Earlier this year I decided to get a fish for my college room. It was something I'd been wanting to do for awhile, and family circumstances meant I wasn't going to be travelling home as much this year so it seemed like a perfect time. A lot of my friends at college had fighting fish (as they are known here in Australia) so it seemed like the obvious choice.
I bought a large, cheap bowl from Kmart, borrowed some gravel and an old plastic plant from my friend and headed to the pet shop with my Nana. I bonded with a beautiful blue crowntail straight away. His regal colouring led me to call him King George. The pet shop guy told me to place his tank in a warm place near an appliance "for a few hours a day".
King George (mobile photo - sorry for poor quality)
After a few days, though, George still wasn't eating. A visit to another pet shop led me to buy a small under-gravel heater for him, and a thermometer. This worked fine until winter really set in - my room (which can only be heated when I am present, because the heater is connected to my keycard) was getting down to 16 degrees Celsius and the bowl heater simply wasn't coping. George lost his appetite and started lying on the gravel, only moving to breathe. Eventually he lost his beautiful blue colouring as well. I ordered a new submersible heater but it was going to take at least a week to arrive. I eventually found a way to heat the bowl back up (by placing it next to the exhaust fan on my laptop and wrapping it in a towel) while I waited for the new heater but it was too late - King George never got better and soon passed away.
I felt so sorry for my little fish. I'd done my absolute best for him but it hadn't been enough. Meanwhile the new heater had arrived and it was clearly too big for the bowl. I decided it was time to do this thing properly.
This journal will document my second attempt at betta keeping. Once I've finished uni for the semester (only a week to go!) I will buy a new 20L tank, set it up and cycle it - then next semester I will choose a new betta. I've been doing all the reading I possibly can on this forum so I'm properly prepared this time, but I'll need all the support I can get!
Plans so far
I've been looking at tanks online (I want to purchase from within Australia) and I've found this
possibility - 20L with adjustable filter and light. I checked it out in my LPS and this was the model the staff there recommended too. I think I'll buy it online though - that site gives $7.50 shipping no matter the weight or quantity!
I just need to check that I'm allowed to have a larger tank before I make a purchase. I've chosen some gravel and silk plants online as well, and I'll check out the LPS again for some floating live plants or moss balls. I can't wait to start again!
(By the way, I saw this beautiful boy while I was at the pet shop - I wish I could have bought him!)