Charley’s Beta Tank
So I ended up getting Charley a Betta Fish for whatever reason. I really thought she would enjoy it, for I’ve seen her stare at the fish tanks in Doctor’s offices and from the “live” feed of ocean animals swimming around to piano lullaby’s on the t.v. at bedtime.
Nope. She wanted nothing to do with it. I don’t know if it was because she was annoyed I was spending time taking care of them or what, but she refused to even look at them.
I chose the Betta fish because it was a lot easier to carry home with me than a bloated plastic bag filled with fish and oxygen. I take the bus. The chances of fish making it from Petco in the University District to 2 buses later downtown were not too great compared to a Betta that had been living in a small custard size bowl with an oxygen hole. But, and I am not too proud about this, but I got home and it wasn’t until about 2 1/2 hours later that I remembered the Betta was in my purse. No joke. As soon as it struck my conscience I jumped up and frantically groped through my purse. I found the Betta in the Betta bowl but 1/2 of the water had spilled out through the oxygen hole. I did feel bad, but the Betta didn’t seem to mind too much, so I figured no harm.
I had done a bit of research as soon as I decided that I’d get a Betta. Actually, I think I got the Betta and then did research, which wasn’t too smart but I figured with the ease of ordering online nowadays it wouldn’t be too difficult to erect a tank with the Betta in a day or so. And, I didn’t think there was too much to have a Betta. My ex and I used to have one that we named Petey, after one of our homeless buddies from Colorado. That Betta lasted about 3 years.
Well, anyway, I found out Bettas are kind of delicate in a weird way. Not necessarily delicate, but they demand a lot of individual attention. First, a male Betta can not be put in a tank with another Betta. And, the fish that are allowed to cohabitate with the male Betta have to be very dull, not over flashy, and not predatory at all. I also realized that a curved tank is not the way to go, for the Betta sees its reflection and gets angry. So, that goes for those mirrors that are supposed to be for Bettas claiming it gives them exercise. No, it just adds to stress and aggression. Also, I’ve realized that plants are important for a Betta. Not necessarily live plants, but something for the Betta to hide behind. They are very expensive at Petco. $8.00 for just a small, grass-looking thing. I ended up buying most of the plants from Dollar Tree. Works just the same, and for the most part, there is more bang for your buck. I read that it was ok for satin plants to be in the tank, just as long as there are no sharp edges to tear up the fins of the Betta.
Also, a Betta likes a lot of room. I was thinking a 2-gallon tank, maybe a 5 gallon would suffice, but reading on about Bettas I found out they do better in a 10-gallon tank with a lot of room to flow. Now, I have to say I have had many a fish tank, for my ex-ex long time ago used to breed fish. Fish of a different kind. Cichlids, Angelfish, Brackish water, Gobi’s, etc, etc. We used to go fish auctions, which I’ve always found weird in an entertaining way. So I am no stranger when it comes to tanks.
But, man, I painstakingly researched different tanks and tried to figure out which one I would get the best price. If it was better to get a tank, then pay for the filter and heater, along with decorations. I finally decided on one from Petco that was 10 gallons, and it came in a kit. I don’t like to buy kits, because I find the heater is a stock heater, and the filter is pretty much midline quality. But, it was $49.00 with some of my PETCO rewards. I had to buy gravel and the plants, which I found both at the Dollar Tree.
I read that Tetris is a good tank mate for a Betta, as long as there are at least 6. That way it is like a school of fish, and they may not get as stressed out being around a big flowy Betta. I wanted to get the Betta some tank mates, so I bought 10 of the Tetris. While I was there, unfortunately, I happened to see my very favorite of all fish. The Clown Loach.
I asked the gal there how would a clown loach do in a tank with a Betta. I have had clown loaches. Actually, only 2, but I had them for about 4 years. I had them in their own tank with a really nice heater. They ended up growing very large, and if sold at a pet store they would have probably gone for 50 bucks each, at least. I ended up paying $11.00 for this 2 inch, maybe, singular loach and added it to the tank. She said it would work out fine, but the tank was probably getting a bit crowded. I thought so as well.
I forgot how addicting a fish tank can be. All of a sudden I wanted to have a different tank with different fish that liked each other, and another tank with just clown loaches, and another with this or that fish.
But I also forgot how finicky a clown loach can be. They do not have scales. They are highly susceptible to getting ich. And that is exactly what happened.
Everything seemed to be going quite well and smoothly with all the tank mates living together. It even seemed that I had a laid-back Betta, for I found him and the clown loach swimming around together. The little Tetris’ were busy staring at the two of them and seemed to be dealing fine with the situation. Then, I started noticing the clown loach was swimming up and down erratically. I thought it was weird, and maybe it was hungry. I fed a little bit more than usual that day but it didn’t even seem interested. It started harshly brushing up against the plants and doing this shimmy dance. It was then that I saw the white spots. Ich. I frigging totally forgot. Ick.
I ended up buying this ich treatment on Amazon, called Kordon’s Ich Attack. The loach died on the 10th day of owning him. Ich ended up taking the poor pretty Betta’s life a week after. It was a sad sight. It was sad for me.
So now all I have left are the 10, (I only count 6…) Tetris.
I don’t think Charley noticed at all the passing of those 2 wonderful fish. Oh well. Maybe if it had been a flying disc. Or a ball. Things would have been different.