Because of Emily's obsession with the words "fish" (pronounced fwish) and "fishy" (pronounced fish-EEEEEEE), I decided it would be fun to get her a little fish for Valentine's Day. Something simple that can live in an unheated, unfiltered bowl because I don't want to fall into the trap of having an aquarium again. I've decided twice before to take a foray into the rewarding field of tropical fish ownership, and twice before I have ended up just wishing the things would die already. I was sick of dealing with fish getting sucked up into the filter, heaters on the fritz, algea overgrowth, skyrocketing ammonia levels, sucker catfish getting gigantic, tiger barbs eating each other, dalmation mollies having babies, and even once my freshly flea-powdered cat falling into the aquarium and poisoning all of my fish. I always knew fish and cats didn't get along, but who would've ever guessed poison would've been the cat's chosen method of dispatch? Also, Will is no longer my brand-new boyfriend trying to impress me and my parents, so I don't think he'd consent to helping me clean out a 10-gallon aquarium again for fear of getting another splash of dirty green fish water to the face.
So where was I? Oh yes. A fish, but a simple one.
Bettas seemed a good bet. And as is usually the case with me, once I got the idea in my head I just got more and more excited about it, so instead of 1 Betta for Valentine's Day, we now have 2 Bettas for 10 days before Valentine's Day.
Meet Emily's Betta, Dasha:
and my Betta Jasper:
Please forgive the crappy pictures, my photography skills do not extend to taking excellent pictures of tiny moving targets who are underwater and inside a convex reflective container.
I chose Jasper because he matched my kitchen decor (:-P) and he's named after a vampire in Twilight whose name I liked but would not use on one of my own children. I chose Dasha because Emily had no interest in chosing a fish so I grabbed a pretty one so we could get out of there before anyone noticed that Emily had knocked over several test tubes of aquarium water. Boy that girl has a reach, even when she's buckled into a stroller. Emily chose his name.
After doing extensive internet research, I have realized that Bettas can survive in stagnant water down to 60-ish degrees and don't need a whole lot of room to swim around, but that somehow I am a horrible, sadistic person for keeping a Betta in a goldfish bowl (so named because it is apparently far too small for a golfish too...hmmm) without a heater and a filter. Grrr. Apparently Bettas can survive harsh conditions but they don't necessarily like them, and I'm an idiot for thinking "Hey, at least it's better than the little cups they live in at the pet store". And here I thought fwish didn't have enough room in their mushy little brains to have many preferences one way or the other.
So now I've gotten tiny little heaters to tuck into each bowl, and I've ordered Jasper a fetching little rectangular vase that will hold over a gallon of water but fit nicely on the shelf so he can still be my decorative buddy while I'm washing dishes. Things have gotten more complicated, as they always tend to do, but Emily freakin' loves the fish-EEEEEEEs and I like the little guys too. And if they're too much of a pain, at least we can only expect them to live a couple years, right?