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Member Spotlight on Pandora

Online Aquarium Fish Magazine | Member Spotlight - Pandora (Jen)


I got started (sort of) in fish at a very young age. My parents had a community tank when I was a baby and apparently setting me in front of it kept me quiet, so they had no one to blame but themselves for what I did to their house later on!

As a child, I had the usual string of sad goldfish in a tiny tank (we moved around a lot when I was young, so the old tank was lost or sold somewhere along the way). Eventually, my sister and I got a 10-gallon tank for Christmas and so began our first foray into tropical fish. Since many of the first fish were livebearers, it didn't take long for MTS to strike. After some desperate begging, my parents kindly provided a second 10-gallon tank to house the fry, and then a third.

Eventually, in a chemical and stress-fueled moment of insanity (had 2 chemistry labs in one day during my second year of university), I decided I wanted to try breeding something a bit more challenging than guppies and swordtails. Also taking genetics at the time, I was fascinated by it, so settled on Betta splendens for their array of colour forms, and fascinating breeding behavoiur. Since I had announced to my lab partner I was going to be breeding Bettas, my pride ensured that I actually had to go through with this crazy scheme. So, after many months of research, and carefully selecting my prime breeding stock from the local pet stores I was ready. Amazingly, my very first spawn was successful, though I only managed to rear 15 fry. After that it was just a short time before I ordered my first breeding pair online, and joined the local aquarium society, and was drawn further and further into the addiction.

Over the years what the bettas and solvent fumes started, has led to me filling my parents' house with tanks ranging from 2 gallons to 40, breeding several species of cichlids and other fish, a few wild betta species (imbellis, mahachi, pugnax and channoides), visiting the ACA convention, and a trip to South America to collect fish (specifically, Suriname... which I had never heard of before being informed that's where I was going!), as well as meeting lots of great people who share the addiction.


At the moment I'm very low on aquariums, having recently moved. I was up to over 20 for a while, but right now have only three tanks up and running (one 5-gal spawning tank and two 10-gals), as well as an assortment of storage containers that are acting as tanks (from 2 - 5 gal). I mostly use sponges for filtration, since they're really versatile and can easily be moved between tanks, though the 10-gals each have an Aquaclear mini as well.

Fish, Plants, Invertebrates

Most of my fish are of course Betta splendens, no surprise there! At the moment I have melano halfmoons, red dragon halfmoon plakats, metallic traditional plakats, mustard gas and mustard crosses, oranges, and green and blue marbles. I think there are about I also have a pair of Betta channoides and some fry from them, and a rapidly growing colony of Lamprologus ocellatus, both in species tanks. All the bettas get a mix of pellets and frozen foods, fry and the channoides get baby brine shrimp, and the ocellatus are fed flake food, frozen mysis shrimp (when it's mysis day for the bettas), and any excess baby brine. Everyone gets fed twice a day usually, though every now and then I skip a day, and when I'm prepping the bettas for spawning sometimes they'll get a third meal in a day.

I have a black thumb with aquarium plants, so most of mine are silk, with some Java moss and Anubias in a couple of the tanks. I think there may still be some sort of Cryptocoryne clinging to life in with the channoides.

Fish Photos
Baby Fish Blue Betta Betta Betta 6 Betta 5 Betta 4 Betta 3 Betta 2 Betta imbellis Betta channoides

Future Plans
With all the other species of Betta becoming more readily available, and new species being discovered all the time, I seem to be moving more and more towards the wilds. There are so many beautiful little fish with fascinating behaviours in the genus. When I am in a position with more space and money, I'd love to have more cichlids, and rainbowfishes too.

Definitely, though, I'm never going to get bored of Betta splendens. With new colour types still emerging, there will always be something to work on! There's still so much to learn about the beautiful, personable little guys.


I'd like to thank my parents for putting up with all my tanks, and my sister for continuing to look after the ones I left behind. Plus all the guys at the ASW who invited me on trips, and threw cichlids at me till I caved and fell in love with them too! I'd also like to acknowledge Marianne Lewis of BC Bettas, who was my source for beautiful bettas for many years, and whose website really fueled my addiction.

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