I actually became interested in bettas when our roommates moved in with us earlier this year. They brought along their 4 year old white halfmoon - and he had such a great personality that I just had to have my own. So, I purchased a tank (3 gallon) with a filter and some decorations, a stick-on color changing thermometer, a bottle of dechlorinator and, a couple of days later, bought my first betta, Sputnik.
Soon after, I was looking up more info on bettas, and realized I jumped headlong in, far too unprepared for this. So, I ended up on a search for an appropriate heater, a proper thermometer, pulled his decorations and started filing down any and all sharp edges, and got a control valve for the filter.
Then I learned my betta was picky. He would not eat the Tetra Betta Pellets that they had sold me at the store I got him from. That was fine, I could manage. Went to the store and bought mini pellets. He still did not like those. Bought blood worms (freeze dried, frozen, and live), and again - no interest. Baby brine shrimp? Nope.
So, after speaking to a friend of mine who I learned breeds and shows bettas, I was shipped a package with some Attison's Betta Pro and a few other goodies (betta hammock, some other pellets and two different kinds of dechlorinator). He absolutely loves the Attison's, and I feed him three to four pellets, twice a day.
After him blowing his caudal fin the week after I got him (goodness knows when or how), I thought things were finally calming down. He liked hanging around the corner of the tank, watching me looking at the female bettas on aquabid. He seemed happy. Then, he came down with Velvet.
I'm not entirely sure how. I'd been doing plenty of water changes to ensure his tank was in pristine condition, and he was building bubble nests like crazy. Then one day he started darting around, slamming against the sides and bottom of his tank, glancing off of his decorations and plants. I decided to shine my phone's light on him, and sure enough, he was completely covered in a fine powdery dusting of what looked like copper.
So, we went through a treatment regimen, in a clear 4 gallon tub, of aquarium salt and Coppersafe, with daily 100% water changes. Two weeks later, he was fit as a fiddle, though he had chewed his tail and dorsal to pieces. They have never recovered from this, but luckily he never came down with fin rot.
Ever since then, it's been pretty good. I purchased a 10 gallon tank, cycled it, and put some neons in, two mystery snails and some Danios. Unfortunately, all but one of the Danios dropped dead for no visible reason (looked like bloat, I'm thinking they were probably eating all the food, since the neons looked absolutely starved). Then we moved into a house (we were in an apartment at the time). I loaded all the neons and the tetra into a plastic bin with some of the tank water and the filter media (secured to the side of the tub), put Sputnik in his cup from the store (it had been washed several times with vinegar water and left to dry), and attached it to the side of the container to keep it stable and keep him above the water.
To my surprise, he flared once, and only once, at the Danio. Then completely ignored the other fish. So, I figured once I moved, I'd give the community tank a try.
He seems pretty okay in there, seems to favor one corner (the feeding corner of course), and couldn't care less about the other fish in the tank. His best buddy is the snail, which he likes to swim over to, and use as a (moving) place to rest.
So, once I got the hang of handling a betta, I asked my S.O. what kind of betta he liked, and what colors. He apparently likes orange crowntails - so my next betta purchase was my new little boy, "Jack" (Jack-o-Lantern, or as Boyfriend tried to name him, Pumpkin) - named so because he arrived here on Halloween Day. I purchased him from Diamond Bettas on Facebook, deciding I wanted to go through a breeder rather than a pet store this time, especially since I was looking for something specific. He's so much smaller than Sputnik, for being only a few months apart!
I'm hoping to start my betta breeding career with this little fellow (who's already building bubble nests all over the place) - going for a good form and finnage in the line, with lots of color and hopefully crossing back to get more beautiful, vibrant oranges in later generations.
My S.O.'s already pestering me to find him a green multi with red/orange-ish wash, preferably marble, that he can name Soyuz (he named Sputnik, and seems to be a little obsessed with the Russian Space Program). I'm just shaking my head because I know where this is going. Buuut he's also enthusiastic about building me a betta barracks in the basement, so.. I can't complain!
So yeah, that's my story! I can't wait to get to know you all better, and learn all I can about the betta breeding and showing world.
Thanks for reading!