The Perfect Betta

Last semester, I really wanted to get an animal. I had a dog when I lived at home, and loved to take care of him and play with him. But since I was living in a dorm now, there weren’t many choices I had for pets, and none of them would be as bonding as a dog. A girl I knew kept a lizard once while she was going to school, much to the dismay of her roommate, so maybe I could do something too. However, getting a lizard wasn’t really my thing. I only could imagine it escaping from its cage, and maybe even my room to reek havoc on my floor.

A friend of mine heard my gripes over winter break, and bought me a fish for Christmas. His name is Steve.

He’s a baby betta fish from Petco. He doesn’t have his majestic fins yet, and he’s pretty puny compared to his adult counterparts. Depending how old he is right now, it’s going to take a few months for him to grow to full size. After that, he can live up to a year or so.

I keep him in a half-gallon tank on my desk so I can glance over at him while I do my homework. I’ve heard some people recommend 2 gallon or higher tanks to keep a single betta in, but I think that’s ridiculous. Steve is perfectly happy in his little tank, the same way I am living in my small dorm.

Initially, I thought I was just getting a desk decoration for Christmas. Just feed it once a day, clean the tank once a week, and let him be. But actually, they’re a more responsive fish than most people think. When I tap my fingers on the glass a few times, he flips his fins and swims over to where I’m tapping. It’s almost like when you whistle for a dog to come, and he wags his tail. He also has a thing for the colors red and orange, so if I drag an orange pen cap across his tank, it immediately grabs his attention more than with other colors.

It’s nice that I can have a pet that’s not just a nice decoration in my room. It definitely helps that he’s low-maintenance, especially with my 16-credit course load this semester. He’s even got a personality, to boot (which apparently quite a few bettas do). It definitely beats your average goldfish.

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4 Responses to The Perfect Betta

  1. Fish are awesome. I’ve always been one of those people who thinks that if you have one pet you should get another so they have a companion. I’m not sure if that cage is big enough, but you should look into getting another fish.

    I definitely feel for you with those anti-dog dorm rules. I don’t know if I could live without a dog. Good for you for getting the next best thing!

  2. kim says:

    Hi. I know you feel a little gipped on getting a girl betta. But I’ve had both boys and girls, and I can tell you my very favorite fish I’ve every had or known was an ugly little girl betta, she was brown and looked like a minnow – her name was Simone. She lived a really long time and had omg personality so spare. I ended up taking her to work and everyone loved her. She demanded attention from everyone who came into the office (an absolute diva), would ‘read’ papers, was best friends with my pencil topper Woody (from Toy Story). Oh – and I changed the color of her rocks – that kept her busy for two days. She would wedge herself up against her plant so she could be literally nose-down vertical so she could check out every single rock… You will definitely have a ton of fun with your little girl betta. Boys are nice, they are friendly and pretty, but that girl I had was something else…

  3. Ashley Pennington says:

    How do you keep your tank from getting cloudy? My Betta also keeps on staying on this fake plant leaf and not really leaving it, does that mean that somethings wrong with him?

  4. Quote “I keep him in a half-gallon tank on my desk so I can glance over at him while I do my homework. I’ve heard some people recommend 2 gallon or higher tanks to keep a single betta in, but I think that’s ridiculous. Steve is perfectly happy in his little tank, the same way I am living in my small dorm.”
    ******Okay I’m replying to a post from 2012 (I know this) but as future reference for anyone who googles Betta & lands here…….
    Using your line of reasoning:: How long are you going to live in the dorm (your whole life?)? Also think about this, you can (and do) LEAVE your dorm room, Steve(ette) cannot his “dorm room” 😉

    It sounds like you adore your fish! I’d give it some room!! 😀

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