Meet the newest member of our family, Fishmael.
We adopted him almost two weeks ago, and he has been a joy and delight ever since! He is a Siamese Fighting Fish or Betta Splendens, and must be in his tank alone, because he won't back down from a fight! He follows my finger all along his tank and puffs himself up as if he's really going to get me.
I really felt inclined to get a Betta because they are so abused in pet stores. There are many misconceptions about Betta fish, because they are a very hardy fish and thereby hard to kill. They essentially have a lung that they use in addition to their gills and take a lot of oxygen from the surface of the water. Because of this, they are able to live in putrified, polluted, ammonia-water long after any other fish would have died. Because of this, many people think they can thrive in small bowls of water with little or no oxygen, when what really happens is that they burn to death in their own ammonia waste products.
Another common false belief is that Bettas can live in a bowl underneath a water plant and will eat off its roots. This also is not true. Bettas need protein to survive, and a plant offers no protein, so they slowly starve to death in planted bowls, in slightly less disgusting water. A starved Betta will nibble at the roots of any plant, looking for food, but don't be deceived! A Betta needs clean, oxygenated water and a high-protein diet in teeny, tiny portions. I am so happy to offer a better home to this beautiful creature of God.
Anyway, meet Fishmael. :)