Red male veiltail

How did you choose the name for your betta?

Cyclops, the betta, was born with only one eye. Thus, he was named after a one-eyed mythological giant, the Cyclops

Is there a story behind your betta – when were you first united?

I don’t have any LFS in my area. The only place around here that sells fish is Meijers and the nearest Petsmart/Petco is an hour away.

Whenever I go to Meijers, I always look at their fish section. Specifically, I like looking at the bettas and their coloring. I had no intention of getting one though (that’s how it starts for most of us 😉 ). One evening, I was looking at the bettas. At our Meijer, their selection has around twenty male bettas consisting of mostly red/blue crowntail or veiltails.

I looked at all of the bettas and just as I was about to leave, something caught my eye. Staring at me, was a red veil betta. I noticed that he has lacking an eye on the right side of his face. Worried, that he was totally blind, I then turned the cup to find he did have an eye on the left side of his face. Relieved, I decided that I needed to take him home with me and I’ve had him ever since.

What makes your betta special to you?

My family is relatively new to the whole fish keeping thing but we have kept bettas before. Granted the first betta we had (not Cyclops) was kept in a small vase with rocks and a plant. Then we upgraded from a vase to a one gallon bowl.

That’s how it stayed for years. We didn’t know that we were doing anything wrong. We just thought the sales associates knew best and we assumed that a one gallon bowl was better than that little cup they come in. That’s not the case anymore.

Cyclops is special not only because he was born without an eye. He was there with me when we transferred him from a one gal bowl with a heater and pwc’s everyday to a twenty gal cycled tank (he’s shown in a cup in his profile photo for photographing purposes – my tank light isn’t very bright!). He stayed by my side and helped me learn through my mistakes. Overall, I feel like I’m more knowledgeable in fish keeping because of him.

Is there anything else you would like to add about your betta?

He doesn’t flare at himself in a mirror and he always seems happy to see me if I come up to his tank. I just added some albino cories to his tank and he likes interacting with them. He’ll perch on the substrate and watch them. If they swim by him or bump into Cyclops, he doesn’t show any aggression. He will try and steal some of their food though even if he’s been already fed. He also likes laying on one of the many fake plants in his tank 🙂

[ Around the beginning of November 2016, Cyclops began acting weird. He began laying on the substrate breathing heavily more and eating less. I thought maybe it was the water parameters but the pH and Nitrate were fine and there was no signs of Ammonia or Nitrite. This was with a up to date API Freshwater Master Test Kit. Even when my parameters were great, I did a pwc and it didn’t seem to help him.  Whenever he ate even one pellet, I saw that as a victory even as he laid back down and  breathed heavily. He wouldn’t even move if the cory cats brushed up against him in the substrate. Days past and I was hoping that he would either pass away in the night or make a full recovering by morning. This was foolish I know but that what happened to my past bettas.  I also didn’t want to euthanize him without giving him a fighting chance to recover. Finally, on 11/13/16, I come home and I didn’t see Cyclops. After some rearranging of the decorations, I found him under one of my sponge filters. Surprisingly, he was breathing (still heavily). However, I noticed that his sides turning a dull yellow and he was starting to experience dropsy. This was when I knew that I had to take matters into my own hands and put him down myself. Unfortunately, I did not have any clove oil on me and the only store that had it was closed for the day. I thought Cy deserved better than a hammer to the head. I waited until morning (11/14/16) to go to the store and grab some clove oil. I euthanized him and I buried him next to my porch. 

Cyclops ended up living for about 2 years. In that time he has inspired me to become a better fish keeper. While I’m not quite there yet now, he was patient with my mistakes and went along eagerly with my changes along the way. I never thought the last thing Cy would teach teach me would have been how to let go. He was such a good fish and even if no one else wanted him at Meijers, I wanted him and I will never regret it. I like to think that he knew that I was trying to be the best fish keeper I could be just like I knew Cyclops was still an awesome fish. He was my first one eyed fish and one eyed friend. He will be deeply missed and always in my memories.]