State Government Shut Down - Day 2 aka Lay Off - Day 2
Wow, I could get into this if it weren't for one little issue - money. Like so many others, my lifestyle is based on my disposable income. A full pay check yesterday (we have direct deposit), a partial paycheck in two weeks, and then nada. We were assigned a specific day to apply for Unemployment, based on the last digit of our SS number, so I will be applying on-line on Wednesday. Having never applied for UI before, this will be a whole new experience. Apparently I have to go one week with no pay at all, then I will receive 50% of my regular pay for x number of weeks/months. Let's not go there - hopefully this will not be for THAT long.
|This stool will benefit from being refinished!|
Yesterday was spent bumming, running errands, and checking out a new place I've been wanting to visit called The Betta Store. The young owners are very nice and I wish them well in this venture. Hard to believe they can sell enough Bettas (they also carry a few other fish plus supplies) to make a go of it, but because of our large Asian population, "fighters" are big sellers, especially the Five Star Fighters who are large, solid, short-finned fish supposedly bred for fighting. Fish fighting is presumably illegal, but it is said to be very widespread in this area. Like dog fighting and cock fighting, bets are placed on the fish. Does it bother me? No, actually it does not. I am totally against dog fighting, and not so sure about cock fighting, but I would not mind going to a fish fight.
Aggression is very common in many species of fish, and it's mostly about territories. It is not "meaness" but the way a species is able to survive, find suitable spawning sites, and sufficient nutrition. Many of the Rift Lake Cichlids are extremely aggressive, and that is true also of Bettas. In the wild, Bettas live in shallow ponds and mudholes. They are anabantoids (air breathers) because warm shallow water does not contain sufficient oxygen to support other types of fish. The males fight for spots to build their bubble nests, and guard the sites and nests from other fish.
Long finned Bettas retain some of this aggression but are not bred for aggressiveness. Even so, it's almost impossible to keep two male Bettas in the same tank, although multiple females can live together if given enough room and some hiding spots. Bettas are fine with other fish, just aggressive with their own kind. Short-finned Bettas are known in the trade as Plakats, and fighters are just Plakats bred for aggressiveness. They tend to be stocky, drab and particularly hardy. Plakats can also be bred for ornamental purposes, rather than fighting ability, and are much different in appearance than the "fighters".
Did I buy a fish? Well . . . Yes I did. I purchased an ornamental Plakat, suckered in my his handsome appearance, great attitude and the fact that he was red, white & blue! The store also carries Giants, the first I have seen. The ones in stock were rather plain looking (but large!) fish, but apparently the store gets attractively marked fish from time to time. Guess I will have to go back!