Taking good betta pictures is TOUGH. Just TRY to get them to keep flaring long enough to click the shutter. I swear they do it on purpose, it's the kind of thing a betta WOULD do. Anyway, these will have to do until I get better ones! At least I got Ralph to cooperate, anyway.

I can't imagine not having at least one betta--besides which, they're my husband's favorite fish, and it's the least I can do. I'm not going to get involved in a What's-the-best-way-to-keep-bettas discussion, I'll just tell you how I do it. I've been keeping male bettas in my community tanks for as long as I've been keeping fish. My experience has been that the more room they have to swim, the more swimming they do, the healthier they are, the bigger they get and the longer they live. I've also found that they get along with their tankmates better in larger tanks. If they need to get away, they have plenty of hiding places, and they can't catch anybody to harass them if there's room for the other guy to escape. In a 10 gallon, it can be a different story, and I have generally found it's the other guy who winds up on the short end of the stick, not the betta. Of course, I don't keep fin nippers, not with all those angelfish around, so I don't run into THAT problem.


my wonderful B.B. This was my wonderful B.B. (I'm Bad and I'm Blue); he left me this spring, after almost four years. He was a great fish with a great betta attitude, and he could kick the butt of a much larger and quicker fish if he set his mind to it; even the clown loaches took care to stay out of B.B.'s plant. For all that, he was a great community fish, and was the lord of my 55 gallon for his entire life. This picture was taken just a couple of months before he died; I really wish I had a picture of him when he was young. Even in his old age he still had that lustrous royal blue color, but his fins were showing his age by the time this was taken.

Godspeed, B.B., I'll never forget you and all the wonderful quirks you had that entertained me so much. You'll always be the standard by which I judge all future bettas.

my son's betta, Bernie This was my son's betta, Bernie; I inherited him when Ben moved to Washington and couldn't take his fish. Bernie's pretty tough, too; he survived a year in a frat house and is still going strong. I'd guess he's about two, he was fairly small when Ben got him. He has the brightest blue gleam in his eye--almost looks evil! He has very long fins and is a real sight when he flares. Sigh. You'll just have to take my word for it, I've never got him yet. He lives in a 3 gallon Eclipse tank amidst the java fern and hydrocotyle (bettas seem to love hydrocotyle, it's sort of like a lounge chair for fish).
Ralph's the newest member Ralph's the newest member of the fraternity, we got him on January 4th of this year. Didn't mean to, all we went for was dog food, honest--but we just had to bring him home when we saw him. At the time, he was a gorgeous, delicate-looking yellow (take a look here), but his color's deepened to a salmony peach over the last couple of months (he's under different light, too, and looks much more pink than he did in his other tank), and BOY, has he grown! That almost fragile look he had when we got him is a thing of the past.
This is Roger This is Roger, the guy on top of the heater on the Home Page. At least he was sort of flaring even if he was heading away from me. He has great ventral fins, and he can make his gills look huge, he's quite a character! He was a bad guy in the 10 gallon cardinal tank, but he gets along fine with everybody in the 45 gallon. I was startled to discover we've had this guy for nearly two years when I checked my journal, I always think of him as the young one.

BETTAS GET IN THE DARNDEST's part of their charm!

Roger B.B.'s tail
Roger squished behind the intake tube of the AC300. Up there near the heater, of course. He never gets too far from the heater. B.B.'s tail--sticking out of one of his favorite places, the hole in the fake rock. Sorry about the messy glass--it's the side of the tank, and I never clean it, I leave it for the cleanup crew.

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