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Old 03-21-2013, 11:10 PM   #1 
valen1014
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How bettas helped me ^^

I guess I never formally introduced myself in this forum (my bad ). Anyways, I'm a college student in Miami (Biology and Chemistry double major). Pretty much done with all my classes just trying to wrap up a thesis I have been doing on the side. This summer I am applying to medical school and, believe it or not, bettas are a part of my application!

It was in high school that I got into bettas and I'm sure I don't have to tell you guys how easy it is to get drawn into the betta world! I read a lot on how to care for them and eventually got two pairs to breed.
I remember the exact topics we were covering in class when I got my first set of frys. I was taking AP Statistics and we were covering T-Tests which are used to test if two sets of values differ significantly or just by chance. Being the crazy person that I am, I found a chart online that showed the growth of frys by weeks so I recorded the growth of mine and after some months I sat down with my teacher to show her the T-tests I ran to see how mine grew compared to the chart. I liked stat before, but I started liking it even more when I learned I could actually apply it to bettas.

Breeding them also got me into genetics. Although I'm not an expert on betta genetics (I wish!), I have a strong foundation on genetics because of them, and good thing I did because now I work in a genetics lab with bacteria!

If (hopefully) I get interviewed for medical school, I plan to talk about my bettas because they are a big part of my life and gave me the little push I needed into the sciences early in high school. I always hear medical school admission people say how they like to see students with an X factor and as much as I'd like to, I'm not an athlete, or an artists, nor was I president of clubs... BUT, I'm into raising and breeding bettas... doubt that admission people have heard that one recently!
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:49 PM   #2 
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What a wonderful story, valen! Bettas are one window into the world and a way of being engaged with the world. You and anyone who breeds anything at all have had to familiarise yourself with several fields, doing research in genetics and statistics because it was your interest to do so. You dipped your toe into the vast pool of science perhaps without initially intending to do so. Good for you!
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:27 AM   #3 
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I love your story! I hope you get a chance to tell admissions all about your Bettas! I think pets, whether they be aquatic in nature or not, have a wonderful way of bringing out talents in many people. For you they showed you an interest in science and look where it has taken you! You will soon belong to one of the most respected professions in the world. You better thank your Bettas by giving them a nice treat:P
Bettas have helped me too. I have a 3 year old son who until now was non-verbal. He is extremely intelligent in math and science (at 3!!) but doesn't speak. We were afraid he was somewhere on the autism spectrum and were ok with that. But when I got my first Betta just before christmas he started talking! To the fish! Every week he had something new to say to our Betta and when we got a second one, his language skills exploded. Now he says a few sentences every day and I know it was our Bettas that helped him open up!
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:02 PM   #4 
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I love your story! I hope you get a chance to tell admissions all about your Bettas! I think pets, whether they be aquatic in nature or not, have a wonderful way of bringing out talents in many people. For you they showed you an interest in science and look where it has taken you! You will soon belong to one of the most respected professions in the world. You better thank your Bettas by giving them a nice treat:P
Bettas have helped me too. I have a 3 year old son who until now was non-verbal. He is extremely intelligent in math and science (at 3!!) but doesn't speak. We were afraid he was somewhere on the autism spectrum and were ok with that. But when I got my first Betta just before christmas he started talking! To the fish! Every week he had something new to say to our Betta and when we got a second one, his language skills exploded. Now he says a few sentences every day and I know it was our Bettas that helped him open up!
Aww that's amazing! =] Thank you for the kind words. I think it's great the way one little fishie can impact people's lives. I try to spoil my babies as much as I can, sometimes maybe a little too much for my own good... and by good I mean wallet haha ^^;
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:12 PM   #5 
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What a wonderful story, valen! Bettas are one window into the world and a way of being engaged with the world. You and anyone who breeds anything at all have had to familiarise yourself with several fields, doing research in genetics and statistics because it was your interest to do so. You dipped your toe into the vast pool of science perhaps without initially intending to do so. Good for you!
Yes! When I first got into bettas I figured that breeding them was just a trial and error type of thing (which I guess partly it is). But I never would have thought that breeders took such careful notes on their crosses and over the years had developed such a solid understanding on betta genetics. Even crazier is that so much of the information they find is actually able to circulate among breeders even though there's no "journal" or anything where the information is compiled. Of course there's lots to learn but, for an organism that isn't scrutinized in professional labs (as far as I know), it's really amazing how much breeders have been able to figure out from them. I think breeders are true scientists at heart
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:57 PM   #6 
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Hi. I live in a nursing home. I made a promise to another resident here that I would bring my smart beta to visit her. I say that Jewel is smart because I have trained her to follow a toothbrush around her tank, swim through hoops, even blow me kisses (I have tried several times to get this on video, but apparently Jewel is camera shy). When I transferred Jewel from her usual tank to her temp home to bring her for a visit, Jewel started looking under my arm towards the bright hall light. Now, every time I put her in her temp home and get into my motorized wheelchair, she wiggles her body in excitement. I take her visiting a different resident every 8 days. I think she likes being in a different room for a bit AND she thrives in all the attention.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:26 PM   #7 
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Hi. I live in a nursing home. I made a promise to another resident here that I would bring my smart beta to visit her. I say that Jewel is smart because I have trained her to follow a toothbrush around her tank, swim through hoops, even blow me kisses (I have tried several times to get this on video, but apparently Jewel is camera shy). When I transferred Jewel from her usual tank to her temp home to bring her for a visit, Jewel started looking under my arm towards the bright hall light. Now, every time I put her in her temp home and get into my motorized wheelchair, she wiggles her body in excitement. I take her visiting a different resident every 8 days. I think she likes being in a different room for a bit AND she thrives in all the attention.
Aww that's a really great Bettas are very curious animals so I bet she loves the change in scenery! I've never seen a betta blow kisses or swim through hoops, but it sounds really nice. I hope you are able to get the video sometime! You should post a picture of her on this forum, I would love to see what she looks like.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:44 AM   #8 
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I do have pictures of Jewel. My main profile picture is her, I have a couple pictures of her in my album.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:31 AM   #9 
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This thread is terrific. Learning about betta really teaches lessons in marine biology, water chemistry and genetics. My daughter has a friend whose little guy 2.5 yrs didnt try to communicate much. When he came to visit us last week he saw all the fish tanks and got so excited and wouldnt stop trying to tell us all about the fish he saw. His Mom says he wants to come back so bad. Today Im going to their place to set up a 5g tank for them bringing a young HM betta with me and a care sheet. A very good day.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:29 AM   #10 
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Reading all of these beautiful stories about bettas is making me tear up a little :'D
chicklette, that is soo sweet that you take your betta to visit the other residents. not only does it enrich the life of your fish, it also enriches the lives of your neighbors! good for you!

logisticsguy, you are a hero to that little boy! he is going to be the happiest boy in the world and all because of your generosity.
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