Red Betta is currently guilting me for moving her into the quarantine tank. She’s gone from such a vibrant, flaring colour that I thought she might’ve been male (q.v. previous post) to a dull, clamped, stress-striped brown. But I guess being moved from a ten-gallon overgrown with Java ferns into a little two-gallon with only a few hastily made moss balls will do that.

I keep trying to tell her it’s only temporary, only until I get the new tank bought and scaped and planted. Except, a) fish don’t speak English, so I’m not sure she understands, and b) it does kind of occur to me setting up the big tank is going to take, potentially, months, particularly if I dry start it like I want to.

“There are plenty of betta out there in worse conditions,” I tell her, mostly to try and talk myself out of rushing out to buy a new new tank. (One of those little Fluvals would just fit so nicely on my desk, and I’m sure I can sneak some Aqua Soil out of the big tank pile…)

Red Betta just stares at me, sadly dreaming of darting bright and powerful between the ferns.