I got my very first betta from a family friend that was moving to Canada. Her name was Princess Bluie (pronounced blue-ee) since the previous owner was about 6 and I was probably about 7. I kept her in a tiny little vase with a stick of bamboo and a ceramic 'No Fishing' sign with an octopus on it. We were best friends, me and Princess Bluie. She lived for a ridiculously long amount of time, and I will note that all the fish blogs say to keep your bettas in 5-gallon tanks with a filter and running water, but the ones I've kept in bowls have been infinitely healthier and have lived longer. That is, as long as you change the water regularly.
Princess Bluie unfortunately died, and I wrote this little speech in my diary for her.
Four scores and seven years ago Princess Bluie (PB & J) was born. Out of a tiny egg she hatched, and in a big world she died. She was a good old fish. Frisky and fun. As blue as the ocean. But now she has gone to a bigger ocean. But will still be remembered in our hearts!
I was destined to be a great writer even at the age of nine. Also, let it stand that I never once called her PB & J, I just added in that nickname for no real reason.
My second fish was named Moon Princess, and she was totally beautiful and I made her a cute little name card to put in front of her tank. Once when I was cleaning out her tank she jumped out of it into the sink and I was crying and sobbing and completely hysterical and so my mom rushes over and starts hugging me and comforting me as most mothers do, and then my dad comes over, and as most dad's do, he picked up Moon Princess and put her back in her tank and by the grace of God himself she was alive and actually went onto live for like two more years. I don't have a clear memory of her dying, and after a brief look trough my old diaries I know there was a point when I thought she was going to die since she was swimming funny, but she didn't. And so I'm going to assume she died when I was in middle school but I don't have the mental strength the relive the horror of middle school and search through my diary for a eulogy.
On a whim my mom let me adopt little Marlee Rose, a baby betta I accidentally named after the main character of Glee. I saw in her in the pet store while we were getting bunny food and she was so, so tiny and nearly translucent, since she was grey, and my heart ached and yearned for her and since she was only 3 dollars my mom let me get her. My advice to you: Do not buy baby bettas. There is plenty to be said about selling off babies for a profit, but really the main reason is because baby bettas are extremely hard to care for. A fact which I learned after about a month while I was attending Marlee Rose's premature and very poignant funeral.
I also didn't make her a rock but now I feel bad about not making her a rock so I will likely paint another one for her in the next couple of days.
Gabanna is the fish of mystery. I got her as an 8th grader and she is hands down the most beautiful female betta I've ever seen. Another pro-tip for future betta owners, if you want a female betta go to PetSmart instead of Petco. PetSmart has the superior female bettas.
So when I was a freshman our band went on an out of state trip for three days. I return home from the trip, weary but jubilant, and rush down to my room to see Gabanna, only to find her missing. The betta fish. Missing from its tank. It reminds me of the state farm commercial where the dad turns his daughters gold fish into sushi, except Gabanna really and truly was gone.
To this day her whereabouts remain a spooky mystery. Betta fish can and will jump, so its important to cover their tanks (refer to the story of Moon Princess above), and I took this precaution and the only hole on the tank lid was incredibly tiny and used for feeding purposes. So it truly is a feat that she jumped out of it.
My mom's hypothesis is that God took Gabanna up to heaven body and soul like he did with Mary, which is a nice thought but very unlikely. The other hypothesis is that she jumped, and since she was such a light color she blended in with my white carpet and after THREE YEARS we still haven't been able to find her. Hypothesis number three, an incredibly large spider ate her. Either way, Gabanna is gone and I burned her name placard in the backyard in memorial.
Beethoven was my wonderful baby boy. At the time I found him I was obsessed with bettablr, which is the side of tumblr where betta owners post pictures of their bettas and rant about the improper care and general injustice that is being done unto the fish. I had been seeing pictures of koi betta, and when I finally convinced my mom to let me adopt another fish, as well as buy a 60$ tank that was 3 gallons with a filter and moving water (per the recommendation on tumblr), there was a male koi betta ready and waiting at Petco. It was my first male betta and I named him Beethoven after my favorite composer and I was completely enchanted by him.
By sadly, from day one Beethoven was plagued with illness. Personally I blame the tank because every other betta I had was perfectly fine and lived a long and happy life and then the second I get a fish a fancy tank he dies a slow and painful death. Sad, I know.
I can clearly remember sitting at a guard practice and having a feelings circle and fighting back tears as I told my team that my fish was sick and that I know he's just a fish but I really care about him. I also remember, about a year later, telling my coach that my fish was sick and shrugging it off because Beethoven's illness had become a constant in my life.
He had bladder problems and wasn't able to swim well and was always floating on one side and unable to get to the bottom. He would get this about every three days, and I did what I could to help him but it just kept coming back. And then things took a turn for the worse, and he lost some of his vibrant color, his body got very small and his spine was crooked, and then he died. I think he had thing called fish tuberculosis, but I can't actually be sure. All I know is that I miss him very, very much.
Cher, who I sometimes call Sri Lanka, and Baby, and Angel Cakes, and Little Darling (her name is ever changing), was adopted a few days before Beethoven died. I told Little Egg that I had gotten her and she accused me of replacing my son before he had even died which is not necesarrily true, I just really, really wanted another betta and would've gotten her anyway whether or not Beethoven was dying.
I think I told the story of her adoption on my 'Meet Cher' post, but I think its a really funny story so I'll tell it again. I was taking history notes and then was overcome by the sudden desire to get a new fish. Unable to concentrate since my yearning for a fish was so strong, I shut my textbook, got in my car and drove 20 minutes to the nearest PetSmart, spent 20 more minutes deciding between a dark blue, almost black, very cool and mature half-moon plakat female betta and this energetic, cute and Lolita-like white and purple crowntail betta. After careful consideration I just couldn't resist the energetic friendliness of Cher and took her home with me. All bettas are pretty friendly and like to greet you when you come up to the tank, but Cher just goes above and beyond. She's like a little fish-puppy, wiggling her whole body whenever you put your face up to the tank and following you around everywhere you go.
I highly recommend getting a betta fish, as long as you are prepared to clean its tank once a month and do water changes on a weekly basis. While they are hardy fish they are still living beings that deserve care and respect, and most importantly, love and affection. Bettas more so than other fish have a lot of personality. Like with Cher they'll greet you and be genuinely happy to see you when you come up to their tank. My band director was given a betta fish and for the first couple of days he hated it and made me take care of it, and now a couple of months later we got him to admit that deep down, he really loves his betta even if he didn't at first. So see? Bettas can melt even the coldest of hearts.
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