Hello everyone, nice to meet you all.
I am a librarian in the Los Angeles area, who got innocently sucked into betta keeping when we decided to get a library fish to celebrate Summer Reading - we had an animal theme this year. Somehow "our" betta fish became my sole responsibility - probably because I've discovered an intense passion for betta fish, and enjoy caring for them and working on the aquariums. He managed to live through the first couple of weeks of mishandling until I learned how to properly care for him, and is thriving now in a 5g, filtered, heated tank with java ferns and moss balls. The little troublemaker tail bites sometimes, and I've yet to find out his trigger...
This is Mr. Kitty, the library fish:
Mr. Kitty was joined by two others - a pet store impulse buy, and a rescue fish.
Here is Buttercup, my desk buddy. He is housed in a 3 gallon, heated tank on my desk at work. I plan on adding a small sponge filter next time I get paid. This is not a current picture. He showed some very impressive leaping ability...by jumping over a divider and into Mr. Kitty's tank. Mr. Kitty shredded him before someone called me to intervene. Buttercup is in good health, with no signs of stress or fin rot, and the damaged fins are regrowing nicely. Mr. Kitty didn't have a mark on him...
Last but not least, here is a rather blurry photo of my rescue, Phoenix. Some people talk about "rescuing" fish by buying them from horrid conditions at pet shops. Phoenix is a true rescue, rather than a purchase - a very kind soul found him in a Kroger's parking lot, in a cup on the pavement. It was a hot day - the water was 95 degrees! He was emaciated, and the water in the cup was absolutely filthy. The person who found him cooled him down and stabilized him, treated him for fin melt, and fed him up until he was healthy enough to ship. That was...I want to say around a month ago. He looks worlds better than he did when he was found.
Due to his unfortunate circumstances, I honestly don't expect him to live more than a year or two, but he's going to get the best life I can give him until he passes. I just finished cycling a 10 gallon tank. It is heated, filtered, and has live plants - Phoenix will be acclimated and released into his new home tonight:
As for myself...well, I have never found anything that fascinated me and excited me more than betta fish. What a revelation! Right now I am learning everything that I can, and enjoying my new hobby. In a couple of years, I would like to breed for show. My hope is to breed crowntails, but I'm concerned that my water might be too hard to keep their rays from curling ... if not crowntails, then the field is wide open, because each variety is beautiful in their own way.