She assured me that there was nothing to owning a fish. She told me that it would be the easiest thing for me to do and I didn't have to worry about a thing. I was a total sucker.
I took the fish and my students named him, Jeeves. He was a Chinese fighting fish- more commonly known as a betta. He arrived in his own bowl, rather small, and nothing else inside the tank but himself.
After having Jeeves for about three weeks, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to do some research on betta fish. Come to find out, although betta's are usually given small tanks, and even stored in small plastic cups at pet stores, this is not best for the fish. This type of habitat is only possible because the betta fish does have the ability, and must be able to, breathe from the air; however, small habitats are not best for the fish.
As I read I began to feel horrible for Jeeves. Stuck in a small tank that could barely house enough water to fill my water jug that I carry to school everyday. So began my quest to do justice by my fish.
According to all the information I could find, betta's should be kept in tanks that have about 1 gallon of water for every centimeter of length. My fish needed at least a six gallon tank. Reluctantly, I bought one. Of course you can't just buy a tank without the nice decor. Already it was turning into more than I could have ever imagined. A six gallon tank is very heavy. It can also be a royal pain to clean. So, I did some more research.
I discovered that shrimp, a bamboo shrimp to be exact, is an ideal tank mate for a betta. The coolest part is that the shrimp eats all the 'unmentionables' in the tank. So, I bought one. All was well... or so I thought.
One small detail I missed in my research is that ALL shrimp are caught in the wild and then sold to the public. It is very rare and difficult to 'raise' real shrimp. This small detail means that sometimes shrimp, like Mylow, as he became called, arrive at their new homes with small organisms and germs. You can guess where this is going.
Mylow infected the tank. Jeeves became sick- deathly sick. In desperation I took Jeeves, Mylow, and the tank home to try and salvage the situation. Jeeves needed a quarantine tank. I bought one. Jeeves also needed medicine. I bought some.
I am happy to say that Jeeves is out of quarantine and he and Mylow are both doing well; however, this small little project has not been inexpensive nor has it been anywhere near as easy as I was promised it would be. In fact, today is tank cleaning day. That's right, many people do not know this, I used to be one of them, but even though your tank might have a filter, and a shrimp to eat the 'unmentionables', you still have to clean it from time to time. O happy day!