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BettaLover1313's Betta Journal

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I figured I need a place to gush about my betta, Merlin, and my experiences with him and his antics!

Just a brief background on me & fish in general:
-I've volunteered at my local fish hatchery for about as long as I remember, however it wasn't until six years ago that I started to become active in the fish raising part. My role at the hatchery as a volunteer has mainly been leading tours during April when the hatchery has their open house and telling people about the process of getting the Walleye (fish that the hatchery stocks in the lake) and then getting the eggs & fry, speaking of what fish we used to raise in the past (Northern Musky and Northern Pike), and letting them see the fish that were brought in along with the Walleye for that day be it Catfish, Crappie, Pike, Bluegills, Sunfish, Bass, etc. My other job has also been measuring fish at the annual Father's Day Fishing Derby (all fish released after they've been measured)/reminding kids to be safe on the docks by watching where they fling their poles (had a couple close calls!) and that they need to wear their life vests.
-I owned one betta before Merlin, named Beta (I know I was so original :checkedout:) he was a blue and black crown tail betta that I bought from Wal-Mart and owned for about a month before he died when I went home for the weekend (my roommate was taking care of him while I was away). I felt terrible that he'd only survived that little amount of time and I really wasn't sure if I should get another betta, so I waited.
-This brings us up to Merlin, who was another Wal-Mart purchased betta. I bought him on a whim, since I was going insane since I'd lost my dog, Herbie, right before I returned to college, and knowing he wasn't home waiting for me was driving me insane, so after about a year or so without a betta, I bought Merlin since he was the most active of all the Wal-Mart betta's, and I liked his spunk. He got his name because of the way he always seems to be glaring (literally the first thing he did when I put him in his first tank-a 1 gallon critter carrier). He's had three tanks, including his 1 gallon critter carrier, a 3-gallon half-moon shaped tank (pain in the butt to clean!), and his most recent tank that he and I both love, a Marineland 3-gallon square tank (slight curve to it). Anyway, back to the name, he reminded me of how Merlin (character from the BBC series, Merlin) always glares at Arthur, so that name stuck! I really wanted to keep him around for quite awhile, so I ended up finding & joining this site realizing that I'd really not been prepared for my first betta, but I was determined to do right by Merlin.
-Merlin has already outlived my previous betta (I've had Merlin for about two months now, going on three), and I've enjoyed every second I've had him. He's had his ups and downs, but now he's settled in and is enjoying life as it comes to him!

My Household:
When I'm not at college, my house has a total of 3 pets:
-1 brown tiger stripe & white male cat-Renji (yes, named after the Bleach character)
-1 Betta fish-Merlin
-1 dog, Pit Bull mix, white with brindle markings-Lucky (we recently adopted him from the pound and he's about a year old)
Though the cat has looked at Merlin's tank, so far, he hasn't gone fishing for him (yay!).

Pictures of my Bettas:
Beta (R.I.P.) Sadly, I never got any non-blurry shots of him.

Merlin-Spade Tail? He's really hard to tell, since he now looks closer to a round tail, so very confused on what tail-type he is!
-When I first got him

-Recent picture of him:

-Picture of his tank & a better shot of his tail:

I can't say for sure how often I'll post, but I will definitely post in here again!
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I always love watching Merlin swim around in his tank. It's very relaxing, not to mention fun since he usually does this little "dance" when he sees me (even when he knows I'm not feeding him). It's a nice feeling to see him so happy to see me.

Got a really good picture of Merlin today (usually he doesn't hold still long enough for me to take one!)
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It's always nice to get compliments about your betta, be it from the photos you post or from your friends and family.

My grandmother complimented Merlin today on his looks and it just made me very happy. (Her entire visit made me happy today since she loved Lucky, the year old puppy that my mom and I adopted) and just saying how handsome Merlin was made my day!
Merlin sounds like a very special little guy who is lucky to have such a loving owner.
Merlin sounds like a very special little guy who is lucky to have such a loving owner.
I'm very lucky to have Merlin. He helped me through a rough time after I lost my dog (before my mom and I got Lucky). So he'll always have a special place in my heart for helping me get through that period of mourning.
I have a job that sometimes requires me to work until midnight (meaning I don't get to bed until one or two in the morning). So to say the least I wasn't very happy to be awakened at 8 a.m. having gone to bed at 2 a.m. by my dog. I sit up and bed to see my cat on top of my dresser staring down into Merlin's tank XD. To say the least, the cat got off the dresser pretty quick when I told him to. Merlin's okay, the cat didn't get into his tank or attempt to get him luckily. Still not happy about being awakened so early, but kind of glad as well since that situation could have turned bad really quick!
Now that I'm a bit more awake today, I realized that I forgot to do one of Merlin's 50% water changes this past Wednesday T-T. So today he got fed a bit early after I tested his water and I found that everything is still fine with his water, it's just looking a bit cloudy. In about an hour I'll change 1/2 his water.

Recently, I've been wondering if I have Merlin's tail type right. I've been saying he's a spade tail, but after looking through the tail types again, I'm starting to wonder if he's a veil tail. Anyone care to help me out a bit on this?

Pictures as he was eating (I know, they're blurry, so sorry. Merlin rarely stays still):

All pictures of Merlin can be found here.

I'd really appreciate any help on getting his tail type identified. I'm really starting to wonder if he just had some sort of problems with his fins before I got him, making him look like a spade tail and he's only now grown it out more or if I'm right in my original classification of his tail type.
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I learned last night in a different thread that Merlin is indeed a veil tail betta. Huge thank you to those that answered in that thread and helped me identify Merlin's tail type! :yourock:
Been popping into my room to see Merlin a lot today, and I can tell he's enjoying the attention; I know he likes how little activity there is in my room, but I think he misses my college dorm where he could keep me in his sights as long as I was in the room somewhere (he hated all the activity near his tank though).

I've noticed that he hasn't used his leaf hammock that I bought him, so next time I do a 50% water change (this Wednesday) I'll take it out and put his floating log back in. He seemed to love it, definitely liked it better than the hammock.
Going to Pet Smart today to pick up some things for the dog. I'm hoping I don't see any half-moons there (since I can't resist looking at the fish) that I like, otherwise I might end up picking one up.

On a more frustrating note-I noticed a tear in Merlin's tail and I have no clue how he managed to do it! All the things in his tank (minus his leaf hammock) have been in there before and he's never caught his tail or fins on them! Gah! That Leaf Hammock is definitely going when I change his water today (moving it up due to the tail issue now). -.-
You know that little voice? The one that tells you the smart thing to do... I don't have one XD.

Went to Pet Smart today as I stated earlier and bought a dragon scale (or at least that's what Pet Smart classified him as) that I've named Dragoon (yep, Merlin & Dragoon-anyone know the reference on that one?).

My friend, who is AlphaOmegaWolf666 on here also bought a beautiful half moon betta (again, what Pet Smart says he is!). I will admit that if she hadn't taken him, I probably would have since I was originally looking for a white, marble, or black half moon or dragon scale. She got my old 3 gallon half moon shaped tank (I had difficulties cleaning it at college which is why I bought Merlin's square 3-gallon). Hopefully she'll pop in and share his picture(s) with everyone! She's named him Sushi and I think it fits him!

Dragoon is in the one-gallon tank that Merlin used to have. I'm currently saving up to get a 5 gallon for them both and a divider. They've flared at each other a little bit, and Merlin is patrolling his tank a bit more, but otherwise, Dragoon ignores Merlin and Merlin doesn't try and agitate Dragoon. I'm hoping they'll both be settled in by the time I get the 5 gallon tank with a divider. Main reason I need a 5 gallon for college since it only allows a 10 gallon tank maximum and only one tank per person, so I need a divider for my two boys.

Merlin has started his Melafix treatment for his torn tail (seriously hoping he's not biting his tail -.-'). Hoping the big plants he has aren't causing it either, since I noticed he's been going in them a lot, even before Dragoon arrived.

I was a bit disappointed in my Pet Smart today though, since many of the bettas water was dirty and several of them were injured/ill. (There was one blackish/gray boy that I liked but he had a nasty injury that I didn't have the knowledge/ability to fix :(...). Usually the water was clean when I've looked at the bettas other times I've gone in, but today the water just looked horrendous. Hoping they get their act back together and keep their water clean.

All in all, going to be keeping an eye on my new boy while also monitoring Merlin (I don't want him to be too stressed). So I'll probably be posting updates on these two guys more often.

Pictures of Dragoon:

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You know that little voice? The one that tells you the smart thing to do... I don't have one XD.
No we have one it was just squealing like a little girl at the sight of them. :cheers:
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May want to re-read the one above since I added some info ;-). Very true, that is exactly what it was saying lol.
Lol and don't forget one of them was dead poor fish, anyway here is Sushi (lol my last fish was a black, blue, and red Betta named Anchovie lol yes it is a food theme with them for some reason lol) Sushi is a Red, White, And Blue.


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Lol and don't forget one of them was dead poor fish,
No, remember that one came back to life when you moved his container, but I was still sad to see him on his side at the top :(
Well, woke up this morning and first thing Merlin did was flare at me (but that's his usual good morning lol).

Dragoon has settled in well, enjoying his tank and the leaf hammock (he's used it several times already). He basically ignores Merlin and is a pretty laid back betta.

Merlin on the other fin (sorry, couldn't resist :-D), is flaring a lot at Dragoon, however, he's still making his bubble nest, so I have hope yet. I did see another tear in Merlin's tail, and this time the big plant in his tank will be removed (since it's the same type of material as the leaf hammock). If he still manages to tear his tail, I'm going to be really wondering if he's started tail biting (and this started even before Dragoon arrived).

All in all, I know I just have to keep an eye on the pair (any other tips you guys can give would be great!). I do want to eventually put Dragoon and Merlin in a 5 gallon tank with a divider so I can take them both with me to college once summer break ends.

Again, any help at all with getting the pair used to each other and people's own experiences in getting males into a divided tank would be greatly appreciated!
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Just got finished changing water in Dragoon and Merlin's tanks. Merlin got more of his Melafix for his torn tail & I removed the other plant from his tank. I'm hoping that will solve his tail problems.

Caught Dragoon rubbing against his gemstones, and I'm hoping he doesn't have Ick (no spots or anything, just the one rub...).

He and Merlin still seem to be having their issues, but that's expected, really. I don't expect them to miraculously be tolerant of the other right away. Dragoon still seems to be the calmer one though. (Granted, he doesn't like the camera or water changes. Merlin tolerates both).

More pictures of Dragoon!


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I hate storms, especially since my mom REALLY freaks out. Luckily, we've been okay so far. Just hard trying to deal with her panic while trying to deal with mine as well (imagine trying to shove something really big into a too small box-yeah, that'd be me dealing with my fear-holding down the top and praying it doesn't pop open!)

Anyway, Dragoon & Merlin are fine, my mom actually said she woke up Dragoon since he scared her by sleeping next to his plant and she thought he'd gotten stuck. To say the least, he wasn't stuck XD. Merlin flared at me when I got home, so I know he's fine and dandy (what? He was named for his glare XD).

Big shout out to lilnaugrim for answering my post asking about Dragoon's tail type and color! (He's a dark copper dragon scale plakat!) :yourock:

I'm very happy I joined this site! It's been very helpful in learning about bettas and how to care for them, and I'm quite happy that I got the betta bug and decided to do more research on them (instead of repeating the mistakes I made with Beta). The people here are very kind and willing to help, and I've just had amazing experiences on here! So to all that read this, you're all awesome! :cheers:
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Just got finished doing yet another 50% water change for Merlin's tank water and added more Melafix for his tail (day 3 of Melafix treatment, bottle says do it for 7 days). His first tear looks like it's healing nicely, so I'm hoping his other tear will be following suit. No new tears since I removed his large plant. Next time I'm at Pet Smart I'll try to find some silk plants for my boy and his delicate fins. Otherwise the water changing went well, though Merlin kept trying to get into the cup I was using to take out his water. Right now he's just dealing with his filter being on for a couple hours (I do this daily just to keep tank cleaning/100% water changes to a minimum).

Dragoon spooked a bit at the bubbles I made when I was changing Merlins' water, so I know tomorrow when I change 1/2 of his water when I do Merlin's will be very interesting (Dragoon tried to jump out o_O). So hopefully he'll be calmer tomorrow. (I try to do his tank first and then do Merlin's. No water change for him today, since his water looks clean and he's swimming around happily (and of course lounging in the leaf hammock). Merlin is still flaring at him, but I've noticed that he tends to like being near the top of his tank and glaring down at Dragoon who is oblivious to this XD.

Lucky (my Pit Bull mix) and Renji (my cat) have been trying to see who can get on the other's nerves first (Lucky is winning). It doesn't help that Renji has been in a playful/mischievous mood so I have to make sure he doesn't give the silly dog a swat on the nose that he won't forget! So far, I've managed to keep things from escalating that far, I just hope I can keep it up!

It's nice not to have work today so I can spend time with all my animals, and of course just relax for a bit. It's back to the grindstone tomorrow.
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