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Undertakings in Fish Keeping

1597 Views 8 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  BettaLover1313
Welcome to my new journal. For those of you who know me from before know that this isn't my first journal, nor my first time keeping bettas. If you want to read on my previous journal, follow the above link. Don't feel like reading that much? No problem. I will do a brief summary in the next post to hopefully get those of you who are new caught up.

The reason for this new journal is that, much like the new year, I want a new, fresh start in my "blogging" of not only caring for bettas, but other fish as well.

In this journal, I'll not only go into the care of my fish, but of my furry pets, as well as my own life. So sit back, and (hopefully) enjoy!
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Hehe new person to follow XD

Just kidding

I am not new to fish keeping, and before I kept my own fish, I volunteered at my local fish hatchery, learning about the local fish in the lake, leading tours of the hatchery's facilities, helping with the fishing derby, and overall, having a fun time with creatures I'd loved since I was a kid, but was not allowed to have. My mom would not let me have a fish growing up, which, in hindsight, was a good thing, as it gave me the opportunity as an adult to do the research I should for raising a fish.

Freshman year of college, I decided to get a fish. A blue CT who I imaginatively named Beta. Unfortunately, I did not do enough research, as I kept Beta in a less than half gallon bowl, and though he had a light, regular water changes, and food, it was bound to end badly, and it did. While I was away for a weekend my roommate fed Beta, however, he passed sometime that weekend without my roommate noticing.

It would be a good year or two before I would attempt to keep a fish again. The funny thing was, I had no intention of getting a fish. While in college, I suffered an emotional breakdown. I went to Wal-Mart to get a cactus, and I came out with a little red fish with LOTS of attitude. I named him Merlin. Though Beta was the first fish in my care, Merlin was the one who got me hooked on this personable little fish. Grumpy though he was, Merlin had a way of making the world a better place even at my lowest of times. Another betta soon joined Merlin, a dark copper DSPK named Dragoon. Unfortunately, Dragoon passed several months after I got him. He developed a tumor, and eventually it became too much for him. Merlin was alone for several months, before a fiesty female joined him (more on her in the next post). Merlin lived for a little over a year, but he lost the ability to swim downwards in his tank, and he just went downhill from there. I got a new betta the same day, unable to bear seeing Merlin's side of the tank empty, and in came Raku, a multi-colored CT who was full of spunk yet had a gentle side too. Due to my overuse of medications in trying to help Raku get better, he couldn't go to the surface for air, not even in a small amount of water, and he was put down. All of these past bettas were buried in a flower pot with a plant over them, each plant and pot picked out to remind me of each betta.

Furry pet wise, my mom and I have had two dogs. Our first dog, Pebbles, was my childhood dog, and the beloved companion of my mom. She was a beautiful brown Shepherd mix. It was devastating to her when Pebbles passed, as well as too me. I'd had a dog all my life, and to suddenly lose that companionship was very hard. About six months later, Herbie, a Pit Bull/Lab/Boxer mix came into our lives. With Herbie, we did the research on the Pit Bull breeds (as well as on the Lab and Boxer). Though he had his quirks, he was our beloved dog, truly belonging to both my mom and I, where as Pebbles belonged solely to my mother. It was heartrending when he suddenly passed after having a surgery to see what was wrong with his stomach. He had a seizure at home before being left at the vet's for observation...he had another seizure at the vet, but no one resuscitated, unlike at home where Mom did mouth to nose.

As for me, in general, I have a bachelor's degree in Agribusiness and a minor in entrepreneurship. I've been a graduate for a year and a half now, and after struggling to find a job in my field for a year, I decided to go back to school for my equine massage therapy certificate. I currently work two part time jobs, one at a grocery store/gas station and one at a dog boarding/grooming facility. It hasn't been easy, and I fell into mild depression (though I denied it much like I have in the past). I've come out of it though, and I intend to stay out of it!

And now, just so you know who was who, pictures of everyone (except Pebbles, as all of her pictures were back in the days where we didn't have digital cameras & Beta, as my previous computer crashed and I haven't gotten the data yet).




Herbie (disregard date, it's wrong, never reset that particular camera)
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The Current Pets

This rambunctious little girl (I say though she's become quite large since I bought her) was a Wal-Mart "rescue". My friend enabled me into buying this girl by offering to keep her for me until I had a tank large enough to accommodate her and Merlin. A few months later, and the purchase of a 10 gallon tank, and this, at the time, mostly white HM marble was TINY in comparison to Merlin, leading me to believe that she was a either A) a young/baby betta or B) stunted in growth. Looking back on my FB timeline, I believe she was a young betta, as she came to live with me officially in June 2014. Curious, sassy, and always wanting attention, Molly is my little sapphire in the rough, and the oldest betta I've ever had, as she's been with me for over two years, going on three. In my previous journal, I mistakenly said she was only a year, but she is in fact, two, going to be three years old in June. Here is my girl as of today-she's a little ragged due to my own negligence, and she just had a water change, hence her grumpy expression. I will get pictures of her for next week's update before the water change so she's not as stressed.


After being unable to adopt a similar betta like Dude who was going blind, I took this partially blind salamander HMPK home. Originally, he was housed in a 3 gallon tank, but when that sprang a leak, he was upgraded to the spare 5 gallon, both tanks left over from when Merlin was a solo betta. Dude has a very calm nature, and in turn, gives off a very calm vibe. Coping with his handicap has been interesting, as it requires that I not mess with his decorations (which is sometimes a challenge) as well as making sure he can find his food. This we've accomplished with a feeding ring, and sometimes feeding really smelly food like frozen brine shrimp. Due to going through mild depression recently (which all of my fish ended up being neglected-lack of water changes to sum it up) he is suffering from popeye. His treatment started today, so in five days we'll see how he's doing.
Before the popeye

Current pictures


Last year, I finally accomplished my childhood dream-I got a Goldfish. Originally housed in a standard 20 gallon that I bought from a pet shop that was going out of business, that tank sprang a leak, and Rory was moved to a 20 gallon long. I'm slowly working on getting his tank re-planted, as many of his plants were either eaten...or died...I'd like to add some lucky bamboo...not really sure what else, as Rory really does enjoy eating plants. Seaweed is his favorite thing to eat, and he's illustrated that he's quite the smart fellow. I've trained him to allow me to pick him up out of the water (really handy when his other tank broke) and he's also very aware of the things going on outside of his tank. He won't let me get a picture of his left side (orange eye) when I have the camera out, nor will he eat when it's out. I technically still do not know if Rory is male or female, but I'm not too worried about it. He's fun to watch swim around his tank.

This handsome feline came into our lives by either jumping into our yard or being thrown into it...we really don't know. He had a noisy entrance though, but he hasn't gone back. My mom's near constant companion, I've really started to appreciate how far he goes to make sure that both she and I are happy. From waking up early with me to make sure that I know I'm not forgotten (while the dog snores on my bed) to keeping "guard" while we're in the bathroom, he's certainly left his paw prints on our hearts. He's older now then when he first came while we had Herbie in our lives, but he's still a spunky little fellow.

A year and several months after Herbie's passing, I decided that I could not handle being without a dog. I fell into depression, had an emotional breakdown (& bought some fish), and I was, overall, not doing well. So after doing some looking around, I went to our local Animal Control. Even though I originally overlooked him due to his breed, my mom wanted a look at an adorable white and brindle Pit Bull mix. As fate would have it, this dog leaned right against me, claiming me as his, and after a quick evaluation to see if he'd get along with cats, Lucky came home with us. Pebbles was Mom's dog, Lucky is mine. It's been a fun experience bonding and working with Lucky, as he's a sweet dog who loves life-happy go lucky, if you will :). He currently has been trained to intermediate level of obedience as well as having finished a beginning rally course. By the end of this year I hope to have his Canine Good Citizenship, as well as possibly be starting in some sort of sport with him. In the meantime, more walks and hiking are in order. Pictured below is him with his favorite toy-a cow (we were playing tug-of-war/chase)
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Now that the beginning information is out of way, on to the start of the journal!

The Bettas
Both bettas got a good tank cleaning and water change today. It's been long overdue. Seeing Dude's eye definitely helped to give some motivation. I can't believe I let things get so bad that Dude got popeye! The poor guy is mostly blind now, and popeye certainly doesn't help matters. I hope he responds to the medicine (opted to use Maracyn II...I think...need to look at the box again...). His eye is quite swollen. Molly, aside from looking a little ragged, which is how she's looked the past year, is fine. She's sassy, still seeking attention, and overall, very active. Here are their tanks as of the cleaning today (cleared up completely after these pictures were taken)



The Goldfish
Rory also received a long overdue water change and tank cleaning. His tank, though still a bit murky, looks much better than it did before (could barely see Rory-poor thing). For those who followed my last journal, you will definitely see how much Rory has grown, for those who didn't-Rory was about 1-2 inches when I got him, he's double, if not triple that size now, and only since the months I've had him. He's also gotten a bit more color on him since he's been in my care, surprisingly enough. Rory impresses me with his intelligence every day, as I didn't realize just how smart a Goldfish could be...that being said, he has his "duh" moments-like startling at my blanket on my bed which he sees every day. Pictured below is his current tank after being cleaned.

The Furry Pets
Renji has been doing well. He had a shot recently to help with his coughing, which he sometimes gets. My mom honestly knows more about it than I do. He's been my constant o'dark thirty morning companion when I go to work at the kennel, which has been quite nice, as Lucky is usually sound asleep on my bed after staring at me with bleary eyes.

Lucky is doing well too. With the cold weather, his allergies have eased up, meaning less licking of his paws. He's still getting his fish oil pill, but no allergy meds which is nice (especially on my wallet). We've started up our walks again, though today he didn't get one, as it was too wet outside. As mentioned above, we played tug-of-war today, and we did a couple training sessions throughout the day too. As part of my new year goals, I hope to take him hiking, to a dog park, or to a friend's to play with their dog at least once a month. As the weather improves I may be able to do more. I'd also like to get his Canine Good Citizen, as he's such a good representative of a Pit Bull that I'd like to be able to say to those who are scared of him (which hasn't been many) that he has that certificate, giving him more credit to his lovable personality.

Apart from having mild depression these past few months, I've actually been okay. Overworked...yes. Overtired...yes, both of which led to the depression. It was my pets, who made me snap out of it though. My fishes dirty tanks, the lack of activity I was doing with both Lucky and Renji (I'd work and sleep, that's about it...). I've been on break from school but I resume next Monday. If all goes well, I will be done around this time next year, and working on building up clientele for my business. In the meantime, I am a kennel worker as well as a cashier. Both are draining in their own ways-one physically (kennel) and the other mentally (cashier).

Since I have had this depression before (which I referred to as a "funk" as I didn't want to call it what it was), I was able to recognize it, and I'm now working on not giving in to it. Hence making several new year goals, as well as weekly goals. I've found that I have a way of following lists; even though I've never considered myself one for such organization, it has been working, though admittedly on simpler things, I'm positive it will help me to stay out of my mild depression. Staying active is one of those goals, as doing nothing but work and sleep does not make for a good lifestyle.

I've also made goals for my hobbies too, so writing, art, etc. I've been neglecting these parts of myself, and I need to revive them.

I will be updating this journal once a week, with pictures of my fish and/or pets depending on how photogenic everyone is. I hope to keep this journal positive and hope for everyone to enjoy reading this new journal as much as they enjoyed the past one. Happy New Year all!
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Well...not quite a weekly update this time around-a little over. I try to update these when I clean fish tanks as it helps to have them overlap. On to the update!

The Bettas
Dude's popeye has not improved, so today I did a 100% water change and then added some Epsom Salt to his water based on the recommendations in the Disease & Treatment thread. I'm hoping the conservative treatment of ES and WCs will help improve Dude's condition.

Molly is doing well, she's her usual attention loving self. She eats her food with gusto, and overall, is very healthy. The opposite of Dude.


Dude (as of today after his water change)

The Goldfish
Rory also received a water change today (of course), and I worked with him in keeping him used to my hand in the water and being lifted (not out of the water). I only do this on water change days, and that's how I've kept it. Even when his other tank sprang a leak, I did a "water change" and then proceeded to pick him up and move him temporarily to a bucket. I keep the training sessions short, and I make sure he doesn't get worked up to the point of panic. My mom doesn't particularly like how comfy he is with hands in the water and touching him, but I'd rather he'd be comfortable than scared, and as demonstrated by the emergency we went through last year, it really helped.

Video of the simple training session I do (switched orientation halfway through)

And a picture

The Furry Pets
Lucky gave us a bit of a scare this past week. He refused to jump up on the beds-he'd whine like he wanted to come up but he just refused. He's currently on some meds which seem to be helping, as he can jump again. We think he overexerted himself in the backyard. Otherwise, he's been good. Not a lot of walks due to weather, but plenty of play and training to keep his mind and body active.

Renji is also doing well. He's been keeping me company in the mornings as well as keeping me company throughout the day while I go about my activities. It's a unique sort of affection-he wants to be close, but not petted. He doesn't lash out or anything when I pet him, he's too polite for such things, but he will wander off and find a sunny spot to sleep in. I appreciate his gestures though.

I should mention that he can be a very affectionate cat-wanting petting, snuggles, etc. Just most times he just wants to be by himself, or near someone without contact. He's an odd, lovable fellow.



I started classes this week, and everything is so far so good. My two online classes are not too demanding and my hybrid courses (online/go to class) are off to a good start. The best class right now is Riding I as I posted while trotting a horse. I've trotted a horse before but it felt a bit out of control. This was the first time I felt really confident on a trotting horse. My instructor is wonderful, and the horse she assigned me-a bay Arabian gelding named Piper-is wonderful. He's calm enough that I feel comfortable with him, yet he makes me sit up and ride instead of feeling like a passenger.

I worked on some art this week, finishing several pieces, but this acrylic painting is my favorite:

Yes that is a waterwork for my Etsy shop if anyone is wondering what the heck a polar bear is doing on the photo. I'm very pleased with how this painting turned out, and as always, I have my critiques of it, but overall, super happy with it!

Work is going all right, I actually have to go back in to the kennel in a bit to let dogs out/feed them their dinner and early tomorrow I get to go to my cashiering job and then the kennel again right after. It hasn't been a bad week too far, and I hope the next one is just as good if not better.
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"I'll update this weekly"

~sure you will~

The Bettas
Dude's eye is still swollen...I've tried everything I know to try based on the Disease Treatment suggestions as well as some conservative treatments. As much as I hate to see it remain swollen...I really don't know what else to do. I tried medication, I tried Epsom Salt, I tried AQ salt. No luck. That being said, aside from his swollen eye, his behavior hasn't really changed. I'm at the point of just letting things run their course.

Molly is doing well and is her usual happy, bubbly self. One day this past week, I was watching Netflix in my room and my mom walked. Oh. My. Goodness. Molly went from one side of her tank to the other just to see my mother. This makes sense, as my mom has been feeding my fish more due to my weird schedule. I liked how happy it made my mom when I told her what I saw. Mom has always had a soft spot for Molly, but that made her warm up to my little marble girl even more.

The Goldfish

Poor Rory has gone so long without anything to hide behind that yesterday, I went and bought him three fake plants to put in his tank...I only ended up using one as I didn't realize how big it was XD. I also got him more pellets as he'd run out and some gravel for his tank (that one is for me lol). As much I like being able to see the waste at the bottom...I don't like the tank being so bare. Rory went back into a bucket temporarily while I set things up for him. He is much happier with that plant in the tank. I can see that he feels safer, which makes me feel bad for how long it took me to get something for him. To be fair, only one shop has the nice, soft synthetic plants.

The Furry Pets

Renji has been doing well too. He's been commandeering my jacket whenever I leave it on the chair to snuggle in. It's quite a challenge to get him to move lol. Lately, he's been more vocal, which is perplexing my mom and I. Not sure what has prompted this change.

Lucky got a professional bath this week (not from me like recently). He's so wonderfully clean! I also bought him some bones and treats recently, and found that there are some chews that he really does like along with a couple extreme Kong toys (Extreme Kong & Extreme Kong Ball). It's very hard to find toys that hold up to this super chewer, but the extreme Kong has done that. Plus, it's a puzzle toy, which he loves. Even the ball can have treats put in it.

Work schedule changed, which is why I failed at the weekly update. I also fell off a cantering horse during class. I'm okay. No, the horse didn't buck me off or try to unseat me. I didn't have my balance, and I just fell off on the turn (I missed grabbed the saddle horn as I fell). Otherwise, apart from school and work, not too much has been going on. Haven't done too much art or writing wise. I'm focusing a bit on my model horse hobby as there is a show coming up that I want to go to.


No pictures this time. Going to take pictures the rest of this week till I update next week and will post them then.
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Sorry for not will be explained below...

~The Bettas~
I am still recovering from the shock of losing, not only Dude, who had been fighting with his illness for some time, but also Molly, who a week and a half after Dude passed, suddenly and drastically went downhill, ending with dropsy striking her at the very end. Dude stopped eating and no matter what I gave him, he would not eat. Even his favorite of shrimp could not tempt him. After some time of no food, I decided to put Dude down. Molly was a shock, and heart breaking to see her decline so fast and suddenly. She stopped eating, barely came out of hiding, and when she did come out of hiding, it was a mad dash for the surface before she went back to hiding. I checked on her one day to find her pineconed on the bottom of her tank...I just buried her today, other things in my life keeping me from burying her under an aloe vera plant. I still need to take down her ten gallon tank. I decided that, for the time being, I will not have any more bettas. RIP my sweet Dude. RIP my marvelous little lady, Molly. You are both sorely missed.

~The Goldfish~
Rory has not only been enjoying the fake plant I bought him to hide behind, but also a couple live plants. He's been a very happy Goldfish overall, and his presence has helped to ease the pain of the loss of my two bettas.

~The Furry Pets~
Both Renji and Lucky are doing well. The recent rains have been making Lucky a bit stir crazy, as I have been unable to take him for walks. He's only had a few in the past couple weeks. Renji has enjoyed them though, as it's more time for snuggles/lap time.

Work has been...harsh. My kennel job has been the worst of all, which is why I am quitting come May (already broke the news to my boss). I also need more hours. Somehow, working at two jobs, I'm not even working 30 hours a week...and I can't keep doing that. I have too many bills to pay. So I will be staying at my other job, and hopefully will be getting full time there. I am still attending school, and intend to continue to do so. I do not want to be a "lifer" at my other job.

I have been painting, though recently it's been model horses, as I want to go to a show with a friend next weekend. I want to have some of my own customs to see how they do (I imagine not well as I've seen the caliber of customs at that particular show, but I still want to try).

I've been trying to stay positive, even after the loss of Molly and Dude. It's been hard, but I've been trying.

I hope everyone who reads this is doing well and that your week is a good one.
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I apologize for my absence these past couple months. It was heartbreaking to lose my two bettas, and I was not in the right mindset to keep this journal positive, as was my goal with this from the very start. I feel that I'm now in a better place to try and do weekly updates once more.

~The Goldfish~
Rory seems to keep growing. My friends keep saying "That's not a goldfish." I just laugh. He's been helping to keep me sane these past months. Even though I sorely miss my bettas, at the moment, I am unable to handle their shorter life spans. I recently looked at some at PetSmart and about cried when I saw them. They were pretty, lovely, friendly adorable...and I just can't bear the thought of losing a pet within 2-3 years, as that seems to be my limit. Less, really, as I seem to find the ones that have problems/illnesses.

Anyway, back to Rory. He's making me realize that Goldfish seem to have a bad rep with their memory as his seems to be quite extensive in regards to water changes, being picked up/petted, etc. Plus, he's been a great companion to me, watching me when I'm in the room, staying on the closest side of the tank to be near.

Pardon the algae. It's been the bane of the tank. Not sure why the water was cloudy as it's cleared up now (just gave him lunch).

~The Furry Pets~
Lucky has been doing great. I've been slowly introducing him to the horses, which has been going well. He likes kissing their muzzles. Due to my weird hours and the summer weather, he hasn't been out on too many walks. Though he has been on some the past couple days as it's been surprisingly cool out. We haven't been doing much else, otherwise.

Renji is doing well too. He sleeps most of the day, and will sometimes take a nap with me if I've had a particularly tiring day. My mom and I have been a bit frustrated recently, as Pet Smart got rid of his food, and we had a heck of a time trying to change him to something else. Thankfully, Famr & Fleet carries his food, so he's back on that. Little stinker was actually eating the dog's food to get his point across that he didn't like anything else (dog's food is by the same company).

I have been quite busy, along with dealing with my mild depression. Thankfully, I couldn't stay in it too long. Though it's not really something to be thankful for...the owner of the horses I work with fractured his pelvic bone when he took a three-year old colt to a team penning event and pushed him a bit too much. When a bunch of cows came toward them, the colt lost it and bucked. HARD. It was amazing that the owner stayed on as the colt, Rowdy, was not going to stop. That was clear to all of the witnesses (I was not there, I was actually out with a friend antiquing that day). Rowdy, is not a bad horse. He's actually very mild mannered, and even tempered. He was just scared and pushed too hard, the owner admitted that he should have just done the one run and taken out his other horse, Banjo. As it is, for the past seven weeks he's been in a wheelchair. Three out of those seven, he was in the hospital, recovering. Now, he's been given the okay to start walking again, though only household distances for the time being. In the meantime, I've been doing his chores as well as working the two yearling colts.

The yearlings have been coming along nicely. The gray colt, Rusty, is leaps and bounds ahead of the red roan, Moonshine, as he was handled more by the owner (long story on why) and he's got a gentle and calm temperament. Moonshine, or Moony as I tend to call him, is flighty and likes to get his own way, and has not been handled as much as Rusty. That being said, we've made a lot of progress and we're only a step or two behind where Rusty is at. Rusty leads well and is now being taught how to stand while tied up (this hasn't been a problem for him). Moonshine is still learning that he needs to stand while being haltered as well as learning how to lead. He's still being a bit stubborn about it, but he is catching on. If Rusty continues to tie well, I will start lightly lunging him before starting to take him around the property and letting him see new sights/hear new sounds.

I've been full time at my gas station/grocery store job. I make the donuts in the morning working 3a-10a. This actually works out really well with my class schedule as most of my classes are in the afternoon/early evening. I am a bit frustrated as I can't seem to get any of my massage classes due to them having low enrollment. I actually decided this past semester to go for the associates degree in Equine Applied Science, as I don't want to lose the study habits I've regained. I'm hoping next semester I can start doing the massage classes as right now, I'm starting to get disgusted with the college. Why offer the classes if you're not going to advertise the classes well enough to fill them? That's something else entirely though. Anyway...on to the last thing.

~The Horse~

The owner did not want to not pay me for helping him out (though I really didn't want payment). He purchased a mostly white, with pinto markings mare before he was injured, and she and I had bonded well. My original plan was to help him out and do a lease to own...he had other ideas. The mare turned out to be my payment. So I am now the owner of an 11 year old mare named Snowflake, who I typically call Little Mare. I kept the name Snowflake, as his oldest granddaughter (3) named her, and I didn't have the heart to take that away. Both of his granddaughters have ridden her, and his great-niece has petted her. Snowflake loves the attention. She's not bombproof though, but she is good for a beginning rider like me. She's fairly level-headed, and when she does spook it's typically a stop or a stutter-step.

Recently, she got thrush, and I've been treating her for that. She's going to the vet tonight to get her teeth floated (grind down hooks and sharp edges) as she's been having a little difficulty eating and has been protesting the snaffle bit when I have ridden her. I'm still wondering if I'm sane/what I was thinking, but at the same time, I'm very excited/happy that I have a horse who I can trust enough to ride and work on improving. Plus, whenever I do get to the massage classes, I will have a horse that I can practice on. I think she's definitely a good first horse, and I look forward to bonding with her more

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