I am on my way to building a betta sorority! My four juvie girl rescues from Petco are (amazingly enough) doing okay. The tiniest one almost didn’t make it through her first night– she came home emaciated, ammonia burned, barely able to swim, gasping at the top– I was so sure I would wake up to a tiny corpse. But after being placed in good, clean water with a little salt, and being kept warm, and being fed– I woke up to he swimming around with almost the same level of activity as her identical sister (though not as much as the little darkling girl– she’s feisty!).
As I said before, I have to leave home for a couple days. My boys are strong and chunky, and can handle a couple days without me. My girls aren’t out of the woods yet, though, so I’m packing up their tiny quarantine tanks and taking them with me. That’s the only way I’ll be able to maintain the water quality and the constant monitoring 😉
Honestly, though, I shouldn’t be having to do this. The level of neglect in the betta department of Petco and PetSmart sickens me; so much unnecessary death 😦 Is it really that difficult to do a water change on those cups, or to feed them at least every few days? Young bettas NEED water changes, or else their growth can be stunted, and they are prone to extreme ammonia damage to their fins and gills. If it goes too far, they get blood poisoning, and their odds of survival– especially in the hands of the inexperienced– plummet. And it’s not just the stores closest to me. Yesterday I went a little farther out, to a different PetSmart. Imagine over a hundred betta cups (I counted)… more than half were female… all pale, stressed, gasping at the top, in dirty water. Heart=broken.
I do worry for my littlest girl still. She was eating well at first but refused her last two meals. I’m not sure she’ll make it, which is a shame. She’s supposedly a veiltail female, but she has this lovely little pink spade tail— it’s a hard trait to find, and one I’m very fond of. The betta genetics for the pet store bettas are so mixed up, anyways, she could have any number of interesting genes swirling around within her. It’s a shame for all that potential beauty to go to waste due to human incompetence, negligence, and just a general lack of empathy 😦 I’m going to do my best not to frequent the individual stores that mistreat their fish– and I do mean individual stores. Within a reasonable drive of me, there are two PetSmarts, two Petcos, two Pet Lifes, and two non-chain fish stores. Out of those, both PetSmarts are terrible, one Petco is better than the other but not great, one Pet Life is vastly superior, and both non-chains are superior to the Petco/PetSmarts but actually not as good as that one really good Pet Life. Four of my current boys came from that Pet Life. FOUR. Night Vision & Scuttlebutt (same spawn, and my sister has another brother of theirs, Sorbet), Orchid, and Calligraphy. They are the most chill, the least neurotic, the easiest of all the male bettas I’ve had in my life. Diamine is a pscho; he’s from Pet Smart. Parker was bought ill; he was from Walmart’s brief foray into fish-selling. Bruce was from that Pet Life, too, but died from my mistakes, not theirs. Gatsby… Petco, I think? (His death was my fault, too. First betta 😦 Didn’t stand a chance). My girls are all from Petco and honestly, I can’t say for sure that they’ll make it long enough to join the sorority. Anyways.
Lol. So I wrote that a week ago and never finished it 😉 Here’s an update:
-Came back home last Wednesday to five healthy boy bettas (Diamine, Calligraphy, Night Vision, Orchid, Scuttlebutt…) and still had four (reasonably) healthy girls (amazingly, Littlebit is still doing ok, although she’s weaker than her sisters). I also came home to a missing kitty 😦 My sister’s cat, Shadow, was living with us, and as far as we can tell, she got out Wednesday morning. She was feral-born and never totally bonded to us in the four years we had her. We waited a few days to see if she’d return.
-Friday…still no Shadow. We went up to another pet store to pick up… what was it… a tank for Cal, and the 30g to became my sorority tank, and to pick up Steve and Ginger from Sister One. While there, we found that the kitty I’d fallen for a week before still hadn’t found a home. That pet store, you see, fosters cats for a local rescue. Little Kya had been there three weeks with no change. We took her out for a cuddle, and convinced my grandmother to go to the rescue the next day and try and adopt her.
-Saturday… came home from my super-long shift to my kitty ❤
-Sunday… to the reasonably local pet store, Maine Pet Supply. Picked up my first Wonder Bubble and got some useful info about ordering female bettas en masse 😉 Swapped a 10g into the living room– it now holds Diamine and Orchid, with room for one more– and began the process of re-organizing and de-cluttering to fit the 30g into my room. Still not done, although it’s begun. The brown desk has a 10g with Scuttlebut, Steve, and Night Vision, plus a cool 3g with Calligraghy.
The green desk– more on that in a moment.
-Monday and Tuesday… just work. Nothing interesting.
-Wednesday… fun! First, my order of three marble-gened plakats arrived. So I got two young females for the sorority (the colorless is Saran, the red-toned is Chicken), plus their cool brother, Yondu.
Yondu is going in between Diamine and Orchid… once his quarantine is done. Saran and Chicken have joined my list of girlies in quarantine (Littlebit, Licorice, Smoke, Natasha, and Ginger) in the hopes of having them all go in the 30g within the next month (the tiny water changes are getting annoying…)
After that we popped by MPS to ask when their betta order would arrive– later that afternoon!– and then went back to the house to wait for Sister One so she could come, too 😉
Went back over a couple hours later to look over their shipment– 24 gorgeous boys ❤ I had two last slots to fill, so I spent a fair amount of time thinking it over (as well as taking note of a few fish I would like– Diamond Tetras and Black Skirt Tetras would be lovely if I ever created a community tank…maybe some Creamsicle Platies)– as well as listening to Sister One hem and haw over getting a third goldfish (welcome to the family, Firestar the fist-sized goldfish…)
I took a few pictures for Sister Three, who didn’t get to come with us:
The two on the right are the ones I brought home– the silver + red is Rhodium, while the white-ish is Cloudtail. Along with them, I picked up a second Wonder Bubble (they’re great for my bamboo! and they’re a small size for bettas, but work well for big-tailed boys who aren’t the best swimmers… I’m to give them tiny heaters and filters, too).
So that means on my desk right now I have… a Wonder Bubble with Rhodium in it… and eight little quarantines… I hope to set up the second Wonder Bubble soon-ish.
What else what else…
So to recap… Living room will have Diamine, Yondu, and Orchid. Brown desk will have Scuttlebutt, Steve, Night Vision, currently has Calligraphy, although that may change. 30g will have Littlebit, Licorice, Smoke, Natasha, Ginger, Saran, Chicken, and up to seven more girls (!). Green desk will have Cloudtail (most likely) and Rhodium. Did I forget anyone? ?.?
Eh. I guess that’s it for now. I still need to do tiny water changes tonight on the q-tanks, and get to work on the de-stash-clutter-crazy.
Catch ya on the flip side! 😉