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done to make them feel secure. I filled three trays with gravel and planted a large cutting from different tanks in each. The fry seemed to appreciate the plants and never again ventured too far from them.

The first month of growth has ended, completing this diary. Starting in an invisible world, they were a quarter inch by the end of the first month. Each left behind an invisible world and joined ours, as they continue on their fight for survival.

Some will grow to maturity and reproduce, while others will not live on in the great numbers game that nature plays to guarantee the survival of the species. If only one pair reaches adulthood and reproduces, then life will once again begin in the microscopic world. I personally felt as if I was rediscovering something that had long ago become common.

A Note on Numbers

The 70 eggs I thought I had in the beginning grew to be 433 fish. I've sold most of them. They've literally been distributed from one side of the country to the other, with a few ending up in Canada. Although their first 30 days was "just another month" to us, it was for them the most significant growth of their young lives.

Imagine how many successful betta spawns there have been since 1927. "Timeline" often brings you accounts of a few fish that are put in the hands of hobbyists, and these become the backbone of the entire strain. Maybe I should have started by saying, "That with each spawn, history is made."

Remember that within history's archives there is a line drawn, and it is there that we will meet again as "Timeline" investigates. U

Lovel Tippit began in the hobby more than 30 years ago. Lovel and Joy once owned a pet shop and fish hatchery, and they have a large antique aquarium book and magazine collection.

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