Q: SH wrote,

Christie,
I’m sorry if this email question is a nuisance, I just thought I’d
ask…..
How do you exert self control when going to your LFS and not take all their Bettas home!?! Since my last email to you….I adopted another beautiful Crowntail and baby female (she’s soooo tiny). I was at Walmart shopping for my Mom’s birthday, and I couldn’t help myself LOL I spent less than $10 on both fish, then about $60 on a new tank for each, along with silk plants and pretty rocks….my heavens, how do I cure the Betta Bug?

A: Oh my, this is serious. What you describe is a hybrid of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Addiction known to doctors and hobbyists alike as MTS. (Multiple Tank Syndrome) If left untreated it can metastasize quickly effecting your home, office and social life.
Symptoms include but aren’t limited to:

  • Using the excuse you need to buy cat/dog food so you can stop by the Betta display.
  • Bargaining with your significant other so you can get “one-more” fish. (Beware of these enablers)
  • Rearranging furniture to maximize counter space.
  • Putting off bills (or buying shoes) in order to buy more fish.
  • Canceling your dinner out with friends so you can clean tanks.
  • Hangin’ with the wrong crowd.(I.E. other hobbyists, aquaria web forums, crazy fish-bloggers, etc.)
  • Setting up tanks at work.
  • Making false promises. (I’ll stop at 4, no 6, ok 8… really… this is the last one.)

There is no cure for MTS but with great care and diligence you may be able to control it. Remember, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

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