So I got myself a fish. It may come as a shock to a lot of people but this is officially my first pet of any kind! Before I dive into getting something like a dog or cat, I thought I’d start of small to see how things go.
So, I’ve heard that betta fish were the most easiest fish to look after. I got a blue one from a pet store (Pet Habitat) in Metrotown mall. I didn’t know if it was a male or female, but later on, I realized that it was a male after I had seen some bubbles always floating on the surface in a clump. When I googled what that might be, it turned out the male will build a bubble nest for the eggs from a female.
Things you’ll need:
- betta fish (only one in the tank, as putting another one will make them fight till death!) $7
- tank (do NOT put them in a little cup as they do at the pet store! this is not ideal – they only do this at the store because of space shortage)
- frozen bloodworms
- real plants (do not get plastic ones that can tear the fins!) $4
- gravel (no sharp ones as this can rip the fins/tails) $8
- calcium block
- water treatment
- heater $15
I didn’t think a fish would be as interesting as it has been. Usually, I see fish in tanks just swimming around minding its own business. But Mina (the name for my betta fish: origin of the name in German means ‘love – it also has meanings of ”small’ ‘fish’ and ‘sky’ in other languages) has quite a character. When I arrive at to the office every morning, it will start swimming against the glass, twitching is body back and forth happy to see me, like a dog would wag it’s tail when they see their owner return. I feed him frozen blood worms, as apparently, these betta fish are from Thailand, and aren’t trained or use to eating pellet food. The blood worms need to be thawed, and I leave it by the tank. Sometimes I see Mina by the food, just staring at it hehe. Once it’s thawed, I come over. I feed it using chopsticks and he goes crazy just seeing them. He gets super excited.
For a little fish, he’s got some power. I’ll sometimes hold onto the worms with the chopsticks and we’ll play a little tug-of-war. If I hold the worm above the surface of the water, he’ll make the effort to jump out and snatch it, kind of like a dolphin. I feed him about 5-7 worms in the morning, and another at 4pm. I was worried in how I would be able to feed him over the weekend, but it turns out that they can go on without food for a week or two.
The tank needs to be cleaned out once every week. You need to keep about half or so of the old water, and add new water that’s been treated. Normal water coming out of the tap may not do anything to us humans, but it can be deadly to our little fishy. Also, don’t use cleaning products like soap or detergents! If you ever do, remember to wash it thoroughly before placing it back into the tank. Any small traces can be poisonous!
At first, the tank was sitting by the window. Shortly after, some algae started to grow in the corners. I quickly cleaned them out and moved it away from sunlight. Later, Mina started suffering some fin infections. They were starting to rot, and it was annoying him to the point that he would bite and tear it off. By next day, the tails and fins had considerably receded, so I went to the pet store to get some remedy for the water to help with the infection. It helped for a while, but now I noticed some holes. I just hope the treatments work. I’m finding that it’s not easy to take care of a pet – even a pet like a fish! However, even though you can’t take it for walks, or cuddle with it on the couch, it’s been pretty rewarding and happy to have a pet like Mina 🙂