The fish known as Bettas or Siamese Fighting Fish are beautiful to look at but are unfortunately loners. They come in a variety of colors that can enhance the color scheme of any aquarium but the sad part is that no other Bettas can be placed into their world at the same time. Many will hesitate to have an entire aquarium set up for small fish and won’t consider the Betta as an addition to the household.
The plainness of mason jars, jelly glasses, and other small areas often causes the Betta to lose his appeal to the owner but there is now another option that allows for creativity in the owner and a lovely habitat for the Betta. This option is a Betta vase.
The Betta vase is not only colorful and changeable, it is also easy to make. To do so, you will need the following items
- 1 clear glass vase that is at least 10 or 11 inches tall. Ideally it will have a large globe area at the bottom, a narrow neck and a top that flares out.
- 1 plastic saucer that is available at most gardening centers. Take the vase with you to make sure you have the proper size saucer. It should fit into the neck but not fall into the bottom. Another option is the large Icee lids available at any restaurant or movie theater that sells the Icee drinks.
- 1 to 2 packages of decorative rocks or colored, glass “gemstones.” These come in a wide variety of colors and can be color coordinated with the fish itself.
- 1 water loving plant preferably 6-inch size. My personal choice is a white plant since it is a neutral color that will go with any color rocks and fish.
- 1 yard of decorative, wire edged ribbon.
- 1 gallon of DRINKING water. You will need to make sure it is not distilled or chlorinated tap water.
- 1 Betta fish
I always find my Betta first so I can decide the colors I wish to have in my rocks and ribbons. Others will pick a fish that has the rainbow-like color scheme so any rocks will go with it. One advantage of this method is for those who like to do holiday color schemes and will be changing the rocks accordingly. A few ideas along these lines are red or green for Christmas, black and/or orange for Halloween, pastels for Easter, and so on.
Once you have all your materials, be sure to rinse the vase and rocks well to remove any dirt or dust that could be detrimental to your fish. You will need to take the plant and remove as much dirt as possible and then rinse with a water hose. The idea is to rinse it as well as if you were going to eat the roots yourself. Be careful about doing this in the sink as the dirt can easily clog up the drain. Split the plant into two or even three sections and place the extra two pieces in water, as vase making can be addictive. I personally started out to make one vase and now have 6 around the house.
Take the plastic saucer and cut a small hole into the middle that is large enough to squeeze the roots and base of the plant into and large enough to allow air into the vase.
Place the saucer or lid into the vase and trim the roots as needed. Trimming will give them a prettier, even look and you can make sure they don’t reach the bottom. Actual length will be a personal preference but I prefer mine to end about midway into the base.
Carefully add at least 2 inches of the decorative rocks or gemstones into the bottom of the vase. I made the mistake in my first vase of placing the glass gemstones on edge around the bottom to give them a scalloped look. Two days later I found my poor Beta trapped and dead under one he had knocked over.
Pour the room temperature drinking water into the vase but be sure to leave 1- inch air space below the neck for the fish to breathe. Carefully pour the Betta fish into the water-filled vase. Now is a good time to add a little fish food to the water. Bettas are not normally picky eaters and do well with most tropical fish food. There is a specialized Betta food available that looks similar to miniature BBs. This type of food will help enhance the color of the fish.
Place the saucer or lid with the plant installed into the neck of the vase. Check your roots one last time since adding the rocks. Once you are happy with the results, place some of the remaining rocks into the lid so they will help stabilize the plant as well as add a little more color to the vase. I prefer to add a straw through the lid and in the back of the plant. This allows me to add the smaller type of fish food without having to raise the saucer each time.
The last step is to add the ribbon. Wrap it around the neck of the vase and tie it into a decorative bow. The size of the bow and length of hanging ends will again be a personal choice but I personally prefer to have them extend no further than the roots themselves. This allows for more viewing space of your new friend.
As for aftercare, change the water weekly and be sure to allow it to come to room temperature before adding. Trim the roots as needed for beauty if they become too long.
Betas are a tropical fish so avoid placing the vase in a cold area. It is important to remember to have only one Beta per vase. On the other hand, if you place another Beta vase next to the first, the fish will show their true beauty as they pass each other and flare their fins and tail completely out.
Beta vases make a beautiful addition to any room’s décor as well as wonderful gifts for any occasion, lending enjoyment to adults and children alike.Beta vases make