I just noticed some other folks introducing themselves, and thought I'd do so, too. I don't have much experience with forums, so I'm still learning the ropes of ettiquette and such.
I LOVE BETTAS. I love everything about them. I have no idea how many I've had in my lifetime thus far. Dozens. It started when I was a kid, though they weren't my first fish. I got my first tropical fish tank when I was 8, after a couple years of begging my parents. I didn't get my first Betta until my teens. Much of my life centered around the aquatic and reptile/amphibian worlds. I got my first job in a pet shop when I was 16. Then I did an internship at National Aquarium DC and started doing brackish, saltwater and reef tanks. Then I worked at a wholesale fish distributer (where pet shops buy their fish). Then I went to college for a biology degree with a special emphasis on ecology, then sea turtle biology, rescue and rehabilitation. Then I was a wildlife rehabilitator. Then I did my Master's degree, which centered around biology and ecology of all kinds, particularly aquatic/marine/herpetology, and I worked with leatherback turtles. Then I got my PhD in environmental science with emphases on ecology, herpetology, zoology, general biology, environmental science and aquatic toxicology. During all these times, I had many pets at once, always reptiles, amphibians and fish. Then I graduated and couldn't find a tenure track position, so after a while I took a business consulting job. I was a fish out of water in that job. Meanwhile, my health had started declining. I became disabled in 2008. I'm still low-functioning disabled. I spend what little energy I have caring for myself, my Betta, Asta, and my box turtle, Bodhisattva. I was given Asta as a birthday present in May, so I've only had him about a month. It had been 10 years since I'd had a fish, and I was/am ecstatic! And I'm a bit rusty in some ways, particularly in not knowing what new technologies have come out in the past 10 years. Some of the new stuff I've seen has been a delight. The Spec III that Asta lives in is one of those delights. I have non-animal related interests, too. Music, crafts of *many* kinds like beading, polymer clay, drawing, and so much more. I'm also a nerdgeek who enjoys scifi/fantasy and gadgets.
There you have it, a life story in one paragraph. ;) I'm so grateful to have found this forum. People seem very friendly, and it seems like a community. My ability to post will vary with my varying levels of energy and cognitive function, which range from none to low. But I'll read and interact when I can, because I like what I've seen on here and like being a part of a community. I look forward to swimming around in here and getting to know folks. :)