Dear Kid,

Ethan has moved into our offices. He lives there full time which might seem weird, but Ethan is a Betta Fish.

Note: Betta, not beta. Eh, not ay.

Ethan the betta fish. Do you know this about bettas?Bettas are often called Siamese fighting fish because they fight. Regardless of where they are. Ethan should probably be called an Ohio fighting fish. Because they are soooo territorial, you can only keep one male betta in a tank (unless you prefer betta pieces).

Bettas are also athletic and can jump out of their tanks if there isn’t a lid to act as a safety belt.

Note: While bettas can breathe air for a while, fish-on-a-desk isn’t good for most aquatic creatures.

Ethan eats little teeny tiny pellets. It’s really fun to drop one or two in his tank and watch him chow down. Or at least it was until I discovered that Bettas are carnivorous and his teeny tiny pellets are bloodmealwormthingies. Ethan seems perfectly happy with it, but ewww.

Bettas can taste with their fins as well as their mouths. This doesn’t make me feel better about what we’re feeding Ethan.

Male bettas create bubble nests at the top of the tank (or at the top of the non-tank water if they’re in the wild). These little bubble nests are where the females lay eggs. The bubbles protect the eggs and the babies, and the daddy bettas take care of them (female betta fish are not the caretaker types—they prefer shoe shopping).

Female bettas aren’t nearly as aggressive as the males (unless they go shoes shopping together in which case all bets are off). Several female bettas can be kept in the same tank, but like all girls they tend to get a little bitchy and develop a dominance hierarchy.

Now you know.

Love, Mom