I've been using this forum for over a month now and wanted to introduce myself.
I'm a preschool teacher in Colorado who is now very addicted to bettas! Thanks to my classroom fish Nemo (the kids wanted to name the blue vt Spiderman but I asked for another idea and they said Nemo...So yeah, better than Spiderman the fish ;) I'm now very into betta fish.
Nemo's in a pretty small tank, 1.5g, without a heater or filter but according to another teacher he is about 3 years old. I found him in a very dirty tank with half the tank space taken up with a huge algae covered fake coral rock sculpture thing. I was never a fish person before and I hate to admit it, but I wasn't excited to have a fish for a classroom pet. Bettas are totally different than fish I have been around though. Nemo would wait for me at his meal times and then I did a 50% water change. He watched me while I cleaned, still very much so a noob with the whole fish thing, and it's odd but I totally fell in love with him. Now I do a 50% and 100% water change for him weekly. I used some of the classroom funds to get him a hiding cave to replace the nasty sculpture, glass stones to make his color pop, and a leaf hammock to rest. It's amazing how active he is now and how much the kids like to watch him. I plan on getting him a nicer setup when the classroom budget allows.
Looking things up about Nemo, and talking to a coworker who happens to be an experienced fish keeper and is also on this site (crazy coincidence!), made me want one at home. Before this, I've always had a cat and a dog around, so I went to Petsmart planning to get toys for them. I ended up back at home with said toys and also a tank, decorations, and a halfmoon named Santiago.
Santiago led to Monet, my beautifully mellow hyacinth blue delta boy. Santiago is crazy active and a tail biter from boredom, so while I was worried to get another fish when still trying to get Santiago handled, I couldn't resist Monet's face. You always read how these guys "speak" to you and it's so true. Both of them "spoke" to me and I was so happy to find them both alive after having to leave quickly for the week.
Sorry for the long rambling story. :) I'm planning to get another betta soon. Probably an elephant ear because they look adorable, but I know that when I go looking one will call to me regardless of fins and I will go home happy.
Thanks to everyone on this forum for being warm and friendly. A special thanks to all those who helped me with Santiago's tail biting on the emergency thread! :)
So glad to have this new hobby!