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The Dog Walkers' Gallery


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A Near Tragedy - "Never Say Die"...as they say!

Ruffle My Water...drag your mouse over me.
Emily appeared on my horizon early 2001.
Update: August 12th 2003, and Emily is swimming, and well.

The seaweed is always greener
In somebody else's lake
You dream about going up there
But that is a big mistake
Just look at the world around you
Right here on the ocean floor
Such wonderful things surround you
What more is you lookin' for?
A cushy aquarium by a PC...that's what!
Glommed From


Emily, though a male, is so named because I thought beauty meant otherwise. I learned better as I surfed the web for Betta Fish. Apparently females are rather drab...gray in color.
The females lay the eggs, and scat - beat it...so to speak. It's the males, like Emily, that take care of the young, having already prepared their "bubble nest". Since Bettas are air breathing, the young have to be taught, being guided by the male to the nest for their first breath. Eventually they breath from the air above the surface. Emily's forever blowing bubbles...even without a female in sight.


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Presently, this is how Emily lives. A neighbor mentioned placing her Betta in a larger bowl, and it loved it. Previously, Emily came in a small vase shown in the next photo below, and with a plant plugged into its top no less.
Though Emily showed no discomfort, I thought, like my neighbor, a little "leg" ( fin ) room would be nice. Actually, she ate more when in the smaller confines of the vase. After a few days in this larger bowl, and not eating like before...just one or two pellets, instead of three, or four, I looked for the vase, but that already had been glommed for flower arrangements.


Here's the vase Emily came in...with plant. The plant does absolutely nothing for him, except to block off his air supply if the water were high enough. The plant, and ornate vase, is just a cutesy selling gimmick...the fish sacrificed as a novelty. Betta Fighting Fish are not vegetarians, but eat insects, and in the case of Emily, other fish ground up into small pellets. He did at one time like freeze dried blood worms, but that was in this smaller vase. In the large bowl, where he is now, he just likes the pellets, and still only one or two - three times a day.
As any other living creature, Emily requires attention, and as his guardian, I'm tasked with keeping his water fresh, his food comin', and an occasional "hello there". He's only a few feet over my right shoulder as I type this. Believe me...he knows when I'm around, favoring the side of the bowl towards me. Otherwise he hangs out on the far side under his bubbles. The "vegetation" in his new aquarium is genuine imitation weeds - plastic.
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Derby Brown, my other charge, ordinarily not on the desk, poses for this photo op.


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Shown here are several items, each costing about four-bux. In the end, all I needed was the "Betta Bio Gold" - the pelletized ground up fish, with "vitamins". Clicking on the photo will get you an enlargement ( Click Back To Return ).
I later learned I could use tap water if I let it stand for a few days to vent the chlorine, though I'm using the "fiz tabs" until exhaused. I have though, not wanting to take chances, used bottled "Spring Water".
I add about a quart of fresh water a week, and after a few weeks, change it out completely, washing the bowl, and the plastic vegetation, and stones with dish-washing liquid...rinsing thoroughly.
I've had Emily now for eight-months...how old he is, I don't know. Did read on the internet that he could live three, or more years.


A Near Tragedy - "Never Say Die"...as they say!

It was just about the end of my first year with Emily...the temperatures were beginning to drop. Temperatures inside the house at night began to fall below 70F, and Emily began to appear lethargic, or listless.
This I imagined to be the consequence of short days, and long nights, with cool temperatures, though they never got below 65F. in the house.
After a few days, Emily began to float sideways on the top of the water, and refused his food, which he always liked. Since Emily was a gift given to me around March of the year, I mentioned it to my wife.
Relating these symptoms to those from whom she bought Emily, they sold her the package seen to the right...it was about eight, or nine bux. Starting that evening, I began treating Emily as per the instructions on the package, splitting the first vile of powder into five portions, and adding one to his water every other day for five days...repeating again in three days. The water got bluer, and bluer, but Emily just stayed lopsided...refusing to eat, though she would take off like a banshee if disturbed...he was far from dead.
Every time I repeated the treatment, I changed his water. I also, because I don't like temperatures below seventy, would, before turning in, fill a ZipLock bag full of hot water from the tap, lock the bag, and immerse it in his water...at least he'd start off the night comfy. I'd do this again first thing in the morning, and he seemed to like it, swimming around the warm bag, though on his side. He also would not swim down, so I figured he had a swim-bladder problem.
This went on for about three months, Emily, presumably, getting his nourishment from that included in the medicine...it says there is some.
Finally, one morning, I find him swimming up-right, and taking a dive to the bottom on occasion, but still not eating his pellets ( Betta Bio Gold ). He never lost his color, nor fins, nor ever looked skinny, but I did at one time think he had gone blind, as repeated attempts to feed him failed.
Then, surprises of surprises, just a few weeks ago, he snatched a pellet of food when I placed it in front of him, as I always did. Since then he has been eating regularly, I suspended the treatment, and he is back to normal. I did, during his illness, place a mirror outside his bowl, and he did, all during his illness, lie up beside that mirror - his reflection. Now that he is well, he just hovers anywheres, but I see him now on occasion inspecting his reflection. What a fish...a good pal for sure.
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The medicine that I think saved Emily.


On the 15th of February 2004
Emily Was Recalled
See my
Rainbow Bridge Page.


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