Once a week, usually Mondays, I drive during my lunch break to the LFS of my youth.

Filled with clean tanks, they showcase the best of each breed of freshwater, pond and saltwater animals. Right in front, just as you pass the 1,300-gallon shark tank, are the Bettas. Three tiers, each having 10 partitions, state-of-the-art filtration, and full-spectrum lighting; here is the Betta case.

This is the best display of Bettas I have ever seen in a shop. To say the least, any Betta kept in such glorious conditions is second only to finding a home with a true lover of the Betta splendens.

But this particular day, I was to see her.

She was a large female, blue to purple coloring with red in her anal fin. You could tell she was a crowntail by the extended rays on her dorsal, caudal, and anal fins. She would make the perfect mate for another LPS purchase, my steel crowntail with extended rays male.

Technically speaking, she would be considered a royal blue with red wash, and by my calculations would provide a 50% royal blue and 50% steel spawn. Even with a red wash, it is the extended rays that capture my heart. Extended rays, a part of the fin that extends past the base of the fin producing a “finger-like” affect on some crowntails or as the guy at the Petsmart called them “those wriggly thingies” (is that a technical term?). To see a female with this trait made my stomach jump and my adrenalin start to pump.

“Wrap her up”, I say to the clerk that I have been chitchatting with.

I’ll just have to figure out a way to sneak her past my husband.
royal blue with red wash

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