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Hi I am Lilli


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Hello everyone!

When Mouse, Calla, faewyn and I started AAQ we already knew all the original members, so I've never bothered to post an introduction. I thought it might be high time I gave a bit of an intro.

So, my real name is Lisa, and I am a bettaholic.

I have been into bettas in a serious way my entire adult life. I couldn't tell you how many I have owned over the years, it must be over 1,000 (when you factor in fry) but in terms of adults only, I have owned hundreds.

I stopped naming them years ago (until recently, when Abbey and I picked names that were descriptive enough to double as strain/line names) as it just got out of hand. Names I have used over the years include Epona, Adric, Andromeda, Carfax, Electra, Galahad, Genghis ( :) ) Lara Croft (mother of my first spawn), Merlin, Millicent, Moonstone, Ophelia, Pandora, Phoenix, Rambo, Rose, Sinalei, Tybalt, Valentine, Verona, Visigoth, Wicca, and Wraith. Yes, I owned ALL those fish (VTs) at once :P. That is how I developed my allergy to waterchanges :lol:

I so clearly remember coveting the beautiful HM and CT bettas available to the US hobbyists, and the days before I knew of an online Australian betta community. I remember the first HM and CT imports, and the fairly unimpressive CT I was talked into buying which was basically a black combtail VT with no red wash and minimal iridesence, while my friend took home a spectacular black CT with that dastardly red wash :lol:. I was told mine was 'better quality". Chuh. Likely.

Getting females back then was nigh on impossible though.

I remember Jodi Lea buying a STUNNING HM "mustard gas" as I called him at the time (I suspect he was a chocolate) and sending him to me from WetPets in QLD. Then Jodi managed to get me my first ever HM female. She was a royal blue as we couldn't seem to find a MG female to import (this was back in about 2002). The beartch promptly jumped out of her tank through a 2cm gap and crispied herself, so Jodi sent me a yellow HM F. I spawned her with the "MG" and got a bunch of pink and red SDs ... with no ventrals, LOL!!

Back then I used bettatalk.com as my bible, and the info on there is still brilliantly useful today.

Then Jodi introduced us to the joys of Aquabid, and it rocked my world! I imported like a demon!

Over the years I learned a lot by direct experience, and from fellow Australian hobbyists. In about 2005 the Australian betta forum I used was becoming international, so the girls and I set up AAQ so the betta hobby (and we) would still have an Australian resource where we can talk in litres and about Australian stores and products you can actually get here.

A couple of years ago some personal circumstances arose which meant that I had to give away every one of my bettas, which was pretty devastating. However they all went to good new AAQ member homes and I believe that some of the lines lived on, at least for a while.

My interest in bettas waned a little - it's hard to stay motivated when you have a fishroom full of empty tanks, and as well as working up to 70 hours a week and travelling regularly, I have a 19 year old daughter and 5 horses, and my daughter needs transporting all over the countryside every weekend for work, so I couldn't deal with the spectre of jarring, water changes etc. I was fine with the stuff that needs to be done up to that point, but I haven't got the time or patience for water changes, jars, and especially photographs.

Then one day I was speaking with Abbey (Callatya - pronounced CALLA-TIE-YA for those who wondered - it's not "Call At Ya!) and it occurred to us that we each had skills and resources we could combine to make a breeding program work - and so "CallaLilli Bettas" was formed. I spawn them and raise them til jarring stage, and Abbey takes it from there.

Oh, I am especially interested in blacks, metallics and marbles. So we're working towards HMPKs (and maybe HMs down the line) in metallic, dragon (especially clean shiny gold dragon), marble and black. We have a breeding plan and we propose to stick to it! Our focus is really ultimately on FORM. Metallics and dragons and blacks look great regardless, but form is one thing I'd like to see more Australian betta breeders concentrating on (a few are already, of course).

My personal desire is also to, one day, develop CTs that are as high in quality (in terms of form and colour/pattern) as the HMs coming out of Thailand. Seeing so many multi CTs bothers me, as I think CTs deserve better. There is such a challenge in developing a CT with good finnage, but colour/pattern is important too. I don't think that I have ever seen a CT in a LFS that had no red wash whatsoever. Don't get me wrong, multi/Thai flag etc etc CTs are beautiful 'things', and we do see some really nice turquoise CTs occasionally (all with bloody red ventrals though) - but I don't think many breeders are aiming for show quality, as opposed to quantity. I'd like it if they/we/more did :)

So, that's my story!

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Very interesting Lisa. Didn't know you were interested in CTs. Nor the correct pronunciation of Callatya which in my head I was pronouncing kel-LAT-yah. Hmm... I don't think that was a good representation of how I pronounced it... Let's see.... cal as in California, stress on lat as in lateral, ya as in ya know what I mean.

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