Tag Archives: Pets

Betta fish: The myths and the truth – Part 1. 

Maybe you just finished setting up your freshwater tank and you are thinking on getting a Betta. And as you should, you are doing a little research about Betta fish before getting one and you are reading a lot of things about these particular fish. So today I’m going to talk about Betta splendens: this beautiful creature that we all love and is so neglected in our society. I’m going to enunciate some of the things that are said about these fantastic animals and I’m going to tell you which ones are true and which ones are false.

“Bettas can live in a glass of water” – FALSE!

This is the worst and most frequent lie. The fact that they can survive short-term in a glass of water does not mean they can live life at its fullest in that glass. I guess you would be able to survive living in a closet, but you wouldn’t call that ‘living’, am I right? Well, the same goes for Betta fish. They actually enjoy swimming in their tank.

“They live in muddy and dirty water in the wild, that’s why you don’t have to worry about water changes” – FALSE!

Yes, they live in mud puddles (yes, that’s their natural environment) but that does not exactly translate to “dirty water”. One thing is a crystal clear water and other thing is a fishtank with a 0 ppm ammonia reading. Those are two different types of ‘clean water’. When we do water changes it’s not because the water is ‘dirty’, we do it to remove the nitrates in the water (assuming that we have the proper filtration system). So the fact that they can live in muddy waters does not mean they can live in waters with high ammonia readings.

“Because their natural environment are rice puddles, that means they don’t like to swim” – FALSE

Maybe they don’t need a very deep tank, but they do like to swim for thousands and thousands of miles in the wild. They actually need to swim in order to live a full life. If they don’t swim much they are probably going to die withing two years. That’s why they need at least a 2.5 gallon tank.

“They don’t need anything to survive. Just water” -FALSE!

They need a heater because there are tropical fish and if the water temperature is too low they go into an hibernation state and that’s not good for them. Also they need an air pump. The fact that they can breath oxygen from the air (they have a labyrinth organ that permits them to breathe air) doesn’t mean that they don’t use their gills to breath, so yes they need oxygenated water. They can survive without an air pump but, like I said, that does not mean ‘living life at its fullest’.and they are going to die within a couple of years. And last but no least, they need a filtration system. These are fish that can tolerate a little bit of ammonia in their water for a little time and they are not going to die because of that because they are hardy.  But they need a a filtration system in order to maintain the proper conditions for them to live life at their fullest.

“These are very aggressive fish” -TRUE

These are not friendly fish. They don’t do well in community tanks. Of course there could be some exceptions, but that is not the rule. Males can’t be in the same tank as others betta males, they are literally going to fight until one of them ends up dead. On the other hand, female bettas can be friendlier towards other female bettas, and maybe (if you are lucky) you can have a sorority tank -which is a tank full of female bettas- but it’s a risky thing because they might end up killing each other or hurting themselves pretty bad. Also I would not recommend having a male and a female betta in the same tank. It’s really risky. If you have a community tank you have to do your research because it’s a species that doesn’t get along with a a lot of species, specially with those that like to bite fins or those with huge fins that resemble other bettas.

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This is Pinky: my female betta. I love her very much.

There are a thousand myths about these fish so I’m going to write several articles  regarding this issue. I’ll write ‘Part 2’ soon!
So next time you see betta fish in a store and they are in tiny cups or you hear a seller telling a client that  Betta fish don’t need much to live, and saying things like “they are ok like that”. Say something, speak up! Because those fish are going to die in a year or so without their owners really knowing why. This is not about shaming these owners; is about educating them because most of them don’t know that what they are doing is not ok. They trusted the seller and they bought the fish maybe because they’ve always wanted to have a fish that they were desperate enough to believe a fish can live in those conditions!  So lets go and educate people about this, let’s raise awareness!

What do you think about these amazing little creatures? Have you ever saw one in a tiny cup? Do you have a betta? Do you have any questions about them? Maybe other myths that we can debunk? I would love to answer to all your questions in the comment sections below! I hope I see you next time… bye!

Owning a pet

Have you ever wondered what owning a pet really is? Sometimes I feel that people don’t understand how big of a deal it is.

I feel that owning a pet is such a huge responsibility and it’s a decision that should not be taken lightly. If you think about it, you are taking care of a living thing. And the reason why I feel people don’t actually get it is because I hear comments like ‘Since I’m never in the house I will get a cat, they don’t care if you are there or not’ or ‘I want a fish and I don’t want to spend that much on a fish, so I’m going to get a Betta; I heard they can live in a glass full of water’. Nooooo! Let’s just say this is a huge no no!

Please, if you’re reading this and these thoughts ever occur to you, keep reading.img_20170127_123228327

You can’t get a cat because you can’t have a dog. They are not the same. Yes, cats are independent but it doesn’t  mean they don’t care to be alone. I guess you can be on your own for a few days but eventually you’ll miss the company, right? Well, the same way goes for cats. People think that cats don’t give a f**k about them, but that is not true. They actually enjoy the company! And that’s why you end up having so many lonely and aggressive cats: just because people think “they like to be alone or they don’t care about being alone”. The fact that they can survive for a few days by themselves doesn’t mean they like it!

And why does this misconception happen so often? Because people don’t tend to inform themselves about the pet they are about to get. Having a pet is not just giving them food and cleaning their waste, it’s about caring, spending time with them, loving them, doing what’s good for them and trying not to be selfish. You want a fish but you don’t want to spend a lot money on it? Then don’t have it. Fish are expensive if you want to have them under the proper conditions. Do not buy one because you are selfish and you want to fulfill your whim, think about your pet. The fact that they are animals does not mean they don’t feel or the fact that you’re feeding them does not give you the right to have them under bad conditions. I know someone could get lonely and want a new pet but… I think that having a pet because ‘you feel lonely’ it’s a little bit selfish. You have to be aware of all the things “owning a pet” actually mean: It’s a long term commitment. If you have a pet you can’t be lazy: if you have a dog you have to walk it and you have to train it, if you have a cat you have to play with it and spend time with it, if you have fish you have to clean their tank once a week, feed them… And you can’t expect your pet to behave as a human would, they are animals and you have to be aware of that. They have an instinct that goes beyond your rules. If they don’t like to be petted then don’t get mad at them. They are your friends, not your servants.

And I know what you are thinking “But there are so many stray dogs and cats, isn’t it better if they are at a home, even if they are not properly taken care of?”. Well, this one is a though one. But I actually think that the reason why there are so many stray animals is because people don’t actually get what owning a pet is. If you can’t take care of the pups or the kittens then neuter your pet. And if you can’t neuter them, then assume the responsibility and try to find them a new home where they are going to be properly taken care of. Do not leave them on the street because it’s too much of a responsibility!

Like Taylor N. Dean once said in one of her videos, “No animal is cheap … No matter how cute an animal is […] are you ready for everything that’s gonna come? It could get sick […] It’s not all just fun, there are some serious side effects of owning animals […] The main thing is they don’t live anywhere near as long as you do. […] Although they are just a part of your life, you were their whole lives. The things you do for them is all they got to experience. The world you make for them  is their life. You want to give them the best life you can during that time. You don’t want to deprive them of giving them the best they can have for the time they’re here because you chose to take that animal in, you chose to make it yours so now it’s time to give them the best life you can”

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And with this I hope I raised awareness of how important is to own a pet and to inform yourself before going and getting one. It’s a beautiful thing and I love it, but if you are considering to have one, you have to be aware that it’s a responsibility and a long term commitment.

What do you think about this? Do you have any pets? I would love to know your point of view regarding this issue. And if you feel the same way about this please share this post with your friends and family! Let me know what you think
in the comment section below! I hope I see you next time… bye!