It was at my Snail Party that Jackie told us about the water-lettuce she had in her fish tanks.
Light filters through the flat green leaves that float on top of the tank, their roots, hanging down into the water, create a stimulating environment for the fish to swim through. Jon was on his phone ordering some as we spoke.
A few days later the water lettuce arrived. But it was much bigger than the kind Jackie described and what we were expecting. They stuck out of the water, too big to even fit under the fish tank light. We decided they were too big for the tank, so pulled out a round glass bowl that I had under the sink filled it with water and floated the water-lettuce in it.
The water lettuce looked lovely floating in the bowl. Both Jon and I thought the same thing. It was begging for a fish to swim around the roots.
A Betta was a natural choice. Because they fight with other fish, they have to live alone and prefer small spaces.
So we got a Betta and I put one of the small snails that came to our fish tank on a plant in the bowl to help keep it clean and to keep each other company. (I don’t actually know how aware they are of each other, but it makes me feel better to know the Betta isn’t alone).
At a friend’s suggestion, we came up with the name Yoda for the fish, but I just started calling him “Princess” I couldn’t help myself, he is just so elegant with his fins flowing like a gorgeous gown. I also kept calling him a “her”.
I know that male fish, like male birds are usually more colorful and showy than females and I think I’d have less of a hard time seeing one of the red or blue Betta’s we saw in the fish shop as male.
But the soft silvery purples and pinks in this fish look too much like an evening gown to me.
I did notice that when I was taking pictures of Princess, she was following me and my iPhone around the tank. And she came up to the top of the bowl when I fed her this morning. “Food”, I sang to her, thinking she might get used to my voice and connect it to getting fed.
Later I pressed my finger on the side of the tank, moved it slowly and softly said her name. She followed my finger for a while.
It may be that she thinks I’m another fish and is getting her fins up to fight. But she doesn’t look aggressive to me and Jon, who knows Betta’s well (he bred them when he was a kid) agreed.
So now we have a 40-gallon tank full of fish that I love to watch. But there’s something special about Princess in her small bowl. I feel like, if she doesn’t exactly know me, she knows of me.
Jon wrote about Princess this morning, after seeing the two of us interacting, wondering if fish have emotions. I hadn’t gotten that far in thinking about Princess. I’m still wondering if it’s possible she recognizes me from one feeding to the next. Although I do wonder about the energy passing between us as I press my finger to the glass.
I’ve read that fish communicate with each other in many different ways including electronic pulses, bioluminescence, movement and gesture, hearing and taste, and by making sounds.
I have no evidence, but for some reason, I feel like I’ve already made a connection to Princess. It’s possible I’m just projecting, but it’s just as possible there’s something between us.
2 thoughts on “Princess, Out New Betta Fish”
I no longer have my fish tanks, I had two 60 Gallon, one long and one tall show. The long was a community tank that I loved all the fish had names and the schooling fish had group names like the Bloods, the Strippers you know kinda funny gang type names.
I did have a huge Pink Groummi that I called Pinky – she came to the front of the tank every time I was feeding and would come to the top of the water and eat out of my hand. Did it nightly for years.
My Angel fish also ate from my hand – so I do believe they recognize you but it could have just been conditioning.
Either way it was very nice to interact with a fish on a regular basis.
I am glad you are enjoying your tank – makes me want to get another one.
Wow! Two 60 gallon tanks, that’s impressive Teri. It sounds like you had some wonderful fish. I do love having the, but there’s also a lot of work involved. Jon does most of that, I don’t know If I’d have as many without him.