So, if you saw my recent Instagram post, you may have seen that I have a new friend.
She is an Elephant Ear Betta fish named Nikki, and I love her.
There was a lot of thought put into getting her, especially because buying a fish for the first time can be a pretty penny, though you may not realize it.
As a college student, I wanted a pet that could stay with me at college, which did not give me a lot of options. My university only allows fish, unless you have a documented ESA (emotional support animal), which I could have gotten but it would have been more stressful than necessary.
However, moving the fish became an issue. Many tropical fish, freshwater or saltwater, need a heater and a filter, and if you move them from place to place they will get stressed out. I also thought about getting a goldfish, BUT if you do your research, each goldfish needs at least 10 gallons of water to live a healthy life.
When I went looking for bettas, there were so many choices to go with. However, when buying a betta, you can only have one in the same tank. Mainly, this is with males, because they will fight until there is only one left standing. This can be true for females, but in groups of 4 to 6, they can live in a “sorority”. However, your tank would have to be densely filled with plants and hiding places for them to escape to when they wanted to be alone.
Bettas also do not need a heater, unless your living space gets super cold in the winter. They can handle a lot of stress, and can handle being in a smaller tank.
With all of the choices of bettas, I wanted a betta that swam a lot and had some personality. Nikki was one of the prettiest ones that were active, despite her being a female (female bettas tend to have duller colors than males). There was a male that I almost got, a yellow Koi Betta, but he seemed a bit lethargic, so I went with Nikki instead.
Now, I have discovered that Nikki might have a little too much personality, as she tend to be a little shit (forgive my language). For example, I give her food, and instead of eating it, she pushes it by the filter to hide it and make me think she ate. She also loves to play dead, which I think is very strange and slightly concerning for a fish. I love her but she is the most chaotic fish I have ever had to take care of.
Now, down to the prices. In total, everything cost about $110 give or take, this includes tax. The idea that I spent a full week’s paycheck on a fish is a bit unsettling, but I won’t have to buy any of these things again, minus a fish, if little Nikki passes.
I bought Nikki a 2.2 gallon tank with a filter and multi-color LED lights, gravel, a castle decoration for hiding, a live plant, and a fake plant, plus food.
To be honest, maybe buying a fish wasn’t the BEST choice I could have made. Of course, I love Nikki and am glad I have her to keep me company, but spending that much all at once on a fish seems a little foolish in hindsight. If I were to do this again, maybe I would have gotten things more slowly, but of course, I’m impulsive, so what are you gonna do?
I would recommend getting a fish if you are a college student, especially a betta. They are easy to take care of, and hearty, so if you forgot to feed them for a day they wouldn’t die or anything. I like having the company, especially when no one is in the house, and soon- dorm. They are also very relaxing to watch.
That’s all I have for now. If you want to follow me on Instagram or Facebook, my username is amanda.full.of.roses
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Have a rosy day,