Today we have a special Owner Spotlight from Jeane, aka Greene Jeane. Originally from the PNW, Jeane now lives on the east coast and enjoys keeping planted aquariums and freshwater species.
You’ll find a ton of great photos and information on her planted aquariums on her blog. For now, let’s get to know a little more about her and her betta fish named Samblu.
How long have you been an aquarist? What’s your favorite part?
I kept goldfish and angelfish as a kid, then there was a long hiatus while I was in college. I really got back into the aquarium hobby four years ago. My favorite part is watching the fish! It’s better than TV. I could spend hours observing as they drift around, especially in the tank I have, with multiple fish and how they interact.
Your betta fish’s name is Samblu, is there a story behind that name?
Nothing special. I kind of named him after Sam Gamgee, and because of his brilliant color. I was calling him Sam Blue for a while, then just shortened it to Samblu.
I see you also have a knack for aquascaping, and planted tanks. What’re your top 3 favorite live plants?
I’m still learning as I go, with that! It’s so hard to choose – Crypts are great and very versatile, and I love aponogetons in my larger tanks. My top three for my betta tank are Bucephelandra, which does well in my low-light setup and adds a nice blue hue that’s different from the other plants.
Another favorite is Subwassertang, some people call it “freshwater seaweed”. I have some growing on driftwood and in my other tank I tie it down to create low bushes. For floaters, this may sound crazy, but I like Spirodela Polyrhiza – it’s the giant form of duckweed.
It shades the tank, does a good job consuming nitrates, and doesn’t stick to everything or multiply too fast like the common duckweed (trust me, I’ve had that one too). Plus I like the appearance of the little roots.
What’s your favorite betta tail type? Why?
I tend to prefer the short-finned plakat bettas. Long-finned bettas are very beautiful but I really like to see the activity of the plakats, they can zip around the tank when they want to. I’ve had standard ones and double-tailed plakats.
My last betta, Oliver, had very nice form with an arrow-like shape and a double lobed tail. Samblu seems to have some kind of deformity, his body is shorter at the back end and has a bend in it. I’m not sure if he was injured when younger or if it is genetic. But I like him anyway.
What’s your biggest pet peeve when it comes to betta fish?
It really aggravates me to see bettas in a shop displayed in vases and one-gallon fishbowls. That just makes first-time customers believe it’s okay to keep fish in such a small, unfiltered container. I know, because I was there once!
My first betta was in a bowl, I didn’t know any better. Because stores and advertisements show betta fish in small homes, it just perpetuates the idea that it’s ok to keep them that way.
If you had unlimited funds and space, what would be your dream setup?
Well, someday I want to have a large tank for angelfish, and a paludarium with archerfish, and a koi pond… but that’s all going beyond the topic of focus here! For bettas, I’m fairly pleased with my current ten-gallon setup, I don’t know if I’ll ever move beyond that for this fish.
Give one or two pieces of advice to someone new to the hobby of fish keeping – especially betta’s.
Give your betta a heater and a filter- it is so much better for their long-term health. Live plants are great – they oxygenate the water for the fish. Give him or her something interesting to swim around, and it’s fun to learn about and aquascape the plants too.
Small sponge filters are the best. They have gentle flow which is good for fancy bettas and provides both mechanical and biological filtration. I always keep extra sponge filters on hand.
A big thank you to Jeane for participating in our Owner Spotlight. I had a great time getting to know and learn more about her setups and plakat betta Samblu. If you have any comments or questions for Jeane, please leave them in the comments below!