From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Betta Boy

All In The Family... More About Birds and Animals...



Betta Boy, my fishWe have had fish of various sorts over the years, but I have never been as well acquainted with any fish as I am with the betta we have now.

I rescued him from his terrible captivity in a tiny plastic bag at WalMart and gave him a safe home with regular food and even an affectionate nickname -- "Betta Boy."

Betta Boy resides in a fishbowl on the bathroom vanity where he's part of a fish motif that has spontaneously occurred. I enjoy having his bowl there because I can observe him any time I use the sink.

He gets very excited when someone enters his view. He puts his nose to the glass and flits his body back and forth rapidly. He doesn't swell into full fight mode, but he's ready for whatever comes. I think he's asserting his claim to the territory.

Even while on high alert, he recognizes the movements that mean food will soon appear. When I reach for his pack of betta food, he drops his defensive posture and zooms to the surface. As soon as a pellet hits the water, he strikes it with great force. Often I even hear his little jaws clack. Sometimes he gets two pellets in a single strike. Sometimes he strikes and misses.

I don't tease him by showing him his reflection in the mirror, but Isaac exercises him a little sometimes. At times, I have laid down a mirror beside his bowl, and even though it's at an odd angle, he notices the fish in it and flares his fins to their formidable maximum.

Betta Boy sleeps at the bottom of the tank behind his pink fake anemone. When I come into the bathroom in the night and flip on the light, he awakens and staggers out in a bit of a daze to see what's going on. He accepts my apology, given in the form of a pellet of food, before I turn the lights out again.

Sometimes I feel sad that Betta Boy has a lonely life in his fishbowl with only humans for company. He builds big bubble nests hoping that a female might come to lay her eggs. If she ever did come by, he would fertilize each egg she laid and then carefully carry it to the bubble nest. Then he would guard the nest fiercely until the eggs hatched. I doubt if he'll ever get to be a daddy, but he has the nest ready in case the opportunity presents itself.

Related links:
Many more betta stories
Siamese fighting fish
Betta fish care

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5 comments:

turtle toes said...

I'm glad to know someone else that has a fish with 'personality'! We have a gold fish (also rescued from Wal-Mart) named Oscar. He's almost three years old. He begs for food and will eat out of my hand!

Neurotic Mom said...

I love to watch fish, there's just something relaxing about it.

Genevieve said...

My friend Sammie in Nebraska had a little fish in a tank that would dance with her. (Or so she described it.) It was the funniest thing. She would lean to one side and he would turn that way. Then she'd lean to the other side and he'd turn that way. Back and forth, back and forth, just like slow dancing. :D

Sarabeth said...

Our fish our outside, but in December we will add inside fish as my eldest daughter has requested goldfish for her birthday.

KennethF said...

Hey Gene: Two fish in one bowl is...
usually one to many. I watched after George, our neighbors only goldfish, while they were on vacation. He and I got along very well because I knew NOT to over feed him nor let their cat prevail? later, ~(:-_))-kfh

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

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