The Keeping of the Koi (and some other bettas) - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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The Keeping of the Koi (and some other bettas)

I love reading journals so here I am to give back in turn. Not much experience with bettas so here is to hoping it will be a smooth ride

A few weeks ago I was checking out local fish for sale. A breeder of bettas living a little over an hour away was offering a few adults no longer fitting with her breeding projects. There was my first experience in seeing a betta I just could not pass up, a nicely evenly marbled nemo koi (or so she was labeled, thought that any koi with blue iridesence showing was a galaxy koi?). Had to skip out on my brother's birthday party for an hour to pick her up as the breeder had an appointment near his place, hehe.
Got to liking her a lot more than I thought, and two weeks later three additional beauties have taken up residence. I was actually planning to buy two more in a fish store about an hour away - they imported some kois which generally cannot be found in my local stores and I went over to get them. I spent a good two hours staring at their various tanks (to be fair, they had about a hundred on display) observing their behaviour and flaring. Then I came across a lonely lad, with the most spectacular colour scheme, in a tank sandwiched in between sororities and without a label. I asked the shop owner if he was a male plakat - he was. Then I got to talking with the guy and ended up buying him for the price of girl. As well as a koi male and another koi female.

So here we are:
Versailles, HMPK nemo (?) koi lady. "The one that started it all". She has a fearless but calm, and curious personality. If I ever got to starting a sorority, she would certainly be its queen. According to the breeder I bought her from, she is slightly over a year old and has had a batch of fry. Not sure if she is quite the halfmoon are just a super-super-delta though, my eye isn't experienced with these things. She is clearly rocking her new tank.
Osaka, HMPK koi male. Also counts as a galaxy I guess, with the iridescent scaling? I'm not actually sure if he is a halfmoon, because he doesn't flare much. I really love his colour scheme, I picked him out over the other koi males they had because of it, as well as his personality. Just like versailles, he is cool-but-collected. Very inquisitive, always swims over when someone walks by the tank, but on the other hand he rarely seems to flare. He moved about all day though, just kind of swimming hither and tither. He started his efforts in making a huge bubble nest today after I added another batch of plants to his tank yesterday.
Ulaanbatar, HMPK koi lady. She is my only koi without any blue. I bought her mostly because she seemed to have a mellow personality in the sorority tank she was in, without being a pushover. When she flared I could clearly see the perfect 180 degree of her caudal. She is the only one so far having some trouble adjusting to her new environment, mostly spending her time up, hiding in the plants so I do not have a clear picture of her, hence she is missing below. Maybe in the coming days.
Kyoto, DT(?)PK marbled(?) multicolour. Though I love the koi colour scheme by far the most out of all the named colours that I have seen, this guy just stunned me from first sight and still does so. Low-key stealing the show. He is more feisty than my other bettas, and loves exploring the substrate, pecking at this or that, inspecting his favourite plants. Currently busy building a massive bubble nest that already cover a good portion of his jungle. He is the king of the hill. Whenever I peer into his tank he rushes over and then swims back and forth near my face, flaring once at first, then just checking me out before going back to his business. Busybody. Would love it if someone could tell me where his colour scheme comes from.. is that just weirdly lucky marbling that has turned his tail into a perfect split of red and blue?
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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I actually didn't have the heart to post again soon because Versailles died the morning after I posted this from unknown causes. She did not appear ill in any way, I found her dead on the bottom of her tank not half an hour after I had done my morning round and she had greeted me and everything had seemed fine. I guess some things will forever remain a mystery. Then Ulaanbatar turned out to be ill. She had been in the tank that Versailles died in for a day, with divider, which led me to suspect that some kind of toxic substance entered the tank at some point. To be honest, I am still unsure what happened some three weeks later. Ulaan is doing better but still has not fully recovered, I guess it is possible permanent damage of some sort has been done. She currently has a heavily planted 18 gallon to herself when I panicked after that ill-fated day and stuck her in there thinking that if she still would not get better in there, there would have been nothing I could do anyhow. It had been slowly building a small population of seed shrimp which she hunts and gorges on. Very entertaining to watch.

In my terrible, terrible judgment I went to a LFS to get a replacement two days later, because I was kind of mad at what had happened and wanted to perk myself up with a new koi lady.. but I did not go to the LFS I bought Osaka, Kyoto and Ulaan from (which seemed to be somewhat specialised) because it is over an hour away and more expensive. I saw some koi girls for way cheaper at the LFS that is only 15 minutes away and they are generally trustworthy so I thought it would be fine. Their females are in two sorority tanks. I watched them for some twenty minutes to observe behaviour, health, etc. Naturally there were one or two with clamped fins that seemed to be picked on (but most looked fine), the employee in charge pointed out two females in a separate tank and told me he actually took the effort of trying to maintain a balanced sorority and take out the trouble makers. When I looked closer at some of the stressed-looking females though, I spotted one with stringy, white poop - parasites. I even asked the employee if they kept the two sorority tanks on separate filters as there were two girls I wanted, one in each tank. He said yes, but pointed out they still shared water because there was a tiny gap underneath the solid glass divider so bullied females could escape to the other tank. Well crud. And then, against all my better judgment, I still got the two females I wanted. Walking out the store I got tempted some more by the most gorgeous dragonscale male, that appeared to have koi marbling underneath the scales. =# So I ended up coming home with 3 instead of 1 betta. Plenty of empty, cycled tanks sitting around (I use small, dirted tanks to grow plants, food colonies and snails)... eh. Well as I should have expected, respectively one and two weeks later I ended up with dead betta ladies that wasted away over the course of a few days (identical symptom development) from some kind of infection that I could not manage to cure. Sigh. Next time I buy bettas it will be from the store were I got my three earlier ones, expensive or not.
The male is fine though, presumably because he was in a solitary tank on a row with only 2 others (they only keep about 4-8 males in at a time, each in what looks like a 2 or 3 gallon). Will post a picture later. I have also decided not to name new bettas until they pass the four weeks mark, so he still has a week to go.

In better news, Kyoto and Osaka have been great. Osaka especially is very kingly, strutting around his relatively small 2.5 gallon (the 18 gallon was actually meant for him). It is sitting on a coffee table next to my tower of houseplants because he seems like an unusually curious guy, swimming up to inspect everything unknown that passes by his tank. He does not actually flare at my anymore, having apparently decided that this source of food and fresh water shall be worshipped. He even swims into the cup I use for water changes in the small tank and I have to chase him off with my fingers, physically pushing him away. He behaves more like my dojo loaches than my other betta.
Kyoto is a little less outgoing but curious in his own right. He also swims over and inspects every drop of water added to his tank. I think he expects to find food as I regularly feed them homegrown, live food with a syringe. He has not built a bubble nest again since his initial one but seems to be well enough satisfied. Some java fern was added to his tank today as some pogostemon melted (poor lighting) and had to be removed. I am a bit worried that with his somewhat insecure nature he will not feel at home if his tank is too bare.

After having had the above fellow for a month, I can say for sure now that Ulaan and Osaka are halfmoons, Kyoto appears to be a delta. Though Versailles was sold to me as a halfmoon by a breeder, I don't think she actually was.
The new dragon guy is kind of puzzling, when the picture is up later and anyone who reads this has an idea, I'd love to hear it. He was labeled as a "Koi Galaxy Dragon" but that store has had weird labels for their bettas before. When I asked about the Galaxy part (he just looks like a koi covered with white dragonscale, and frankly I'm not even sure if the scales are thick enough for the dragon label because you can sort of milkily see through them here and there. Isn't marbling below the dragon layer and so the layer itself shouldn't be able to marble?), I was told that Galaxy actually referred to a set of colour genes that also influenced his finnage, because he is something like a delta (not spade in terms of shape) with the tail length halfway between plakat and normal. Could he be a shortfin? Pretty sure the galaxy part is nonsense, as far as I know galaxy refers to any dark-coloured betta with sporadic iridescent blue markings due to marbling (stripes, spots, small stains, etc.) and is just a poorly defined commercial label. Do correct me if I'm wrong though.
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Last edited by Vermart; 07-15-2019 at 10:50 PM.
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