Fish: Phase One
August 21, 2018

A week or so ago we visited my niece and nephew in Little Rock. They just bought this great house, and she’s an artist, so, of course it’s decorated fabulously. 

One of my favorite things to look at was her aquarium. It was a small one, with a betta fish, a snail, and some plants. I’ve always loved betta fish and have probably killed more of them than some of you have ever looked at. Talking to my niece, Jackie, I learned that it’s not true that bettas can flourish in a small tank, and they do, after all, need filtration. Hence my poor, dead fish.

We got back in the car to continue our trip and Jackie texted me a link to a series of videos on YouTube by this Australian woman with a lovely accent. I started watching the videos on my phone and I was hooked. So was my husband, Jim.

I was looking for a two- to three-gallon tank. I found this three-gallon tank on Amazon. It’s 10.2″ in diameter and 14.5″ tall. I liked the tall shape because I don’t have a lot of extra table space in my office for it and this one can sit right on my desk. I find it so relaxing to watch fish.

Mind you, it currently looks nothing like this. It looks like an empty clear plastic cylinder. 

In the next few days, the supplies for setting up the aquarium will begin to arrive from Amazon. I cannot wait.

I’ve decided to chronicle each step from empty cylinder to lush fish environment over the next few posts. So here’s the before.

This is what it actually looks like at this moment. 

I was excited because I had found what I thought was the perfect decoration for my tank. I was looking for something tall rather than wide, and this looked like blue coral, so I thought it would be perfect. Boy, was I wrong. 

It was way too rough and had too many sharp edges, and bettas can easily tear a fin. So it went back to the store (we had ordered it online) in exchange for another decoration that was way too large.

It covered almost the entire bottom of the tank. Which leaves no room for the filter and the plants I’ve ordered. We decided to save it for our next, larger aquarium.

Pro tip: It’s probably a good idea to actually measure your tank before you buy stuff for it.

I’ve ordered these small, smooth rocks, which I think will do nicely. Not sure if I’ll use all of them, but if not, it’s just another excuse to get another aquarium, right? 😀

As my cool new stuff begins to arrive, I’ll be adding substrate (kind of like underwater soil that gives the plants a way to grow), live plants, and a snail (and he’s so pretty). Stay tuned. 

P.S. I could have gotten SO much Sponge Bob stuff. It seems that’s really popular. Sponge Bob was a no.


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