Monday, January 19, 2009

Meet Monet

This is my new Betta fish, Monet! I saw a fish bowl at my Vet's office with this beautiful, velvet blue and purple fish swimming around and asked about it. Next thing I knew I was at Petco asking the fish expert every question under the sun and filling my basket with aquarium supplies.

Running an aquarium looks simple but it's actually a very delicate thing that requires (at least the first few weeks) constant monitoring of the water chemistry and temperature (for tropical fish).

The kind of fish I bought is a male Betta - very territorial so the store keeps them in these little cups. There's an ongoing debate among fish hobbyists whether this is cruel or not - alls I know is the fish looked sad and sickly in there.

So here's how Monet arrived in his little cup. He looked well, but lethargic. I put him on my bookcase away from 'traffic' and drafts in my studio and got to work putting together his new ten gallon (Hilton Hotel lol) tank. It took FOUR hours and several phone calls to a friend of mine about properly setting it up. Mistakes - even small ones - can mean the death of the new fish within a week.

I waited 24 hours to let the tank cycle a bit and cleaned out some of the water in Monet's cup - I also placed him under my little desk lamp to raise the temp of his water to above 75 (which is what they prefer). After a good water cleaning in small increments he actually began to stretch out his fins and swim around a little. He was feeling better!

Finally the time came to introduce him to his new tank. This was also a long slow process which I won't bore you with, but his release was fascinating. He don't know much beyond the tiny cup he lived in and so he was a bit clumsy getting used to his new home. He had never been given a chance to swim fast or long distances so this was all new to him.

After a few weeks I'll start adding more fish over time. But for now it's just Monet, Risky and I.


Rosie said...

He would make a great story and who is the singer in the music?

Phyllis Harris said...

What a great studio companion! Monet is beautiful!

Alicia PadrĂ³n said...

Wow Monet must be thrilled!! He lives in a mansion! He is beautiful Paige :o)

I had a beta too when I lived in California. We could not have pets, meaning dogs or cats, living in the university campus so I bought a Beta and named him Stephen :o)

They are beautiful and very clean, not like goldfish that really make the water dirty often. Try putting a mirror in front of him and see what happens. They are really little warriors.

Congrats on your new studio pet Paige, I can almost hear the soothing fish tank sound :o)

Oh, and don't over feed him, they really eat very little.

Paige Keiser said...

I agree Rosie! My mom mentioned that too...the singer is Rufus Wainwright and the song is "Under The Peach Trees". He's currently my favorite singer!

Ooh you had a Betta too Alicia? Get ready for lots of questions about how to care for these little guys correctly. How long did yours live for? I've heard all sorts of age ranges, but I hope Monet lives for a long long time!

J.L.Meyer said...

nice, I hope he has a great time in the tank and I will cross my fingers for ya.
Im getting ready to go for my 3rd aquarium and have been doing alot of reading (to avoid the tank crash I had.. poor fishies)

I thought betas could only live alone?

J.L.Meyer said...

Thanks for the video, he is really beautiful! I could watch him swim all day, much love for fish. =)

Paige Keiser said...

Hi J.L. Yeah the tank cycle is something the guy at the pet store did NOT tell me. Only after I bought Monet and the tank did I find out. I've read that with just one fish in a ten gallon tank, the ammonia and nitrite spikes won't be bad if I do plenty of water changes during that time. As for other fish, males don't get along with other Bettas, but do get along with fish that are friendly and don't look similar. That's way off in the future anyway after his tank cycles. Glad you liked the vid and good luck with your next fishies. :)

Tom Barrett said...

Betas are great and beautiful to look at. my wife got one from my grandmother for Christmas a few years ago. We had him for about two years (ours was the only one out of the "gift" fish to live that long!) :P

I, too, always thought that the could only be loners. Good to know that he will be allowed some friends!

Tanja said...

Bettas are a beautiful fish! They are partial air breathers (Anabantoids) and need access to the surface to gulp air, too. Your pet store should tell you to avoid any kind of tetra fish when you start adding in new friends since they are a known fin nipper. I got to learn all kinds of fun fishy stuff when I worked at a pet store specializing in fresh/salt water fish while I was at university. :)

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