New fishy friends

A couple weeks ago Black Betta died and I planned to move Orange Betta into the slightly larger tank and maintain only five tanks instead of six.

That plan changed a couple days later when Black Betta summoned his friend Violet to the Rainbow Brook. I’ve been on “senior fish watch” thinking White Betta was going any day now. But he’s still doing his fishy thing, and it was Violet who took a nose dive into the gravel.

On to plan B. Getting two more fish was easier than maintaining fewer tanks. With only 4 tanks, we didn’t have enough space to redistribute two tanks worth of aquatic plants, so we would have had to keep a tank running just for plants. At that point, it’s not much more effort to keep all 6 tanks going.

Orange Betta is doing well in his current tank and the swimming area in the tanks is almost the same, so he’s not missing out on an “upgrade” by staying put.

Here are our two new fish.

Red-White-&-Blue Betta.

And this one is called a Koi Betta because it’s markings are blotchy like a koi.

Orange, Blue, and Koi in the 1.5 gallon tanks.

Red-White-&-Blue, White (barely visible in the top left corner of the middle tank), and Green (who looks blue here) in the 2.5 gallon tanks.

Hopefully you aren’t bored by my non-furry, fishy posts. I run out of cat topics to talk about and the fish and garden are my two other blog-worthy interests. Hubby has a coral tank with an amusing cleaner shrimp. If you’re not bored by fish topics, I think you’d get a kick out of watching him get fed (the shrimp, not my husband).

The Red-White-&-Blue Betta needs a shorter name.  Which do you like more:

  • Sam – short of “Uncle Sam”since he’s patriotic colors
  • Powder – because he’s powder blue
  • or suggest something else in the comments.

Farewell Red, Hello Orange

Today we said farewell to Red Betta, who went to the big fish bowl in the sky. He was an older fish and has been slowing down for a few weeks. He seemed ok last night, but wasn’t moving this morning.  At least he went quickly and didn’t linger or struggle.


This afternoon we welcomed Orange Betta.

Orange appreciated being released from his prison (the cup-sized container they keep them in at the fish store) and immediately explored his new tank.  It has a rock, several plants, and a moss ball. Sometimes fish don’t take to a new food, but he ate his first meal without hesitation. He’s very active and we think he’ll like his new home. 

An update about Grandma (Dad’s mom). She’s making good progress with her broken ankle. Tomorrow she should have the huge cast replaced with a smaller one and she moves from the skilled nursing facility to an assisted living community. She’ll still have 24-hour care, but will be more independent and focused on rehabilitation. It’s less than one mile from our house so we will have much more time for blog visits.


I’m getting crowded by fish!

I thought this blog was supposed to be about me, but I’m starting to wonder when I’ll get top billing again. As you saw in my last two posts, we added three betta fish to the family: Red, Blue, and Violet (who is healthy now). And now I have three more!

The additional fish came about because Dad, who’s a fish guy, wanted to upgrade the fish tanks. Mom sighed and said “ok”. Telling Dad to not upgrade a tank is like telling mom I have too many perches. But she didn’t want to store the original tanks, so she suggested we keep both sets of tanks running and just get more fish!

Pearl is pearlescent with a hint of apricot color.
Larry  is green and has black outlines that make all his scales look distinct.betta-larry.jpg

And then there’s Black. He’s a “veil tail” betta with lacy fins. Mom says it’s hard taking good photos of black cats, but taking good photos of black fish is almost impossible.


Can you believe mom is reading about how to enrich their lives? Many people think bettas just need a bowl of water, but Mom says bettas are intelligent and can get bored. So each fish gets several plants and a piece of wood or rock to investigate. Mom read that some fish will roll a marble around the bottom of their tank, will play with a floating ping pong ball, and some can be trained to swim through hoops. Most will eat from your fingers, but that’s easy to “train” because they’re little pigs.  If you put interesting things outside their tank, they’ll get excited and swim around investigating it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our diversion into the underwater world of fish. Mom & Dad said these 6 fish are the limit because 6 tanks (plus a salt water coral & fish tank) is a lot to take care of.  Besides, there’s no room for more tanks. I’m having to share my kitchen counter with three fish, and I can’t even eat them.

p.s. If mom starts trying to train fish to jump through hoops, I’m sending her for professional counseling.


Bettas – Violet is better. Red and Blue are happy fish.

It’s taken over 2 weeks, but Violet betta seems to have turned the corner and is doing better. He’s been on a special diet and his constipation seems to have cleared up. Bettas have a very short digestive tract and when they get constipated, it effects their swim bladder, which is the organ that helps them maintain proper buoyancy. Constipation is a common problem in Bettas, so we’ll have to watch Violet carefully and try to prevent him from getting clogged up again. For those of you who aren’t familiar with fish, you’d think his poop factory would be at the end of his body just before his tail fin. But Betta’s fins are deceptive and his poop factory is in front of his flowy bottom fin, about 1/2 inch behind his eye!

For the past 2 weeks, Violet was not a happy (or healthy) fish. He was listing 90-degrees sideways and couldn’t swim to the bottom of his tank. Now he’s more active, he’s staying vertical, and can swim up and down in the tank.  


Here are a couple video snippets of my fish being fish. They can be entertaining, especially when they fluff up their fins like Red does at the end of the first video. Violet is on the right, and first in the video. Violet is less active than the other fish, but hopefully he’ll get his strength and body condition back quickly and be a big bruiser like Red and Blue.