It is such a joy to watch fry grow up! They are about 2.5 months now and really getting some nice colors! They are also sparring more and developing individual personalities. It also looks like I have a lot more males than females, which is perfect for paternal mouthbrooding bettas! I really love how the fry can hide in the subwassertang and peek out at me when they feel brave :)
Today is the 2 year anniversary of my grandfather's death. It's the first time I've been able to re-watch my grandfather's wild betta fish room tour. In a way I'm grateful to YouTube because it let me have this moment of us together recorded at least. I wish I had taken even more photos and videos. Please tell the people you love how much you love them, especially with how the world is right now. You never know when they will be plucked away.
Long time no talk! I think it's safe to say that this year has turned out a LOT different than we all anticipated!
2020 was supposed to a big year for me... we planned to get married, honeymoon in Hawaii, then go on an epic trek in the Borneo rainforest searching for giant tropical pitcher plants. Needless to say all of that was cancelled. Sigh...
Being home in quarantine all the time has its upsides though. I finally had the time to raise another spawn of Betta rubra and I've been expanding my tropical pitcher plant collection! I posted several videos on Betta rubra and Nepenthes on my YouTube channel and it feels good to be back. I am finally finding that elusive balance between work and my personal life. I absolutely love teaching, but I will say that I would never wish upon ANYONE the stress of learning how to teach full-time in a public high school! The learning curve is steep and the work-life balance is almost impossible, but I LOVE my students and colleagues!
I also started a separate website on my tropical pitcher plants called the Nepenthes Diary. Nepenthes are certainly less demanding than fish - no water changes, slow growing, interesting to research and collect, and just spectacular plants overall. Check it out! I hope to expand my fish breeding again in the future... probably when I retire!
A few new videos for you below!
Until next time
The mama pindu from the previous blog post released her fry today! They are SO CUTE. Dr. Coleman had his timing down pat and collected the fry before she released them into the tank with their voracious relatives.
My PI Dr. Ron Coleman (as in Principal Investigator and head of the lab I'm working in, not Private Investigator haha) discusses some of my favorite, and coincidentally most unique, fishes in the lab - two species of Crater Lake Cichlids (Stomatepia pindu and Pungu maclareni). I have to hello to the pindu every day - they are so beautifully and completely jet black and have the funniest mouths. Dr. Coleman's colony is at least 10 years old and going strong! Learn more about the lab's research at his Cichlid Research website.
Today we had another awesome episode on Selective Breeding with Joep van Esch! We covered a great variety of topics. Thanks to everyone that joined us! You lovely viewers are what make these livestreams happen! Also make sure to check out Joep's YouTube Channel too!
Here's a nice long video of me putting my planted tank together! I thought about putting music in while I was planting, but I kinda like the sounds of the gravel getting pushed around (is that called ASMR?) so I left it in lol. Feel free to just skip to 28:12 to see the finished tank!
The fish love the tank! My Betta pallifina spawn regularly in there. I haven't been able to secure the next generation of pallifina though...the darn males keep swallowing their eggs. Hopefully one of them holds full term soon! Overall, I could not be happier with how this tank came out and I am excited to watch it grow. Thanks Aquarium Co-op for having such an awesome deal!
Turned my 20 gallon long into a Planted Tank! Planted Tank Series Part 1: Unboxing Plants and Equipment from Aquarium Co-Op
Thanks everyone that attended my livestream on Sunday. I have been having a difficult time in the fish room lately and the stream really cheered me up. It seems like a lot of fish keepers are running into troubles with their fish lately, but the important part is to keep moving. This hobby is not easy! You need grit and resilience to continue work through the inevitable problems that may come up!
To continue with the healing process, I decided to edit some video footage from happier times. I actually converted my 20 gallon long tank into a planted tank wayyy back during Spring Break! I really love how this tank turned out and it is a joy to have as a focal point in my fish room.
I have had planted tanks in the past, but I decided that I really wanted to step this one up with a new light and try some plants that aren't normally offered in local fish club auctions. Luckily, Aquarium Co-Op has awesome deals that do just that! When you order an Aquarium Co-Op Plant Package, you don't know what you are going to get - they hand pick their best looking plants and try to create a nice selection that will look great in your tank. I got the 29 gallon/20 Long Planted Aquarium Starter Package because I obviously needed a light as well. I was extremely pleased with all of the plants and equipment that came with the package!
Total list of what I got in the 29 gallon/20 Long Planted Aquarium Starer Package
Overall I was super excited with what I got in the package! I really appreciated all the little surprises when I was unboxing the plants! The quality, health, and selection of the plants was fantastic and I had a ton of fun playing with them while aquascaping the tank. I also love the light and all of the additional pieces of equipment that came in the package to support the health of my tank. Stay tuned for Part 2: Hardscape and Planting!
Whoops! Forgot to blog! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel Inglorious Bettas for updates! Also a tour of the Coleman lab I am working in this summer!
Wow! I am really surprised by how long I forgot to post anything on my website! Time really flies when you're having fun. I'm so excited and happy to be done with my credential program at San Francisco State University, and further, I am proud to announce that I will be joining my dream high school this Fall! (Teaching Biology and, of all things, MARINE Biology!)
I have been posting (somewhat) regularly on my YouTube channel Inglorious Bettas. I encourage all of you that look here for updates to subscribe to my channel there, so you can get instant notifications whenever I post. I find it ironic that although my initial efforts were focused on my website with YouTube as a supplemental video platform, my online presence has now shifted primarily over to my YouTube channel with my website as a permanent and handy reference!
I will endeavor to try and remember to write blog posts when I post videos. Even though It is much easier to just hop onto YouTube and livestream on a whim, or to upload a video and post it on FaceBook, there is great value in organizing my thoughts via a blog post (and I can also include more "back story" and pictures over here!)
I have a TON of footage that I haven't edited yet (some from quite a long time ago >.< ) that got put on the back burner with the rush of finishing my credential program, finishing up student teaching, going to the American Killifish Association Convention and judging the California Betta Society show, and then starting my summer research program at Sacramento State! I will be editing and posting footage soon. Have a Betta Day!
I came to Philadelphia this weekend to interview for the Knowles Science Teaching Fellowship. I decided to come a day early so that I could hang out with Mark Denaro, an amazing hobbyist turned business fish person who is the current president of the Labyrinth Fish Association and past president of the International Betta Congress! He has extensive experience in almost every kind of fish adventure - in fact, he has me convinced that I need to try salt water some time in the near future :)
Mark picked me up at the airport and proceeded to whisk me around Philadelphia. I ate an AMAZING Nick's roast beef sandwich (with broccoli rabe and italian hot peppers), fresh-baked Terminis canolis, and also visited Mark's Natural Pet aquarium store and Reef to Rift. We ended the night by checking out the Buck's Aquarium Society, where I met up with some awesome fish hobbyists (some who recognized me!) and came away with some awesome Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazines!