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?)
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.
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.