I have been a betta "owner" for almost 10 years. I've always had a jar or bowl or small tank hanging around with a $2 blue vieltail sitting in unheated, untreated water on my kitchen table or in my office. I wouldn't win any "owner of the year" awards, but most of them have lived about 2 years, aside from 2 that died within 3 days. (I blaim wal-mart.)
My "last" betta died about 6 months ago, and I was done with them. I put my tank up and didn't really miss it.
About 2 months ago, my girlfriend and I went to PetSmart so she could coo at the guinnee pigs. While we were walking out, the bettas on the endcap caught my eye. Typical boring vieltails. Blue. Red. Dirty blue water. 2 or 3 dead.
I moved a dead female's jar from the first row and tucked it in the back so people didn't have to see her. Behind her spot was the smallest betta I had ever seen for sale. He was just over an inch long with fins, and was white with a rew red spots on his fins. He was not doing well. He just sat at the bottom of his jar and swam "away" trying to hide from any fast movement. I looked at him for about 10 minutes. I felt bad. I wanted to help him. I wanted to see what he would look like if he got bigger.
I was a betta owner again.
I took him to the counter and when his barcode was scanned, the lable read "HalfMoon - $8.99". I've never spent more then $2.99 on a fish. This little guy was already nickle and diming me.
I took "the most expensive betta in the world" home and starting digging around for my 1 gallon tank. I set it up, plug the bubbler and light in, toss in a Tank Buddy,
and let it sit for about an hour. I dump my rescue project in the tank, and then take my girl out for dinner.
The next morning i check on the little guy and, to my suprise, he is still alive. Not only that, he is swimming around, eagerly exploring his tiny home (that i'm sure felt huge to him). He looked at me, chased my finger, and looked like he was saying thank you.
He wouldn't eat pellets or flakes. I don't think he recognized them as food. I went to the store and picked up some bloodworms and 2 ghost shrimp to clean the food that had accumulated on the bottom. After about a week he was eating flakes and pellets with a bloodworm snack from time to time. The Ghost shrimp keep the place tidy. Everyone gets along.
2 months later, this still unnamed fish has won my heart. He looks so excited every morning when he sees me. Him and his shrimp friends gobble their food and then set out to play in the bubbles. He has retained much of his whiteness, but is taking on an almost translucent blue tint. The red spots on him are bolder. His fins are filling in.
I have been researching bettas and want to do everything I can to make him as pretty and happy as possible. I've never seen a betta like him. His coloring and personality make him the favorite fish i've ever owned.
I've started doing 50% water changes every few days. I am getting a 5 or 10 gallon tank this weekend with a heater and filter and even some live plants.
Most importantly, i've decided to breed him. I am several months from starting that, but I am researching and reading everything I can on proper betta care.
Here is a picture of this guy. I am calling him "M-1" for now. Any idea what his color or patern is called? Does he look alright?
(i've yet to get a picture of him flaring. The pictures where he looks blue were taken with a very bright flash)