The first time I saw a betta fish was at a friends house, she had kept it in a small bowl and I thought it was normal because I have seen goldfish and many other fish in such small bowls, other than that I was pretty fascinated with it. The tail was so fluttery, the fish so full of color, it was beautiful. I had previously only kept fish once, I had two goldfish I won at a fair when I was 8 who died literally a week after I got them. As an animal lover my entire life, I declared myself unfit to care for fish and moved on. I had always owned some sort of animal, especially dogs. I love my dogs and I saw the ownership of any type of fish meaningless compared to a relationship with a dog or a cat or even a ferret or lizard. I thought they were sort of "boring". And I was wrong. About everything.
I moved not too long ago to a different state to live with my boyfriend (and my dog… which then turned into dogSS. I'm a sucker for pets, what can I say?) We shopped at a megastore and I always made it my duty to buy something for my dogs, a toy, a treat, both. I was first drawn to some glowing type of fish (gloFish) which I then learned to be injected with some type of chemical to make them glow that way. I don't stand for that. Seemed cruel to me and I refused to buy them, it was out of the picture to support something like this. Then I saw the betas on the other side of the display, all in their tiny containers. They were all so beautiful and I was captivated, but they all looked miserable. All of them. I was intrigued. And thats when I decided to ask questions at some pet stores about betta fish. They seemed to all give the same answer "use spring water, a one gallon bowl, no heater no filter, their so easy! they live so long! they love small spaces!". Something was fishy… but I didn't know why all people would lie to me about this… they should be the experts right? And thats who you go to when you want to have happy and healthy animals?
So I threw away my suspicions and gave in. Since they were so easy I decided to buy two. I purchased 1 gallon bowls, some gravel and some silk plants (I did some research myself, briefly). I went to a local pet shop, the same one I purchased my long hair chihuahua named Leslie a few months back. I was delighted to see betas in community tanks, large tanks swimming with other fish and not in tiny cups, I chose to support this business and bought a pink/lavender betta fish I called Roy, and a blue/turquoise larger betta named Finn. I brought them home and put them in their bowls.
Soon after, Finn got fin rot except I wasn't aware what this was so I researched it myself and immediately tried to get him medicine. Unfortunately during a water change I netted Finn and he split his large tail in half somehow inside the net. I was so afraid. I started treating him immediately for that too… and I was honestly expecting him not to make it. He must have been so stressed, and in so much pain and discomfort. Poor guy. I really worried about him constantly. Checked on him every few minutes.
A few days later, I noticed Roy started to act very strange… he would just lay sideways at the bottom of the tank… not swim much, refuse food. It scared me a lot and I immediately did research. All the signs pointed to him being "bloated" due to overfeeding, but that didn't set with me since I had already done much research in the mean time about preventing common diseases (after the fin rot incident with his buddy Finn) and made sure to only feed them one pellet per day, and skip a feeding day once a week. This had been the norm for a few weeks now. He was just lifeless. And I didn't know what I could do.
He wouldn't react to anything at all and at this point I really knew it was probably the end. He died a few hours later. And I was really upset. That's when I decided to do extensive research, as much as I can possibly do with my time and make sure that my fish really had the best life. I soon found out that they need heaters, filters, and at least 5 gallon tanks… a 1 gallon bowl wasn't going to cut it. I purchased a 10 gallon tank and installed all new equipment (filter, and heater).
Finn is still in his one gallon bowl because he is still being treating for his split tail with voogle immune booster and seachem to avoid infection and to boost regrowth. He's been doing well.. his tail has grown back where it has split. But his fin rot cost him some of his tail as well. He will be making the change to his 10 gallon tank soon.
I really miss having Roy around and I think of him almost everyday. I would get another betta but I am moving in the summer and don't want to stress my fish with moving (hopefully Finn will make a safe transport). I have decided I will split the tank with a divider and get another betta. I also purchased a stand for two 10 gallons and plan to acquire all equipment and set it up once I move and get two more bettas in there. I wish I didn't have to wait, but I know its for the best :)
I am very heavily addicted to aquarium keeping now, I am fascinated with fish and see their beauty. I asked for 55 gallon aquarium and stand for my birthday (this summer) and plan to acquire some fancy guppies, some mollies, and cory cats, and possibly neon tetras. :)
I am very excited to share my progress with aquarium keeping in my journal. And the progress of my fish collection (especially bettas, my first fishy loves).
For now, I want to share a photo of my betta Finn and wish him a happy healthy recovery and can't wait to see his excitement when he sees his new 10 gallon home :)