I finally did it - I am now the hopeful owner of a male veiltail Betta fish, and I think he is gorgeous. As I've looked around the forum, the photos of fish made me aware that I really like the red and purple colors combined - the purples on these fish really are vibrant!!! As is almost any color, really, but never mind.
And so, in celebration, I will be starting up a fish journal to catalog my progress and maybe will help myself later in the future if something goes wrong.
FISH JOURNAL: October 31st, 2009 (Ironic, eh?)
First day of ownership. Bought the whole kit-and-kaboodle (cost fairly high, but the tank I got was well worth it), and bought the fish at the same time. Took almost an hour to decide. Saw Crowntails, HalfMoon tails, Delta tails, and Double tails, and they all had their own special characteristics, but I could not keep my eyes off of the one I bought.
Have given him a temporary name: Desmada, or Desodesmada, or Deso. At first I was in some way delusioned into thinking that 'desodesmada' was a species name of some animal, but I tried searching for it online and it's just a made-up word. It still has a decent ring to it, so it'll stay until I find something better. Before I even got the fish I had a name all set up, but 'Vatos' doesn't really fit him. 'Vatos' fits a more fiery red-colored fish.
If anyone has any suggestions for names please let me know!
Got home to get right on to tank construction and equalizing - have turned my paper recycle bin into an impromptu 'new water' bucket to hold conditioned water for changes and refills. Conditioning is near instant, so the process completed itself much faster than planned. After setting up the filter system and the thermometer, along with a heater, I have to wait until 24 hours have passed before I can officially transfer the fish. He is still in his cup that I brought him home with. It is not very dirty at all except for some faint debris flying up when Desmada goes semi-beserk, swimming very fast around the cup, seeming like he is trying to get out by trying to swim beyond the cup's walls. His activity is very good, though - he only pauses for a minute or so most of the time but otherwise is swimming about, this way and that, sometimes reacting to something outside of his domain that either interests him or irritates him.
The tank turned out very successfully, and I hope that when Desmada is put into the tank the water works well for him and that he has not stressed enough to become ill. I think I might suspect a little rot on his fins (faint dark edging to some portions and the tail does not open fully at the end), but I hope to have that fixed soon with guidance.
I'll show some photos to show you what I've done:
Tank: 3 gallon Eclipse Aquarium System with Light, Carbon and BIO filters, and Heater (actual need for it still debated - the temperature has not gone below 81 degrees F since I have turned on the tank lamp and have closed the hood)
Substrate: gravel with larger rocks
Decorations: print backdrop and 'driftwood' aquarium hide
Who couldn't love a face like that? And as well, do you think I should start salt baths for him before he gets placed in the aquarium?
I hope to get better photos of him when he is actually under the light of the aquarium. He really has some beautiful purple iridescence.
....I think I've found a better name, though suggestions are still welcome: I think Desmoda works better for him. Feels a little more mysterious.
Putting this tank together was an amazing amount of fun - I hope all of this works out!!!
I think I can also understand how people can get addicted to these - with so many beautiful varieties and personalities, you feel so torn when you have to choose between two different fish. I think I've made a good choice though. Hope you enjoy the photos!