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Splenden Sorority

By Amber Dougherty
 
Some people seem to think that bettas are like peacocks, and the comparison seems reasonable.
When you think of peacocks, you think of bright, beautiful colors, long and gorgeous. Bettas are the same way, right? So it's a great comparison. Except people tend to think that, like peacocks, it's only the males who have these bright, beautiful colors. "Females are boring." "Females are dull." I hear this from people who like bettas. In fact, I think I thought this way once, too. I'd probably heard someone else say something to that effect, and I took their word for it. For months, I had male bettas, without any desire for females. Then something changed. And now I have a dream come true: a tank full of bettas. They may not have the long, flowing fins, but no one can rightly deny the fact that they are absolutely beautiful. They're colorful, too, not dull. And their personalities are every bit as outgoing and friendly as the males. I'm completely smitten with my adorable little girls, and I'd like to share some glimpses into the sisterhood. I'll let you make up your own mind about female bettas.
 

All six . Sita, Sprite, Cecilia, Stormi, Spirit and Sunni. Such hams, those girls!
 

This is my tank: "the Dorm."
 

And these are my girls.
(clockwise from left: Cecilia, Sprite, SunniD, Spirit, and Sita)
 

Sprite (top) and Sita are my two biggest girls, and the leaders of the pack. Sprite was alpha for the first few days before Sita took over, but everything remains friendly between the two.
 

Sunni (left) and Stormi are my two smallest girls. They're little, sweet and cute, but they don't get picked on my the big, bad alpha girls at all.
 

Cecilia (top) and Spirit are somewhere in the middle, which may get them in trouble. Cecilia gathered a couple nips in her anal fin by questioning authority, and Spirit has a couple nips out of her tail, what I assume to be retaliation from an attempt to bully the smallest girls.
 

The occasional bit of tension aside, though, it seems that everyone loves each other a whole lot. Right, Stormi and Cecilia? I wonder if Sunni feels left out, over there.
 

This is Sprite (top) with Spirit. Sprite and Spirit were purchased at the same time, though Spirit was pretty sick and I didn't think she was going to survive. She pulled through, hence her name.
 

Sometimes when I approach with the camera, the girls think it's time for food. Stormi, Sprite, Cecilia and Sita wait patiently here.
 

I love taking pictures of these girls, can you tell? Sometimes the pictures don't turn out perfectly, but when you get something as cute as Storm and Cecilia seeming to look at their (oh so cute) reflections, you're willing to excuse a bit of blurriness.
 

Now, anyone who can look at these girls and tell me that female bettas are dull or boring. I'd seriously have to question their sense. How many betta owners have wished for a tank full of beautiful bettas, colors flashing everywhere, as pretty as they are personable? Well, this is your chance. It may be tricky, and it may take time and patience, but in the end, I think it's worth it, don't you?
 

Sometimes there really is food. Can you see all six girls going for bloodworms?
 

Spirit and Sunni. The color contrast is just amazing. You can get anything from white to black in these gals, yellow to blue, orange to green, red, white and blue. Anything and everything.
 

At times, I just can't help but be in awe of the displays of sisterhood I see in this tank, such as this moment where little Sunni decided to shadow then-alpha Sprite as a little sister tags along with her idolized older sibling.
 

Not only are Sunni, Sita, and Cecilia good representations of the big, small, and middle groups in my tank, they also give an amazing example of the diversity of colors these gals can come in.
 

Sprite is named as a fairy, not a soft drink. When I think of sprites, I think of mischievous fairies, which seems to fit Sprite quite well. She doesn't make trouble for anyone, but she's very outgoing, and if I ever need a good picture, I can count on her to volunteer.
 

I can also count on her to defend her tank and her "sisters" from suspicious looking wanderers.
 

Sometimes you think you've got the perfect shot, and then you look close and realize Cecilia is missing.
 
Well, no one's perfect.
 
Amber Dougherty (aka AmberD in the forums)
psychedelicfish@healthybetta.com

 

 
There lives a psychedelic fish
He lives with just one wish
Sweetly he says "Please!"
That boy is such a tease!
Yes, bloodworms! - his favorite dish
 

 
Images and text for this page are © Amber Dougherty

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