It Doesn’t Get Betta

| Related | October 25, 2015

(We stop at a pet store so one of my sisters can see the cats up for adoption. I’m an avid keeper of fish, so I wander over to the bettas and find a gorgeous double tail with dark, metallic teal scales that I absolutely fall in love with and end up buying. When I return to my family, I find them looking at the goldfish. My family knows nothing of fish and usually come to me when they want advice.)

Sister #1: “Ooh, you got another betta?”

Me: “Yeah, I couldn’t resist. I never saw one that looked like him before and I thought he kind of looks like a dragon, so I had to get him.”

Sister #1: “Oh wow, he does look cool! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that looks like that either!”

Me: “I figured I’d name him Dragon to theme him with my other betta, Cavalier.”

Sister #2: “I’m getting a fish, too! Dad says I can have a goldfish!”

(I immediately think this is a bad idea because she had two bettas herself already. The first one froze to death because she kept him in an unheated tank in the coldest room in the house in winter and I ended up repossessing and caring for the second one myself because she forgot about him and stopped feeding him.)

Me: “But you don’t even have a tank to keep it in.”

Dad: “We’ve got your old betta tank she can keep it in. That should be big enough right?”

Me: “Dad, I threw that tank out because it was too small to keep a betta in. And no, that’s way too small for a goldfish too.”

Sister #2: “Can I put him in your goldfish tank then?”

Me: “No, because the tank is already at max capacity and I don’t want to crowd them out.”

Sister #2: “Well, can I have your extra tank, then? Nothing’s living in there right now anyway.”

Me: “No. That’s a betta tank and I’m putting Dragon in there.”

Sister #2: “Can’t you just put him in the same tank as Cavalier?”

Me: “Are you crazy? You can’t put two male bettas in the same tank! They’ll kill each other!”

Sister #2: “Okay, then what if we put a divider in it and kept Dragon on one side and my goldfish in the other?”

Me: “Goldfish and bettas can’t live in the same tank together because they have vastly different living requirements and besides, the tank is only big enough for one fish. You’d kill one or both of them by doing that.”

Dad: “Okay, why don’t we just get a new betta tank and a betta instead of a goldfish then since they take up less space.”

Sister #2: “Okay. I guess I’ll take this one then.” *selects the blandest looking female betta I’ve ever seen*

Me: “If you really want a betta tank, I recommend this one. This is the one I have at home for Cavalier.” *I point out a 5 gallon tank* “I wouldn’t go any smaller than that.”

Dad: “Neh, that’s too much hassle to take care of. We’ll just get this one.”

(He picks up one that’s got less volume than a mayonnaise jar and is even smaller than the one I’d thrown out for being too small.)

Me: “Dad, please do not get that one. That is way too small for a betta and it has no plants, caves, or decorations for it to hide in.”

Sister #1: “Yeah, that is pretty small. My betta has more room than that and his tank is still a little smaller than I would like.”

Dad: “They live in puddles in the wild! It will be fine!”

Me: “They also have the ability to move to different puddles in the wild if they need more space! That is definitely way too small for any fish to live in!”

(Despite my pleading, they ended up buying the tiny aquarium for my sister’s fish to live in and then set it up incorrectly before putting the fish in straight tap water that was likely too cold the second they had it put together. Assuming that fish isn’t dead within a week, I have hopes that she’ll quickly grow bored with her too so I can claim her for myself and put her in a more suitable environment.)

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