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Discussion Starter #1
I decided to start a journal finally to track my journey into what will likely be a downward spiral into MTS. And to dump pictures of my babies. :lol:

Warning: Ranting and rambling WILL occur. I apologize in advance.


Hello! I am Tress. I've adored bettas for a long time and had my first one nearly a decade ago, and this year I had started making plans to get back into bettas. It was a rough start to the year, my 8 and 14 year old dogs passed away in the first 3 months and the winter was endless. We scraped by on meager pay and what little firewood that was generously donated to us by friends. It was rock bottom for a while and I badly needed something to take my mind off it.

So I decided I needed to find a new outlet, something to focus on. My animals have always been my anchor, they don't judge and they look to you to provide for them. They've always gotten me through the hard times bought on by living in poverty, and they keep my depression, anxiety, and paranoia in check. So once again I looked to them for support.

I don't remember what got me thinking of bettas again, but when I did I went hunting for proper care info to prevent a repeat of my first betta. I learned my mistakes a felt bad, but realized it wasn't really my fault after stumbling upon this site. Other people, almost everyone here really, went through it too. So I worked on a battle plan - and a shopping list.

As winter finally released its hold and we finally hit summer, I decided to start gathering all I needed and start looking for a local breeder. I found one but she was selling of her stock and getting out of business - and she was an hour away. Our old car was barely road worthy at the time so I had to pass up her gorgeous pure black bettas. (;-;)

So as my birthday crept up I figured I'd just ask for money so I could save up for the stuff I wanted. All was going well and I was spending time reading up about cycling and DYI stuff on here. Then mom came home with a cup of betta and a bag of stuff to go with. Aris had arrived in my life.

He was honestly one of the most pathetic looking bettas I'd ever seen. I had never cared much about crowntails, and his didn't even fork off like they should. I am ashamed to admit that I hated him and wanted him to die so that I could exchange him/get the money back. But I wanted to do what I could for him so I dug out my old 5g and set to work scrubbing it and some rocks.

Our friend gave me two bottles of betta water conditioner, two bottles of crappy betta pellets (so big that I have to crush them), a plastic plant, and a crappy rock decor. The ornaments were too rough and sharp for bettas, but I stuck the plant in anyways since the tank was so darn empty looking. Aris was added later that night, and spent 90% of his time trying to hide and was clamped up. Over the next few days I kept an eye on him, knowing he wasn't very healthy and the water was to cold since I didn't have a heater on hand. I pitied the poor guy, but I was still miffed.

One morning he spent all day in the top corner of his tank, the one closest to me. Upon checking him out I was able to finally see that he had velvet. So I clean out the old 1g tank that my sister gave to me that she used to have for a betta years ago. I had finally gotten to the pet store and picked up all the supplies I could find that I would need for him. Oddly enough, his stay in the QT caused him to blossom. This fish finally had character!

My resentment finally faded as he improved. I kept him in the 1g till I could get some proper decor for the 5g. I bought some cloth plants and rocks from the dollar store and set to work making the 5g more homey for Aris. Soon enough he was put back into the 5g that was moved to the corner of my dresser instead of the top of my TV stand. But this made him lonely, so he spent (and still spends) most of his time in the corner where he can watch me.

Then he got pop eye just before I went away for the weekend to house/pet-sit. I left mom with instructions for how to do it and worried about him the whole weekend. To this day that eye is still kinda weird, but I figure that's permanent damage. Oh well. By now Aris had grown quite big, at least half an inch since I'd got him the previous month. After that I noticed his dorsal fin was growing so long, annnd then he accidentally ripped a chunk off while feeding x.x it grew back quick enough though.

Then in august two 2 week old kittens crawled into my life. Puma and Theo. The latter I found after peeling the metal siding off my garage. I fished him out of there just as he went into heat stroke. The first 2 days consisted of no sleep and holding him while he seized. It was heartbreaking, as my dog Sassy had suffered many horrible seizures before she passed. I was sure he would die, or be permanently damaged. But...

He lived. More amazingly he seems to have come away unscathed. Sometimes his eyes cross or he wobbles a bit, but he seems to have grown around his damage. But these two brought my cat total up to 6. Which made for a full house and more trips to the pet store to buy good kitten food. Which also meant constantly checking out the bettas - during which they got in the Elive set up, which was a pleasant surprise!

Annnd it also meant falling in love with a little white betta with big floofy pectorals - which I later learned he was a dumbo/EE. But all I had to house a betta was the 1g - and I didn't want to do that. I couldn't find the stuff for making dividers in my area either. So with now where to put him and two kittens needing around the clock feeding and care, I left him. Every week I'd have look and he was still there. I watched as the others degraded, suffering from finmelt and popeye.

I knew before long he would suffer the same fate - I decided a 1g would be better than dying in a tiny container. Lux was added to the madness in my room. I only had one heater, the one in Aris' tank, but it was warm enough here so I just kept him under the lamp I used for Aris. In the meantime I ordered some heaters (Hydor's. a 50w Theo and a 7.5w mini).

Now with a heater and light, Lux's tank was moved to my desk next to my computer. I learned quickly that he is *very* adventurous, and not very white after all. He gets himself stuck in the stupidest places and rips his tail constantly on the little bits of plastic on his silk plants. But he makes wonderful bubblenests almost daily. Actually I came home the other day and didn't see one, so I looked at him and was like "Hey, what's the big deal Lux! I worked all day and I come home to no bubblenests?!" He flared at me and swam around showing off.

Checked on him later and he'd made a huge bubblenest.

I've had Aris for 3.5 months, Lux for 1 month, and the kittens for almost 2 months.

Now that that's done, I'll post some pics next.
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Also, I have another journal following my journey into my NPT community tank plan over here: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?p=5123234
I'd love if you checked it out :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Aris

First Day

During his stay in the QT after he had velvet

Poking at the light on the heater :p

Back in his 5g, being a show off (obnoxious glare -_-) you can also see the red wash starting in his fins

Tail growth and red wash advances

About 2 weeks after finmelt incident. More forking in regrowth

More pics to come when I upload them later :3
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Lux

Now for my pretty boy Lux. I still haven't pinned down what colour he is/would be considered. I know he is a EE Combtail. He has some ray defects in his Dorsal, Anal, and one pectoral fin. The Dorsal is most noticeable in the way it curves, the anal also has a curved part near the end, and the pectoral has a thick ray and webbing "missing" a bit.

First Day. Still in the square cup thing.



You can see more of his Blue Irid in this one, and the chunk out of the pectoral

Then he was moved to the 1g. He quickly decided that he does NOT like cameras.

First bubblenest :D He always guards them

Then I changed over to silk plants after I had time to make them, but he cut his tail on the plastic one before.


And now a more recent photo during a water change (only time I can get him to hold still). More cuts in his tail from him shoving himself into the plastic of his silk plants -_- Can't wait for live plants...


More pics to come, especially of all his bubblenests xD
 

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Discussion Starter #6
AHHHH thank you both! :-D It's an honor to have you look at my journal :oops:

CJ, I actually have two journals going at the moment, the other is just working on my tank projects and figuring out what I'll be stocking.

On a side note, I was reading up on betta genetics/colours and I really think Lux is an Opaque!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
More Lux Pics




Light coming from the side shows different colours in him such as yellow in the tail.


... he likes to get into the tiniest spaces. This is why he will be moved to the 15g NPT with a sand bottom -_- I've only had to actually rescue him twice. Once he was upside down behind his flower pot, and one when he got his head stuck under it. He's not the brightest at times...

I was taking pics of his bubble nest when I noticed I was being watched.

Has anyone else had their fish glare at them?

Top view! He's like a hummingbird with those fins.


I've noticed he has a clear patch in his pectoral fin and you see the defect in the other.

Some of the pictures came out a bit orange cause of my camera's settings. But at least you see just how blue his tail looks in general


You can tell he's my grumpy boy. Loooots of attitude with this one.

Probably the best picture of him in his tank so far. I rarely holds still/doesn't flare at the camera.

He's rather shiny.

That's it for now. Had a long day. Picked up my cat who just got fixed, she's doing ok but I have to keep putting the cone back on her cause she's trying to lick the incision. I must say, that is one tiny incision o_O nice work vets. It's pretty bad that we have to pay someone to transport our animal hours away to a low cost spay/neuter clinic that has a 3 month waiting list. The vets around here have blocked all efforts of allowing low cost spay/neuter. Instead they prefer charging people $400+ and looking down on people who can't afford it. Majority of us end up with these animals that other people dropped off here because they see barns and think "oh they can go be barn cats for these people" and then they reproduce and babies get abandoned now and then and good people take them in but then there is more and more and more....

Still have my two new male kittens to get fixed, will have to go to the local farmers to get them done the old fashion way. My other female will have to wait till April when the lady starts doing the runs again. Only cost us $65 this time (+$15 for the cone -_-) cause the lady waved her usual $85 fee. But hey, $150 is better than $500 (which is the nearest vet's price, and he's a real piece of work himself. Once wanted to amputate a dog's leg, owner refused and brought it to a different vet who was like.. wtf, it's just a sprain).

.. rant over.. time for bed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
More Aris Pics

Urgh, It's not my week.. yesterday I got a cut on my foot, then stepped on a bee with said foot and it stung my toe. Today what I thought was just a cold-sore is actually a cut or something and now I have an infection in half my face. So much for getting any work done... so here's some pics of Aris. I apologize for the glare, I'm using a lamp for his light. And sorry for the grumbling.




His dorsal fin was really long at one point.

That's about all I get in the way of a bubblenest from Aris.


and my favourite picture of him.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I badly need a new filter for the 5g, this one is just a piece of junk. Also getting algae issues.. *sigh*

Also had to go to the hospital and get some meds. Feeling rather cruddy atm but still plowing ahead with my tank project. I just wanna get it done so I can order my plants before the weather turns again. Last thing I need is frozen plants and wasted money.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bubblenests, curtsey of Lux

Lux is my little bubble nest building machine. These are just some of the bigger, thicker, or neater ones he's done so far. Can't wait to get all my tanks planted, I think he'll love all the choice building locations!




He guards his nests from me and the evil camera xD


This was the hardest picture to get of him. He kept noticing the camera and coming out to flare at me. It was cute though, he was guarding his nest while resting under it. Annoying cord is from the heater.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
he is ^^
I bet he would be a good daddy if I ever decided to breed him.
 

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I went out and collected fallen Maple leaves as I heard they were just like IAL. I rinsed and dried them in the sun, then added a small one to both tanks to test it out. They love it. After some flaring from Aris, and nibbling from Lux, they both used it like a hammock. Of course, both decided not to give me the chance to take good pictures of it.

 

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A little bit of an off topic post today. We spent all of today reorganizing my room, it's so small it had to have a closet built onto it. We removed my tv stand, old bed, computer desk and some other stands. Then we brought in the other computer stand, the "new" bed, and moved my dresser to the other side of my room. I had planned on bringing another small dresser up from the basement, but upon measuring it it was too long to fit between the wall and my other dresser. Instead we will eventually bring up a tall handmade wood shelf for my tanks. Till then they on are my dresser, and the 15g is still getting fixed but I have a stand for it anyways. When the 15g is running it will be at the end of my bed, in the corner. Right now that corner will have the kittens' food and litterbox and my fish supplies.

I must say, it feels great to have my room clean and looking like there is actually space in here.

Pictures: 1, 2, 3 - Before. 4 - New tank location. 5, 6, 7 - After.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The rearrange looks nice. More space is always nice, and it's easier to enjoy your lovely fish, I bet. Aris's bubble nest is so cute! I love when bettas build their bubble nests on the undersides of leaves.
Yea, my room is pathetically tiny. It looks much bigger now and feels more mature (lol). As for the fish, Aris now notices when I'm looking at him while he's in his hammock, and then he swims out and wiggles along the glass closest to me. Lux on the other hand is enjoying the space away from me, on my desk he got a lot of shakes and bumps too. My kitten, Puma, has taken the opportunity to easily hop to the dresser to harass my poor fish xD

Aris usually builds his nests in/against his crafting mesh hammock, so usually they don't look that big. Much happiness when I saw this nest!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Farewell, Chewy

So today we took my cat, Chewy, up to the S.A.D no-kill shelter. I found him in my garage as a kitten, offspring of the many feral cats people keep dropping off in our area. We never intended to have a 4th cat, especially a male because we have unfixed females. Though I love him very much we had decided months ago that, because of him being unfixed and spraying, it would be best to bring him to the shelter. That way he would have all his shots, get fixed, and get a good home.

He's a sweet, loving cat - almost to the point of being obnoxious. As a kitten he would snuggle up on us and suckle on any part of you he could. Noses, chins, necks, and especially ear lobes. He also seemed sensitive to foods with a lot of fillers, he would scratch his back, chin and sides of his mouth till he bled. That was another reason for our decision. I'll miss my little chew-poo, but I am sure it was the right decision.












 

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Sweet, handsome boy. Someone will enjoy giving him a forever home.
 

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I hope so, even the shelter worker said that when she put him in the kennel, he rubbed against her. I felt so bad that for the last like 2 months he's be basically locked in a room. Alone basically all day. He half mauled me for attention when I came in. :/ I felt so mean, but with suddenly having two young kittens in my room, I couldn't rotate him and my females like I used to. I was just too hard to manage with the 5 of them (excluding Annie, she's fixed and stays out of the way 90% of the time anyways). We just tried to make the best out of a bad situation.

None of this would have happened if people would STOP dropping their unwanted pets off on the backroads. They see the farms and think, "they can go be barn cats for that person", just so they can justify abandoning them. My neighbors are completely overwhelmed. They used to trap the males and bring them to the old-style farmers to get "fixed". But that was money out of their pocket :/ and they can't afford to keep doing that for every cat! They are so overpopulated here that they are spreading out more, we never used to have them in our yard till these last 2-3 years!

Right now I am working to tame a feral kitten outside that is about 3 months old. He's basically the same size as my 2 month olds. He wont survive the winter. Thing is even if I do manage to catch him, I then have to scrape up $50 plus gas money to drive him 1 hour to the no-kill shelter so he has a fighting chance!

Here's the kicker. The local vets? They refuse to allow/do a cheap spay/neuter clinic. No, they'd rather charge $300+ and have less patients. I had to call a clinic 3+hours away and get a stranger to drive my cat there with money for the surgery. We were lucky, normally she charges $85 but she waved the fee this time so we just had to pay the $65 for the operation and $15 for a cone (but at least we have it for future use). Thing is that was her last trip till next spring. So for my other female (since we could only afford to send one and they only have room for one more) we will have to wait till April, call the place in March, and have $150 ready. The set up down there is so restrictive for people like us who would have to drive there early, drop the cat off, spend all of the day in a strange city, get there exactly on time for pick up cause even 15 minutes late you will get charged a fee.

It's ridiculous, it's stupid, and it's completely unnecessary. I didn't choose these animals, they needed help and no one else would save them. Better alive, loved, and given what we can manage, than left to fend for themselves and face a short life.

Sorry for the rant, again. It's been a rough day.
 
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