betta stories volume 4 

Home Up

tails from the script :P (get it?)  

Love your stories kids, so keep 'em coming!

Betta' luck next time! ;)

hi, I'm Rachel from Alaska, and I want to tell you about my video game playing betta Flare. Shortly after I bought him, I had my friend come over. shortly after we admired him, suddenly the conversation went to my video games. we sat down in front of the TV, plugged in my equipment, and began to play. the interesting thing was, every time Flare started looking at the screen, the computer started beating us silly. we looked at each other, then at Flare, then decided to experiment by covering the tank with a blanket. after he could no longer see the screen, we did 10 times better. After we finished, we decided to let the fish 'upgrade' our opponents... the moral of this story? if you aren't good at video games, don't let your betta see the screen. YOU WILL LOSE!!!!

Footnotes from Faith: Mmmmm... Maybe the casinos in Vegas should all have betta displays everywhere LOLOLOL...


Houdini lives! 

I have always loved bettas and finally decided to buy one for myself. Being a beginner, I purchased a beautiful deep red male from a pet store. Fortunately, he had been well cared for, and is SO beautiful and healthy. I named him Spawn, as in the movie. If you haven't seen the movie, the main character has this huge flowing red cape that reminds me of my betta. I was wanting another betta. Again, I went to the local pet shop and picked out a beautiful red, blue and turquoise male. He looked great in the store, but only a day later started developing a nasty fungal infection. I bought all the medications you recommend on your site and hoped for the best. I put the new betta in a self-contained unit in my community tank, to get the water temperature up. Even though he was sporting a "fur coat" he remained very active and had a HUGE appetite. He got pretty furry there for a while, and even though he was always active, I had my doubts as to whether he'd survive the infection. Several days after I started treatment, my husband called me at work to tell me the sick betta was no longer in his box. AHHHHH! No, don't tell me my sick betta is swimming around in my community tank with all my nice healthy fish! Well, he was crouched in the corner, apparently terrified by all the other curious fish. My hubby quickly plunked him back in his box and re-medicated him. I guess he wasn't in the main tank long, because none of my other fish have been affected by Mr. bettas jail break. Little did I realize just how well they can jump. I even made sure to keep his water level low to avoid such an event. So we aptly named him Houdini. He is now fully recovered and swims happily in his own bowl. He's neighbors with Spawn and they enjoy flaring at each other and try to out-do each other's bubble nests. A happy ending to what I thought was a hopeless situation. Thanks for all the helpful and accurate info Faith!

                                                                                            Jennifer, Vancouver, BC   

Footnotes from Faith: Better be careful with any betta display that hangs or is suctioncupped (if I may say LOL) to your tank's glass walls. Betta do jump, so favor display that offer a lid!! And suction cups eventually give out and displays will sink, so pass on these, or make sure to check suction cups monthly. When they start feeling hard or brittle, toss the display.


 Bettas do jump 

I am not a Betta breeder....but I am a member of the Betta Congress.  I only joined because I am intensely interested of these tiny little creatures.  I have two of them at home.  Actually I have had Bettas over the past few years....some have died, but I always keep two, so that they have company.....I really want to learn about them as much as I can. 
This evening I experienced something that on your website, you have warned over and over again.  BETTAS JUMP!  Oh gosh. 
Our Bettas are kept in our kitchen area....where there is lots of activity.  My husband was in the basement watching TV...I was cooking our dinner, and I turned around, and there was one of our fish lying on the counter!  I started screaming to my husband!  I couldn't believe it!  Well, I guess you are right, they jump! (He came up and saved the fish, I'm not too good in crisis situations)
Maybe you can design some kind of Betta Bowl....that is the right size and that will have a cover...and then market it, with directions on Betta care! Something attractive.....a good size for the Betta.....and covered, and with directions on how to care for a Betta would be wonderful! I think it would sell! (I see too many people at work who have a Betta at their desk their bowls are too small, the temps in the office aren't good and I feel sorry for the fish!) 
I scrounged around and found some covers for both of my Betta bowls after this was orange in color...and both of them...(even the suicidal one) are hanging around the top of the bowl investigating!  Ha! 
My husband is angry at the one who tried to commit "sepiku"....Japanese for suicide.  And, that was his favorite before he tried that act! 
Thank you Faith for your wonderful website and information.....I wish I had listened to you and realize that these fish JUMP!  They sure do!  Thankfully our little "Kichigai" is still alive because it is an active area where he decided to land.  Otherwise, we would have found a little krispie cridder. (potato chip?)
Gayl Tsutsui

Footnotes from Faith: See? I told you guys!! ;)


The Shaggy and Grady saga

Hi Faith,

I just adore your site and have spent the last hour reading all of the Betta Tails and decided to submit my own:

 I have four bettas seven cats and one dog. This story is about my blue and purple betta Shaggy and my cat Grady. I bought Shaggy at a LPS and put him in a large "betta" vase with some gravel and colored stones and set him up on the counter next Fred my first betta. Grady (the cat) became very very interested in Shaggy and will jump up on the counter to get a closer look and will just hang out watching him and once in a while bat at the vase. Much to my horror I came into the kitchen one night and saw Grady drinking out of the vase. I chased Grady down added a little bit of water to the vase and comforted poor little Shaggy and went on my way to bed. Since then every night about the same time, like clock work, Grady will get up on the counter and "play" with his fishy friend, take a drink from the vase and lay back down. I waited one night to catch him in the act to see what was really going on and see if Grady was trying to eat my poor fish. Boy was I surprised to find out that Shaggy the little stinker just loves Grady. He will swim up to the top of the vase and watch Grady's tongue while he laps up water. It has been a useless effort to cover the vases, I finally gave up and bought a two and half gallon tank for them. But every night, Grady gets up on the counter, will paw at the lid, until it moves from Shaggy's side of the tank and take his drink and play. Bettas are strange fish and cats are even stranger.
Becca and wacked out animals

Footnotes from Faith: Well, although it sounds so cute to have a cat and a fish be "friends", I am not convinced, cause after all, cats will be cats and bettas will be bettas. The only thing on these two's minds are:

CAT: "how the heck could I possibly get to that betta and eat it?"

BETTA: "How the heck could I possibly manage to swallow this huge pink thing that lends in my water each day, if I was able to catch it?" (referring, of course to the cat's tongue) LOL



No more pellets for you, mister!

OK last night I did not have any of my bettas' favorite food (freeze dried blood worms).  So all I had was pellets for them (yes, I know bettas hate pellets).  So when I first fed my female (Venus) she looked at me and said "HA HA HA, very funny wise guy now give me the good food!"  Then I fed her neighbors, they did not mind.  When I fed my last one (he also did not mind much) something happened.  Well, when he was about to eat one but he bit it from the wrong angle.   It got stuck in his mouth!!!!  He could not swallow.  Just when I started to panic he swallowed it!  

I was so grateful that today, I'm buying a lot of freeze dried blood worms now!  The moral of the story is, never feed bettas pellets, they will choke on them! And today Venus will be making fun of me :/.

Footnotes from Faith: Although some breeder do successfully feed pellets to their betta, they use mini pellets. I personally do not care for that food and have not used it. It is not nutritious enough in my opinion and will not allow bettas to really blossom to their full potential.




My two pet store bettas, Sushi and Sashimi, had me rolling on my kitchen floor the other day :o))

I keep their 1/2 gal tanks on my kitchen window sill.  There was a small fruit(?) fly buzzing around on the window behind their tanks.  As it dipped down behind Sushi's tank, he saw it and immediately swam over.  Poor little guy smacked his nose several times on the back of the tank trying to get that fly.

The little fly deftly buzzed over behind Sashimi's tank and Sashimi did the same thing.  The fly disappeared, but I think my Betta's noses were a little tender for a while.


Proud owner of Crown Tail TuttiFrutti pair and Blue Splash male cull, in addition to 4 pet store 'rescues' :o)


Dancer the Betta Who's a Lover Not a Fighter .

Last summer I was observing some of my newly jarred (I use beanie baby boxes.) growing males from my Cambodian red veil tail spawn, all of them were vigorously flaring at each other except one.  This one betta, a beautiful cellophane, red marble male was just swimming calmly around in his box.  At this time I thought he was just young so I ignored it, but a month passed and he was still not flaring. Then after that another month pasted and still no flaring.  Everything else about him is healthy though so I decided he's just different.  One day I separated an overly aggressive female from the community tank and placed it next to the area of jarred males where the non-flaring male was.  All of the males that could see the female started flaring and displaying wildly...including the non-flaring one!   He was pressing against the plastic swimming madly with his transparent fins spread WIDE and his gill frills puffed up.   I guess he only dances for girls and so the name Dancer has stuck with him.


 Not for the faint of heart ;)

I'm from Pennsylvania, and I have six bettas; 5 males, and 1 female, and I was changing the all their water one weekend, and my mom was with me that day. So, I take the female and put her in the other temporary container to do my water change. My mom starts going nuts, and screaming, and I looked in the container, and I didn't see anything so I looked over, and the female betta  was on my counter flopping around, and I'm trying to pick her up, and its not working, and I didn't want to hurt her, so I did the emergency "mommy to the rescue" SCOOP with my hand, and I put her in her container. So... about 20 seconds, and a million heart beats later, she was back in her tank, and out of danger. To finish the hellish situation off right... my mom replies to the WHOLE situation: "It's a good thing you were here, 'cause I wouldn't have picked her up, that's so gross, and disgusting." 

(Thanks mom... I know I can count on you.) lol.



After reading a lot of the information on your wonderful web site about proper betta care, Im stunned that my first one lived for two years!  He was a beautiful mutt from the LPS but was apparently very healthy (lucky for him!) because he never had any problems.  I named him Jaws because of the ferocity with which he would attack his food.  His first adventure was with the kitchen sink.  I was changing his water & when I went to put him into the clean water, somehow I managed to send him right down the drain!  (I know, youre thinking what a moron Ive heard it all now!)  I started screaming hysterically & my husband came running in from the other room (probably thinking the house was on fire or something), & Im crying & babbling about the fish being down the drain.  Working quickly, he (my husband, not the fish LOL) removed the U joint in the pipes & there was Jaws flopping around & pissed off!  We quickly put him back in the water & after glaring at me for a few seconds, he went back to his regular betta stuff - he never held a grudge.  He had so much personality!  When I would turn the  stereo on & dance around, he would swim back & forth in his bowl like he was dancing with me.  I eventually got a new betta &  named him J.T. (Jaws Two).  He is also quite special.  If I lean over & kiss the glass, he swims right up like hes kissing me back.  Too cute! 
RW in Texas


Betta Playboy magazine?

Well a couple months ago I had purchased my first betta.  I love him so much!  He's so full of personality and he cracks me up all the time.  He's a very active fish and loves to flare at everything in sight.  What really gets him going is seeing another betta (well duh lol).  So I was bored one day and wondered what would happen if he saw a female betta.  So I went online and tried to find the prettiest female betta picture I could find and I printed it out lol.  I then put the picture in front of his tank and watched him thinking he'd act differently or something.  He just swam around and flared (as he normally would if you place any object in front of him). After a while I decided nothing exciting would happen so I left the room.  A couple hours later I returned and noticed something floating on top of the water in his tank.  I got closer and lol it was the biggest bubble nest I had ever seen him blow.  The air filter in his tank usually makes it hard for the bubble nest to stay together, but wow... he worked really hard on that nest.  I felt so bad knowing that he was working so hard for just a picture.  Poor fella, he probably is still wondering why she never came back.

B-Chan, my first betta

B-chan was my first betta. He was your average veil tailed, petstore mutt that I felt sorry for and thought was pretty (pale all over with blue marbling on his fins).  Thus I became a betta slave. I had him for nearly a year and a half without incident, until he went into a funk sleeping all day and eating little.  Thinking that he was dying I went on a hunt to find out what might cheer him up in his last days, and I found your site.  Realizing that his isolation was not helping him any I bought him some friends and placed their jars next to his.  B-chan then promptly proceeded to tell both Gideon and Balin that they were on his shelf, in his room, and that they had better stop eating his food.  B-chan's remaining six months contained a great deal of exuberant flaring, one apparent bubble nest competition, and several attempts at terminally terrorizing Balin, who had to be permanently moved to the far side of Gideon.

$3 betta? Or $300 betta? :)

Hi Faith-

I live in Boston with my boyfriend and our Betta fish Septimus.  Our landlord said "no dogs" and my boyfriend didn't want a cat, so for Christmas, he bought me a beautiful (okay, he cost 3.00 from Petco, but he's beautiful to me) Betta fish, who I loving named Septimus Hodge. 

To complete the gift, he had purchase a half gallon betta starter kit which was plastic, came with a small plastic plant, and a handful of gravel.  We live in a historic neighborhood which happens to be very drafty, so I couldn't help by worry that my tropical fish looked a bit chilly in his accommodations.  His water felt freezing, so I headed to the Pet store for a
heater and soon learned that you couldn't purchase a heater for anything less than 5 gallons.  So what did I do?  Came home with a 5 gallon tank, a 40 dollar heater, two bags of gravel, a plastic bonsai tree, thermometer, large coral rock with a hole in the middle, and several big white rocks.  Well, Septimus was just thrilled with his new high class home.  My boyfriend, on the other hand, surely thought I had lost my mind.  This $3.00 fish was surely going to be expensive.

About three months later, I had to go to Oregon for work, and I left Sepi in my boyfriend's care for 4 days.  By this point, I had also purchased a bubbler, filter, tank cover, aquarium salt, and about 6 different types of food.  Sepi had become my little baby.  I return from Oregon, and I notice that Sepi doesn't seem quite himself.  I always add water to his tank every few days (yes, I admit, it is bottled water - I certainly wouldn't want to submerge myself in Boston Tap water!) I immediately do a partial water change, but even the next day he seems a little off. I notice he has these little growths on his front fins--the ones that don't really move.  Of course at this point I completely freak out and start calling vets in the area, none of which know anything about fish. I jump online and read about Ick and Velvet and other fish diseases and purchase some Maracide. 

I read something about a "hospital tank" which I later came to understand only really applied to fish that spent most of their time in a communal tank, but I rush out and purchase a one gallon glass tank for Sepi and fill it with miniature versions of everything in his big tank so he'll feel at home: blue stones, bonsai tree, little coral rock.  I measure out his
medicine, take the water temp, float him in the tank, release him and go to bed. 
The next morning I woke up, and ran up to Sepi - who looked like his skin was falling off!  He could barely see through it all, it was just hanging off him.  I start dialing the number on the help line for the manufacturer, and leave several voicemails wondering if this is normal, as it says on the container that it leaves a film on the fish.  About 2 hours later, they call me back and clearly state they have never heard that before and I better take him out of the water.  I
grab the original 1/2 gallon tank Sepi came in, and add some of that (and I'm sure its a rip off) oxygenated Betta water to that and put him in there. I call an aquarium store and they say that he might have had a reaction to the medication, or that I might have accidentally overdosed him - even though I was careful when I measured it out.  I realized aftwards
that while I dosed him for a gallon, I probably should have subtracted what his gravel, rock and tree took up. I felt awful.

Miraculously Sepi looked a bit better a few hours later and seemed to recover.  His little white growths did not go away, however.  So about a week later, I did more research online and picked up some Hex-a-mit, and lightly dosed him with this in his big tank with the filter going (removing the carbon). I did the full treatment on the container, and about 6 days later Sepi looked like a new fish!  I was so happy I picked him up some new stones for his bubbler (as he likes to
do summersaults in the bubbles when it is turned on) and some Betta treats. Now it's bubble nests galore!

I printed the handout from your website on all the common fish illnesses and their symptons. Thank you so much, as I believe without your site, I would not have been equipped to save Sepi from what ailed him. 




Bettas can learn!

It was one of my (almost) daily visits to Bettatalk when I read that you can feed your Betta peas and that they actually like it.  So I decided to get some of my peas from my refrigerator and feed it to my 2 Bettas (Fishy and Fish,  I just got used to those names,-that's what I called them at the beginning when I didn't know how to name them:)))Fishy is more like the bigger,smarter,stronger one and Fish is more young,clueless and well, sometimes dumb,--But I love them soo much!!  I dropped a piece of pea in Fish's bowl, and guess what he did, he just looked at it, not moving an inch while it was slowly sinking to the bottom.  He is soo picky with his food, always eats FD Bloodworms, nothing else.  Then, I put a piece in Fishy's bowl,  and I was so excited when he ran after it (it sunk) and caught it with his mouth and ate it.    I gave him more and more and he likes it really much. Fish just had his face squished on the glass, watching Fishy eating his "new food".  I felt so bad for him so I tried to give him one more piece.  I expected no raection from him but he was swimming after it just like Fishy, and had also caught it,--and he ate it, too!  It was like as if he watched Fishy and then tried to copy him.  Soooo cute!!!


Footnotes from Faith: Yes, that is what I always tell people to do when they have a picky eater on their hands! Let him see another fish eating the same food and they are likely to want to try, too :).


Fishical therapy :))

Ok, have you ever heard of "fishical" therapy? Well yesterday I just got a rescue betta from the LPS. I was looking for a fish for a five gallon tank and saw in the corner of my a very active fish. I walked over and saw this beautiful betta swimming against the side of the rather better displays for a betta. He was a big and strong fishy friend. He was royal blue with red tipped fins. I thought he looked like a gas flame, hence his name FLAME. When I took him home and put him in his new tank, he was relieved. Then came the funny part. He swam over by the power filter waterfall and started to swim under it. Then he ran back and looked at me and ran to the filter again. he swam under it and grabbed some air and swam under and grabbed air and so forth. He had so much fun with his "massager"! Then, he went to the bottom and picked up some dirt from the gravel {which I cleaned today}. Then he went by the wonder tube and got some dirt cleaned off him. Now and then, he goes to the "massager" and cleans himself off.

                                                  P.S. YOU HAVE THE BEST BETTA SITE EVER!!!

                                                                                   Scott, Pittsburgh PA


Footnotes from Faith: Damn straight! LOL


My dancing betta

Hi! my betta story is  MY DANCING BETTA Usually next to my computer I have my betta boxy foxy (I have a little brother, he named it...) usually he is sleeping or swimming (he's lazy and only eats!) but when I turned on the song "Devils and angels" By Toby Lightman on my computer he started to swim up and down quickly (and in circles!) Dancing until the song was over, And he only does that when I play that song.( Im going to try Sheryl Crow next!)

Thanks, Robert Harmon San Antonio, Texas

Footnotes from Faith: (deenaneena deenanena "You are entering the Twilight Zone" deenaneena deenanena LOL


Betta and the plastic frog

When I first got my Betta as a present from my mom, I was surprised. I was  so surprised that I stared at it really quick and accidentally tapped it's bowl. When it turned around to see who was knocking and saw huge me, it got scared. After that it did not even dare to lay an eye on me.

Two minutes later, I decided to change its water just for fun. I put in a toy frog that my mom had also given me as a small accessory. When I released the fish, the first thing it saw was the frog. Again it got scared. I was in a mind of confusion because I did not know what to do with my poor fish. So I took the frog out and suddenly it swam up to look at me. I think it thought of me as a lifesaver, saving it from a small and " harmful " frog. 

From there on we have been best of buddies and always look up to each other--> LITERALLY. lol


Footnotes from Faith: Roberto, you must be really short LOL. On a more serious note, you guys need to allow new fish to have some quiet and calm so they can recover from the stress created by being moved to a new home. Avoid fussing with new bettas and leave them be for at least 4 days, except for feeding that is.


Can't shake them bettas :)

Hi Faith,

Just had to tell you how my bettas survived the San Simeon earthquake on Dec. 22.

I came home to find my bowls on the floor either broken or empty, my rug saturated, and my three poor fish just lying there. Their bowls had flown off the top of my TV cabinet in the shaking.  I gingerly touched one of them and screamed when he flopped in response.  This was over two hours since they'd been flung to the floor.  I quickly filled some temporary containers and got them back in water, and now two weeks later, they are still alive and thriving.  Awesome and amazing!

Love your site!


Footnotes from Faith: Carolyn, you got very lucky because the carpet being soaked it provided the necessary moisture to keep the betta's tissues from drying out. This saved their lives!!