I've had Bela for two and a half years now, but I don't know how old he is, because Siamese fighting fish don't achieve their full beauty for some time after hatching. I'm told that the ones you see for sale in shops can be as old as one and a half. So he might be four, which is getting on in months. It's true that he is not as lovely as he once was, though that might be because he had fin rot a couple of times: his fringe is not quite as full or quite as richly colored. He is actually pinkish in some places these days. His ventral fins, however -- the ones at the very front, which branch delicately at the ends -- are longer than when I first got him, which I think is an improvement, aesthetically speaking.
I don't know if spring is getting into his blood too, or if it's because he likes the plant I got him for Chanukkah, or if he's just taunting me with the possibility of a nest, but he has been blowing a few experimental bubbles recently. It's surprisingly loud when he does that. Betta bubbles are strong enough to last for days, because they're no ordinary bubbles: they're coated with saliva. I think the BONK BONK CLONK sound he makes before bubbling is the sound of working up a mouthful of spit. When he's in the little travel bowl, such as when I take him to house-sit in Brooklyn, the sound becomes weirdly metallic, like someone tapping a coin against a Coke bottle far away.