding today to see if I have better luck.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Cal really liked the bloodworms. I was so happy to see him perk up. His fins had been looking a little clamped when I checked on him right before defrosting them, so I was worried, but as soon as those little guys hit the water, his fins spread right out. He went after those worms with a vengeance, even though I didn't wiggle them with tweezers or anything. All my worries have definitely lessened. After his hearty meal, he decided that I was one cool chick, and even posed for some pictures for me! I snapped one shot just before the feeding that shows his colors off pretty well - not perfectly, but you can get an idea of the blue color that his fins shine.

Another cool thing that happened today was that I was offered a full five-gallon setup. Filter, heater, substrate... even water testing kits and balance-regulating chemicals! The person is local too, so it will be a quick drive to go pick them up. I don't know if I'm going to pick up another male or another female to go in there yet. I was only looking for a heater! Still, for fish addicts, an extra tank for free is always a boon. I'm so excited! I love planning new tanks!

Anyway, here are the Cal pictures from earlier. The one where he's hiding behind the heater and filter intake is the one that shows off that blue sheen the best, but some of these were just so adorable I had to snap them! Look at the last one where he's staring me down. I still have yet to see this guy flare, but I'm not sure he really qualifies as an HM. His tail just doesn't seem to have enough of a spread.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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I'll be picking up the five gallon setup (totally free) this weekend, probably Sunday. The current owner of it is one town over, only 15 minutes away. It was offered to me because I posted in a local B/S/T group on FB that I was in the market for a new small heater. The 50W doesn't really fit in Cal's tank very well, so I was hoping to get him a new 25W and move the 50W into my 10g. After I mentioned the offer I got last night, I had two more people tell me that they had "fish stuff" that they wanted me to take off their hands and, well, I just didn't have the heart to say no. So I'll be getting quite a bit more in the way of accessories and supplies. Yay!

I just can't wait for my female to come in. I'm so excited to meet her. I hope shipping goes off without a hitch. I'll be heartbroken if something goes wrong. I haven't even met her yet and I'm already in love. She would make for excellent breeding material, but I'm not so sure that Cal would be an ideal partner. As much as I love him (and his coloring) he has some big faults that would get him immediately disqualified from a show. I haven't gotten him to flare yet, but his caudal appears to be significantly less than 180 degrees. His dorsal is also very thin. While impressive in size, I'm not sure that his anal fin is a good shape either. So his colors are pretty, but I think his form is definitely lacking. Who knows? Maybe this female's genetics could overcome his faults. Or perhaps I should just get another male.

There's one male on AquaBid that I've had my eye on for a little while, but no one's been bidding on him. He's fairly expensive, but I think he's worth it with his incredible form. He's a golden rosetail with a lot of cellophane in his fins. Every time I look at his pictures or video, I just swoon. He makes my heart go pitter-patter. If I can pick up some more web design jobs and he's still available, I'll take the plunge, but at the moment I just can't justify it.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 10:55 AM
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There's a shop in my town that really needs a web site, but you're far from here and they're an older retired couple, so I have no clue if they would pay or say yes. Search the Tropical Fish Shoppe-- they have virtually no online advertising.

Loving the journal!
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