How I ended Up with 2 Betta Fishes, then 1, then 4, and then 1 again, and then 7!
Whoowhee, this is gonna be a long long long story now. So buckle up!
It all started about 4-ish months ago, when my sisters, out of nowhere, decided to ask for bettas. Me, being the completely ignorant person I was, said, "Who cares?" and didn't pay much attention. My mom got two bettas, both halfmoons, one male, and one female. They were both blue, and they were honestly super beautiful. We had them in two 1 gallon tanks, which at the time I didn't know weren't enough space for the fishies. I didn't care much, as I hadn't bought them, so I was super "meh" about the bettas.
Except I knew my sisters couldn't keep up on maintenance. They're 7 for Pete's sake, so maintenance, was, well let's just say messy. My mom assigned me to maintain them, and I did. I did water changes every half week as the PetSmart dude told us to (I'd later learn this wasn't enough, but the story gets a bit gruesome from here, let's just say it didn't matter)
So now here I am, dealing with 2 bettas with no info. So I start reading up, and I learned that what I was doing wasn't enough, and I told my mom. She didn't care much, as she got the 1 gallon tanks on sale, and wasn't willing to budge for 2 5-gallon tanks. I slowly start to realize that, "Yeah, this is stupid, we should probably do something about it." So I kept asking my mom, but she didn't budge.
Here enters my dad. He was on a business trip for a month, and he comes back. We hadn't told him that we had gotten fish, he was just too busy and all. He mentioned in passing conversation, "Ya know, I do have a big fish tank stored at the old house that I never used, I guess you could take it. I was too lazy to put fish in it" My eyes lit up.
My mom looked confused, but she told us that he had gotten the tank before they had gotten married, and it was in the attic of our old house.
At this point, I just wanted the fishes out of their cramped 1 gallon, and I just made a run for it to our old house, without telling my mom that we might get a larger tank. I unlock the door, and run into the attic. Lo and behold, there lied a 10 GALLON TANK, completely sealed with original tape anything. *BINGO*!!!
I bring it into the house, and my mom gives me the stare. She was mad, as she didn't want the tank taking up counter space in the kitchen. But my dad convinced her to keep the tank. Needless to say, my mom is still slightly annoyed by the tank in the house. But mission accomplished, bigger tank acquired!!
At this point, I had done a significant portion of reading about bettas, and realized that it could be possible to divide the tank into two portions and treat each as two tanks. "That could work!" I thought. Sadly, I never needed to.
I was out of the house when the tanks needed another water change, and my sisters decided to try to give the water change another try without telling me or without the supervision of my parents. They ended up sending the fish into shock by dumping cold, unclorinated water into the tank, and it killed the male betta. :( Rest in peace, little bro.
So now, I have one betta, and no need to divide the tank. But now I had a problem. I didn't have any 10 gallon equipment lying round.
Except for the stuff that it came with
For some reason, my mom was ok with dividing the tank and buying 2 of everything, but my mom didn't want to buy a new filter and heater because the tank came with the filter and heater.
So I was stuck with it.
I thought, "Well it's never been used, why not give it a shot?" At this point, I take a look at the date on the back of the tank box to see its manufacture date, cuz I had no idea when this tank was made, or if it could even work. This was at LEAST 16 years old based on inferences.
And I thought to myself, "Holy sh*t, this will be a MIRACLE if this works out"
So I fill up the tank with water. I plug in the filter, and it makes a bunch of crackling noises. I consulted the manual, and I needed to prime this particular filter. So I primed it, and plugged it in. After 30 seconds, it worked!!
1 FOR 1.
Now, time for the heater. Honestly, I didn't have high hopes for it, but as soon as I plugged it in, the temp on my ghetto-thermometer went up.
2 FOR 2. LETS GOO!
So now, I just needed to make sure that this tank was cycled properly (or if it could cycle it at all) so I borrow some bacterial supplement from my friend, and we place it in the tank. Surprisingly, it cycled in 3 days.
3 FOR 3. BINGO!!
So we go to PetSmart to buy more fish. I ask the guy for 6 tetras, but upon looking at the bettas, my sisters said, "I WANT THAT ONE!" I quickly interjected, saying that we're only buying tetras, that's it, it's the only way they were compatible. This is where the PetSmart employee interjected, saying that it was possible to keep them in a "sorority" I'd never heard the term before, but when I searched it up, I thought, "I ain't prepared for this" He explained how it was possible to do in a 10 gal, and although that's true, it's extremely hard. I asked my sisters to buy some tetras instead, but they ended up crying. At this point, my mom got angry, and got 3 bettas to get 4 into the newly setup 10 gallon tank.
So now I'm stuck with 4 bettas all together in one tank.
So I got reading, and reading...
And introduced them into the tank. They seemed pretty fine at first. They were super chill, avoided each other, and established their own territories. This continued for two weeks. They'd greet me at the glass for feeding, and they wouldn't show any aggression. But I noticed that they slowly started to get more and more aggressive towards each other. They started fin nipping each other, and last night, it got so bad that Aurora Borealis (one of fishies that was nipped badly in my first post) now had 6 NEW FIN NIPS! I knew they were too aggressive for the sorority life.
So we ended up deciding to return them. We checked PetSmart's return policy, but it was only 2 weeks, and we were well passed that threshold. Luckily, the manager said it was ok, and that she understood the situation, and that she'd be willing to take em in and resell them. She's actually one of the nicer PetSmart workers, and knows a helluva lot bout fish. So I decided it was better, and returned all of them except for the one that was well past 2 months old.
So we're left with 1. My sisters still wanted MORE THAN ONE FISH THO! So at this point, I'm like, "We are getting neon tetras, take it or leave it"
They finally budged, and we got 6 neon tetras. We decided to put them into the tank immediately, as I had asked the employee bout the import dates, and they said they were well past the point where disease could occur. That's great!
We placed them into the tank after acclimating them for 20 minutes, and they seem to be still staying at the bottom. They seem super scared right now, but I hope they'll start schooling round way more. They'll swim from place to place, but instead just stay at the bottom of the tank. The sole betta left seems to play nicely and keep her distance, but as with the last tank, we'll have to wait and see.
Which leads me to right now, the night of Aug 15. Let's hope this works out. Thanks for reading this annoyingly long post, explaining my whole fish experience, from 2 fish to 1 fish than to 4, then to 1, and then back to 7!!!! I'll post pics once the tetras actually ya know, come to the surface XD