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Saturday, 7 October 2017

Pets 'n' Stuff | What could be Betta?

"Pets are humanising. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life."
James Cromwell

Hello and welcome to today's post. No, I haven't got a new pet to share with you today but I am currently making plans for one in the future. The distant future. I think my family is tired of me talking about my new obsession, so I figured I'd hit you guys with it instead.

When I lost Rue suddenly back in January, I knew some day I would want another hamster. Rodents are one of my favourite types of animal to own. I have a special affinity with them and I honestly feel like there's really something missing in my home when there isn't one there. However, I decided to wait until the adaptions were done to my home and I moved rooms before I thought about bringing in another rodent. I wasn't sure how much of a disruption the work would be and I didn't want the potential noise etc stressing out my little fur baby.

We are now in October and we are still waiting for my adaptions to be completed, so I've continued waiting until the time is right to introduce another kid to my pet family. However, my sister has always been interested in Betta fish (also commonly known as Siamese fighting fish) and has always planned to get one once our house work is done. Obviously she's also still waiting but now we're reaching the end of the adaptions (I'll have to update you guys on that soon...), she's been talking more about her Betta.

some examples of Betta fish from Google

In the past I've been a little against her getting a fish. Don't get me wrong, she's usually great with most of our pets and she helps me a lot with mine too. I'm just personally a little bit daunted by fish care. We've only ever owned Goldfish and I have a lot of regrets in relation to our husbandry back then. Now I'm aware there's a lot more science that goes into keeping healthy fish and I find it a little bit confusing. I'm also aware that this fish will not be my responsibility, so technically I don't need to understand their care and I should just trust my sister. But when it comes to animals, I've never been good at that.

So what does that mean? For the last couple of weeks I've been researching Betta fish and aquarium keeping in general and I've basically become somewhat obsessed. For the last year or so, I've been following Betta accounts on Instagram but my research has been a little more focused and intense. Less, look at that pretty fish and more, how do I actually set up a tank that fish can live in?

I've been watching an abundance of YouTube videos as well as putting together a Pinterest board so I can look back and easily find the information. I've also pinned some pictures of the fish because, well they're pretty as heck but also I want to have some idea of

 It looks more like a lot of photos of pretty fish than information in that screen shot but I promise there's more pins about aquarium keeping and Betta care than it seems.

You're probably wondering what has any of this got to do with me getting a hamster in the future. Well, it's often been said that I 'can't see green cheese'. Which means that I tend to see something somebody else wants or is getting and I want or I have to get that too. To be honest, when it comes to animals, I'll put my hands up and say that's true. In the past, when Eva has gotten a pet, I usually end up getting the same. It's not because I don't like to see Eva get something and automatically want to take the shine off her, I just love animals and find it hard to resist. Though, resisting is something that I've gotten a little better at and that's where the hamster comes in.

Basically, I've decided to put getting a hamster on hold for the foreseeable future and instead I'm also going to eventually get a Betta fish. This is not purely because that's what Eva's getting but I feel like a Betta might be the better choice in the long run because a lot of what I love about keeping hamsters, I will have when it comes to Betta keeping but one of the parts of hamster keeping that I find most difficult, the Betta will not have. I mean, obviously there are other pros and cons too but I've been weighing those up.

When it comes to basics, one of the things I love about owning hamsters is designing their cage. I loved buying her or making her different things to add to her cage to entertain her and keep her stimulated. I loved being able to look after her by myself, on the most part. Feeding her, cleaning her out etc.

I loved seeing her enjoy her space, then changing it up and seeing her enjoy and explore that too. I loved taking adorable photos of her and just enjoying her little personality. As much as rats are one of my favourite pets to own, aside from how sickly they can be and how hard that can be to deal with and watch, what used to cause a lot of frustration for me was not being able to set up and clean their giant cage myself. That's why in the future I had planned to stick to hamsters because their cage is a size I can deal with by myself. But yes, these are all things I am confident I can do with a Betta. Things like cycling the tank, checking water parameters, aquascaping the tank and doing water changes. Provided the tank is kept at the right height, they're all things I should be able to do myself. Possibly with more ease than cage maintenance for a hamster.

One thing I found difficult when it came to owning Rue was actually handling her. I was fine interacting with her in her cage and she enjoyed being out in her ball, but holding her was always an issue. It was less of an issue with my rats in the past because I could free range them with the knowledge they would be safe and also come back to me. They used to use me and my wheelchair like a climbing frame and free range time would usually end with all four of them curled up in the space behind me in my wheelchair. However, hamsters are another matter. And Rue was so fast that I was in constant fear of her escaping down my body on to the floor, or going out of reach if I had her on the bed or on my desk or table. She got into the floor once or twice in the time I had her and although she didn't get far, it showed me how easy it was for her to climb down my body. Don't get me wrong, Rue was incredibly tame and it wasn't about being afraid and trying to flee. She just wanted to explore.

Because of this I had planned to get a male hamster in the future because, while it's far from guaranteed, they tend to be more cuddly and lazy. However, obviously this isn't going to be an issue when it comes to keeping a Betta. Sure, I'll miss holding a little bundle of floof, shaking their itty bitty hand and booping them between the ears but I'm confident a Betta will make up for that in many other ways. And I'm by no means saying I'll never have a hamster again, I'd love to adopt (rather than shop like in the past) one in the future but for right now I'm going to concentrate on hopefully one day owning a Betta fish.

All that being said, I really don't see it happening any time soon. Possibly into next year. Right now I'm researching and looking into what tank and equipment I want to buy eventually. Obviously with everything happening with Baby right now, and you can read that here if you missed it, I'm not going to be able to afford everything I need right now. In any case, I plan to buy everything over a few months to spread out the cost and then it could take weeks to properly cycle the tank before I can even think of adding a fish.

So yeah, that is where I am in regards to my future animals. It feels good to get all that off my chest. If you have any experience in aquarium keeping and particularly tropical fish or Betta keeping, I'd love to hear about it. Wither drop me a comment below or hit me up on Twitter. Photos of your fish or set up is especially welcome. Until next time, take care.


  1. I feel like our home isn't complete without a hamster either, and when we lost ours back in May I was devastated. We've got male russian dwarfs and they love to explore too, but aren't very fast (unless they can see a big strip of flat ground). Your hammy's cage looks incredible and it's really made me want to head out and buy loads of extra toys for mine so they can have a more stimulating time!

    Steph - www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

    1. It's so tough losing them. Such incredibly little animals shouldn't have such a short life span. Ah, that's interesting! Often times people say dwarfs are more of a observation hamster than one to hold etc, because they are usually small, fast and can be nippy. Tho my sister did have one that was incredibly tame and easy to hold too, and she was a female. So I guess it definitely does happen. Thanks, it's the Alaska cage. Minimum size I'd go to but still offered loads of space for fun. Also, I really recommend checking out ErinsAnimals on YouTube for DIY hamster toys, just to save a little money and have a little DIY fun. :)

  2. I remember you posting about Rue and I felt so sad for you, as I know how much Rue meant so I know how strange it is when the house becomes petless. I do love bettas, they're gorgeous fish and I've read a lot about how keeping fish helps with stress too, and it sounds like you've already been doing a ton of research on it as well, so I can understand the hesitation when it comes to taking on fish, but I know there's a ton of information out there on it. Unfortunately I've only ever kept goldfish, and that was when I was quite a lot younger, so I don't know too much about keeping other types, but if I come across anything I will send it over! Also, I'm so sorry I haven't commented for so long, I've been bad at keeping up with everyone as I was on a big blogging break, but back now and feeling better, and so glad to see you back and blogging too - have missed your posts. - Tasha

    1. Yeah, I think the important thing for me is to take in as much information as I can and also make sure the tank is ready and running for quite a while before I even think about actually getting a fish. I've never cycled a tank before or had real plants in a tank, so I'm looking forward to trying that and I want to enjoy that part of it as much as actually introducing the fish. Plants can be pets too, right? Haha. And don't apologise at all! You're my best commentor and you know what I'm like for disappearing too! I'm glad you're feeling better and hope you enjoy my future posts. :) x


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