Wednesday, February 29, 2012

THE PERFECT PET

 
What would make a perfect pet? One with low maintenance, cheap to feed, no odor, no vet bills, will not require walking ,though I always considered walking a plus except on nasty  days.  No litter box is required, will not chew shoes nor shred a couch. One that will actually be good for your health, will provide entertainment and is decorative.

It will come when called, watch your every move yet stay out from under foot. Will not shed, drool, jump on your friends, terrify a small child and is really, really quiet. No it is not a mechanical toy but a live, air breathing creature.

Impossible you say. Au contraire mes amis. Sorry for the French attempt. I am still smitten by that adorable French actor from The Artist. Anyway, it really is possible to have all of the above in one creature.

I normally avoid the aquarium section in most department stores. There usually are dead fish either floating on the surface or hugging the bottom. Not a pretty sight for a tender heart.

Then there are the special ones that always make me sad. In tiny bowls are beautiful fish that lie motionlessly in about one cup of water. Two inches of fish, oozing pure depression while draped in flamboyant colors.

The other day against my better judgment, I had to pass those tanks and yes, I looked. There looking back at me in total dejection was a stunning blue fellow who appeared to be waiting to die.

The Betta, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, is a flashy fish with long flowing brightly colored fins.  They can be blue, red or green.  The Fighting part of his name is well earned. You can't put two males together, they will fight to the death and was once a betting sport in Asia.

Also putting them with a female is hazardous to the females health. When breeding, the male wraps his body around hers and squeezes. As her eggs pop out, he fertilizes them and carefully places them into a nest of bubbles he has blown on the surface. He then tends to and protects the nest. He runs off the female if she survives the breeding. Great dad, sucky boyfriend.

  A Betta can live in a community tank if care is taken choosing his roommates. They must be non- aggressive and without flowing fins which will make the Betta fiesty. He really does have the attitude of a bar room fighter.  I happen to have very peaceful Serpae Tetras that are about 8 years old and decided it was safe to add this poor fellow to my tank.

This unusual fish has an organ known as the labyrinth organ which allows them to breathe air at the water's surface.  Some people put these fish in small bowls for that reason but I find that brutal. If cared for, I too could live in an 8 by 12 room and might expect to live a normal lifespan. Of course I would be nuts in no time. Just drawing a breath and eating is not living.

 Sorry about quality. Click on picture to see his fierce expression.

 Yep, same fish. In different light, his color shading changes. Might have to change the background so he will show up better. 

It took him a while to adjust to the vastness of his new quarters. He just stayed in one spot or hid in some ornaments for about a day. You have to be careful that there are no places for a Betta to get stuck. They are the only aquarium fish I know of that can drown if they cannot reach the surface and breathe air.

Soon he was sprinting from side to side in my 30 gal tank and zooming from top to bottom. They eat special Betta food as they are carnivores. Fish flakes won't do. Also they have to be hand fed twice a day. Ok, maybe they aren't perfect but I actually enjoy the feeding.

As soon as I open the lid and call "fishy, fishy", he scurries to where I am standing and looks up at me expectantly. One at a time, I drop the small seed like pellets for him to eat. Six to 8 tiny pellets per feeding, twice a day is his diet. He would eat more but fish are a lot like most humans, they love to over eat.

So outside of the special feeding which requires less than a minute to accomplish, he meets all the requirements of the perfect pet. How is he good for your health you ask? It is a known fact that watching fish will calm you and lower your blood pressure. That is a nice plus.

If you have no pets and think you might enjoy a perfect one, consider the Betta. Only please give him a nice big, clean, aerated house to live in.

Or if you are like me and all ready have less than perfect though totally delightful pets , there is always room for a perfect addition. No current pet gets jealous and they do make great cat TV.

Any name ideas for him?? I am a bit tired of calling “here fishy fishy” at feeding time.


42 comments :

  1. You are just too much...now you have started a Beta fish rescue.

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  2. He does look fierce, and other than having to feed him, as you said, he's a perfect pet. Interesting facts about a fish that must breathe air from the surface! No names come to me, but I'll think about that...

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  3. A fish! We used to have fish, cats and many others, but I loved to watch the cats heads go back and forth as they watched the fish swim. Oh and they twitched tails at the same time.
    No name....I haven't even had time to think of a name for my robot. :)

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  4. Aw. He's handsome! We had one years ago. Fascinating to watch.

    I think "Lucky" because he is that! Look at that wonderful home.

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  5. Interesting idea. We gave up the pet thing when our cat died several years ago. We are too often not home and it is not fair to the animal - fish included! But I will keep it in mind for the future. My kids always opted for Fred when we couldn't agree on pet names.

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  6. Oh my, here I go off on something else . I'm off now to read up on fish and research fish tanks. I think I'd love that kind of pet.

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  7. Here Fishy fishy? ROFLMAO

    You are nuttier than me I think. Dianne

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  8. He is a beauty. I love Bettas. Over the years I've owned a few and yes, they were in big tanks. I agree those little bowls are cruel punishment for something so gorgeous. Names? Bubbles or Calypso are my two contributions.

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  9. Beautiful fish. I think you should call him Elvis. ;)

    We had a fish tank full of fish but the maintenance on cleaning the tank was a nightmare and always left to me to do, so eventually as the fish died I removed the tank.

    We have no pets now, which is good really as we travel quite a bit.

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  10. Such beautiful colors! I've never seen a Betta. Fantastic little fish. With those colors, I might call him "Rainbow."

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  11. I don't suppose "Hey, You" is what you're looking for. How about "Blue Boy" or "Bubble Boy" or just "Bubbles"?

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  12. He is gorgeous.

    Not sure about a name. Finn! Because he has Fins. Not good, I know.

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  13. Beautiful fish ... I had one and named him Billy ... Belly Betta ... he was sooooo cute.

    My cats loved watching him and tried to pry the lid off many .... many times.

    You do know they jump, right? they will look like they are cellophane if they jump out and you don't see them in time ... or the cats have successfully taken the top off!

    I love betta fish and hate to see them all scrunched up in cups too.

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  14. I used to own a fish tank, but gave it up when cleaning it became burdensome. There's nothing more beautiful than those colorful fish. How about calling your new fish JOE? Lol.

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  15. Wow ...he is gorgeous ... hope he mananges not to get stuck ...how about naming him after the french actor.
    Fish are good for stress ...you used to see them in dentists waiting rooms a lot.xx

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  16. I never had any luck with fish. Not with house plants either. And my dog always looks kinda nervous.

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  17. Most interesting, but you can't take a fish for a walk.

    BTW---did you ever see "Moneyball"?

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  18. Olga,
    Ha, lucky for me, only one can be rescued at a time. Hopefully more will join in. Think Linda is interested.

    Djan,
    He is a strange little fellow as well as handsome.

    RV Vagabonds,
    Now that is clever.

    Manzanita,
    My one cat spends a good part of the day just watching. The fish are oblivious.

    Barry,
    Thanks Barry, That name will go in the pot and I will pull a winner. No prizes, just bragging rights.

    Mercyn,
    Fred is now in the pot also. Pets aren't good if you have a life on the go and you do so just enjoy the freedom.

    Linda,
    I think you are going to like this adventure. I really can't think of a down side.

    Dianne,
    It may be a close race but we do have fun.

    Rae,
    I like those and they are definitely in the pot. So glad yours got to stretch their fins.

    LL Cool Joe,
    Ha, considering my close encounter, Elvis is in the drawing. I have my tank set up with worker fish that leave me almost nothing to do except add a little water now and then.

    robin,
    Rainbow is in the mix and does fit his colorful presence.

    Fishducky,
    Now those are all good and will be in the hat. They all fit him.

    islandwonder,
    Finn fits since he is a bit of a brawler. Will let you know.

    Carolyn,
    I learned years ago about their jumping abilities. My tank is covered except where the filter goes. Hopefully he won't figure that out.

    gigihawaii,
    That would please LL Cool Joe for sure. I have my tank set up with worker fish that do all the cleaning. All I do is add water.

    Angie,
    Hum, that might work. Think it is pronounced Zhahn. He is such an appealing man. Fish are great for stress.

    Sightings,
    Ha ha Don't think your dog has a thing to worry about. He has you trained.

    Clint,
    I agree but on nasty days, that is a plus. Not yet but I can't wait. That is on my must see list.

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  19. What a gorgeous fish. I had no idea there were fish that could breathe air. I'm amazed that you have to hand-feed it. I think I'd have to stick to guppies.

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  20. I kind of like fishy fishy....lol
    This is a great post that made me miss my fish I use to have.
    You are so funny.
    I actually did a post about my pet today.
    How weird
    Loved my visit and hope you have lots of fun times with fishy fishy
    Love
    Maggie

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  21. It appears to me that if he responds to "fishy-fishy" then perhaps you have already named him. Now you must say, "Fishy, Fishy" since proper names must be capitalized.

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  22. I don't know what it is but Fish in a Tank make me sad. Maybe it's the confinement, and also that they are kind of "on display" all the time.....I know this would not be for me. BUT, he sounds like he is a dream-come-true, for you, my dear...!

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  23. My daughter had a Betta years ago when she was little, and we named him Sabastian. Always loved that little fish, and yours looks just like him. We had a little fishy funeral for him and all.
    I have 2 tanks, a 30 gallon with goldfish and Koi, and a 30 gallon with cichlids which we need to upgrade to a 55 gallon as our cichlids are getting big!! I love fish!! We also have 4 dogs...LOL. Can you tell we have empty nest? LOL.

    God Bless~
    Debbie

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  24. Twice a day hand fed, not for me, but he does sound happy and that's a good thing. Blue Boy but maybe a one word name, Fiesty might be good - goes with Mighty.

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  25. I don't know why, I just can't get into fish. Plus my psycho cat would probably capture it out of the tank and eat it.

    He's cute though. How about "freedom" since you saved him from a life of loneliness.

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  26. Beautiful fish! I like that colour blue very much. We had once fish in a fishtank, when my son was still here. I don't know why they all died. We cleaned the tank quite often.Well...He had budgeries and they all died. He was devastated.
    Thanks for your visit and comment. I believe our royals are not as well known as the British ones.

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  27. Kay,
    Guppies are the ones this one will fight with. The flowing tail fins get him excited.

    Grandma Yellow Hair,
    Just came back from reading about your talented plus sized cat. Cute story. Ha, maybe if you got her a fish to watch, it would take her mind off food--or maybe not.



    NC Mountainwoman
    I really was looking for a shorter name but he does now respond to FF. Notice caps.

    Patricia K. Lichen
    That is a lovely name. Think I remember that from the Big Easy.

    OOLOH
    You have a point though I have never thought of them that way. I kind of look at them as living art and try to provide the best home possible. However, I do feel that way about caged birds. Neither choice is optimal for the creature involved.

    Linda,
    Oh, those are both good names. Into the pot they go. Thanks.

    Southwest Arkie,
    Fortunately, my cat has no access to the aquarium or she would. She watches for hours. Another great name.

    Reader Wil,
    Sometimes new fish will bring in a disease that will kill the tank.
    You are right, the Brits do get a lot more press over here than your royals. Thanks for keeping us informed.

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  28. He's a pretty boy, love the color! I'm glad he has plenty of room to swim in. So many are put in very small fish bowls.

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  29. Well, Patti, my granddaughter, Amanda, has had a Betta fish for over a year. His name is Zachary Cohen (after a friend of hers who moved away). He has his own plush watery quarters in her bedroom, and she dotes on him. Sometimes, I "visit" with him on FaceTime, though he isn't a great conversationalist. I think perhaps he thinks he's in Betta Heaven.

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  30. What a beautiful fish! Perhaps the name of "Alpha" (the first letter of the Greek alphabet), while "Beta" is the last letter.

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  31. We've had Betas before. I just hate cleaning a fish tank, even a small one. I'm liking the Sam-I-Am idea...
    Sandy

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  32. They are a beautiful fish. And you expressed what I'd alway thought about such a creature forced in survive in one cup of water. A 30 gallon tank. Wonderful! Keep updating on any addition neighbors. :)

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  33. How do the cats feel about the addition. I'm not good at naming pets. I'm sure you will come up with something.

    A few years ago, I babysat my grands for a week and when the parents came home the kids had fancy fish to take care of. My daughter-in-law was not too happy. The kids, of course, assured me that she would be thrilled.

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  34. What a gorgeous fish! I think fish are just about the ideal low-maintenance pets! Congratulations on your exotic new family member!

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  35. A pet fish ! Now I've heard it all. What a handsome creature and I think you should name him "Bogie"

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  36. This is a wonderful post! I always wondered about those fish and now am wondering why more don't get better homes like you gave yours.

    Kathy M.

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  37. A 30 gallon tank? well how hard is the maintenance? Do you have a pump? How big?
    I'm not so sure it's a perfect pet thing unless you have understood the keeping the water clean. Since they eat they also excrete and that must be cleaned. Snails?I am very immersed to learn so many fish facts though.

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  38. What a cutie!! You reminded me of a hospice patient I had who had lost his dog, and was sad about it. I don't know how I came up with the idea of giving him a fish in a bowl to fill the void. I may write a story about that experience. I had totally forgot about it, glad I stopped by.

    'Fishy Fishy' sounds cute, and if he already responds to that, just stick to it. Otherwise, I'd have suggested to name it "Azul" :-))

    Nice post, I loved to learn more about Betas, and aquariums.

    Doris

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  39. I finally posted the story I mentioned above :-)

    Hope you're doing well.

    Doris

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  40. Dearest Patti,

    Coming from Doris's 'Hold my hand' I landed here.
    You got a very cute pet and to me it is a 'Bubbly'. Love your approach to the New Sixty. Have to keep that in mind as I'm past the Old Sixty.
    Love to you,

    Mariette

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