I thought it would be interesting to hear how other people got involved with bettas and became smitten.
Here is my story. I am a new betta mom. I got my son a sea monkeys kit for Christmas where you can hatch sea monkey eggs. The last of them died a few weeks ago and I promised my son a new fish when the sea monkeys died. I took him to walmart on a Monday 3 weeks ago when he was out of school for a holiday. He picked out the only crowntail betta they had. Blue body and his tail is tri colored. Red, green, and blue. He really is a beautiful fish. I purchased the cheapest betta food at walmart and some water conditioner. We brought him home and plopped into the 1 gallon tank we had for the sea monkeys with 1 plastic plant and some gravel. That night I do a bit of googling and stumble on this forum. I did a lot of reading and realized that the set up we had was not adequate. The next day after school, we head back to walmart and bought a 3 gallon tank, some live plant bulbs and a heater. Settle King into his new home with gravel and 2 live plant bulbs. I felt bad for his empty tank so we had to petco and buy a few plants and a small castle. And better quality betta food. Over the next couple of weeks I tweaked his tank a bit more and changed out the totally stupid gravel aerator thing that came with the tank for a decent filter. In this time, I really enjoyed seeing his personality blossom. I started thinking about getting a betta for myself and spend lots of time drooling on aquabid. Every time I go into a big box store, I scope the bettas. I wandered into petco last Wednesday and hit the betta lottery. They had just got a shipment and must have had at least 100 bettas. After much contemplation, I settled for a marble elephant ear half moon. Bring him and settle him into the 1 gallon tank. Now he is in a 5 gallon filled only about halfway as he is recovering from a fin injury and doesn't swim well. They have totally different personalities. I never thought I would get so much enjoyment out of fish but I do really enjoy them. They are very engaging and personable. I'd like to get more but I know I need to be realistic. While bettas seem to be quite hardy, I now know they aren't really low maintenance. There is work involved. 100% water changes take me a good 20-30 minutes and I don't think I would enjoy too many more tanks. Better to enjoy and properly take care of a small amount than get more and possibly feel overwhelmed.
I think we must have gotten very lucky with our walmart betta as he seems to be very healthy. I didn't realize how poorly walmart kept their bettas. He has no signs of fin rot or any other issues. And the poor thing doesn't seemed to have suffered permanently from my ignorant mishandling in the beginning such as plopping him into his tank with no acclimation when we brought him home.
I help out at a local shelter and care for the cats they have at Petco. By going in every few days and spending time there I kept getting attracted to the bettas. Several years later I have (at the moment) 4 males and a sorority.
I wanted one of those pretty fish that you could keep in a glass to have next to my desk. BUT, luckily I was already an animal owner and did some independent research (I wish I'd known to do that before I got my long-suffering goldfish) and quickly realised that there was a lot of conflicting information on these fish. I ended up erring on the side of caution and setting up a 3 gallon tank all prettily. I saw a turquoise and red VT at the LFS and bought him, but he was already sick and I didn't have the knowledge to help him. He died overnight.
I then decided to look for a different tank on the classifieds, and I found someone selling a 5 gallon with all the works, plus a pink and purple female betta. I got her and she became my Aphrodite. I was about 18 at this point, I think. From there I got better at fish-keeping and more knowledgeable. After Aphrodite died, aged about 4, I went to buy a pretty white DT I'd seen, but fell in love with a feisty blue female and brought her home instead.
From there I rescued two guppies and upgraded to a 16 gallon, but had to re-start the 5 gallon when I rescued a male. After Athena (my blue girl) died, I started my sorority with Artemis, Hera, Psyche, Thetis, Medea, Cassandra and Persephone, later adding Circe and Demeter.
Apollo, after battling all his life with the problems from his pre-rescue life, finally died, and I got the beautiful Odysseus, my first halfmoon.
Over time my sorority has died off, and I lost my final member, Artemis, last Friday. I now have just Odysseus, battling with nasty finrot after something compromised his immune system.
Last night, I ordered six girls from a very reputable lady in QLD, who should be with me by Friday!
And that is my betta journey. :p I also have a bunch of other fish.
hm...I started when I was just a kid ( around elementary school ), and honestly I kept fighters only at that time..and usually some time after school me and my friends would gather and we let our fishes fought, the one who fled the fight lost and would then belong to the winners. So one day I let a fish I won from previous fight, to fought an imbalance opponent ( way bigger than he was ), to my surprise after hours of fighting ( I forgot how long exactly, probably actually less than an hour :P ), the opponent fled, I won, but my brave little fighter eventually lost his live due to his severe injuries. To this day I still remember how he looked, a gray/red. It was so sad that I stop doing it for fun ( don't get me wrong I still like fighters, and still know how to train and make them tougher LOL, but I won't let them sacrifice their lives for my "happiness" anymore ). Oh I still use them occasionally, make bets to kids who like fish fight.."if ur fish lost, u quit fish fight and I will give you an "ornamental" one to keep and never fight it anymore, deal?" So here I am...in the world of "ornamental" betta splendens.
For years I used to look and wave at the beautiful Fighter Fish displayed at the Petstore we always go to but never thought I could own one.Then one day I saw the most beautiful red veiltail boy & just had to have him,he was my first little Betta boy Link.I have to admit that at this time I listened to the petstore people and believed that all they pretty much needed was a bowl.I didn't like the look of the tiny 'Betta bowls' they had for sale,so instead bought him a goldfish bowl with gravel & plastic plants,as he grew bigger I bought him a very large glass bowl which I think is about 3 gallons.I did 100% water change every fortnight and his bowl stayed sparkling,he didn't have a filter or heater,just a lamp.When I think of this nowadays I could just cry as I know now how much better I should of had it for him.But like my Mum said he was always such a happy,funny,lovely little boy,which he really was.He never had a thing wrong with him & had the most beautiful plumey tail & fins.I had my dear little Link for 3 years.After he went to heaven I wanted to feel close to him and started looking on the computer about Bettas,that's when I saw this site.I realised then how much better I would do it next time.Last year at the same Petstore I was looking at the Bettas again & saw a beautiful little blue Veiltail who would be named Peanut.This time I bought him a 30 litre tank with heater,filter,gravel,silk plants & hideouts/caves and wc every week,a while later I saw another beautiful little blue veiltail who is now named Button & bought him the same set up,then it happened again a while later when I saw yet another beautiful little blue veiltail boy who I named Piglet.I think Bettas are the most beautiful,funniest,cutest fish & I just couldn't imagine not having them.
When I was younger my dad kept 2 bettas but once they died we didnt get a new betta. I was in 10th grade when I really got bit by the betta bug and i went out and got a betta of my very own, a blue and red crowntail male named Elliot. But one betta wasn't enough so a few months later I got a pink halfmoon who I named Louis(yes all my fish have people names ). Elliot and Louis both died by my senior year of high school and I was so sad i couldn't get a new one because I was leaving for college soon and my mom thought it would be ridiculous to get one. I'm now a freshman at college and I ended up getting my handsome halfmoon betta, Henry, sometime in october . I wish I could have more fish but i only have room for one tank in my dorm
I bought my girlfriend our first betta squishy from PETCO. We where new an uneducated. I bought a minibow 1 gallon an slim preset heater. After finding this site the next day we went to Walmart an bought a 5 gallon kit! The minibow 1 was returned and we bought some live plants an a hiding cave. Afew days later squishy passed away from bad novaqua. We returned squishy an the novaqua and brought home a new squishy, prime, and hydor adjustable heater to replace the broken preset. Its been a short two weeks but we have learned alot an i may get my own betta down the road!
I was maybe 6 on the way to Mass the people (family friends I spent alot of my childhood with) I was visiting for the summer stopped at a walmart I dont rember why they got me a fish but they did and one of thos fish bowls with the flat sides it had some rocks and net. I think the fish was mostly red. it was my first pet that was just mine. I took care of it all by my self the whole summer. feed it every day just a little pinch like I was told. Would clean maybe once a week. Would take the bowl off its spot by the tv near the window put it on the counter. Drag over a chair to the sink get a bowl put water in it. Scoop out my fish put him in the bowl. Dump out the fish bowl usly making a mess with the rocks. Refill it pick the rocks back up. Scoop my betta back in. dump out the bowl I was using and put my fish back by the tv. I did this all by my self till I went home at the end of the summer I wasnt back to school for more then a month when my mom killed it. over fed it or cooked it with to warm water. after that my mom got us a maybe 5 gal and me and my brother got a fish he got a placo I got another betta my brother killed these because he wanted to take them out and pet them. I was like 16 befor I got the next one tyedye a red and blue. He lived about a year didn't know anything still. Couple years later got another did my research and it lived for 2 and a half maybe 3. have had one or 2 at a time since males and females.