Acquired: Fish / pet store
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Posted Nov 08, 2016
Betta fish were traditionally the "first pet" for children in my household. I received mine for Christmas the year I turned six, complete with a 1 gallon hexagonal tank, tiny filter, light, and one lone aquarium decoration. I chose a purple and red Betta who I promptly (and cleverly) named Finny.
Finny was incredibly hardy. He was able to survive aquarium conditions that would have killed a fish of weaker constitution several times over. I suspect my parents knew that when they were deciding which pet to encourage their six-year-old adopt. In fact, several years later my younger brother happened across an escaped Betta that survived nearly twenty-four hours - out of water!
Finny was a rewarding first pet. Children enjoy choosing from a wide range of colors. Bettas also tend to live on the more aggressive end of the fish world, so while they are difficult to pair with other fish, they are a more active breed to watch even when alone.
Even though Bettas are sold in tiny cups, please recognize that they will need more room to live a long, healthy life. Unhealthy living environments will create unneeded stress, and may open the fish to being susceptible to diseases and early death. Also, do not pair Bettas with other fish without significant research - the other common name associated with this species is "Siamese Fighting Fish". Bettas are territorial and will fight to the death to defend its space from intruders.