Anyhow, all aquarium decorations are horrible and tacky forever, so I decided to make Bela a little fort out of jars. This would be nice for him because bettas enjoy secreting themselves in little nooks, and nice for me because I'd get to watch him doing it. He already had a little baby food jar that he liked to park himself in, but I could do better than that.
First, I bought four smallish containers of varying shapes (note the quarter for scale):
Then I glued them all together in a pleasing arrangement, using aquarium sealant:
Finally, I painstakingly glued pebbles and gravel over portions of the glass to make the jars more cave-like. It had actually taken Bela a while to figure out that he couldn't swim through the glass of the single baby-food jar he had at the time, and the more gravel I heaped up around it the more time he seemed to spend in it, so it was my assumption that for him being surrounded by clear glass does not count as being "inside" in the way that bettas enjoy. (I think the idea is to survey your territory from a secure position.) Of course I also wanted to see him in his jar-fort, so I left some of the glass bare.
He took to the bottom two jars immediately, possibly because he had already figured out one jar in that position. The top two took him months, though! Now he can't get enough of that cruet in the middle. He spends a lot of time in there -- mostly staring out through the glass, as you can see.
Anyway, this was a fun and easy craft project that cost a few dollars and has given me great pleasure because I'm the kind of person who gets a kick out of watching a fish swim in and out of jars. I don't think Bela's equipped with a brain that enables him to exactly get a kick out of things, but I think he finds his environment more suitable now than when he did not have a jar-fort. So if you are like me and you have a fish who is into being somewhat hidey, you may want to try building one yourself.