Two Saturdays ago, after Michael finished playing soccer (indoor), we needed to go to the pet store to pick up a few things. While we were there, I decided that I wanted to get myself a fish. I am not really a small creature person. I don’t care for the hamsters. Never wanted to be involved with rats, mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, or the like. I got bit by a cat when I was 12 or 13 and babysitting, and haven’t really cared for cats since. When Chris and I were first together, he had a ferret, didn’t care for that too much either. My mom had some birds when I was younger, birds are messy and quite loud. Fish, on the other hand, are calming. But the tank requires cleaning and lots of maintenance. I remember that we had fish at one point when I was growing up. And I remember the fish having babies. Didn’t really like that part. When I was in college, I dated a guy who had a salt-water tank. It was gorgeous. I love to sit and watch the fish. But, the cleaning and the balancing the pH and everything was very time-consuming. And before you could add a fish, everything had to be just so. Then you could only add one or two at a time or the tank would freak-out. Way more work that I am interested in.
I decided that a very small tank would fit my needs. First, I thought a couple of goldfish would be good. But, all the small tanks were only for one goldfish. And then you had to get the tank, set it up, run it, balance the pH and THEN you could get a fish. Too much work and too much waiting. Then I thought maybe a bigger tank, but it was just more work. Finally, I decided on a Beta. I could take one home and put it in the tank with very little work. The water only needs to be changed every other week (and then you change about 1/2 of it). You add a conditioner to the water and wallah you are ready to go.
Of course, you can only have one fish. But I decided that was ok. You don’t need a filter or anything fancy. I got a 1 gallon tank, some rocks (orange because Michael picked them out), two small plants and the beta. The tank has a LED light that can be several different colors. I spent a little more to get the tank with the light because I thought that would increase my enjoyment. It was well worth the extra $5.
Michael picked out the fish and named him: Mr. Beta. He is blue and generally pretty active. He seems to be enjoying his expanded environment and his fins are spreading out. He is very pretty. He eats twice a day – but only a few pellets of beta food. He has already learned where the food arrives in the tank. It was hard to get a good picture of him, but I think that this one will show you what he looks like.
And he is very, very calming. Watching him swim around reduces my stress. And looking at him makes me smile. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dogs. I think that without them I would be very lonely (at times). I have had a dog (or two) for most of my life – my parents’ dogs when I was growing up and then my dogs. I can’t imagine not having one. But dogs need to be taken out, fed, trained, walked and the like. Mr. Beta doesn’t require as much. and he doesn’t annoy me (as the dogs tend to do when they bark at stuff and won’t stop).
I am not looking forward to changing the water in his tank. I don’t like the transfer of the fish from the tank to the cup. I am always afraid that the fish will jump and land on the floor and then I will have to touch it. But that has never actually happened to me. So, it is just my dislike of touching things that could be slimy or icky, or things that I could accidentally kill. However, this slight anxiety is nothing compared to the calm that I experience when I watch Mr. Beta.