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A Girl and her Fish - A Journal

27356 Views 422 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  BettaLover1313
I figured since I'm on here enough anyway that I should just go ahead and make a journal about my boys :) I'll start from the date I got them rather than their age/size :)

Alaric - I got him as a baby from Petco on June 20. Only reason I went into Petco is because I'd never been in one before! Well, you all know what happens when you 'just go in to look.' Bout a half hour later I walked out with a baby betta, a 1 gallon tank, some rocks, food, and a small plant. Got home and got him settled in on my bathroom sink because it was the warmest place in my room. Since he was so small, I only had his tank filled up about halfway. After a day or so I noticed he wasn't swimming around much and just didn't seem happy. Thankfully Google brought me here and I discovered what I was doing wrong! Ran back to Petco and got a heater for the little guy and he perked right up. And that's about when I got bit with the betta bug :) And then I discovered that bettas can be picky! I went through three different foods with the silly fish before I found one that he could eat easily. And things have gone awesome since then. He's such a sturdy lil fish - he's gone through a lot of mistakes with me and has done so well with everything! From not having a heater for a few days (in a house kept at 66 degrees mind you), to me bumping him on the head with a net and scraping off a few scales during a water change, to accidentally snagging his anal fin on something and ripping it all the way up, unstable temperatures for a while due to an overactive 7.5 watt mini heater, and probably more things than I can name lol Today he's grown quite a bit and is a lovely blue/turquoise color with a black head, and red tints in his fins. He's my first betta success and while I love all my boys, he's got a super special place in my heart :)

Day 1-

August 6-

Gaston -I was absolutely not expecting to get Gaston at all. I was on 'vacation' (meaning my boss was on vacation and his son was going out of state with his mom, so I should clear out too) so I went back to my parents for about 10 days. On August 2nd, Mom needed to get something from Walmart, so I offered to go with. Was walking aimlessly around and walked by the fish to see if they had any different decorations than Petco did, because I was planning on upgrading Alaric's 1 gallon for a 5 gallon my mom had had sitting in the basement for a while. I walked by the pitiful selection of bettas in dirty water, when a relatively healthy and vibrant looking orange pineapple veil tail caught my eye. And that was it. I was done for lol Snatched him up and a 3/4 gallon critter keeper as a temporary home. Upon closer examination I saw he had some fin rot on his tail :( So I stopped at the better stocked tiny family owned pet store on my way home to grab some stress coat for him, hoping that clean warm water would do the trick. Well that week was when summer decided to not be summer anymore and it got unseasonably cold! I couldn't keep the temp up in his critter keeper - but luckily I had a 50W heater that I bought for Alaric's new tank with me, and a large plant, so I set up the 5 gallon for him. He was fine in there for about a day, loved his new plant and probably the warm water too. And then... he just kind of... broke. I don't know. He stopped swimming around and was resting on the suction cup that holds the heater to the wall, floating lifelessly at the top, or laying on the rocks on the bottom. He wouldn't even move when I tapped my finger on the glass in front of him. I really thought he was going to die :( No one could offer me an explanation for his behavior except for that he was probably stressed. For nearly 48 hours I was stressing out over this silly fish... And then it was like someone hit an 'on' switch and he was back to, what I knew as, normal. Swimming around happily and eating with gusto :) And now he's probably my most feisty and lively betta. He will jump for his food if I don't drop it in there quick enough, he loves to flare at things and is an avid and active swimmer :) We're still working on the fin rot though, it got a bit worse and when I saw it was showing up on his anal fin, I decided to take action with some aquarium salt. I'm really hoping this will clear it up for him so he can get back to his 5 gallon mansion and continue loving life there :)

Aug 2-

Today in the 1 gal, on day 5 of probably 10 of AQ salt-

Unnamed Baby - this little guy was also a spur of the moment purchase lol My boss's 10 year old daughter, G, was visiting for the weekend last weekend and was absolutely enthralled with Alaric and Gaston. She loves pets, and asked if we could go to Petco to walk around. Sure, whats the harm in walking around Petco? On August 16, we get there and of course she makes a beeline for the fish, specifically the bettas. "Are these like the ones you have at home?" she asked, so I explained yes, and helped her distinguish between some tail types and color patterns. They had just gotten a new shipment in so they were all looking good and healthy and in clean water. And since this is a college town and college is starting up again they had gotten in a TON of bettas. On one side of the display they had literally stacks of baby bettas, one on top of the other. In the farthest back stack in the 2nd cup from the bottom was this teeny tiny little double tailed baby, maybe 5/8 of an inch long, including his tails. Oh snap. He was just crying out to me "Take me home!" and so was G beside me "Oh you have to take him home he's so cute! He needs a good home!" So $90 later (tank, rocks, decor, heater, etc - they're expensive little buggers if you don't already have the stuff for them lol) I walked out with a 2 dollar fish and all the necessary accouterments. She was very helpful in setting up the tank, I tried to explain to her why we condition the water before we put it in and why the water has to be warm, and just some general info. She seemed pretty captivated :) And that's how I got Midget. That's not his name. I'm fairly certain it's a male as I've checked a few times for ovaries and I can't see anything behind his stomach. But until I think of a proper name for him, Midget he is :) He doesn't really have any color yet, but he has a blue iridescence about him if the light is just right :)

Aug 16-

Today in his new tank, he's hovering in back over his plant-

Pascal - Now Pascal wasn't a planned purchase either haha Yesterday, August 20, the light bulb in my 1 gal hospital tank burned out so I was going to pick up a replacement. Well apparently between Friday and yesterday they got yet another shipment of bettas in. Walking by them there was this GORGEOUS green dragon scale betta who I fell in love with. I calculated my resources and counted in the two $5-off coupons I had for Petco and decided I could buy a small tank for him, a plant, a cave, and a heater and still be fine financially. So I grabbed everything I needed, scooped up the dragon scale and was walking to the register, when I suddenly turned back around and grabbed his neighbor. A beautiful and truly 'rainbow' fish. The guy has light blue, dark blue/purple, green, turquoise, red, orange, pink, and white on him.


Today in his new digs-

The pictures I have of him just do not do him justice! He didn't seem very happy in his 2 gallon tank, and actually somehow managed to get part of his tail fin stuck between two rocks and ripped out a good chunk (poor guy!) and I realized that he was just too cramped in there. So today I played 'musical aquariums' lol I moved the baby out of his 2 gallon round tank with craptastic lighting, back into his cup and into Gaston's empty but heated 5 gallon to float for a bit. Then I packed that tank up and returned it to Petco and exchanged it for a 5 gallon and a bag of rocks. Brought it home and was getting it set up, when I saw that the bottom had a crack in it! Ugh! So I lugged it back to Petco, exchanged it for another one (which the manager opened up for me to make sure it wasn't cracked) and came home and got it set up. Since Gaston isn't in his regular tank at the moment, I took the heater out of there and put it in Pascal's. And he's happily swimming about in his new digs :) I'm hoping that with a little TLC and clean water that the missing chunk of his tail fin will grow back perfectly :)

Pascal hasn't been wanting to eat anything, which I know is normal for a new fish. I thought I'd see if I could entice him with a couple of frozen bloodworms - and huzzah! He ate 3! I didn't want to push him, so I'll try a pellet or two again tomorrow and if he still refuses that I'll bring out the bloodworms again :) Midget is also swimming animatedly around his new tank :) Alaric is excited because he got half a bloodworm that Pascal didn't want, and Gaston is well... just Gaston. He actually jumped out of the water last night and bit my finger when I didn't drop his pellet quick enough! Cantankerous lil guy <3

That's about all for today I think - if anyone reads this, feel free to suggest a name for Midget. I'd like to stick with the theme of 6 letters - that's my only requirement :) Ones I've thought about were Mickey, Seamus, Barney, and Tarzan. What do you think?
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What lovely bettas you have! :D I just had to comment though on how gorgeous Pascal's coloring is!
Oh thank you :) I've never seen one quite like him, either in person or in pictures online. He's truly one of a kind :)
You have very beautiful fish!
Thank you BettaLover :)

A quick update on Pascal - he's doing wonderfully in his 5 gallon tank. He's actively swimming and exploring everything, and he's the only one of my 4 who likes his cave :) I tried an Omega One pellet around lunch time and he slowly swam up to it, seemed to sniff it, and then chomped it right up! YAY! So I offered him another one and he ate it too - topped him off with three though, just because I don't know if he's prone to swim bladder issues or anything, and I don't want to go too fast with him eating. Looks like he's settling in quite nicely now that he has more room to swim :)
Happy Friday to you all!

Pascal's tail is almost nearly all the way healed up, I'm so impressed! He's now eating pellets like a champ and tonight is bloodworm night, so I'm sure he'll love that.

Gaston will do one more night in salt water and then, assuming the heater is here by tomorrow, will go back into his 5 gallon for a few days of just regular water. If it still doesn't clear up by Wednesday or so I'm going to give him a few days in some Jungle Fungus Cure and hope that kicks it. And then we get to go back to trying to get his tank cycled!

Alaric and the baby are just being their normal happy and swimmy selves - not much to update on them :) I'll get some more pictures soon!
I had a breakthrough moment last night! I finally came up with a name for the baby :) His name is Fiyero :D It's said like fee-arrow, and it's a name from the book/musical Wicked. I am so excited he now has a name!

So in the TFC (Tiffany's Fish Clan) - Friday nights are blood worm nights! The three bigger boys LOVE them and would eat the entire cube if I'd let them (I limit them to 3 a piece for Pascal and Gaston, 1 for Alaric) but I wasn't sure that Fiyero was big enough to eat one since the worm, laid out flat, is longer than he is! So I sliced one up into 3 pieces and gave him 1/3 of it with the tweezers. He wasn't sure what to think, but once he got a whiff of it he gobbled it right up! So I decided I'd give him another 1/3... I dangled it in there, but before I could see that I had actually given him the last 2/3 of it he had it in his mouth and was swimming around excited about his prize haha And that little guy, maybe 3/4 of an inch long, ate that entire blood worm! I think he was really proud of himself haha

Gaston finished his salt water treatment, he's going on day 9. So I changed out some of the water in his 5 gallon tank and put in the 25W heater that I got in the mail today. I hope it starts heating up soon, I had it set on 83 and it was only 76 in the tank, so i bumped it up to 87 and I'm hoping it will get warm for him soon so he can get out of the hospital tank tonight :) If it doesn't start heating up soon though I'm going to have to go grab a 50W heater from petco tomorrow, which will be dangerous for 2 reasons... 1. I really can't afford a $30 heater right now and 2. If that red/white butterfly betta is still there I don't think I'll be able to not bring him home lol I can keep him in the 1 gal hospital tank or I could keep him in the 3/4+ gal critter keeper I have too until payday... but even then I really just don't have a place for another tank lol But I still don't think I could leave him there haha

Pascal's tail is almost all the way healed back up maybe another 3-4 mm before it's fully healed. I'm so happy that he's happy and healthy in his new tank :) This whole 'betta' thing is quickly becoming a hobby that I quite enjoy - I love helping out the newbies on here because not too long ago I was a newbie too. I'm no where near experienced as some, but I think I've got a pretty good general idea of what to do so it makes me feel good to help teach others what to do and what not to do in the care of bettas :)

Thanks for checking in today :)
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I just realized that both pictures of Fiyero and the 2nd picture of Pascal aren't showing up - i moved them around in my photobucket album so I'll post the links again :)

Fiyero 1-

Fiyero 2 -

Pascal -
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Wow! This is an awesome idea! I might have to do this journal thing! Genius!

Also, Pascal is freaking stunning.
Thank you! I don't know that many people will follow my journal, but it's just as much an account for me as it is for others :)
Well, good and bad news haha I went to Petco to grab a heater for Gaston's tank, the 25W one just isn't cutting it. It's set on 89 (the highest it'll go) and the temp is only about 76, I'd ideally like it 79 or 80. So I grabbed a 50W at Petco, and of course had to walk by the betta display on myway. Shucks ;) And both fortunately and unfortunately the red/white butterfly wasn't there. I was kind of hoping he would be but at the same time hoping he wasn't lol so I'm both relieved and disappointed. I'm hoping to get Gaston back in his 5 gallon today since I wasn't able to yesterday with the lower water temp; I'm giving the heater an hour or two to heat the tank up to 80, longer if needed. Then I think I'm going to put the 25W in the 2 gallon with Fiyero and see if it will hold the temperature a bit more steady than the 10W that's in there now. It's usually 84-86 in there, which isn't too bad for a baby, but I'd like it to sit at a steady 82. And that's the exciting happenings in my life today - getting some temperatures stabilized haha What a thrilling life I lead!
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lol I know how that goes.
Such is the life of a fishie mommy, huh?
But happily and gladly so :) I love my boys! They might be fish, but they're so much fun to have around!
Well - one step forward, two steps back, right?

I got the heater for Gaston's tank replaced and it's a nice toasty 79/80 in there, so after checking the water and doing a partial change just to be safe, after reacclimating him, I put him back in about 3 and a half hours ago. And he's pulling the same thing he did after I first got him... He swam around and seemed pretty happy re-discovering his home. I went downstairs to cook supper around 6 and got back upstairs around 745ish. About 8 I noticed he wasn't swimming around, so I figured he was probably resting - all fish do that. But he's laying at the bottom, kind of clamped, and just not looking his normal self. I'm pretty sure it's not the fin rot as it's cleared up quite a bit and it wasn't bothering him at all in the 'hospital' tank. I just don't think he likes moving places much - it stresses him out too much. So I'm going to keep it dim in his tank and hope he perks up soon like he has before - I don't like seeing him like this :(

The other boys are doing great though. Fiyero is growing so much! His fins are getting longer and he's getting some good color to him. I think he'll probably end up being blue but we'll see with time. Pascal is doing awesome. He's a very laid-back fish - he doesn't swim around as much as the others do, but I don't think it's due to any underlying health problem, he's just simply laid back. He comes to the front of the tank when I walk by and makes the rounds in his tank every so often - he'll swim around the boarder up top, then down around the bottom too, making sure he swims through his cave at least once, before going back to his favorite leaf to rest his fins on. Alaric is... just simply Alaric :) His color is SO pretty right now and I hope it stays that way - very metallic and awesome. I'm still unsure of what tail type he'll be, but it really doesn't matter much to me in the end.

I'm going to go check on Gaston and check the water prams again just to be on the safe side. I'll update more later!
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I woke up this morning and as soon as I was conscious enough to remember about Gaston I rushed over to check on him - he saw me poke my head around the cover (the tank gets really warm if it's covered all the way, so I only covered half of it) and swam right up to me like he normally does. He was searching around for breakfast so I fed him and he chowed down on it (probably because he didn't eat last night) and swam around a bit more before going back to the bottom of the tank for a nap. He's still a bit clamped, which should loosen up through the day as I plan on keeping his tank pretty dim and the area around him relatively quiet.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to get rid of the tank that he was in. Both times I put him in there he 'broke' and for apparently no reason. Come Friday (payday) I'm going to get a new aquarium and get that set up for him. I'm debating if I should try and cycle it before I put him in there this time, but I hate keeping him in this little 1 gallon for so long. I guess we'll figure that out in time :)
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Not too much change in the poor guy... He'll swim up to the top to get air every so often, and then make a lap around the tank before settling down on the bottom again. He isn't struggling to swim, he's not breathing heavy, there's absolutely nothing different about his appearance he's just... 'broke'. I'm keeping my room dim and keeping noise and activity to a minimum... trying to distract myself lol I'm worried about the poor little guy even though I know he'll pop out of it in a day or so.

Here's a picture of him from just now...
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Awww I'm so sorry. I hope he pulls out of it soon!
Thanks Rosencrantz, I do too :)
Huzzah! Gaston seems to be much more like himself this morning :) I woke up and snuck over to the side of the tank that wasn't covered up and he was already awake swimming around happily and looking for breakfast (which he ate with gusto). Ever since he's just been swimming around and acting pretty much back to normal. His fins are still a tiny bit clamped but nothing compared to the past couple of days. He'll be back to 100% by bedtime tonight I'm sure :)

Look at the difference between yesterday's pic and today's:
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Glad to hear he's doing better!
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