Well, I've wanted a fish for a while now. After seeing Karen's videos of her Oscar fish I wanted my own Oscar. 'Twas not meant to be, at least for now - Oscars grow to be quite large and need tanks of around 70 gallons to be happy. And I certainly didn't want to cramp an Oscar's style.
Then I found out about Betta fish. Also known as Betta splendens and Siamese Fighting Fish, but you probably knew that. They are often seen in tiny bowls or cups in the pet supply stores...sometimes in various states of illness and death :( Thankfully I have a great non-chain pet supply store that specializes in fish. But I didn't want to just have my betta in a little bowl. And not even just a 2.5 gallon tank. So, I went for the 10 gallon tank, and hoped that my future fish friend would appreciate me for it.
After getting my tank set up and reading everything I could find about bettas I felt I could take the plunge and select my fish. I went back to the store and picked a beautiful male out of about 12 bettas. He seemed very confident and didn't have his fins clamped to his sides like some of the others. In fact, he never got upset during his transport home in the car or when I floated his bag in the tank.
So far, he is loving his new home and explores the tank courageously. He doesn't have a name yet, I'm waiting to see his personality a little more. I did a taste test with him--Betta's stomaches are about the size of their eye!--and he loves freeze dried bloodworms, so I think I will use those for his training treats. I think I could break one worm into several pieces with tweezers, they are really tiny.
I haven't decided what his marker signal will be yet, but I'm leaning towards the light flash more than tapping on the water or the tank wall because I think it might be a little easier to understand.
First thing I'm going to try to teach him will be targeting...I'm hoping for the best. The other animals I train with are a GSD, a large pony, and a very hungry cat, so working with a tiny fish will be VERY different.