Friday, April 25, 2014
In which something's fishy.....
We now have two new bettas - aka Siamese Fighting Fish or "rumble fish," at least according to the book. This photo isn't really doing Zephyr justice in the color department.
Turns out Maddy has probably put in as much time around fish as John Ashton, albeit in a different way.
"My version of catching them typically involves inadvertently tearing up the entire tank with a net while going "Here fishfishfishfishfishfishfishfishfish......" she explained. "Back when I was about seven or so, my father decided he wanted an aquarium. So he did what he always did - bought one, bought a bunch of fish, got obsessed, decided he was going to make a ton of money breeding freshwater angelfish, got bored with it after a couple of years and that was that. Except this time we still had three tanks worth of tropical fish to deal with, plus bettas. So my mom and I took over and I was the one who stayed interested in them. So there's usually at least a fish or two finning around here somewhere."
By the way, she said that she'd always heard it pronounced "BET-tah" until fairly recently, but she doesn't think it really matters how you say it. She said she's kept them in various setups, including one of those infamous vases, but prefers the little tanks because they're much easier to keep clean.
"Mind you, the vase in question was two gallons. It was huge. I cleaned it weekly and fed the fish just like you would any other and he did well. Lived his entire five and a half years in it. I had worse luck with the plants. The first two died. I finally rooted a spider plant baby in water and that one thrived. I had the vase on the speaker of the CD player I had at the time - not the best place, but a warm place where the plant could get some light without overheating the fish. I don't think I'd do that again, though. It was more or less a novelty-type setup. Although Razz liked it."
"So what was the big deal about those vases being bad?"
"Someone - I think Martha freaking Stewart - started the idea that they were self-sustaining. That you never had to do anything except occasionally add water. The fish would eat the roots of the plant, the plant would keep the water clean and it was A Good Thing. Except it doesn't work that way. Bettas are carnivores. They don't eat plants. You have to feed them actual fish food. And the plant helps a lot, but you still have to change the water and clean it weekly, at least. I can only think of one person who ever managed what was basically an unfiltered, self-cleaning setup, but it was four fish in a VERY heavily planted 100 gallon tank."
By the way, Marineland doesn't make those little three-gallon Eclipse tanks like she has anymore. They have a redesigned desktop tank that looks nice, but we've never seen one set up and running.
More fish stories to follow, I'm sure. I think Maddy just wants to find some pictures first.....