Just thought I'd share my history of my Bettas. Now, this is very long. And after you read this you'll understand why I say, talk about a tale of ignorance.
One night I was on yahoo answers and I was constantly seeing questions with "Betta" in them. One question said something about bubblenests and I looked up Bettas and bubblenests (hey, I grew up from age 9-13 in an Alaskan town with a population of 3000, so I'd never heard of a Betta) And thought, "Oh, those are neat looking fish."
Then the next day my dad said he was going to the fish store for the saltwater tank. Back then I was an EXPERT with saltwater, I could probably tell you most every salt water aquarium fish and their minimum tank size. Anyways, I saw a "Betta bowl" kit for $10. The kit was a half gallon bowl with a plastic plant and some gravel. I showed my dad it and he said, "Sure. The fish are only $2, hey, your sister can get one too."
See, having never heard of a Betta until the night before, I believed it was right to keep a Betta in a bowl since everything sold for Bettas were bowls and stuff. No tanks over .5 gallons.
And so I chose my first Betta. He was a black VT that I chose because he had the biggest fins (Didn't know that meant they were old) Well, When I got home after taking forever to set the bowl up and put him in I noticed he just sat there, while my sisters Betta who I then wanted instead was young and beautiful. Got jealous of him because of his colors.
You could say I was diligant about water changes. I wasn't because I only did them once a week, because that's what the instructions were and no one told me it was wrong. But, I never missed a water change, unlike my sisters poor Betta who would miss several water changes, and we found him nearly dead once and did an emergency water change.
Then my Bettas fins became spiky with little red balls at the end of each spike. Now, I read that plastic plants can be a problem, so I removed the plant the kit came with. For probably 3/4 of his time with me he had fin rot, and I didn't even know what that was. It was the same with my sisters Betta, named "Arco iris" Because I thought of naming my fish in another language so she started looking it up too. My Betta never got named, and my sister wouldn't get rid of her plastic plant.
Then, after probably roughly 2 months, My Betta dies. Actually, though I'm ashamed to say it, I wasn't into him )= I could never watch him for more than 5 seconds without getting bored, and I hated how "plain" he looked. Once again I was jealous about my sisters fish still being alive.
I didn't really want a Betta anymore after that though. I actually thought changing a .5 gallon bowl once a week was a CHORE. I hadn't enjoyed my first Betta, it seemed like he did nothing but sleep and eat, and he was dull in my eyes. So I assumed it would always be boring with a Betta.
Then on yahoo answers I read that Bettas need 3 gallon tanks or larger but didn't really think anything of it. I thought tank size didn't make a difference.
Then, a good 4-6 months later, I felt a huge urge to get a Betta. Something was drawing me to the fish store, and I just knew I HAD to get there and buy a Betta. I only had $25, and after asking my dad we went to the fish store. I grabbed a 2.5 gallon kritter keeper, even though I didn't really understand the importance of a biger tank other then it looking better. My dad told me that tank looked a little big for one Betta, and told me I should get this .5 gallon bowl divided three ways so that males are permanently staring at eachother, and said, "You should get this one. You could have THREE Bettas." Something inside me made me not even consider it. I grabbed a bag of neon gravel and went into the fish room.
I looked at the Bettas for probably 5 minutes and was unimpressed by the stock. I really wanted a white halfmoon, and there were only cellophone, black, and blue veiltails. I grabbed a cellophone because it was the closest thing to white.
I gave him to the lady and almost bought him, then my dad pointed at the magical Betta cup. Inside was a Betta who looked much younger then my first. He had a massive bubblenest and was flaring and doing that wierd thing where they attack the glass by going side to side as if he wanted to come to me. He was my beautiful Neon, and I loved the look of him from then. I instantly called the lady back and bought Neon. And, Neon seemed delighted to get a big enough home when I put him in his tank.
But of course that isn't the end. Yup, I went on Yahoo answers, back then it was my only source of info., and asked if I could keep any other fish in with Neon. Some people told me to try keeping a female with him, and I was heavily considering that. Then I was just searching some random Betta stuff and stumbled across this site, the day after buying Neon.
And I'm STILL not done. In his 2.5 where I had planned to get a female Betta and a bunch of snails (One guy on yahoo answers said shrimp produced Waaaay more waste than snails >.>) with once weekly 50% water changes, my plans changes. After a month with once weekly 50% water changes, his tail looked funny, and I freaked out over fin rot. Learned my scedule wasn't often enough and that he was a tail biter. Learned that 2.5 gallons is a bit small for one Betta. Learned to feed WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY less than I was going to.
And, after learning about Bettas that first month, I considered my first Betta to be BEAUTIFUL. Just a lovely guy, who might have had so much personality if I hadn't been so cruel.
Then, there's my sisters fish again, Arco Iris. Compared to Neon he looked ugly in my mind. But I couldn't handle seeing Arco Iris's fins melting away and seeing him live in very cloudy and just plain discusting water. I reminded my sister constantly to change the water and feed him. I found a 1 gallon tank for the little fella and gave him one of my silk plants instead of that harsh plastic one. Then, after a month of him living in that with literally no water changes, I finally snapped and told my sister to give him to me.
Well, I instantly went to transfer him into clean water, but he fell on my sisters filthy floor and got covered in crumbs and dog hairs. I picked him up and put him back in the filthy 1 gallon tank, regretting it soon. He just layed on the bottom and wouldn't move one of his pectoral fins, I thought he had lost it at first. Then when he started acting normal again I more carefully transfered him to his old half gallon with clean water so I could wash his tank. I threw out EVERYTHING in the 1 gallon.
Then I slowely guided him on a road of recovery. Newly named "Velvet" had a case of fin rot, and I thought maybe velvet, but he didn't. I gave him salt in his tank for 10 days with daily 100% water changes. He seemed so happy to be getting clean water. I noticed that whenever I transfered him during water changes one of his pectoral fins stopped working and he clamped it against his body. But gradually, with cleaner water, he stopped doing that, and I'm not sure why he did it in the first place. At that point Velvet who I was once jealous of I didn't care for as much as Neon.
Velvet enjoyed a month or two of clean water, lots of hiding places, and warm water. Then I woke up one morning to find him with a sever case of SBD. Then I found he had parasites. I begged urgently with my dad to get medication to treat the parasites, but my dad said it was pointless to waste $20 on a $2 fish. Two weeks after the initial SBD, Velvet died.
WAIT, there is still a few more things. I setup Neon's 10 gallon as many know, and I also got promised that Crankyfish would send me his copper dragon delta tail. That's the history of my Bettas so far, now I only have the future to look forward to.
My first betta that I remember (I was waaaaay young) was a blue and white veiltail named Frost. He was kept in your average "betta bowl" which was at least a half-gallon. He had enough room for a small plant and enough room to turn around at least. Nobody really had any clue how to take care of him, so we just followed a brochure we picked up at the pet store. Thankfully I know now that most of the information there was right, and despite living in a tiny unheated bowl, his water was clean and his belly was always full. Frost lived for about 2 years.
Fast forward about 12 years. I went to a Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society conference with my grandmother, where we had to stay in college dorms. I woke up early one morning, so I went down to the common room to start the coffee pot. We had kind of left a mess with the pizza boxes last night, so I started to clean up. I found a funky little tie-dye vase (opaque) with water in it. I about poured it out, when something came up to the surface of the water and took a breath. I poured it out into a Tupperware container and there was a little tiny betta fish inside! He looked raggedy and obviously hadn't been fed in over a week. I showed my grandmother what I had found when she came down for coffee, and after a lot of discussion, she decided I could keep it. (It's just one little fish, right?)
So I had an unnamed little red and blue crowntail in Frost's old bowl. Being older, I realized this wasn't the best set up, so I began doing mountains of research. The little betta when from a bowl to a 1.5 gallon desktop tank, to a fully heated and filtered divided 10 gallon tank, over the course of 3 years. His name came to me while driving for no apparent reason. His name is Mr. Quinn Fishy. (Mister is a crucial part of his name.) Don't ask me why he's named that, I'm still figuring it out.
When Quinn was placed into the divided 10 gallon, I decided to get another betta. I did a few weeks of looking before I settled on a little bitty blue crowntail, whom I named Sir Flynn Fishy and placed him in the other section of the tank. Flynn turned out to be the calmer of the two, and constantly acted like he was stoned on some mysterious substance.
After a few more months, the betta bug got under my skin again, and I devoted my time to building the perfect 2.5 gallon tank. While out looking for a mini-filter, I stumbled across a pale red veiltail in his dirty little cup, with pieces of his fins on the ground. I'll admit, he was a sympathy purchase, but he was the only one like that in the store. I took him home, set up the tank, and let the newly named Phinn "Boba" Fishy enjoy his new home. For the first 2 weeks, he was lethargic and didn't eat. He stayed pale and his fins weren't growing back. I was afraid he wasn't going to make it. I came back home from school one day, and looked in Boba's tank, and there he is, squirming and begging like I've owned him for years. He became a vibrant red. I mean he screamed RED. He also had some iridescent blue trying to show it's face. His tail began to grow back slowly, but after about a week, I came to face Boba's only problem. He's a chronic tail-biter. If his tail grows any further than his anal fin, he bites it right off.
So there I was, with 3 happy bettas around Christmas time. When the family gather came around, I had to help with barricading all of our dogs in the basement to avoid any accidents. I came back upstairs and found to my horror that someone showed all the small children my fish tanks, the medicine cabinet, and then left. The children decided that Flynn and Quinn looked sick and poured every thing except my Melafix into the tank. I quickly saved my babies and had to dismantle the tank and completely clean it. The divider was ruined, so Quinn was placed in the 10 gallon by himself. FLynn was placed in the old 1.5 gallon for a month, while I scrounged together cash for a new tank. I bought the supplies for a 5.5 gallon tank, and some Cory Cats for Quinn's tank. When the 5.5 gallon became ready, I placed Flynn in it and we began a neat ritual of waking up together.
That's when my friend came by and gave me a school of neon tetras (don't ask me why) and I had no place to QT them. (My dogs broke the QT tank. 2 weeks ago.) Foolishly I placed them in the 5.5. Disaster struck, and the entire tank was wiped out in 3 days. I cleaned and sterilized the tank and it's sat empty on my nightstand, running and cycling.
Now, I have offered to adopt one of appledust's gorgeous bettas, Bartleby to live in the 5.5 and still have a happy home. That's about it at the moment. =]
I had my first Betta when I was 15 years old. He was a white marbled with pastel colors. I kept him in one of those plastic betta kits, which I was informed was GREAT to keep a betta in. Then my first cat Shadow ate him.
My 2nd and 3rd betta's came when I was 18 and had moved in with my boyfriend (now husband) and we decided it would be fun to get some fishy's. We went to the pet store and picked one of those divider betta kits and 2 betta's which we named Blueberry and Hector. Shortly after this, my uncle asked me if I could take in his cat Luna because she was becoming too much to handle with his other cat because he was sick (we later found out this was due to mold in their apartment) so I of course took her in.. Not thinking about the poor fish and how their tank was little and Luna would surely be able to knock it over.. which she eventually did and ate them. 3 Betta's so far... All eaten.
So now its 3 years later... My daughter is turning 2 years old and everyone has already gotten her everything she needs/too many toys... What is a mother to do... After some convincing I got my husband to agree to getting her a pet fish. My husband and I got to the petstore, got a fish bowl and a goldfish.. Because he was the cheapest thing there at 1.99$... so he died in a month. Conveniently Sophie was staying at her grandparents house when he died so my husband and I decided not more goldfish (we, before i looked it up, believed the same that most do about goldfish) anyways so I though Hey Betta's can live in little bowls why dont we just get one of those. My husband agree'd and off we went to the pet store... Again... on this day they only had a few betta's all Blue Vt's so thats what we got. Brought him home and put him into his little bowl. Decided to start doing research on him and found out... Wow they need 2.5 gallons heated... So i put him in my husbands office and cranked the heat. He was doing great in his temp home. (which was 1g I think) Then i started to feel bad so checked around for bigger aquariums on kijiji... ended up going to walmart and bought a 2.5 bowl.
A few weeks later on sophie's bi weekly trip to her grandparents house my husband and I decided we wanted a bigger tank for CoCo and some apple snails we went to this weird ma and pa aquarium place to see what they had.... and then... I saw him... a little betta with eaten fins... he had the potential to be gorgeous.... I wanted him... BAD... I didn't get him... we got home and I told my husband I wanted him and he told me we would go back tomorrow morning to get him and the apple snails. Woke up early and went to get little chewie! Got a 5g tank set chewie and the snails loose and they are happy and healthy(now)
A few more weeks later we went to the pet store to get TURTLE FOOD and that only... and then we saw him... The pink halfmoon! My husband looked at me and said: Would he be okay in the little bowl for a week or two? and I said yes and We brought him home and shortly upgraded him to a 5g with one of the apple snails... I let my husband name him... He named him WINDU...
my first betta story's kinda.... horrid. o.o my first experience with Bettas was a Betta in a Vase that someone gave my mom. i thought he was a neat little fish. i don't remember too much about his care, other than doing the water changes. after we moved here, we gave our third Vase Betta away. after i started my first job, i wanted a new betta. my mom had this funky candle-holder-bowl, and she said i could keep him in there. i went to the pet store after work one day, and found my first love. i later found out that Zach was an orange dalmatian. i picked him out, because he wasn't the common red, blue, green, or any combo of those. Zach soon became my best friend. i was NOT good with his water changes, and only changed it when it was gross-looking and stinky. he quickly learned to recognize me and my voice, and knew exactly what his Hikari pellet package looked like and would wiggle-dance excitedly when i'd grab for it. then, one day, my sister's evil cat convinced my good cat to knock his bowl down. i freaked out and threw the cats, then rushed to get the biggest cup i could find and filled it with water. i carefully moved the broken glass and found my baby. he wasn't moving, and i was so scared he was dead. after plopping him in the cup of water, i watched for him to swim. i sighed happily when he did, then turned my attention to the mess on my floor. :/ the bowl was destroyed. i kept his rocks, and had to find him a new bowl. my mom got him one a few days later, and even got him a seahorse decoration. after that, i moved away and couldn't bring Zach with me. those months, without my best friend were horrible, but i came home to find that mom had gotten him a one-gallon tank, with a new decoration in the form of a plant and lilly pad. Zach looked so happy to be in his new tank, was was so beautiful. later on, mom's 10 gallon was empty and just sitting there, running, so i put Zach in it, and that's where he lived, with a 10 gallon all to himself for the last two years of his life. Zach lived to be 4 years old. i miss my beautiful dal boy, and hope one day to get another. <3
I was really reluctant to post this but I guess it's better to be honest. If anyone remembers those cubes they were selling with fish in them years and years ago? I got one with white clouds. I guess I was about 25. I changed their water maybe once a month and they didn't last long. Maybe three months. Then I thought, (like a lot of you) that I should get a betta for that cube because they liked small cups. It wasn't even half a gallon. I picked up a blue boy and kept him in that cube for 4 months. I hardly changed the water. I remember it was green. I had a serious drinking problem back them. I barely took care of myself. I don't think I fed him very often. At least, I don't remember feeding him much. He died (horribly in that green cube).
Fast forward almost 15 years. I'm totally sober for the last 5 years now. I want to get a fish tank. But my husband remembers that poor betta and the guppy tank I had (that turned into an overbred death tank) and he doesn't want to see that again. I tell him that I'll get a small tank and a betta and take care of it for 6 months and if I can do that, then I'll have proven I can care for an aquarium.
I found Tango at Petco. He was the most active guy there. I originally wanted a blue. I didn't even like peach and he wasn't very colorful (like young dalmations tend to not be). But he was so aware and he looked at me when I turned the cup, trying to keep me in sight. I picked up a 1.5 Tetra Cube and brought it home. He had no heater but the tank had a small whisper filter. For 6 months I thought I was doing right by following the Tetra care sheet and changing his water 50-75% once a week. He seemed healthy. He ate every day. I didn't really notice how short his tail had gotten.
Once the 6 months was over I went right out and picked up a 16 gallon bowfront with a stand, heater, filter, the works. I plunked him in there. He was so happy. He grew the most amazing tail.
I found this site and realized all the things I should be doing to maintain an aquarium. Tango has since had to leave his 16 because he was being mean to his corys, who I added about a month or two after I started the aquarium. I kept one betta for a while but ya'll eventually corrupted me. :P
Now I have planted tanks and strict schedules for maintenance. My fish owe their longevity to this forum. :)
Almost all my friends had Bettas growing up. I thought they were the coolest fish, but they were all kept in bowls, not heated, usually smaller than a gallon.
Every time we walked into the pet store I'd go look at them.
My cousin got married last September. The centerpieces were one gallon bowls with Betta fish in them- red, to match the theme of the wedding.
At the end they announced that the Bettas were up for grabs. It took me 15 minutes to persuade my parents, and by then there was only one bowl left- a little red VT. I took him home with me the next day (We stayed overnight at my aunt's) and named him Mister Fishy.
The night I got home, I got online and searched and this was the first thing that popped up. I read all about Betta care and told my dad who took me out the next day. I bought a 5 gallon Eclipse Hex tank, heater, silk plants, food, etc.
Mister Fishy contracted popeye about a month after his filter broke. I still did plenty of changes, but it apparently wasn't enough. Then the light gave out, so I bought him a 10 gallon and he lived in that. His popeye got better.
A few weeks ago his color was almost gone- I had him in QT with epsom salt because he was bloated, and he seemed to be getting better, so I put him back in his tank (The salt treatment time was also up).
He seemed better, but then last Sunday (The second to last Sunday in February) I went to bed at about 2 AM. His color was gone and I was hoping he would make it till morning so I could put him back in QT, because there was no way my mom would be okay with me making all that noise.
He didn't make it, and I woke up to him dead on the bottom of his tank :(
I buried him in the backyard along the fence and put a huge clam shell on top so I'd know where he was buried.
I'm dividing up the 10 gallon in about a week and a half and getting two new Bettas. However, Mister Fishy will never be forgotten. He's the one who got me hooked, and he was such a gorgeous boy.
Ever since I can remember my mom has had fish tanks, big ones. And there was always a Betta swimming around in them with the other fish. Well, when my sister and I (we are twins) turned 10. My mom thought to get us each our own pet to care for in our rooms. My sister got a rat. I had a teddy bear hamster but he always bit me, so I gave him to a friend and got a 2.5 gallon tank. I got my first Betta, Kodiak, a blue/green w/red VT and had him for a year and a half. I remember when I would clean his tank. I would just put my hand in there and grab him and set him in a cup and rub the sides of the tank with my hand to get algae off. I then would move around the gravel and scoop all the water out. Fill it back up, and set him in.
After Kodiak, we moved and I got Cherry, a solid red VT. I was now about 13. Right after leaving the petstore we thought to go to Red Lobster. I actually brought him in with us and hid his cup behind the salt and pepper.
I had him for a few months, then the heater malfunctioned and I woke up one morning to a crispy fish. :(
Years later, now 16. My sister and I suddenly wanted to get Bettas. We each bought a 1.5 gallon with two plastic plants and some gravel. She got Pegasus, a white VT with hints of pink. And I got Ron, a orange VT with a black head. I only had Ron for a few weeks (the Petco in CDA is terrible, all their Bettas were sick), Pegasus got popeye after a month of being with us and died shortly after.
I did not get another Betta after that. But when we were at the petstore, my sister wanted a black CT that she saw. We named him Emo and brought him home. Sadly, after two months of having him our electricity was shut off in the middle of winter and he died of the cold.
We moved after we could not afford to pay the electric bill and at 17 I got a 10 gallon tank at a yard sale and bought another Betta, Blue, a light blue VT and some platies. Well a month later, My boyfriend (now husband) and I got our first place. After moving the fish however, the stress gave them all ich. I tried meds but they all died. :(
Two houses, my wedding, moving to Utah then back to Idaho. We are now at the time of 6 months ago (I am now 20). We were visting my aunt in WA when I went to Walmart with her and found out they sold Bettas. I thought that I would just glance at them and when I was just about to turn around and leave. I saw a beautiful solid red VT dancing at me. I picked up his cup...and I just could not put it down, I tried, but he would not let me. So I bought him (I already had a 2.5 gallon tank sitting in the basement). He was the one and only thing I bought as an impulse and the only thing I did not talk to my husband about first.
That Betta was my Abacus. After moving to WA, I thought that I wanted to share my beautiful Betta with others who loved them and to learn more to prevent him from dying like my past Bettas did. This forum was the first to pop up. Since then I have learned alot and have gotton the bug for Bettas. I now have 8 at the moment and now my mom is even obsessed with them and she owns 3. :)
For some reason, we all just keep coming back to Bettas. We got one as kids, they died from our lack of knowledge. And then they always were there, in the back of our thoughts. Making sure we did right by those first Bettas and went on to get more. :)
Well then, Thank you, Kodiak, Cherry, Ron, Pegasus, Emo, and Blue. My current and future Bettas will forever be grateful.
One thing I think is funny. Is that, well, I have very bad memory loss. Runs in the family. If I stopped talking to you guys you would all just slowly fade away in my mind until I only remembered that I was on this site sometime ago.
But what is funny is that I can remember my Bettas vividly. Their colours, their faces, when and how long I had them, and how they died.
I hope I never forget them.