Fish are amazing. They are one of the greatest pets to ever own in my opinion. They are virtually low maintenance, at least compared to a dog or a bird. And for people, like myself, who can get very busy, a Betta Fish is exactly the way to go.
You can go to a shop and buy all those expensive fancy Betta tanks they have out there. Some of them are amazing. But most are just over priced. I felt, for my fish, I would personally build him his new home. (fish fact: Male Bettas have large fins and come in a variety of colors. They are the ones you usually see at petshops. Females are much smaller, smaller fins, and very plain looking)
Here's how I set up my Aquascape Betta Bowl:
Step 1: Supplies
-1/2 Gallon Glass Bowl
-Aquatic Plants (Kyoto Grass, Miniature Moss Balls, Cryptocoryne)
-Betta Fish (also called Siamese Fighting Fish)
I chose a .5 gallon bowl that I found at a thrift store for $2.00. Gravel was from another tank I have, but you can find grave relatively cheap. The rock is from a stream in VT. I collect rocks from all over the world. Aquatic plants you can get at a local pet shop, or order them online. The same goes for the fish.
Side note: Fish and plants can get expensive. Some of the different species go for very high prices. So figure out your budget and go from their.
Step 2: Gravel
Pour the gravel into the bowl. Then with your hands slope the gravel so it is lower in the front and deeper in the back. I did this so that it would help with planting of the plants, and cover up the rock so that there was no chance of it falling over. This also gives the bowl an illusion of greater depth.
Step 3: The Rock
Like I stated in the last step with the gravel, I placed the rock in the decided back section of the bowl, so that the bottom was 1/3 of the way covered by the gravel. Safe and secure.
Step 4: Plants
Planting plants is all about what you want. Where you want. How you want. This is where you get to be as creative, or uncreative as you want to be.
I chose to place the Mini Moss Balls in the front for best viewing. I placed the Kyoto Grass on the right side of the rock, and the Cryptocoryne on the left side.
It's not always the easiest to plant plants in gravel. You need to bury the roots. Some species of plants can survive out of the ground, but others die when exposed to light. I used a spoon and dug a little hole, put the roots in then buried it back up. You can also just use your fingers.
Step 5: Filling the Bowl
Water is the most important part of having a betta fish. I used filtered, dechlorinated, room temperature water. The water straight from the tap is filled with all kinds of harmful chemicals such as chlorine or if you live in Oregon fluoride. Best way to go, in my opinion, is buying a gallon jug of water. For this size bowl it will be good for up to 3 water changes.
Pouring water into the bowl to fast will destroy all your work. To prevent this from happening use a small bowl or cup to pour the water into, so that the force from pouring does not disrupt your gravel and plant placement.
I used a little cup that came with cold medicine bottle.
Once the cup started floating, it was harder to get the water to pour into it, so I finished filling the bowl by pouring the water onto the top of the rock.
Fill to the top.
Betta fish need a warmer temperature to thrive. Cold water will kill your fish. Keep this in mind during the winter, and do your best to keep your pet comfortable and healthy.
Step 6: The Betta
Add the fish.
I had a smaller set up prior to this one, so all I did was pour him in once it was time.
If you buy a new fish you should always acclimate the fish to the new water. You can do this by putting a small amount of the new water into his bag or cup. This will help keep the fishes stress levels down.
Moving homes is a very stressful adventure. Not to mention that before these fish get to a store, they have been packaged and shipped from all over the world. Their lives up until you purchase them are pretty chaotic. You are in a way saving them by creating a peaceful calm environment to live out the rest of their lives.
After the water settles take dozens of pictures to share with the world.
And enjoy your new friend in his new home.
As with any pet, before you purchase one, you should take the time to study up on them before hand. It is your responsibility to be knowledgeable of what your Betta needs to live a long satisflying life!