Big Stores, Big Fish, Little Cups

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sirdarksol

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Ok, so all of you have infected me with your love of bettas. A betta is going to be the sole fish in my planted tank experiment. I've been looking at stores, and have come to an understanding. I will not be able to purchase a betta from a store that has stacks and stacks of bettas in those little cups. I feel very bad for those little fish, and would love to save them. However, I cannot encourage the stores to continue keeping their bettas this way. I have found a few LFS that keep their bettas in their community tanks. Two just keep one in each tank, the other keeps them in little boxes that hang on the sides of the tank (breeder boxes, perhaps?).
They can't keep as many in stock, but the numbers that Petco and Petsmart keep in stock pretty much guarantee that a large number of the fish are going to die of toxic water.
Worse, Petco has signs by their betta cups that say something to the effect of "Did you know that bettas normally live in mud puddles no larger than the size of these cups?" and other things meant to make the customer feel ok with the way these fish are stored.
Then, when a customer asks how to keep a betta, the person working at the store tells them "Well, since they normally live in little areas, all you need is this little .5 gallon tank. They don't need filtration or anything because they can breathe air." Which makes absolutely no sense.
If you read the betta books that these stores sell, they say the exact opposite. They tell you what we know is true about wild bettas. That they live in rice paddies, that the little puddles they "live" in, occur during the dry season, and the majority of the bettas stuck in one of these puddles die. That they definitely need water that maintains a stable temperature, and that they will flourish if given filtration for their tank.
I would like to, eventually, be able to go to my local big chain pet stores and feel good about the way the bettas are kept. Even if they were kept in the cups, just in smaller numbers, so there was a greater chance of each one being sold prior to it getting sick and dying, and the sales people better informed people about how bettas should be raised, this would be a huge improvement. Several of the local stores treat the rest of the fish well, but they just don't know about how to keep bettas. If they are informed, it might make a difference.

Below are the "contact us" pages for petsmart and petco, two of the biggest pet store chains that I know of. If each of us takes a few minutes to type an e-mail, or even better, spends the $.40 to mail a physical letter, we will be letting them know what their customers want of them.
There is no need to be mean or hostile. I truly believe that the biggest problem here is merely a lack of information. They don't necessarily know what's best for the bettas, and they don't necessarily know how many of us feel about the way we are treated. I work in retail, and I've seen the results of a movement such as this first hand. As the customers, we are the ultimate bosses of the companies that we purchase from.
If petsmart and petco make the change, other, smaller stores are more likely to follow suit to "keep with the times," so it becomes an even broader success.
And if there aren't enough of us to make a difference, at least we will all know that we tried. There is no failure as long as you try.

Thank you so much for your passion for these fish, and for your time in reading my little rant.
 

COBettaCouple

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Are you going to order a Betta from Miami Aquariums?
 
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sirdarksol

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FLBettaCouple said:
Are you going to order a Betta from Miami Aquariums?
Actually, I am periodically visiting the three LFS that take better care of their bettas, waiting for one that appeals to me to show up.
Is Miami Aquariums a good place to order from?
 

COBettaCouple

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They're excellent - ask the Betta forum moderator Chickadee. she gets her Bettas from them and i've talked with another member who loves her betta from them, loves how they care for the bettas, the way they communicate with buyers, shipping, etc.. we'll order our future bettas from there.
 
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sirdarksol

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Thanks. Out of curiosity, is there a website? I've used a couple of search engines, and haven't been able to find Miami Aquariums anywhere.
 

COBettaCouple

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Sorry, i should've put it in the last message. They're a great couple to deal with i hear and should be good in finding you the betta of your dreams. Best of luck.
 

nmwierman1977

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I ordered my crowntail from them after having a bad experience from my last one that I had bought from Petsmart. He died about a month after I brought him home. I only had for 2 weeks healthy the rest of the time he was very sick. He had gotten dropsy, but managed to recover from that, but right after got hole-in-the-head disease and he died from that.

Then I had ordered another Betta that looked just like the one I got from Petsmart and he was coming from the eastern part of the US. I live in AZ. The woman sent is USPS priority, even I asked her to expedite him because of the hot weather and I would pay her the extra money for it, she didn't do it. Apparently she didn't believe me when I told her it was going to be in 90's the week she was sending him. I had also asked her to pack an ice pack in there because of the hot weather. Again, she didn't believe about the weather. Five days later I received him and he arrived DOA due to being fried in the 90 degree weather. Needless to say I demanded my money back including shipping.

Then I came in contact with Miami Aquariums. I emailed them and told them of my situation and told them what happened with the other one that was sent to me. I told them exactly what I was looking for and they emailed me a few pics of 4 of their bettas. I found one that looked nearly exact what the other one had looked like. So, I bought it from them. They were great. Everytime I emailed them a question or had a comment they emailed me back almost right away. They sell them very young too and very healthy.

I named him RJ which is the name sake for the one I had bought from petsmart that had died tragically. I love him to death. He has a ton of character and definitely keeps me and my husband entertained. My husband who wasn'y a big fan on my taking up this fish hobby in the first place ( because it took time away from him in a way) has even grown attached to him. I find him talking and playing with him quite a bit. It's very cute to watch. I definitely recommend buying a Betta from Miami Aquariums. They're great! Natalie
 

genie

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$25 for shipping though, or you can do 2-3 day for like $12... But I wouldn't want my water babies in the mail for days.
 

COBettaCouple

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yea, the shipping hurts, but that's the overnight shipping thing. even a real big online store like drsfosterandsmith still charges at least $20 for overnight and i bet they get quantity rates or something. and i've found breeders selling bettas online for more than miamiaquariums WITH the overnight shipping included.

part of me says take a chance & save some $$ but then i'd risk losing the betta on the way. (i've seen 2-3 day shipping take a week routinely.)
 

chickadee

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LiveAquaria.com (DrsFoster and Smith) will ship you a betta but you have no choice of color or type. With Miami Aquariums they will send you pictures and you choose the one you want or you go to eBay and visit their store and order from there.

Here are my Boys from there.

Rose
 

COBettaCouple

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LOL.. i keep forgetting that they sell live fish over at DFS. Rose & Natalie are both excellent references for Miami Aquariums and their care & quality. People selling Bettas who actually love them and spoil them - great concept, huh. ;D
 

chickadee

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I did purchase my Dwarf Loaches and some of my Otos and my Cories other than the first Sterba's Cory from them and they do have excellent quality and they are packed very well and will come overnight FedEx and arrive in lovely condition if you call before 9:30 am CST. even on Saturday. The only thing is I will not buy any Bettas from anyone but Miami Aquariums as "if it aint broke don't fix it" and I love them to pieces. The only bettas I have had real sickness with have NOT come from them.. I know Blaze died but I do not say he was sick at all. I am thinking he would not have died unless I put him into the tank with all those snails and had all those long fins. I will never put a betta in a tank with snails again. I knew he slept on the floor of the tank always and should have known better. Alexander has NEVER had a sick day and little Marty Jr. and Damon are too ornery to get sick. JT and Nate I got from other sources (I inheirited from a friend and Nate came direct from Thailand) JT is totally healthy and poor little Nate is a mess. My Miami Aquarium boys are the best little guys that I could ask for and they are so beautiful and get so loving when they get grown but are so feisty when they are young ;D.

Rose
 

griffin

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pretty bettas!

what kind of betta is mary_jr_the_final_version.jpg?
 

chickadee

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He is what is actually called an OHM or Over Halfmoon Male. The fins are actually the widest spread you can get. The regular halfmoon is an exact half circle and the OHM is beyond a half circle.

Rose
 

griffin

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he's a beauty! i love how those fins look
 
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