Young Photographer Uses her Betta Fish as Inspiration and Model for Mermaid Exhibit

March 26, 2013

Young Photographer Uses her Betta Fish as Inspiration and Model for Mermaid Exhibit

Orangeville’s Lindsay Dewar has her first photography exhibit at Aardvark Music & Culture on Broadway. Five pieces from her Siren Series will be on display at the store for the next few months.

But despite years of creative work, Orangeville’s Lindsay Dewar has never really felt like an artist — until now, that is. And she has her Betta Fish to thank.

The 25-year-old recently landed space at Aardvark Music & Culture (169 Broadway, Orangeville) to exhibit some of her photography for the very first time. Five pieces from her Siren Series will be on display at the store for the next few months.

“It kind of feels like I’m kind of an artist (now),” Dewar said.

The photos are her attempt at portraying mermaids as they were before Disney’s 1989 film, The Little Mermaid, changed people’s perspective on these mythical aquatic creatures with the head and body of a woman and the tail of a fish, she said.

“It’s about originally how mermaids were,” she said. “The series is more of a dark art series. It’s a different perception than most people are used to. … I’ve always been interested in darker story tales and lore and finding beauty wherever you can.”

Dewar’s mermaids are deadly seductresses, not cute and cuddly doe-eyed girls.

Betta Mermaid

Betta Mermaid

Each piece is comprised of several different elements, which Dewar spends hours pulling together.

“It’s like a multimedia piece that’s realistic looking,” she said. “I’m a perfectionist — I have to make sure everything works.”

For one of the pieces in the series, which depicts a mermaid from the back, Dewar had to snap photos of a model, using her betta fish tail and scales, a waterfall as well as taking pictures at an aquarium.

She also incorporated some painting, a statute she’d made of herself and, as with many of her pieces, wrote poetry to explain the image.

“It’s a lot of different layers,” she said. “There were over 50 different elements to pull it together. That one might have taken a week.”

Dewar, who attended both Orangeville District Secondary School and Westside Secondary School, said in high school she was immersed in all sorts of creative pursuits.

“I was into drama, costume design, found art, I was even into video,” she said. “Everything that was artistic I was involved in. The costume designs in my pieces are usually something I’ve created.”

A little more than four years ago, Dewar took an introductory course in photography and discovered she had a knack for taking pictures.

“I kind of found out I had a lot of talent,” she said. “(Before that) I was one of those people who wouldn’t pick up a camera.”

Dewar later enrolled in Sheridan College, where she studied commercial photography. She now works with Tom Partlett at Eclipse Images doing wedding and special event photography.

“I do portraiture as well, but usually with a modern twist,” she said.

Partlett, who has had his work displayed at Aardvark, encouraged Dewar to approach owners Perry Joseph and Gordon Shawcross about displaying some of her pieces at the store, which regularly exhibits the work of local artists.

“For the longest time I was skeptical about putting them up,” she said. “It took five months to come in and show (Joseph) the pieces.”

When she first dropped by the store with her portfolio, Dewar tried to pitch them on displaying some of her other work. But the mermaid series piqued Joseph’s interest.

“She brought in her entire portfolio to the store one day,” Joseph recalls. “There was no question in my mind those were the most interesting (photos). … It’s really beautiful work.”

In fact, they’ve since asked Dewar if she’d be interested in putting together enough pieces for a much larger exhibition in the larger gallery at the rear of the store, he added.

Dewar certainly has lots of pieces to choose from including geishas, Zombies, a vampire series and a pirate series. And she’s not stopping there.

“I’ve got a lot on the horizon,” she said. “I think that being creative with art is a way to make people’s dreams a reality. That’s kind of what I wanted to show with my art.”

To view Dewar’s work, drop by Aardvark, or visit www.lindenphotography.ca.

“Want to know the Betta Facts for keeping your bettas happy, healthy and long-living? I have enjoyed raising healthy, happy bettas for over 20 years, and if you head to this amazing web site for some incredible betta care tips (and a limited time offer with some freebies) I know you will be blown away. See you there!”
Elizabeth Christopher
P.S.
And if you enjoyed the info, don’t forget to share with your friends through the social buttons below!
Let’s save as many Betta Fish as we can, and give them the best lives possible.

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Betta Plant Selection – What Is The Perfect Betta Plant?

March 12, 2013

Bettas in nature usually are found around plants and vegetation, and some even depend on plants for creating their bubble nests. But there are so many plants out there, how do you know which would be the perfect betta plant? Lets take a look at some of the better options for your betta that will help him thrive while adding some visual splendor to your tank.

This Betta Loves Natural Plants

1 – Plastic Betta Plant

Plastic plants have a few benefits that natural plants do not. adding a plastic plant or two means no dirt to clean up! Huge benefit there. Also, plastic plants last indefinitely, and will not create the need for extra cleaning. While they do not create oxygen for the tank like natural plants, they come in a limitless variety of colors and styles, both top water and anchored, which allows you no end in choosing the betta plant that accents your betta the best.

2 – Natural Betta Plant

Natural plants are the purists choice, and they provide needed oxygen to your betta tank. However, they do create a dirtier tank, and may cause more frequent tank maintenance. When choosing natural plants, make sure to follow the progress of the roots, which usually hang down. If they start to cramp your betta’s movements, or begin to become brown and squishy, they need to be removed.

One great natural betta plant is the water lily. This plant hovers at the top of the tank, is a lush green color, and provides excellent nesting and hiding areas. Some other good ideas for a natural betta plant are Chinese Evergreen and Philodendron. Philodendrons are a favorite of mine.

Want to learn more about betta plant selection and discover how to triple your betta’s lifespan? Then get the book pet store owners don’t want you to read. An acclaimed 25 year betta expert (and my good friend) reveals incredible tips to give your betta the healthiest, happiest, longest life. Available for immediate download at THIS LINK.
Beth C.

P.S.
I have arranged for $20 in free bonuses for you, and a discounted price! But this is a limited time offer. Wanna see what you’ll get? GO HERE for details.


Betta Tankmates – Choosing Roomies For Your Betta Splendens

March 12, 2013

Betta Tankmates – Choosing Roomies For Your Betta Splendens
By Elizabeth Christopher

Betta tankmates have to be chosen as carefully as a person chooses a roommate. Pick the wrong betta tankmates, and your fish will suffer. Choose the wrong roommate for yourself and you may suffer. You get the idea. Let’s take a look at some betta tankmates that will allow your fish to live a long, happy and healthy life with good neighborly interaction.

The right betta mates need to understand that he is living with a fish that can be surly, and even downright nasty at times. The perfect partner will allow his finny friend room to be himself, and shouldn’t clash lest there be dire consequences.

Apple Snail with Betta Fish

Apple Snail with Betta Fish

1 – Apple Snails

Apple snails are a great addition to a betta tank. These snails are small at birth, but can reach a size of 4 – 6 inches when adult, and add a peaceful nature to your betta. Bettas typically ignore them.

2 – Cory Catfish

Cory Catfish are the most common catfish kept in aquariums. Since they prefer the bottom of the tank, they typically do not run afoul of the middle to top-dwelling betta fish. They are hardy and very easy to breed and care for.

3 – Dwarf Frog

Betta tankmates need to be non-similar to the betta. Bettas attack other fish that resemble themselves. That is why a dwarf frog or two make such a diverse friend for your betta tank and a wonderful visual addition to your tank.

4 – Neon Tetras

Neon tetras are small (one inch max.), inexpensive fish that add motion and vibrant color to any tank. They respond extremely well with any betta fish.

Neon Tetras with Betta Fish

Neon Tetras with Betta Fish

Remember that every betta fish has a distinctive personality. What works for one betta may not work for the next one. And when your betta mates, all bets are off, and a previous friend can become a foe in your fighting fish’s eyes. Don’t forgot that you should never keep more than one inch of fish per gallon of aquarium. If you follow these rules, you should be able to place some great betta tankmates with your beautiful betta splendens that will provide you with a full, visual experience.

Want to know how to triple your betta’s lifespan? Then get the book pet store owners don’t want you to read. An acclaimed 25 year betta expert (and my good friend) reveals incredible tips to give your betta the healthiest, happiest, longest life. Available for immediate download at THIS LINK.
Beth C.

P.S.
I have arranged for $20 in free bonuses for you, and a discounted price! But this is a limited time offer. Wanna see what you’ll get? GO HERE for details.

betta tankmates,betta mates,betta tank


Betta Diseases – Curing Your Betta Fish With a Salt Bath

March 11, 2013

Since many betta diseases occur due to improper tank conditions, most of these afflictions can be treated the same way. A salt bath may be the last thing you think could benefit your freshwater betta fish, but is actually a very effective, age-old cure that is one of the first steps you need to take to nurse your betta back to health. Of course, the best case is to have a proper betta tank set-up to begin with, but more on that later.

How can salt help a freshwater fish, you ask? The bacteria and protozoa that attack your fish when its immune system is deficient are very low single cell forms of life. Common betta diseases are then transmitted to your fish by these simple life forms.

Betta Fish With Dropsy

Betta Fish With Dropsy

They have almost no form of defense system, so even a gradual change in the level of salt in your aquarium will cause instant death to these primitive beings. They simply can not adapt quickly enough to the resultant change in their environment.

Why doesn’t it harm my betta, you ask? Fish are more complex beings, and have internal organs such as kidneys to help them deal with external environmental changes. They are much hardier than microscopic bacteria. Therefore a very minute change in the salt levels of their tanks causes them almost no discernible level of discomfort.

To learn what ratio of salt to fresh water to use, consult a comprehensive guide (the same one I use every day is available at the end of this column, with some freebies I finagled for you) for your particular fish. Usually, a ratio of one tablespoon per five gallons of aquarium water is fine for ongoing conditions, but this level needs to be significantly increased when treating betta diseases in a recovery tank or bucket.

Using salt to treat your sick betta is just one step to take to bring your fish back to full health. Once healthy, ongoing tank maintenance needs to be followed, and other tips and tricks can be used to ensure your betta lives as long and healthy a life as possible. Most bettas live about six months on average, but when proper preparation and care are employed, you can have a vibrant, lively betta for three to five years.

Want to learn all about betta disease prevention and treatment, and discover how to triple your betta’s lifespan? Then get the book pet store owners don’t want you to read. An acclaimed 25 year betta expert (and my good friend) reveals incredible tips to give your betta the healthiest, happiest, longest life. Available for immediate download at THIS LINK.
Beth C.

P.S.
I have arranged for $20 in free bonuses for you, and a discounted price! But this is a limited time offer. Wanna see what you’ll get? GO HERE for details.


Betta Vase – Is it the Perfect Betta House?

March 10, 2013

Betta Vase – Is it the Perfect Betta House?

So, you’re thinking about buying a betta fish. You see them everywhere in a Betta vase, or small bowl, but is this type of Betta house conducive to long life and health? The Betta vase you got with your fish from the pet store may appear large enough for your little friend, but it is lacking three essential characteristics to make it the perfect Betta house your Neptunian buddy can be proud of.

Sad Betta Fish in Tiny Betta Vase

Sad Betta Fish in Tiny Betta Vase

1 – Betta Temperature regulation

Unlike you and me, your little Betta can not simply add a sweater, or change into shorts and a t-shirt to regulate his body temperature. He also can not adjust the thermostat in his Betta house. In the case of a Betta vase, there is no means of regulating temperature. To provide your fish with the best possible chance at a long, healthy life, a heater with programmable thermostat needs to be in place.

2 – High Betta water quality

The water in a Betta vase, even when changed frequently, is not nearly as disease free and clean as that in a Betta house that has a water filtration system. Aside from filtering the water to clean it, the filter breeds good bacteria in its reservoir that help control the ammonia levels in your fish’s habitat. This keeps your finny friend comfortable and healthy, and makes water changes and tank cleanings much easier.

3 – Space

Yep, your fish can survive in his little Betta vase, but he can only thrive in a Betta house that is three or more gallons. Your fish needs more room to swim and check out his new digs. He gets much more exercise in a larger tank. His personality has room to grow, and he will live longer and stronger. I prefer five gallons at least, but a three gallon is even a huge improvement over the tiny Betta vase he is in now.

Happy Betta with Lots of Room to Grow

Happy Betta with Lots of Room to Grow

A Betta vase may look fine, but it is very minimal in providing your fish with a healthy environment. The perfect Betta house is at least three gallons, preferably five, and has a thermostat controlled heater and water filtration system. The three secret ingredients to keeping your fish living well beyond the industry average of six months are clean water, disease prevention and comfortable habitat, and these items cover all the bases. Provide them for your fish, and you can expect him to live as many as five or six years.

“Want to know the Betta Facts for successful betta set-up and care? I have enjoyed raising healthy, happy bettas for over 20 years. Head to this special web site for some incredible betta care tips (and a limited time offer). See you there!”

Elizabeth Christopher

P.S.
If you enjoyed the info, don’t forget to share with your friends through the social buttons below! Let’s save as many Betta Fish as we can, and give them the best lives possible.


Bettas show left-and right-hand preferences !

March 9, 2013

The Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens, not only shows right- and left-hand preferences but also has accompanying body asymmetries according to research published in a recent issue of Behavioral Brain Research.

Lead researcher Yuichi Takeuchi aimed to answer three separate questions:

  • In a display of aggression, would betta fish present one side to an opponent in preference to the other side?
  • Are there are differences in appearance between the left and right side of the betta fish?
  • Are differences in betta body shape linked to which side the fish presented?

Bettas prove ideal fish for such experiments, as Takeuchi explains: “Betta splendens show intensive aggressive behavioural patterns” and “remarkably erect the operculum during these social situations”.

In the first phase of the experiment, Takeuchi found that when placed in a mirrored, hexagonal tank  just over half of the betta fish showed a left or right-sided preference for displays of aggressions: “lefty” bettas were more likely to present and flare their left gill cover at the mirror image of themselves, while “righty” fish would do the opposite.

Betta Fish Flaring

Betta Fish Flaring

In the second stage of the experiment, the researchers measured tiny differences in the body shapes of the fishes, specifically looking at the angle at which the spine met the head.  The overwhelming majority of betta fish had a slight left- or right-sided bend in their backbone.

Finally, Takeuchi compared the two sets of results and found that fish that were already identified as lefties had a subtle bend in their spine to the left while righties would most likely bend to the right, suggesting a link between body shape and left/right preference.

Takeuchi admits that the test may lead to more questions than answers, agreeing that “The reason for the relationship between behaviour laterality… and morphological asymmetry in Betta Splendens is not clear”, and that perhaps these results actually mean that it is time to “re-examine the widespread behavioural laterality in fish”.

“Want to know the Betta Facts for successful betta set-up and care? I have enjoyed raising healthy, happy bettas for over 20 years. Head to this special web site for some incredible betta care tips (and a limited time offer). See you there!”
Elizabeth Christopher

Don’t forget to share with your friends through the social buttons below! Let’s save as many Betta Fish as we can, and give them the best lives possible.

_____________________________________

Published: Dr Claire Inness Wednesday 19 May 2010, 2:21 pm

posted in Practical Fishkeeping at http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/content.php?sid=2839


Betta Temperature Regulation – What is the Magic Number?

April 21, 2010

Betta Temperature Regulation – What is the Magic Number ?
By Elizabeth Christopher

Betta fish are tropical fish, and in such, require about the same temperature range for their tank as other pet fish. However, betta temperature has to be regulated more closely, with few spikes or drops. Betta fish are highly susceptible to disease, more so than most other pet fish, and almost all of the diseases they catch are brought on by stress. Betta temperature fluctuation is a common cause of stress in these beautiful fish, and can easily be removed altogether by following a few simple rules.

1 – 3 to 5 watts per gallon

When purchasing a programmable heater, make sure that it is strong enough to provide the correct Betta temperature of 78 to 82 degrees. As long as you buy one that has 3 to 5 watts per gallon of Betta tank size, you will be fine. This ensures it is able to handle severe temperature drops should something go wrong. Sometimes, people forget to leave the heat on when they are going away for a couple of days, and a weak heater will freeze your fish dead.

2 – Manually check the temperature daily

Do not trust your heater! Manually check the Betta temperature every day. Just because you have a programmable heater with a thermostat does not mean it will last forever. Nothing made by man does. By manually checking the temperature at different times each day, you will find out how your Betta tank is faring. If you only checked it at night, you would not realize that sun from a window is heating the tank to a dangerous level during the day, for example.

3 – Backup thermometer

Your heater is on of thousands that are mass produced every day. Can you imagine the odds against every heater being perfect? Betta temperature should be double-checked by placing a small inexpensive floating thermometer in the tank. When you check the temperature on the heater’s display, check the thermometer’s too. I can not tell you how many times in the last twenty years I have had to replace a faulty heater, and I never would have known had I not purchased a backup thermometer.

Buying a good programmable heater is a great step towards providing the right Betta temperature for your fish. But it is only the first step. Consistently checking the temperature, and verifying it on a backup thermometer will guarantee you provide a healthy, warm home for your Betta Splendens.

Hi guys,
Elizabeth here.
I just wanted to say thank you for reading, and let you in on a special offer that a friend of mine has made available to the readers of my blog.

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This is the same course I refer to every day, and I know it can help enrich your life and the lives of your beautiful bettas.

Elizabeth

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“Want to know the Betta Facts for successful betta set-up and care? I have enjoyed raising healthy, happy bettas for over 20 years. Head to this special web site for some incredible betta care tips (and a limited time offer). See you there!”

Elizabeth Christopher

P.S.
If you enjoyed the info, don’t forget to share with your friends through the social buttons below! Let’s save as many Betta Fish as we can, and give them the best lives possible.


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