My dad has always kept pet fish, and when I first started owning fish he was keeping African Cichlids. At this age I hadn't even turned double digits, I was about 7. One night while decorating the house for the holidays, a piece of decor dropped into the tank. I looked for the piece, then saw three pairs of tiny eyes hiding under a rock in the cichlid tank. I curiously asked my dad if he bought feeder fish for the cichlids that day, and he said he didn't. We then discovered the cichlids were spawning, and eventually different generations of our African cichlids were living all together. This is what lured me into the aquarium world. I was intrigued with the whole breeding process of the cichlids, and loved watching them grow to the size of their parents. One day my dad bought me a betta I picked from PetSmart — a purple veiltail pictured below who I named Plum. When visiting Petsmart back then, I was always attracted to this species of fish with flowing fins that lived alone in cups separated from the regular fish tanks. Of course I kept Plum in a tiny "betta tank", which could be split in half to hold two fish (which I unfortunately did), leaving each fish with barely enough room to turn around. But as I became more responsible and started giving proper care to bettas, I learned that they are much more than just decorations. Betta splendens are a species of fish that will actually interact with you — they will greet you at the front of the tank when you get close. I've kept countless numbers of different types of freshwater fish, turtles, and thought about the salt water world, but I have always stuck to keeping bettas. I started my instagram, @lovelybettas, on the 2th of September 2013, and the account has affected my betta keeping hobby immensely. I researched betta breeding for years, invested a lot of money into it, and it was very well worth it.