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Old 07-08-2013, 11:00 PM   #1 
Lucubration
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Fell off of (onto?) the wagon

Hello, folks! I just got suckered by those needy little eyes in the 'betta bowl' aisle at PetSmart. ("Help, we're being slowly poisoned in vats of our own waste!") Le sigh.

I wanted to share the last few days (also the first few days) of my betta keeping.

Four days ago I saw this dainty little fish, who finished eroding my willpower: My Lady (or "Lady").



Poor little morsel! She was resting on the bottom, but perked up when I picked up her cup so I figured she had some spunk in her.

Nope. My Lady did not eat (any of a half-dozen foods), barely shuffled around unless disturbed, and got weaker and weaker. Eventually, I could see straight through her fragile little form. She expired this morning. I'll spare her dignity and you can just keep imagining the innocent little fry pictured above.

As much as I would like to help them, I don't think I'll ever get another betta that I have any doubts about. It hit me surprisingly hard...

(Moment Of Silence)

However! In my attempts to perk up My Lady, I decided to get another couple of beta fry/juvies that were a little more active. Perhaps she would 'eat by example' and get a rouse out of some pseudo-rivals?

Enter: This Tank



Sorry about the light glare. Two "grow lights" are currently serving double duty between this tank and some greenery that I'm trying to grow out for "aquascaping".

I found a new 20 gallon tank/stand combo for a bargain price at an LFS, and moved over the filter and substrate from a nearly-cycled 5-gallon tank. I figure it'll be perfect for: 1 betta, a 6+ school of pygmy cories, and a few rabbit snails. For now, I have my wee bettas housed in breeder boxes for easy care and maintenance; I'll need to determine their personalities and cycle another divided tank for the other two of my current three.

Anyways, the day after I picked up My Lady I was back at PetSmart finding two more betta sorta-fry (when do they stop being "fry", anyways?)

Fade:



She was a pale little thing resting in her cup, still with baby stripes and just a hint of lavender in her fins. Imagine my surprise when I was standing in line at the register and suddenly her body colored in right before my eyes! She looks a bit darker because she's in the shadow in this photo, but you get the idea.

Hunter:



Though the same size, shape, and possibly even spawn as Fade, (about 1") Hunter was never timid. She's a fierce and bold little thing, and wanders over to check out strange implements and appendages doing maintenance on her tank.

They both look like little "crowntail" females to me - but what do I know? Whatever they are, they're my little cuties. :3

Here they are today (just 2 days later)!




Fade is turning just gorgeous, and Hunter's striking colors keep getting bolder. Unlike My ill-fated Lady, they're active and inquisitive, try out (though sometimes reject) all food and will hunt down what they don't immediately see in front of them. I love these (girls?)!

After My Lady's burial-at-porcelain-sea, I stared morosely at the empty breeder box for a bit before resolving to fill it with better memories. I returned yet again to PetSmart (thankfully, there's been a different employee at the register each time) and examined every last betta cup left. Some fish in a very bad way, there.

Then I found this guy!



As you can probably tell, he was pretty unhappy about the whole cup-drive-acclimate process. Happily, once he was settled in he rummaged around and ate the food that I crumbled up for him. Now his fins are all extended and he's poking around the breeder box that he's (temporarily) in.

Not sure, but I figure he's a "veiltail"? They also called him a "dragonscale" at the store, but I'm not sure what that means. He does have an iridescence to him that's hard to capture in photos.



I'm thinking about naming him Lancelot (because he's a "dragonscale"! Or so they say?) I'm also thinking he may have to be the one to stay in the 20 gallon tank. I'm about to start cycling a 10-gallon that I'll divide for two of the fishies, but I figure there's no way is it going to be ready for him in time; he's about half again the size of my two (ladies?) and is probably going to be pretty cramped in that breeder box (though I'm consoling myself that 'at least it's bigger and cleaner than that cup').

Unfortunately, I'm going to be gone for an extended weekend and I'll miss a few days of them growing up. Luckily, I have family in the neighborhood with whom I can leave instructions and pre-portioned food for these guys.

Anyways, thanks for reading! If there's any tips or whatnot you can give me regarding my new charges, I'm happy to hear them. Meantime, I'm still scouring these boards for hidden nuggets of wisdom.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:24 PM   #2 
happypappy
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The male is a dragonscale plakat. He will not have the long dropping fins of a veiltail, however, the plakats Re my favorite type of betta......I picked up one today very similar to yours!
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:29 PM   #3 
Lucubration
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Oh, neat. Thanks for the information, happypappy.

I'm actually kind of glad he won't have long fins. While beautiful, they seem very burdensome.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:31 PM   #4 
Rosencrantz32
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I want to say your boy (for which I think Lancelot is a brilliant name :) ) is a plakat. At least when I was at my petsmart recently, 2 of their 3 dragonscales were plakats. (Plus I don't think I've ever noticed a price sign at petsmart for plakats... hmmmm...)

But all of your charges are beautiful! I'm sorry about Lady, but good for you for going out and getting Lancelot! And your other girls are super cute (and crowntails).

Welcome to our fishy world! :D
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:45 PM   #5 
jesssan2442
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"dragonscales" basically means they has thicker more pronounced scales!!

I think you should let the male have the 20g because in some cases having a male/female divided tank can be harmful to the fish because of the hormones they cause!!
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:52 PM   #6 
Lucubration
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Originally Posted by jesssan2442 View Post
"dragonscales" basically means they has thicker more pronounced scales!!

I think you should let the male have the 20g because in some cases having a male/female divided tank can be harmful to the fish because of the hormones they cause!!
Thanks for clarifying "dragonscale". That pretty much confirms it, then; he's got very prominent scale-age.

That's a good point about the hormones. After reading about how it's better to put breeders in separate tanks for their introduction because of hormones/pheromones, I was starting to think along those same lines.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:14 AM   #7 
jesssan2442
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The name Ryuu would be cool, it means dragon in japanese... I'm not exactly sure how to pronounce it, but I did a little bit of research and I think its Ree-Yu but, I could be wrong you should do some research if you like the name!!
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:17 AM   #8 
Lucubration
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Originally Posted by jesssan2442 View Post
The name Ryuu would be cool, it means dragon in japanese... I'm not exactly sure how to pronounce it, but I did a little bit of research and I think its Ree-Yu but, I could be wrong you should do some research if you like the name!!
*Tries to look up "Ryuu"*

Oh, gods, the anime!!!

It does sound like a great name, but I'm kinda stuck on Lancelot now. I'll keep Ryuu on my 'short list', though.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:33 AM   #9 
Seki
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Gorgeous fish!! They're lucky to have you~

It looks like you've been bitten hard by the betta bug, my friend. Believe me, I started out with one and I currently have... -counts- eleven. Uhhh... yeah, anyway. It looks like you've got a great setup for them! If you felt like it, the twenty gallon would make an excellent sorority! Snap up about four more girls and you've got yourself the beginnings of a wonderful female betta community. But if the sorority isn't your thing, I'm sure you male would be quite happy in the 20 gallon! :)

Best of luck to you, and if you have questions, we're all here to help!
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:38 AM   #10 
Lucubration
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Thanks, Seki!

I was considering a sorority in the 20 gallon when I started picking out females (and I prefer their sleeker fins; males tend to look and move so cumbersome). However, after reading about what sororities require, I just know I won't be able to devote as much time to them as they'd deserve, and I'd end up losing a bunch of them if things took a really violent turn.
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