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Betta Blues

Posted 2010.04.12 14.46 in Aquaria by Stephanie

I’m worried for Alpha the Betta. Saturday evening he wasn’t interested in his noms, but I figured that he was still upset about the regular cleaning – gravel vacuuming and all that, it can be disruptive. Then Sunday he still wasn’t interested in food, but I didn’t really put it together.

This morning though, when he still wasn’t interested in eating, I realized there must be something up. Closer inspection revealed he was a bit bloated. Now this afternoon I can see he’s more bloated, with some ‘pineconing’ around the front 1/4 of his body.

He’s been very healthy and always eaten like crazy, and he’s huge – like almost 3 inches long, not including tail or anything, just the meaty fishy part is that big. So having him suddenly go like this is disconcerting.

Everything I’ve ready says it’s ‘dropsy’ which is more or less utterly fatal, so now it’s just a matter of watching and hoping.

Poor guy.

Aquarium Update #3: Alpha Betta Base

Posted 2009.11.12 7.16 in Aquaria by Stephanie

My betta fish named Alpha still has a 5.5 gallon aquarium all to himself. Well, himself and a colony of Bythinia tenticulata snails (aka faucet snails).

At first I thought the faucet snails were baby apple snails, as they are very, very similar in form. However, the B. tenticulata do not have labial tenticals, and their adult size is somewhere between a pea and a bb. They are sort of along the same line as ‘pest snails’ but unlike the accursed planorbids, faucet snails do not (in my experience) take over the aquarium like a swarm of locusts.

So, being that they are like micro-sized apple snails, I decided to keep some of these little guys, and put them in the Alpha Betta Base. They have been doing fine there, and are onto their second generation in fact.

Of course, the real star of the tank is Alpha the Betta. Betta snobs wouldn’t much like Alpha, he’s just a run-of-the-mill standard pet-store betta. His colour goes from darkest blue at his nose to a dark ‘royal’ blue at his tail. There are some undertones of red here and there.

Oddly, he’s a bit of a coward. Now and then I’ll hold a mirror next to the tank, and his immediate reaction is not to flare aggressively – it’s to run and hide behind a plant. 🙄

Alpha Betta Base