My Local Chain Store’s New Betta Display

Megaanemp

Hello,


In recent months this chain store has really been putting in a huge amount of effort into educating customers on proper Betta care. For example, they have stopped bringing in Betta bowls and have started selling 5 gallon Betta Starter kits and have been really pushing Fluval Flex 9-15 gallon tanks for Betta setups. I’m sure its up to corporate that they have to order these tanks in but this store had put together a half dozen tanks 5 gallons or larger that where nicely planted and had really put in a great effort. Even though they still had a shelf of Bettas in those little plastic cups I was so happy, thinking this might encourage more people to spring for a decent size tank instead of a little vase or something similar.

This week my lfs was out of some stuff I needed so I went to my local chain pet store to pick up a few things. All those planted 5 gallons where gone and they had the Bettas in this weird led lit cubby system. It was so bright that I had to squint my eyes to look at it and was holding my hand up so I could look rough my fingers to see the fish. I don’t even have particularly sensitive eyes. To take a picture of this display I had to adjust the shutter on my phone because taking a picture (with no flash) just lit up the screen white and you couldn’t see it.

I was watching the Bettas that are in cups on this display system for a while because I was trying to figure out what was wrong with them. They would start thrashing about and they where flipping themselves upside down, only to right themselves and rest on the bottom. I thought they where possibly having swim bladder issues. I picked up the one struggling the most to look at her, she immediately stopped this odd behaviour when taken off the bright shelf. I watched her in the cup in my hand for 5 mins and she started getting some colour back and was acting fairly normal. I put her back on the shelf and she started kicking off again. So, I really think this bizarre behaviour and flipping upside down was them trying to sheild their eyes and escape the light.

So obviously I was really upset by this. this Betta in particular was suffering the most out of them all and I just felt sick to my stomach physically putting her back on the shelf, so I bought her....oops.

I don’t want to just give them money for this fish only to give them an opportunity to treat another Betta this way so this morning I called the SPCA and I am just now going to write an email to the manager of the store as well as their corporate office. The SPCA guy who I got to talk to happens to be an avid fish keeper and he informed me he would be heading directly to the store to see what he could do.

Even on the 10 min ride home, in a freezing cold cup she perked up so so much being out of those lights. She’s now in a 5 gallon and has turned a beautiful bright turquoise just over night! She is not having any troubles swimming and is no longer flipping upside down so I can only conclude that behaviour was due to the environment she was being kept in. She is very very tiny and makes my Honey Gourami seem like gigantic monsters. I fed her some daphnia today, which she found very perplexing. She just swam around “booping“ them for 10-15mins until she discovered, they are in fact edible. I think she’ll be quite the character. I’m very excited to watch her grow and become fully settled into her new home.
 

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BigManAquatics

I have a decent idea which chain you are talking about. We have one here i went into the other day for the first time on months and saw the same type of betta display. Just, yuck.
 
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Heron

Hello,


In recent months this chain store has really been putting in a huge amount of effort into educating customers on proper Betta care. For example, they have stopped bringing in Betta bowls and have started selling 5 gallon Betta Starter kits and have been really pushing Fluval Flex 9-15 gallon tanks for Betta setups. I’m sure its up to corporate that they have to order these tanks in but this store had put together a half dozen tanks 5 gallons or larger that where nicely planted and had really put in a great effort. Even though they still had a shelf of Bettas in those little plastic cups I was so happy, thinking this might encourage more people to spring for a decent size tank instead of a little vase or something similar.

This week my lfs was out of some stuff I needed so I went to my local chain pet store to pick up a few things. All those planted 5 gallons where gone and they had the Bettas in this weird led lit cubby system. It was so bright that I had to squint my eyes to look at it and was holding my hand up so I could look rough my fingers to see the fish. I don’t even have particularly sensitive eyes. To take a picture of this display I had to adjust the shutter on my phone because taking a picture (with no flash) just lit up the screen white and you couldn’t see it.

I was watching the Bettas that are in cups on this display system for a while because I was trying to figure out what was wrong with them. They would start thrashing about and they where flipping themselves upside down, only to right themselves and rest on the bottom. I thought they where possibly having swim bladder issues. I picked up the one struggling the most to look at her, she immediately stopped this odd behaviour when taken off the bright shelf. I watched her in the cup in my hand for 5 mins and she started getting some colour back and was acting fairly normal. I put her back on the shelf and she started kicking off again. So, I really think this bizarre behaviour and flipping upside down was them trying to sheild their eyes and escape the light.

So obviously I was really upset by this. this Betta in particular was suffering the most out of them all and I just felt sick to my stomach physically putting her back on the shelf, so I bought her....oops.

I don’t want to just give them money for this fish only to give them an opportunity to treat another Betta this way so this morning I called the SPCA and I am just now going to write an email to the manager of the store as well as their corporate office. The SPCA guy who I got to talk to happens to be an avid fish keeper and he informed me he would be heading directly to the store to see what he could do.

Even on the 10 min ride home, in a freezing cold cup she perked up so so much being out of those lights. She’s now in a 5 gallon and has turned a beautiful bright turquoise just over night! She is not having any troubles swimming and is no longer flipping upside down so I can only conclude that behaviour was due to the environment she was being kept in. She is very very tiny and makes my Honey Gourami seem like gigantic monsters. I fed her some daphnia today, which she found very perplexing. She just swam around “booping“ them for 10-15mins until she discovered, they are in fact edible. I think she’ll be quite the character. I’m very excited to watch her grow and become fully settled into her new home.
She's a pretty fish. I think a lot of chain pet shops are cruel with livestock, I don't know if they don't care or they just don't know any better. I went into a local chain store that had a 2 foot snake in a plastic drawer about the size of a phone directory. Bettas seem to suffer most because they can't be kept together but my local fish store ( a good one ) just keeps one in each tank in with other suitable tank mates.
Clearly if the light is causing distress it shouldn't be used at all, after all Bettas should always have cover.
 
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AverageAquarist22

That’s so sad... I’ve heard that bettas prefer low light. Your new betta is pretty cute though
 
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bcsay720

Yes, I know what chain you're talking about. They do seem to be trying to do better, but yes. Their LED betta wall is excessive. It shows off their colors nicely, and it's really easy to check for health that way (I haven't bought them from there, but I check on the little guys whenever I go in to make sure they're okay). However, they definitely can't rest in there. Plus they're still in cups.

My old LFS (their rent got too high during the start of the pandemic. So sad) had their bettas in half gallon barracks. So much better.
 
Upvote 0

Og2treats

Hello,


In recent months this chain store has really been putting in a huge amount of effort into educating customers on proper Betta care. For example, they have stopped bringing in Betta bowls and have started selling 5 gallon Betta Starter kits and have been really pushing Fluval Flex 9-15 gallon tanks for Betta setups. I’m sure its up to corporate that they have to order these tanks in but this store had put together a half dozen tanks 5 gallons or larger that where nicely planted and had really put in a great effort. Even though they still had a shelf of Bettas in those little plastic cups I was so happy, thinking this might encourage more people to spring for a decent size tank instead of a little vase or something similar.

This week my lfs was out of some stuff I needed so I went to my local chain pet store to pick up a few things. All those planted 5 gallons where gone and they had the Bettas in this weird led lit cubby system. It was so bright that I had to squint my eyes to look at it and was holding my hand up so I could look rough my fingers to see the fish. I don’t even have particularly sensitive eyes. To take a picture of this display I had to adjust the shutter on my phone because taking a picture (with no flash) just lit up the screen white and you couldn’t see it.

I was watching the Bettas that are in cups on this display system for a while because I was trying to figure out what was wrong with them. They would start thrashing about and they where flipping themselves upside down, only to right themselves and rest on the bottom. I thought they where possibly having swim bladder issues. I picked up the one struggling the most to look at her, she immediately stopped this odd behaviour when taken off the bright shelf. I watched her in the cup in my hand for 5 mins and she started getting some colour back and was acting fairly normal. I put her back on the shelf and she started kicking off again. So, I really think this bizarre behaviour and flipping upside down was them trying to sheild their eyes and escape the light.

So obviously I was really upset by this. this Betta in particular was suffering the most out of them all and I just felt sick to my stomach physically putting her back on the shelf, so I bought her....oops.

I don’t want to just give them money for this fish only to give them an opportunity to treat another Betta this way so this morning I called the SPCA and I am just now going to write an email to the manager of the store as well as their corporate office. The SPCA guy who I got to talk to happens to be an avid fish keeper and he informed me he would be heading directly to the store to see what he could do.

Even on the 10 min ride home, in a freezing cold cup she perked up so so much being out of those lights. She’s now in a 5 gallon and has turned a beautiful bright turquoise just over night! She is not having any troubles swimming and is no longer flipping upside down so I can only conclude that behaviour was due to the environment she was being kept in. She is very very tiny and makes my Honey Gourami seem like gigantic monsters. I fed her some daphnia today, which she found very perplexing. She just swam around “booping“ them for 10-15mins until she discovered, they are in fact edible. I think she’ll be quite the character. I’m very excited to watch her grow and become fully settled into her new home.
That chain has the same display in my area, it’s abhorrent and I said something to the manager of the store and contacted their corporate office, neither seemed to care.

I don’t shop there often far preferring to support local independent fish stores but sometimes necessity demands shopping there. Congratulations on your new fish, she’s a cutie.
 
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Lmg01

I’m really glad I have a good fish store near me. They keep the female bettas in a sorority and the males are in divided tanks. The chain stores are horrible though
 
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Megaanemp

She's a pretty fish. I think a lot of chain pet shops are cruel with livestock, I don't know if they don't care or they just don't know any better. I went into a local chain store that had a 2 foot snake in a plastic drawer about the size of a phone directory. Bettas seem to suffer most because they can't be kept together but my local fish store ( a good one ) just keeps one in each tank in with other suitable tank mates.
Clearly if the light is causing distress it shouldn't be used at all, after all Bettas should always have cover.
That poor snake! I totally agree about the Bettas needing cover, for all these fish know they are in imminent danger and can’t escape.
That’s so sad... I’ve heard that bettas prefer low light. Your new betta is pretty cute though
Thank you! Yes, I have found they can have quite sensitive eyes. Personally I dont use light fixtures on my Betta tanks I keep them in a spot so they get indirect natural sunlight and plant the tanks with low light plants.
I a
Yes, I know what chain you're talking about. They do seem to be trying to do better, but yes. Their LED betta wall is excessive. It shows off their colors nicely, and it's really easy to check for health that way (I haven't bought them from there, but I check on the little guys whenever I go in to make sure they're okay). However, they definitely can't rest in there. Plus they're still in cups.

My old LFS (their rent got too high during the start of the pandemic. So sad) had their bettas in half gallon barracks. So much better.
I totally agree about it helping with health checks! I think do need one lit cube in the middle that you could place the fish your looking at in. But the others should be unlit or dimmed
I’m really glad I have a good fish store near me. They keep the female bettas in a sorority and the males are in divided tanks. The chain stores are horrible though
Totally! I usually try to advert my eyes from the animals and only shop there when absolutely necessary
 
Upvote 0

Basil

Oh wow. That’s crazy. But your new girl is gorgeous.
Let us know if you hear anything from the spca.
 
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Megaanemp

Oh wow. That’s crazy. But your new girl is gorgeous.
Let us know if you hear anything from the spca.
Thank you, I will!
 
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