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Old 03-17-2011, 05:25 PM   #1 
Sweeda88
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Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed...

I have 5 Bettas, and sometimes I just feel SO overwhelmed. Not because it's particularly hard to care for them, but because my back pain and depression sometimes get in the way. I keep thinking I want more fish, but then I get a reality check like today when I had to talk myself into doing a couple of water changes on my 3 gallon and 10 gallon (I only do my 5 gallon once a week because it has a filter).
I'm thinking of getting a filter for my 10 gallon so I can cycle it and make things easier on myself. I won't even bother doing that with my 3 gallon. Sequin hates filters. I tried him in the 5 gallon for a while, and he never stopped flaring at the filter box. Sometimes I wish I hadn't gotten so many fish, but now that I have them all, I couldn't imagine giving them up. They all have unique and adorable "fishonalities", which is a term I made up for fish personalities.
I also recently found out I have Bipolar disorder, which doesn't surprise me. I've suspected it for years. Sometimes during a manic episode, I'll be super vigilant about water changes, but during a depressive episode, it's all I can do to do the required changes. Also, with my anxiety, I'm constantly worrying about whether or not I'm taking care of my fish properly. But they also give me something besides my own problems to pay attention to. They are a great source of therapy for me, and I'm grateful for that. I thank God for the fact that I got interested in Bettas because I know I'd be worse off without them. They make me smile when I feel my worst.
Anyways, sorry for the huge wall of text. I just needed to let my feelings out. This may belong in the lounge, but since it's Betta related, I put it here. I made paragraphs to make it easier to read. I hope that helped. Thanks for listening. =)
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:52 PM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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I understand more than you know....without going into too much detail......due to my illness that I was diagnosed with many years ago that now limits me physically along with chronic pain issues and the depression that goes along with it......

I had to give up the hobby for several years and once I retired due to the disability and had lots of time on my hand because I was now house bound and even bed bound at times....

I really wanted (needed) to get back in the hobby to keep myself busy.....but due to my physical limitation........making water changes would be a real challenge for me.....

Research begins.....I had to find a way to keep fish.....the answer......natural planted tanks.......once they mature...you don't have to make water changes but 3-4 times a year at best and this is with 1gal to 75gal tanks.......

I have since recovered some fine motor skills to a degree and started to breed fish again...had to find some way to get my hobby to pay for itself after all...lol.....

I do need to make more water changes on fry tanks...but not like I did before with these new nearly self care setup/systems.....

The soil is alive....plants function as the filters, shrimp and snails have a job and even in a closed system....these little ecosystem nearly take care of themselves......

I did have to make some modifications......but even with disabilities....you can find away to enjoy the hobby you love......
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:58 PM   #3 
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Thanks. I also can't work or go to school right now because of my limitations. I'm 22 and totally dependent on my parents. I WANT to work and I WANT to go to school, but I can't right now. Hobbies are the only things that keep me sane.
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:15 PM   #4 
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My Dad was a bipolar manic depressive, so I know hard that can be. It's good that you can come here and vent and that we have fishy friends who make us want to get up and do right by them. I hope it gets better for you. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right combo of therapy and meds. I hope for the best for ya. It can be such a struggle.

I have my own issues with anxiety and sleep problems and my dog helped me get up off my behind and get out of the house. Pets are amazing. They help us so much more then they know. Even when we are groaning about their care. Hehe.

OFL, I never knew your tanks were so self sustaining. I think that's pretty darn cool. You're inspiring. :)
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:33 PM   #5 
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i know how you feel. i have 7 of them, and i'll admit, i slack off on water changes at times. i shouldn't, since they're all smaller tanks, with only Caroline and Chappy having a live plant(java moss), and it's NOT something i'm proud of. i never let any of them go more than a few days past water change day, though. i feel too bad if i do. D:

OFL, i'd love to learn how to do planted tanks, if you're willing to teach me? i adore the natural-looking plastic plants i have in Caroline's tank, and the Java moss is so pretty, and her and Chappy adore it so much(to the point where, Chappy will dive-bomb into her batch, then wiggle around till she's in it, like a kid in a pile of blankets and pillows!).
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:47 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
I understand more than you know....without going into too much detail......due to my illness that I was diagnosed with many years ago that now limits me physically along with chronic pain issues and the depression that goes along with it......

I had to give up the hobby for several years and once I retired due to the disability and had lots of time on my hand because I was now house bound and even bed bound at times....

I really wanted (needed) to get back in the hobby to keep myself busy.....but due to my physical limitation........making water changes would be a real challenge for me.....

Research begins.....I had to find a way to keep fish.....the answer......natural planted tanks.......once they mature...you don't have to make water changes but 3-4 times a year at best and this is with 1gal to 75gal tanks.......

I have since recovered some fine motor skills to a degree and started to breed fish again...had to find some way to get my hobby to pay for itself after all...lol.....

I do need to make more water changes on fry tanks...but not like I did before with these new nearly self care setup/systems.....

The soil is alive....plants function as the filters, shrimp and snails have a job and even in a closed system....these little ecosystem nearly take care of themselves......

I did have to make some modifications......but even with disabilities....you can find away to enjoy the hobby you love......
I love NPT's! I have one now, but I want to set up more. They are great! If you feel you have trouble doing all the water changes, turn in to an NPT.
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:59 PM   #7 
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I tried Anacharis, but it all died. I'm not sure I can handle a NPT just yet. It seems like more work than the water changes. I don't exactly have a green thumb. Also, I don't have money to put into more plants. I'll just do my best with the changes. I do a 50% on my 10 gallon twice a week, a 100% on my 3 gallon twice a week, and a 50% on my filtered 5 gallon once a week. I hope that's enough, because it has to be for me.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:36 PM   #8 
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I'm 49 and live with my mother who is not in good health so I understand about the anxiety and depression. I'm unable to drive because of my vision and I often feel isolated. Sometimes our pets are the only things that keep us going. It's important for you to take care of yourself, take your medication and follow doctor's orders. We're here for you if you ever need to vent or need someone to listen to you.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:41 PM   #9 
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Thanks, DQ. One of the main reasons I have fish is because I don't get out much, due to my anxiety, and I need something to keep me company. We can't have furry pets here, so I have fish. I love their personality. Thanks for the kind words, everyone.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:48 PM   #10 
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I hope everything is ok with you, Sweeda. I think we all can feel a bit overwhelmed at times with life in general and the rollercoaster ride it seems to be. Java fern is a very hardy plant to keep with bettas if that is any help at all. If you want, I'll send you some. I have lots.
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