This past quarter I had the pleasure of working with a 4th grade reading buddy. I worked with her for about 40 minutes twice a week as part of a literacy class I was taking. She was great. She was so curious, and we had fun learning together.
So on the last week of the quarter, she came up to me one morning and the first thing she said was, “Can you have pets at your home?” I told her that I could (I was not sure at all where this was going). She then said, “Would you rather have a turtle or a fish?” I told her that I’d never had a turtle so probably a fish.
I didn’t think that she’d really get me a fish. I told Davey about it, and he really hoped that she would get me a fish!
So sure enough Thursday morning she came to our lesson carrying a small fishbowl. She had gotten me a betta. She had me all fixed up. Food, water conditioner, and some greenery for the betta. It was so thoughtful of her.
Davey was fascinated by the betta who he immediately named Flappy.
It wasn’t too long though until we started feeling sorry for Flappy. We just thought that this was no life for a fish. Flappy should not be destined to spend his life all alone in a tiny fish bowl.
We decided to buy a small tank. David took over at that point. Turns out that he really really really enjoys fish. He has researched carefully to see what fish are compatible with bettas. Then he made daily trips for almost a week to get our water tested. It wasn’t easy to get our aquarium water habitable for fish. Turns out our water has an amount of nitrates in it that are not good for fish. Then the ph was too high. David was diligent though and kept working on the water.
Finally we determined that the aquarium was ready for fish. Davey picked out some colorful rocks and plants. We bought a glow in the dark alien egg. The tank was ready.
It’s hard to take a good picture of this little tank. I can hardly find the fish in the picture.
We began with the betta, some tetras and rasboras.
The tetras did not fare well. We are pretty sure the betta chased them down and fatally injured them. Our research had indicated that tetras could live in harmony with the betta, but either we didn’t pick the right ones or he just didn’t like these poor little guys. So the three tetras died in the first 18 hours with Flappy.
The rasboras have done great. They are a little larger and maybe a little faster. We bought some more of them, and now the betta and the rasboras are living in peace and harmony (at least it appears that way). They are a lively bunch and lots of fun to watch.
Big David loves them. He feeds the betta these rather gross looking blood worms. I’m pretty sure that the betta recognizes David when he comes over to the tank.
We weren’t expecting fish to join our family, but Flappy and friends have been a great addition. Here’s hoping for long fish lives.