Pretty little fishes

I’ve had a couple of fish tanks in the past. I had a lovely freshwater community tank for a while. I had the usual mollies (in orange and black) and some snails, but the true star of that tank was a pair of plecos, “algae eaters” as they are sometimes called. They were beautiful and interesting, with gorgeous brown and black patterns. I also had a smaller tank with 3 albino aquatic frogs that were so cute. I gave them away in one of my long ago moves.

But I’ve been thinking lately that I might like to have a fish tank again. Specifically, I’m thinking about getting a betta — one of those “Siamese” fighting fish from Thailand. I’ve been investigating reputable breeders, trying to find one locally. If I do buy one, I’ll probably wait until spring or summer, when teenage betta (around 3.5 to 4 months old) are abundant — most breeders ship their fish, and don’t want to ship them in the cold winter months, so they tend to not let their betta breed in fall and there aren’t many good betta to be had in winter.

Why don’t I buy one of those poor fish in a cup at Petsmart? Because I don’t believe in fish torture, that’s why! Those poor things are treated so badly that by the time you get them home, they are usually badly diseased and half-dead. Please don’t buy those fish — you might be tempted to try and “rescue” one of them, but it’s really no better than buying a puppy from a puppy mill, and in some ways it’s much worse. At least most puppy mill babies don’t have to wallow in their own feces in a putrid, weirdly-colored environment with no food or fresh air.

Also, I’d like to have a fish with one of the newly-developed fin styles. I’m particularly taken with the new crown tail varieties, which are mostly only available from breeders. I think it would be cool to have one of these amazing fish in a well-planted tank, with a few snails. With proper care they can live 5 years or more — unlike the relatively short lifespans of those poor fishies in cups of six months or less.

If I’m going to do this, it won’t be for several months, during which time I’m going to be doing more thinking and reading. I’ve found several particularly helpful websites:
Nippyfish: A Betta Blog
BettaTalk (especially the betta database)
A.thomasi (a general fish-keeping blog)
Betta Splendens Group on Yahoo!

Posted on November 9th, 2007 by Katxena