One Of The Biggest Myths- Debunked!

  1. Discus-Tang

    Discus-Tang Well Known Member Member

    I feel the need to correct a myth that has been created on the internet. I have seen it countless times, mostly regarding bettas or goldfish. It goes something like this:

    "One can keep a betta happy in a small, unfiltered drinking cup, so long as they perform adequate maintenance on a daily basis."

    "I have kept my goldfish happy and healthy in a 1 gallon bowl. They can live happily like this as long as you keep up with the maintenance."

    Both of these statements are blatantly false. Most of the time, the tank size standards are set on two key components: swimming space & dilution. One must consider both of these factors when picking a tank for their fish.

    It is also simply unrealistic to keep ammonia down in such small containers.

    I hope this thread gains traction, not for my ego but for the sake of many fish :)
     
  2. Katie13

    Katie13 Fishlore VIP Member

    My bettas have mostly been in 10 gallons. I haven't had a 2.5 gallon in forever. Starting on my betta wall Thursday, I bought 2 new 2.5 gallons as they would allow for more room and I can get them for a fair price. I was shocked to see just how small they are. I had forgotten over all this time. Both bettas seem perfectly content and love their new home, but I can't help but wish I could've got a 10 gallon for both.
     
  3. GoldFiska

    GoldFiska Well Known Member Member

    I think what’s sad is that there are lots of well-known betta breeders who permanently home their fish in 1 gallon jars. It’s bad when newbies do it, but it’s worse when experienced fishkeepers preach and teach this method, especially on social media..
     


  4. OP
    OP
    Discus-Tang

    Discus-Tang Well Known Member Member

    My personal opinion is 5 gallons minimum for bettas. This conclusion is more to do with swimming space, however.
     
  5. Katie13

    Katie13 Fishlore VIP Member

    2.5 gallons are a decent size. I just keep an open concept with them. My boys are constantly swimming around. IMO, they can thrive in a 2.5 gallon with someone who keeps up with maintenance. No matter what, 2.5 gallons is much better than .5 or 1 gallon "tanks"

    Breeders don't keep them in there personally, they keep them there with daily water changes until they reach a sellable age.
     
  6. GoldFiska

    GoldFiska Well Known Member Member

    That’s not always the case. Ever heard of Inglorious Bettas? She’s a local breeder who has a noticeable presence on YouTube. She’s a regular in IBC and has been breeding plakats for years. She keeps her personal breeders (bettas and other fish) in jars and even says on her site that she usually changes the water only once or twice every 1-3 weeks. These people do exist.
     


  7. OP
    OP
    Discus-Tang

    Discus-Tang Well Known Member Member

    That's ever so sad:( my lfs have about 30 bettas in those store cups, but they are not for sale. Poor things :(
     
  8. Katie13

    Katie13 Fishlore VIP Member

    most of your breeders change the water daily or at least every other day. I set up a betta wall so that my personal bettas as well as my breeders can each be comfortably in a 2.5 gallon.
     
  9. aussieJJDude

    aussieJJDude Well Known Member Member

    The reason why breeders keep them in jars is due to it not being feasible in a tank. Imagine a breeder that has 100 odd bettas kept them in filter/heated 5g tanks. Heat isnt the problem - they normally heat the room - and filtration can normally be done with an air system, but having 500g isnt really possible. Plus waterchanges are extremely time consuming.

    If you want that betta, the fact is that a breeder has taken time and effort to breed them for you...

    In all animal species where theres a individual breeding on a large scale, they often kept what pet owners consider non-ideal.
    - snakes/geckos/lizards in racking systems
    - birds often in smaller cages
    - fish in smaller quarters (like a breeding pair of angels/discus in a 30g or smaller)
    - mammals often in small pens (puppy mills are an extreme example...)
     
  10. Mazeus

    Mazeus Well Known Member Member

    This is pretty standard practice for a breeding set up. I would think just about every betta anyone has ever owned has been bred from stock that are kept in 1 gallons or less. The big breeders in Thailand and Malaysia do this, so does most every serious breeder in US, UK etc. It's the nature of the beast, it just wouldn't be feasible for breeders to keep breeding stock in bigger tanks. There costs would be astronomical, and I doubt people would suddently be willing to pay 5 X the cost for a betta to change this. If it is important to you to ensure your betta's parents were kept in bigger tanks, you could find a very small scale breeder local to you who is breeding for fun not for profit.
     
  11. GoldFiska

    GoldFiska Well Known Member Member

    But water changes once every 1-3 weeks? Isn’t that a bit extreme?
     
  12. Mazeus

    Mazeus Well Known Member Member

    Depends on the ammonia +nitrite levels really. There are some ways to built a cycle without a mechanical filter (with a lot of gravel and some plants). It would all depend on the parameters. She's an internationally renowned breeder. I would be surprised if she put her fish at risk with bad parameters.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Discus-Tang

    Discus-Tang Well Known Member Member

    But a 1 gallon still does not provide the swimming space for bettas. Also, they say you can't cycle a 1 gallon. Don't know what to believe :(

    A bunch of (nice) rich people should start putting money into things like this (also other good causes, they have plenty of money).
     
  14. Mazeus

    Mazeus Well Known Member Member


    I understand where you are coming from, but these aren't her pets. They are breeding fish. Once they are done breeding most breeders will retire the fish by selling them on or putting them in bigger tanks. I don't know the woman, but she is an award winning breeder, some of her fish will be worth a lot of money, I just can't see that she would risk any illness with such valuble stock. Who knows maybe she is really careless, but I highly doubt it, she is an international judge for betta competitions so I would hope she knows what she is doing. What a really experienced breeder does, and what a hobbiest should do with their fish are two different matters. I would never dream of keeping a betta in anything less that 10g (this is my personal preference, I had a betta in a 5g for a while but he seemed to active so I moved him to a bigger tank), but I accept that my betta was bred overseas (likely vietnam or thailand) to parents that were kept in small 1g or less spaces. I don't love this, but I understand this is how bettas are bred and if I want to have a betta then I need to accept this.

    I've also heard that you can't cycle a 1 g, but I can't see that this is correct. Cycling is about growing enough BB to deal with waste product, as long as there was enough surface to grow BB and there was water movement, I don't understand why a 1g wouldn't cycle. I may try it some time as an experiement to see (without fish obviously, maybe some snails).

    I don't know that it has to be rich people, welfare standards often change because of demand. In the UK stores cannot sell bettas in cups, they have to be in small individual tanks due to animal welfare laws. If people started demanding better standards and refused to buy fish that weren't raised to a certain standard then this could change the market, but this would come with an increased price. I personally would be happy to pay more for fish that were locally bred in the best conditions possible, even if that meant paying £40 for a betta rather than £7.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Discus-Tang

    Discus-Tang Well Known Member Member

    The cheapest betta I can get is $30 (still in a cup)
     
  16. Mazeus

    Mazeus Well Known Member Member

    Yikes! I have a few friends in OZ so I know generally things are more expensive than they would be here in the UK.
     
  17. david1978

    david1978 Fishlore VIP Member

    Yikes i couldn't imagine stocling my tank with $40 bettas. But yea what a breeder does and what a hobbiest does are two very different things.
     
  18. Mazeus

    Mazeus Well Known Member Member

    After reading one of your @david1978 posts a while back about bettas in large tanks and the difference in their behaviour, I moved my boy from a 5g to a 45g with some cories and a bn pleco. He seems so much happier now. He likes to hunt in the rocks and plants for grindal worms. The 5g is now a shrimp tank.
     
  19. GoldFiska

    GoldFiska Well Known Member Member


    International judge or not, does it really matter? Coming from the equine world, I know globally-renowned riders who abuse their own prized show horses. It happens in nearly every animal industry.

    An animal is an animal, and they deserve adequate care whether you are a breeder or a hobbiest. At the very least I believe she could add a drip system if she hasn’t done so already. Even in jars, there are ways to improve their standard of living. A 1 gallon jar with occasional water changes, however, is no standard of living at all.

    There are plenty of small time breeders out there nowadays who keep their parent fish in suitable tanks, a few of which I can name from the top of my head. No need to get a betta from a crummy breeder or supplier anymore.
     
  20. david1978

    david1978 Fishlore VIP Member

    Sadly has anyone noticed what the ibc states as minimum tank size? 4" x 4" x 4". So basically a quart of water.