I got my red betta, Wally, at Walmart some months ago because I felt so sorry for the poor fish in their tiny cups on a dark shelf. I didn't expect him to be healthy or to live long, but he proved me wrong on both counts and is thriving in his bowl on the kitchen counter. Today I went to Walmart for some other stuff and I thought, I have an extra bowl. I can save another one. So I went and looked at them and there were six or eight in those tiny cups with no food or light. I only had one bowl, so I picked one at random and brought him home. He's purple and he's considerably smaller than Wally. I don't know if that means he's young or there's just wide variation in their sizes, but either way, I set up his bowl and put his plant and his pretend jewels in it and stuck him in it and gave him some food and he's swimming around sort of dazed at his suddenly expanded world. Wally did the same thing when I brought him home. It took him several days to get used to having a big bowl and a castle and regular meals. I named this one Marty (Wally, Marty, get it? Yeah, go ahead and groan, I did, LOL). I'd have bought Marty a castle, too, but my spare bowl is the flat-sided one and I didn't see a castle that would fit in a bowl that shape, so he got a plastic plant instead. I almost bought him a bowl like Wally's, but then I'd have still had a spare bowl and would have felt compelled to put somebody in it, and one has to draw the line somewhere.
Posted 28 September 2013 - 07:40 PM
Welcome, Marty! If he's dazed now, wait until he meets the birds!
Posted 28 September 2013 - 08:31 PM
LOL. The birds and the fish are in different parts of the house. I wouldn't want one of the birds to think they could bathe in the fish bowl. A friend of mine forgot to close the lid on her aquarium and one of hers drowned. Though I think Clyde would enjoy watching fish -- I used to have a screen saver that was a cartoon aquarium and he was fascinated by that.
Posted 29 September 2013 - 01:57 AM
Posted 29 September 2013 - 10:24 AM
That's what I told him on the way home. LOL I said, Marty, it's your lucky day. He's about a quarter of Wally's size and he's in a gallon sized bowl. I think Wally must have grown since I got him and I didn't notice until I brought Marty home and noticed how much smaller he is.
Posted 29 September 2013 - 09:09 PM
The owner of the pet store where I found Harry lets his cockatoo run loose in the shop and she is an avid fish watcher.
Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:41 AM
Wally isn't "tame," of course, he's a fish, but he does come to the side of the bowl to see me and he knows his name, I swear he does. If he's on the other side of the bowl and I come over and say "Hi, Wally" he'll come to my side and hang there and visit. Marty is kind of afraid of me still, but he's starting to relax. Just like with Wally, his tail is expanding already. You know how their tails are sort of compacted in those stupid little cups? Put them in a big bowl and their tails spread out and get really spectacular. Somebody told me, when I first got Wally, that I should only feed him a couple of times a week because that's how they live in the wild. Hmmmph. They also live in brackish ponds in the wild, so I suppose that person thinks I shouldn't change his water, either. They get breakfast and supper every day, and they always eat, so they must be hungry. I change Wally's water every three or four days, too. I probably won't have to change Marty's that often until or unless he gets bigger. Wally's so used to having his water changed that he swims into the glass I use to put him in while I change it on his own. I put it into his bowl and say, "time to change your water, Wally," and he goes into the glass, he really does. Then I put that on the counter and tell him to "wait there" (like he's going anywhere, LOL). It took a while for him to get used to that routine, so I expect the first few times I change Marty's water he's going to freak out over the cup thing. But I must be doing the right things or Wally wouldn't be doing so well.
Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:15 PM
Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:02 PM
Their bowls are next to each other but not touching. There's about three inches between. Wally spent the first day on that side of his bowl staring at Marty and then giving me the stink eye, but he got bored and went back to his usual routine of staring at his picture (I paste up a picture behind his bowl and I change it every time I change his water so he won't get bored) and taking naps in his castle. Marty hasn't noticed Wally at all that I can tell, but then he was on a shelf with all those other bettas and is probably used to seeing other fish in nearby containers, and doesn't care. Wally's fins were already spread out and gorgeous before I brought Marty home and had been like that since the second or third day at home, so he's not showing off. He always looks like that. Marty spends his time swimming in and out of his plant and exploring his pretend jewels at the bottom of his bowl. He really likes that plant. apparently.
Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:15 PM
We have a 55 gallon community tank in the living area, and I have a betta in with my community fish. He is red with purple fins, and he has doubled in size since we rescued him from Walmart. He spends his entire day patroling the perimeter of the tank, and keeping an eye on the other fish.
He eats pellets/flakes once a day, and I drop in pieces of corn and green peas and fresh veggies every day or so for the fish to have fresh foods. He will pick up a green pea and carry it around in his mouth like a dog with a bone.
He has a *crush* on a sunburst platy female - follows her around the tank and sleeps next to her inside the castle.
I never realized bettas have so much personality. He is a hoot to watch!
Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:15 PM
Siobhan, apparently there is research being done on fish intelligence which is leading scientists to believe that fish are more intelligent than what was originally thought (I make no comment here). I am not surprised that Wally is acting the way he is towards you. I have heard similar stories from people with fish. I am sure, given a little time, Marty will become friendly as well. Those fish are really lucky they have you looking after them.
Posted 30 September 2013 - 10:34 PM
My big brother was here one night for dinner a short while after we got Wally, and he went to look at him and didn't immediately see him and asked me to point him out and I said see, he's in his castle, it's getting close to his bedtime. My brother laughed and then realized I was serious. He said, "Fish SLEEP??" Well, duh. Yeah. LOL At least, mine do. About 10 p.m., Wally goes into his castle and leaves just his head sticking out of the opening and goes night-night. If I go to his bowl, he'll come out and be sociable, but if I don't, he's out for the night. Then my brother asked me what was up with the picture behind the bowl. I have photos of birds and dogs I cut out of magazines and put behind his bowl so he has something to look at and I explained that, and I said when I put a new picture up on bowl cleaning day, Wally will go to that side of his bowl and just stare at it for a while and then periodically do that until the next time I change the picture, and my brother said he supposed fish have "more going on behind their eyes than people give them credit for."
Posted 04 October 2013 - 09:33 PM
Siobhan, I was at the pet shop and noticed the bettas. Can you tell me what you feed them and how often and what size bowl you have them in? How often do you change the water? I appreciate any info you can give me.
Posted 04 October 2013 - 10:22 PM
Both of mine have gallon sized bowls. You have to buy stuff to treat the water because of the chlorine and other chemicals they treat city water with. You put a few drops in and stir it up before you put the fish in it. They also make stuff called "Betta Fix" that's a kind of antibiotic or something. If a betta gets sluggish you put that in and leave it a day or two and then change the water and they perk right back up. I feed mine pellet food that you can buy at a pet shop. They sell flakes for them, but they really prefer the pellets, and it's so funny to watch them chew their food. You only have to give them three or four pellets at a time because that's all their little tummies will hold. I feed mine morning and night and they eat both times, so they must be hungry. I change Wally's water every three or four days. Marty's a lot smaller, and therefore poops a lot smaller, and though I've had him for a week now, his water is still clean and clear, so I don't think I'll change it quite yet. I don't want to stress him if I don't have to, and the first few times I changed Wally's, it scared him a lot to be taken out. He's used to it now and it doesn't bother him anymore. You can tell when the water needs changed. I have a little jelly glass that I put in the bowl and Wally swims into it with a little coaxing and then I scoop him and water out set him and the glass aside and clean his bowl and change the water, then I put the glass in the bowl and he swims back out. He knows I'm going to change his water when I take his castle out and put the glass in for him to swim into.
Posted 05 October 2013 - 01:25 AM
Thanks for your help. My sister had one but lost it when the weather got cold so will get a small tank with a heater for winter (which the pet shop recommended). Some of the bettas are gorgeous. A couple of them swam towards me when I put my finger on the tiny little tank so thought I might get one that appears not to be too afraid of me. I like your idea about putting a picture behind the tank and changing it on a regular basis. Next step is to talk to my housemate about it (as she owns the house) - I don't think she will mind but best to ask just in case.
Posted 05 October 2013 - 10:07 AM
You don't want the water too warm for a betta. The water should be room temp or a little cooler for them. This summer when it was really hot and the water in Wally's bowl got correspondingly warm -- we don't have a/c -- he got sluggish. I changed his water more often in the summer so he'd have fresh cool water and that always perked him back up. In the winter his water is still room temp, so the ambient heat in the house keeps it comfortable for him and he didn't have any issues last winter.
Posted 06 October 2013 - 01:19 PM
We have a heater in our betta's tank....we don't get summer heat like the midwest, though. Zach does a 25% water change once a week on all the tanks. Like Siobhan said, fish don't need very much food, their stomach is the size of their eye.
Have fun with your new hobby, Jan! Don't be surprised if MFS (multiple fish syndrome) hits as hard as MBS! We went from having one 29 gallon freshwater community tank to having the 29 gallon freshwater community, a 10 gallon freshwater puffer-fish tank, a 40 gallon freshwater community (now upgraded to a 75 gallon), a 30 gallon saltwater reef tank with soft corals and a couple fish (and a multitude of other living creatures that came with the live rock), a 40 gallon saltwater reef tank with a mantis shrimp, some soft corals and creatures that came with the live rock (tube worms, tiny starfish, anthropods, etc.). We can't keep anything else with him (except corals) he eats fish, snails, shrimp, and hermit crabs. We also have our 5 gallon betta tank.
Edited by msdani1981, 06 October 2013 - 01:29 PM.
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Posted 06 October 2013 - 03:12 PM
Wally apparently made himself a bubble nest yesterday and now he won't come out of his castle when I go to change the water, so I'm going to let him be. I didn't know boy fish got broody. LOL Maybe he thinks Marty's a girl and is trying to prove he can support a family in case Marty's in the mood. I'm going to have to break it to him that Marty's a boy and they aren't going to be getting together.
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