Betta Disease

chadcf

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Fanatic said:
Yes, because PetCo didn't physically make them sick, it's just that the betta could've been unhealthy at that time, or caught something unexpected.
It doesn't help that they do keep them in those little containers. Although, most of the times those containers are pretty clean.
I'm curious about that... How the heck do they keep fish alive in those little cups? We got our betta from the better LFS and while they kept some bettas in larger tanks with other fish (mostly cories and otos and the like), they still had some in the little cups and the one we bought was in a cup. They have to do like daily water changes on that tiny cup to keep the fish from dying with no filter or anything...
 

Kristian Acevedo

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I think it’s all hit or miss, and a lot of luck. All of my bettas, 1 make in his own tank and my sorority in another, have come from petco/petsmart. I’ve been lucky, but so many of their bettas look so sick, it’s hard to really know
 

Aqua Hands

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going to PetCo, Petsmart, Pet Supply Plus, etc is like going to a homeless shelter. It make you want to give them a good home where they are cared for.
 

eukendywa

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I have had female bettas. They are really interesting but with slightly less fins. You can also have more than one in a tank. Not sure if they are hardier but mine did well.

LowieTheLoach said:
I think I'm going to stay away from betas for now. I'll have to check out the 10 gallon stocking list before I decide what to do next. I like the idea of a pair of dwarf puffers but I'd rather not keep something at the bare minimum tank size. I loved how interactive the bettas were and I'd like something with lots of personality.
 

Mcasella

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eukendywa said:
I have had female bettas. They are really interesting but with slightly less fins. You can also have more than one in a tank. Not sure if they are hardier but mine did well.
Bettas should not be placed together without a divider in a ten gallon tank.
 

DuaneV

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eukendywa said:
I have had female bettas. They are really interesting but with slightly less fins. You can also have more than one in a tank. Not sure if they are hardier but mine did well.
This is NOT good advice. Ive been keeping bettas close to 25 years and it RARELY works (Ive never had it work more than 6-8 months). I honestly believe the majority of stories and videos you hear/see about it are hogwash OR the the trouble hasn’t started yet. At some point all of my females with other females have snapped and started fighting. Once the calmest of females gets beat up, she'll start fights of her own. The last sorority we tried was about 2 years ago. We had 9 BABIES all bought at the same time. All put together, side by side on the counter for a hour or more while we talked with the lady in the fish department, etc. Brought them home to a fully cycled, HEAVILY planted 20 gallon long with lots of driftwood too. They were all happy for about three months in there and then we started noticing one in particular bullying. A few days later she had attacked a couple others. We removed her and a few days later one of the ones attacked started attacking. This went on and on for about a month until only 3 were in the tank. About 2 months later we came home and found 2 of them almost dead. We rehomed 5 of them but the other 4 are all in their own individual tanks. We also have 2 community tanks with bettas in them (the only betta among a variety of other fish) and we've had no trouble doing that (and Ive done that many times in the past with various fish, tanks sizes, male & female bettas, etc.). We even have a betta in a with guppies and have no problems. But in my personal experience, Id never recommend putting females together.
 

BReefer97

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Fanatic said:
Yes, because PetCo didn't physically make them sick, it's just that the betta could've been unhealthy at that time, or caught something unexpected.
It doesn't help that they do keep them in those little containers. Although, most of the times those containers are pretty clean.
Well I don’t really want to burst anyone’s bubble here, but a betta fish isn’t going to “catch something” just sitting in a cup. The reason petco/petsmart has such terrible betta fish stocking is because they use the same water between nearly all of their tanks for water changes. They use the same water from their main display tanks in the betta cups, so if one or more of the fish in their display tanks has a disease/parasite, all or most of the betta fish are subsequently going to recieve said diseases/parasites. I had to report a local one of mine twice because every single one of their 50+ betta fish had dropsy, Gill flukes, etc. etc. They ended up sending a team in after I talked with a manager and they had to put down most of their stock. It’s hard to tell if you’re picking up a sick betta fish or not because sometimes it takes a while for things to progress (such as velvet).

Also, why is everyone saying you can’t keep female betta fish together all of a sudden? I’ve seen plenty of community tanks do perfectly fine. The reason there is bullying in the first few months of establishing a community betta tank is because they need to establish a pecking order (who’s the leader, who isn’t). It needs to be a minimum of 20 gallons, preferably heavily planted, and at least 6 females.
 

Mcasella

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BReefer97 said:
Well I don’t really want to burst anyone’s bubble here, but a betta fish isn’t going to “catch something” just sitting in a cup. The reason petco/petsmart has such terrible betta fish stocking is because they use the same water between nearly all of their tanks for water changes. They use the same water from their main display tanks in the betta cups, so if one or more of the fish in their display tanks has a disease/parasite, all or most of the betta fish are subsequently going to recieve said diseases/parasites. I had to report a local one of mine twice because every single one of their 50+ betta fish had dropsy, Gill flukes, etc. etc. They ended up sending a team in after I talked with a manager and they had to put down most of their stock. It’s hard to tell if you’re picking up a sick betta fish or not because sometimes it takes a while for things to progress (such as velvet).

Also, why is everyone saying you can’t keep female betta fish together all of a sudden? I’ve seen plenty of community tanks do perfectly fine. The reason there is bullying in the first few months of establishing a community betta tank is because they need to establish a pecking order (who’s the leader, who isn’t). It needs to be a minimum of 20 gallons, preferably heavily planted, and at least 6 females.
They don't use water from the the tanks, they take it from the same source water that goes into the tanks, why would they go through the ridiculous effort of taking water from the display tanks (they need about 6 gallons to change 40 bettas' water) when they can stick that same bucket under the faucet and get water that way? The same water they use for the other tanks. Having a betta sit in water where they are overfed and maybe get two changes a week (if they are lucky and the employees are not lazy) can cause them issues beyond just slowly killing them. If the employee uses the wrong tap the fish will be exposed to chlorine and other damaging things. I just picked up a betta and had them medicate it in front of me and take it off the shelf because it was displaying signs of velvet - none of the tank fish are displaying signs of velvet?

You need to have a large enough tank and more than (just a couple bettas) in said tank with heavy coverage for them, and they can fall apart rather easily if just one fish matures out before the others and suddenly decides her roommates aren't to her liking. Bettas can be finicky, and suggesting to put them together without experience can lead to some very dead fish.
 

leftswerve

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Mcasella nicely said, I think end user error is mostly to blame for shortness of betta lives.
 

EllynTheBettaFan

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I'm sorry you have lost your fish, I know how you feel. Petco is terrible! Once I bought a sick betta and tried to rescue him, but he didn't even make it the drive home. I wish Pet stores would treat their fish better.
 

eukendywa

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There may be truth in that.
I had them together for a few months and it all ended in dropsy. as long as they had some space of their own they did OK but on closer contact they could scrap a bit. Too bad because I came to like them. I will probably get more.


DuaneV said:
This is NOT good advice. Ive been keeping bettas close to 25 years and it RARELY works (Ive never had it work more than 6-8 months). I honestly believe the majority of stories and videos you hear/see about it are hogwash OR the the trouble hasn’t started yet. At some point all of my females with other females have snapped and started fighting. Once the calmest of females gets beat up, she'll start fights of her own. The last sorority we tried was about 2 years ago. We had 9 BABIES all bought at the same time. All put together, side by side on the counter for a hour or more while we talked with the lady in the fish department, etc. Brought them home to a fully cycled, HEAVILY planted 20 gallon long with lots of driftwood too. They were all happy for about three months in there and then we started noticing one in particular bullying. A few days later she had attacked a couple others. We removed her and a few days later one of the ones attacked started attacking. This went on and on for about a month until only 3 were in the tank. About 2 months later we came home and found 2 of them almost dead. We rehomed 5 of them but the other 4 are all in their own individual tanks. We also have 2 community tanks with bettas in them (the only betta among a variety of other fish) and we've had no trouble doing that (and Ive done that many times in the past with various fish, tanks sizes, male & female bettas, etc.). We even have a betta in a with guppies and have no problems. But in my personal experience, Id never recommend putting females together.
 

fish_ninja

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Aqua Hands said:
going to PetCo, Petsmart, Pet Supply Plus, etc is like going to a homeless shelter. It make you want to give them a good home where they are cared for.
I know - it's so sad. I can't even look at the bettas when I go to these stores, because it makes me want to rehome all of them and take better care of them.

I will say though, that I was at Petco last night buying some supplies and I overheard a conversation between a teen and her mom and a store employee. The girl wanted to buy a betta and the mom had picked out a small glass bowl. They were asking the employee questions, and he cautioned them that the betta would not do well in such a small enclosure and that if they were to keep it in that bowl, they would need to be doing daily water changes, water tests, and other maintenance. I think the girl and mom were kind of disappointed but they didn't end up buying the fish, and I'm kind of glad...maybe that advice will inspire them to go home and learn more before bringing a new friend home!
 

Niaa

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I got a betta on sale from Petsmart who is doing great and has a great personality. I live in a big city with multiple Petsmarts, Petcos, and Pet Supermarkets, and I've been to several of them for different reasons. There is a lot of variation between stores from the same company based on management and employee knowledge.

Also, while I do think there is something to be said about the conditions causing stress and making them susceptible to diseases, ect, we also have to acknowledge that there is nature at play as well. Most fish lay tons of eggs assuming that a fraction of those will hatch, and a fraction of the fry will reach adulthood. We have changed that so that more survive, but that doesn't mean that they will all be equally healthy. It sucks, but that is nature.
 

BobNJerry

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chadcf said:
I'm curious about that... How the heck do they keep fish alive in those little cups? We got our betta from the better LFS and while they kept some bettas in larger tanks with other fish (mostly cories and otos and the like), they still had some in the little cups and the one we bought was in a cup. They have to do like daily water changes on that tiny cup to keep the fish from dying with no filter or anything...
The two Petco's near me change their betta water one by one by hand-

and bad news- most LFS get their bettas from the same place as Petco/petsmart and they all come in those little bags with the blue water.

The only way to know you have a quality betta is to know your breeder.
 

wolfdog01

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Mcasella said:
They don't use water from the the tanks, they take it from the same source water that goes into the tanks, why would they go through the ridiculous effort of taking water from the display tanks (they need about 6 gallons to change 40 bettas' water) when they can stick that same bucket under the faucet and get water that way? The same water they use for the other tanks. Having a betta sit in water where they are overfed and maybe get two changes a week (if they are lucky and the employees are not lazy) can cause them issues beyond just slowly killing them. If the employee uses the wrong tap the fish will be exposed to chlorine and other damaging things. I just picked up a betta and had them medicate it in front of me and take it off the shelf because it was displaying signs of velvet - none of the tank fish are displaying signs of velvet?
When I worked at Petsmart we just scooped water from the bigger fish tanks for the betta cups. So if that tank/row had a disease in it, the bettas would get it too. I can't remember how many water changes they got per week but I know they didn't get fed everyday. Could also be from the seller, they are just shipped in the cups they come in so anything could have happened. But the water is so blue when the bettas came in, so we changed 100% of it with water from the other tanks, leaving the betta in a net temporarily.
 

SegiDream

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BobNJerry said:
The two Petco's near me change their betta water one by one by hand-

and bad news- most LFS get their bettas from the same place as Petco/petsmart and they all come in those little bags with the blue water.

The only way to know you have a quality betta is to know your breeder.
2 of my 3 lfs have Bettas. I know for sure 1 gets their Bettas from breeders. The owner puts them in large jars. Better than cups I guess.
 

mjfromga

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My local Petco is not better than my Walmart with regards to health. Yeah they have more selection but the fish are no healthier. After a store clerk gave me a nasty attitude about returning two cichlids that I had bought, I decided not to buy from them again.

She was a real WITCH about it and didn't want to honor store policy and gave me an extremely nasty attitude. She finally said that she would take the fish back "this time" but in the future an "unspoken policy" was that they don't. Policy says they will refund even DEAD fish within 30 days with a receipt and it had not been 30 days and both fish were ALIVE and she didn't want to refund me for them.

She didn't mind the woman behind me returning an OPEN bag of expensive dog food that they can't even resell. She was very cordial with that woman actually. That woman was the same race as she was and probably about the same age. I am a different race and maybe 20 years younger than them. I won't make any accusations directly but just wanted to point that out, but I definitely won't be returning there.
 

Ohio Mark

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mjfromga said:
My local Petco is not better than my Walmart with regards to health. Yeah they have more selection but the fish are no healthier. After a store clerk gave me a nasty attitude about returning two cichlids that I had bought, I decided not to buy from them again.

She was a real WITCH about it and didn't want to honor store policy and gave me an extremely nasty attitude. She finally said that she would take the fish back "this time" but in the future an "unspoken policy" was that they don't. Policy says they will refund even DEAD fish within 30 days with a receipt and it had not been 30 days and both fish were ALIVE and she didn't want to refund me for them.

She didn't mind the woman behind me returning an OPEN bag of expensive dog food that they can't even resell. She was very cordial with that woman actually. That woman was the same race as she was and probably about the same age. I am a different race and maybe 20 years younger than them. I won't make any accusations directly but just wanted to point that out, but I definitely won't be returning there.
That's awful... on ALL counts!
 

mjfromga

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Lol it most certainly was. Like I said... It's the only one truly close to me and I haven't been back since. I was made to stand and wait while they got someone from the fish department and they talked it over and everything. It was a huge waste of time for something that I should have been in and out for.
 

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I am dealing with petcosyndrom now. My water is fine, I have a heater, and a filter and live plants, and the bettas tail is rotting away to nothing. I am furious. Mostly bc the betta was expensive
 
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