Thursday, August 21, 2014


Red Half Moon from Kaimook 15

Well, I knew it wouldn’t be long before my betta collection expanded and today I welcomed three more Thai imports in to my fishy family. Before they arrived I had to scramble to expand my betta bungalow neighborhood. 

As controversial as it is to some, I do not subscribe to the theory that bigger is better when it comes to housing these finny friends. You see, when I bought my very first betta, some 50 plus years ago, I had him in a 20 gallon aquarium. After spending several weeks’ allowance on the set up, I found that my pretty little fish hung out in just one corner of the set up. Now it could have been that there was too much bare space in the tank, although my guppy enthusiast mother had thoroughly schooled me on naturally planted aquariums and my betta tank was well planted. It may have been my four younger siblings constantly pressing their runny little noses against the glass to get a peek at the red fish with the drippingly long finnage. It might have been that Red was simply not the most selectively bred fish and was not particularly aggressive. I moved Red to a two gallon bowl on my desk and he happily oversaw my homework for the rest of his too short life. 

6" Clear Glass Square Vase available from Amazon

In any event I have kept bettas in tanks as small as half a gallon, but I have come to prefer something closer to two gallons, primarily because I can filter a two gallon tank. It is very hard to filter smaller tanks without creating too much current for the still water loving betta. I do keep a one gallon glass cube (6”X”6”X6”) next to my chair in the family room where I spend most of my time. It is not the permanent home of any one fish, but a rotating exhibit so each of the boys (and some exceptional girls) get their time in the spot light. I also find that a seasoned planted one gallon tank makes a perfectly suitable home for a betta. However, it takes a patient aquarist to condition such a small tank.

Acrylic Magazine Holder from Amazon

One tank I haven’t deployed yet is a seamless acrylic 5”X12”X9” tank (roughly two gallons) that is marketed as a magazine holder. The 9”X12” viewing surface makes it perfect for taking photos. The narrow profile allows the option of putting up to seven such tanks on a 36” book shelf. It will be a little more challenging to aquascape, but I think the fish will like it. 

Blue & White Marble from NP Betta

But, on to the boys. I am fascinated by the marbles, but I hate a muddy looking fish. These two are splendid examples of great contrast. The blue & white marble is from NP Betta and is close to the elusive Dalmatian pattern. The orange marble is from the Majcha Farm and has an very appealing tiger stripe pattern. I haven’t got a name yet for the blue & white, but the orange is definitely “Tiger”. 

Orange Marble Half Moon from the Majcha Farm

 I am a big believer that the benchmark for bettas is the red betta. If you can breed a betta that looks like he was cut from a velvet Valentine’s Day heart shaped box, then you have reached the apex of the hobby. This one from Sawanit Yyouchongdee (known on AquaBid as Kaimook15) comes pretty close to that description. He is actually looks better in person than in his AquaBid photo. Funny how we keep returning to the comforts of our youth.

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