Bert and Ernie, Betta, Combtail, crazy lady, Ernie, fish, Half-Moon, humor, Plant, postaday, Siamese fighting fish
You have heard of the Crazy Lady with the Cats, right? The one that lives down the street … and talks to nobody … except her 99 stray / feral / adopted cats?
Well, I am getting dangerously close to being the Crazy Lady with the Bettas.
And by Bettas, I mean the beautiful, colorful, loner type fish that I seem to identify with for some reason. Siamese Fighting Fish.
This is what they are supposed to look like.
Lets see … me … betta … me … betta.
Loves color? check.
Appears to be quite artistic? check.
Fins (Hair) that flies all over the place and cannot be controlled? check.
People seem to find said Fins (Hair) attractive for some reason? check.
Lives alone? check.
A bit on the defensive side about that currently? Well, the blog is helping with that.
Is perfectly content to check out surroundings? check.
Requires very little food to survive? check.
Looks out through the glass and wonders about the others, but stays safely in own bowl? check.
Likes open space, without any clutter? check.
Capable of surviving
with hoarder in adverse conditions until better ones are created? check.
Enjoys plants, which seem to die repeatedly? check.
No wonder I like these little guys.
Well, that and the fact that they are incredibly easy to care for.
There are several different kinds of Betta splendens. Here they are listed if you care to read … courtesy of Wikipedia.
- Veil Tail (extended finnage length and non-symmetrical tail; caudal fin rays usually only split once) the most common tail type seen in pet stores.
- Crown Tail (fin rays are extended well beyond the membrane and consequently the tail can take on the appearance of a crown; also called fringetail)
- Comb Tail (less extended version of the crown tail, derived from breeding crown and another finnage type)
- Half-Moon (“D” shaped caudal fin that forms a 180 degree angle) The edges of the tail are crisp and straight.
- Over-Half-Moon (caudal fin that is in excess of the 180 degree angle) by-product of trying to breed half-moons; can sometimes cause problems because the fins are too big for the fish to swim properly. OHM’s are sought after to breed with Super Deltas to try to get Half-Moons.
- RoseTail (halfmoon variation with so much finnage that it overlaps and looks like a rose)
- Short-Finned fighting style (sometimes called “plakat”)
- Half-moon plakat (Short finned half-moon, plakat and half-moon cross)
- Double-Tail (the tail fin is duplicated into two lobes and the dorsal fin is significantly elongated; the two tails can show different levels of bifurcation depending on the individual)
- Delta Tail (tail spread less than that of a half-moon with sharp edges)
- Half-Sun (Combtail with caudal fin going 180 degrees, like a halfmoon)
- Elephant Ear (long, ear-like fins)
The whole thing started, as you will recall, with me not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings … Enter the turquoise / teal colored Veil-Tail Male.
He looked like a Fred. I named him Fred. He is in the bedroom. He color matches as do the glass shells. It works.
Then there was the time I wasn’t feeling well. I wanted a Red Betta of some kind. I got a Brown Betta. Well, kind of reddish-brown. He also kind of matched the wood tones of the room here.
I think he is the Halfmoon Double Tail Plakat Male.
I felt compelled to say “Hey Bert” every time I passed his bowl for some reason … which found its way to my desk. So Bert he became.
But then there seemed to be a missing link. I was doing my best Ernie impression each day … and what’s a Bert without an Ernie? Besides, Ernie is red. Sort of.
Enter a Crowntail Male in a brilliant color of Red. I like red. And of course his name was Ernie.
He was meant to be in the kitchen … a room with red accents … but it was getting to be winter. And it was cold in the kitchen.
Move Bert and Ernie to two of the steps opposite me here in this wonderful creative space which used to be my living room.
Plants were added. Plants died. Plants were added again. The plants are now in their own bowl.
Time passed. Nobody died. They even thrived. Well, they all made bubble nests in anticipation of lady Bettas.
I thought I was over the whole Betta thing. Fred, Bert, Ernie and I were peacefully co-existing and life was good.
Until Linda said “Hey, I have a 20% off coupon on any freshwater fish.”
Enter a gorgeously large white Elephant Ear Male Betta. I had had my eye on the various Elephant Ear Bettas.
But this one was one of a kind.
A tall, cool, drink of water … as it were.
Smarter than the others. See? He even turned when I took his picture.
I briefly considered naming him after a former flame of mine. But then, that would be kind of creepy.
And it wouldn’t be fair once I moved on to someone else.
Oh, and it would hardly be fair to the Elephant Ear Betta. Despite any similarities.
I am calling him Big Fella for the time being. I am sure another name will come to me.
He is going out in the front room … once it gets warm enough. His stones match the decor.
When i see bettas in bowls its just making me SO MAD, they arent toys for God sake. If you have no idea about their needs than better dont buy live Fish and stat with toys…
I enjoyed reading your Betta post, and the similarities between you and them. Thank you for sharing. I hope in the six years since this was written, you upgraded their homes (and the homes of any new Bettas you purchased) to a minimum of one gallon per fish instead of small bowls. Many people say even a gallon is too small. I like three gallons per betta, but my previous bettas lived long lives in a gallon tank per fish. Again, thank you for sharing your enjoyable post.
Damn, too bad you can’t properly tan care of them. please, for the love of god, take proper care of them or rehome them.
Hope everything is well with your fish family. I’m not sure this is relevant anymore… since it’s a post from 5 years ago, it says.
First of all, you have beautiful bettas and I can see you are fascinated with their different types of finnages.. I know it’s such a joy to see their beauty.
But please keep in mind that, to keep their beauty and for your beautiful fishes to be healthy, I can see that there could be so much done to your fish care methods.
Bettas need at least 3.5-5 gallon MUST, and are not to kept in bowl because they have pretty good eyesights, bowl would ruin them. Please I hope you already got bigger rectangular glass/acrylic tank by now. And since keeping their water’s such hassle, I can definitely assure you with the fact that longer tanks are easier to be kept and cycled.
Good idea of residing them near the plants.. but bettas need extra space, like I said 3.5-5 gallon by their own with plants. Lucky bamboo and java moss, duckweed would do great job(are most available to be getting at pet stores). They will help your tank to build up healthy bacteria and ecosystem in your tank that would help your bettas.
Your bettas will thrive at temperature around 76-77F, please be aware that you need heater and also low flowing filter to keep water clean while flow not too strong to damage their beautiful flowing fins.
Decorative gravels are fine, as long as PH levels would keep around 7. In small bowl and gravel like those, nitrite level are tend to be build up very high and due to their poop/uneaten pellets and etc. Please get a PH buffer addictives if you wish to keep the gravel you have right now, but I would very strongly encourage you to get volcanic/natural type gravels that naturally buffers PH.
Just a reminder that waters must be prepared 3 days before water changes; tap water in bucket, you would start seeing bubbles along the side of the bucket. Agitate them with clean glass rod, and 2 hours before water change, addictives may be added to remove heavy metals/ leftover chlorines that did not escape by itself. Waters are like air for aquatic animals. Please provide them a clean air just as you would want to breathe clean, non-stuffy air.
I do agree on you that betta have artistic looking colours and fins.. but they aren’t meant to be an art. They are living creatures that needs love and attention, lots of care to thrive and live through quite long years. These requirements are just essentials to be kept, and your tank would need extra cyclings with some decorations for betta to explore and hide; these are just a bare essentials to maintain your betta’s health. If you are looking for nice art piece that’ll lighten up your house, please go buy some flower paintings, not living animal.
Hoping you got it all figured by now and your fishes are happy…
Those containers are too small and the plants are wrong for bettas. You need to get tanks with heaters and filters. 2.5 to 5gal per fish. I’d try Java ferns for plants(very hardy)
Agreed. The lil’ guys only live for approx. 2-5 yrs…the least you and I can do is give them proper lives for their unfortunately short spans with us. You need to look into the cycling process of aquariums, and how the water chemistry works within. Otherwise you can’t humanely put anything into an aquarium, vase, bowl or otherwise. You’re compromising their health right off the bat, so to speak.
My apologies if I sound brash, but no one should be trying to care for fish in the first place if you can’t take the time to research (before buying them) how to properly care for them. Fortunately, it’s not too late though. You’re fish are still alive, so they have half a chance at getting the proper care, and living a healthy, happier life ; )
Changing water (EVEN IF everyday to keep it clean) in small containers like bowls and vases never allows time for beneficial bacteria to build up, and/or things to stabilize. Nor can your water ever be cycled. Most of us don’t know basic water needs/specifications for aquariums. I know I sure didn’t! But I read a lot, and learned a lot. As soon as I “rescued” my fish and brought him home I started on my “homework”. I wanted to know what was best from day one before I even took him out of his petstore container! Because I wanted to everything right by my little guy. And he certainly deserved it after being kept in the feces riddled cup, neglected as he had been. And I hadI learned a lot. A LOT for sure. Aquariums are not as simpl e as putting water into a box. For sure ; )
You’re fish are alive still. So educate yourself. Do some research about bettas. They DO NOT LIVE IN PUDDLES, nor have they ever, and they’re NOT healthy in bowls, cups, and vases. It’s okay to point out the flaws in your ownership…but I’d also like to do the right thing, and at least try to also offer you advice about what you CAN do to take care of them rather than merely criticizing.
Unfortunately, some people will sayI sound like that crazy, PETA lovin’, vegetarian rantin and ravin online about a simple fish bowl, then yes, label me as such. Because the fish can’t speak up for themselves, I’ll be THAT PERSON ; ) Do right by your pets. Do your homework before adopting/buying them.
A very enjoyable and informative post! JBC 😛
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Your fish are in horrid conditions. You need to look up a basic betta care guide. The general rule for fish is a gallon per inch and by that logic a betta should be in a minimum tank of 2-3 gallons. Those can’t even be a gallon. Do some research before you decide to “take care” of a living creature.
your bettas are all quite beautiful, but i’m afraid the containers you are keeping them in are far from ideal. If you truly want them to enjoy their lives with you you should invest in new containers for your little friends.