Betta splendens:   something worth watching at Walmart while you wait for prescriptions to be filled.

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(source)

“Like anabantids and all members of the genus Betta, Siamese fighting fish have a labyrinth organ in their heads that allows them to take oxygen directly from the atmosphere in addition to the oxygen taken from water via their gills.  This is an adaptation enabling the fish’s wild ancestors to live in oxygen-poor environments. Consequently many people believe Siamese fighting fish are capable of living in smaller containers than most aquarium fish, without the filters and airators usually required.”

People such as Walmart people, evidently, as well as a lady I used to work with who kept a betta in a tiny globe on her desk.

“…this is a misconception derived from the limited display space available in pet shops and the fact that males cannot be housed together. In fact, bettas need as much living volume as other tropical fish of comparable size, meaning that a tank of 1.5-2 gallons(7-9 litres) in capacity is the practical lower limit for an individual fish.”

Of course, they sell larger tanks too.  I’ve been thinking of getting (a) fish, but am leaning toward goldfish, my first loves.

 

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