Other options for bettas in small containers

  • #1
HI ppl,     
          This may be a little controversial and is in no way supporting the methods of pet stores, how many of us has walked into a pet store and seen Betta's in small containers rather than 5 or 10 gallon tanks??
The main reason for his can only be for financial reason because I don't think petshop owners would think it financially viable to set up lets say ten "10 gallon tanks for one Betta each, the shop would have to be enormous to support the amount of Betta's to make it worthwhile
As for shipping of Betta's which is obviously cruel , what other option is there, as the keeping of Betta's is extremely popular they couldn't possibly get them shipped in the appropriate amount of gallons required for each one,
So then when " I " "you" all of us take home a Betta and care for it the way it should be cared for, just think if the Betta you love so much, didn't get shipped to the shop the way it did. and there is no way of getting away with it "ALL" Betta's get shipped that way, you would never have your pride and joy of a Betta,
Another quite somber thought would be if all Betta's were banned for being shipped this way, so they had to stop we would never be able to buy another Betta again, even worse "if" all Betta's had to be shipped back to their natural habitat even the ones in our homes, "could we part with them" NO CHANCE LOL.
IF there wasn't a demand for Betta's they wouldn't be shipped it is just like everything its just a "supply for the demand" not just for Betta's but if you think about it "ALL" fish get transported in inappropriate containers because we all want these fish!
SO heres the cruncher if we as in a group were responsible for the supply and shipment of "BETTA'S" or all fish how would we do it,
And yes I hate they way my Betta was shipped it is in fact "MY" fault because I and we want these fish so if we "don't" want them we don't get them therefore the shipment would stop unless there was a solution.
  • #2
One of the lfs I visit does not keep their Bettas in little cups. Their females are divided out between several tanks with other fish, and most of their other tanks have one male in each one. They are also very careful what they put them in with and so showing what fish might be compatible with them in a home aquarium. I don't see why this isn't a viable solution in other stores.
  • #3
I kind of agree with sasha on this one. Plus even if they do do what Butterfly suggested what if they don't have enough tanks? Or the bettas go faster than they have tanks and can get resupplied?

  • #4
Well, as someone who has had all but one of her Bettas SHIPPED to her individually as a wanted fish, I am here to tell you that not all breeders ship their fish in an INHUMANE manner. The fish I have received have been in bags true, but those bags have been clean and half full of pristine water treated with chemicals to enhance the oxygen content of the water. They are packed hungry, not having eaten for 2 days ahead to decrease the amount of waste they will produce in their water (solids) and the empty half of the bag is blown up with oxygen. They have 72 hour heat packs put in next to them to keep them nice and warm and comfy and are packed nice and tight in a 6 pack styrofoam cooler (heavy duty one) with polyester insulation packed all around them to pad them in. They come from the coasts (Texas, New York, California, and Florida) to the dead center of the US (Nebraska) in 2 days and have come in blizzards and ice storms and arrived warm and toasty. They may not be shipped in 5 gallon tanks and I am not saying that every fish needs to be in a 5 gallon tank every minute of its life, but I do believe that once we do buy our little friend and bring them home, it IS our responsibility to see to it that their needs come to the fore and that they are cared for the way they should be.
I am not so naive that I believe we are going to change the way all bettas are handled from birth on, but my hope is that through education of the public we may be able to make people aware that the Betta Bowls are not the best choice for the health and welfare of the fish they obviously love or they would not be purchasing. Bettas are not pretty toys to be bought for your two-year old. They are living, breathing beings that have wonderful personalities and the capacity to care for their owners in the most wonderful ways. If enough of us let it be known, perhaps someone will listen. If even one more betta is helped, it is worth it.

But I did feel that there were some breeders and vendors out there who deserved to be given credit for doing a great job in caring about the fish they spend their time delivering to people.

  • #5
Larger stores like Petsmart DO have the room to keep the Bettas is larger containers. I would like to see them display the Bettas in half gallon bowls at least rather than cups with less than 1/2 cup water. Even in a small bowl the fish could at least move around a little and it's easier to see them so a customer can decide which one. The cups are arranged now in a way that makes it impossible to see the fish in the back without removing all the cups. I do see Bettas in their larger tanks with other fish but there are only some types of fish you can add a Betta to and only one Betta so they can't house all of them that way.
They should also encourage customers to buy larger homes, at least 3 gallons+ for the fish rather than promoting the many tiny Betta tanks made now. I know people don't always have room for a big tank so that's why they go for these completely inappropriate containers. Too bad some company couldn't design a 3 gallon Betta tank with a custom filter and heater made just for that tank. It would be better for the fish and appeal to those who want a smaller tank.
I don't know how the fish are shipped to the big store like Petsmart (and part of me would rather not know) but I personally wouldn't mind spending more money (say $20 rather than the usual $5) on the Betta to cover the cost of shipping them more humanely. Unfortunately most people care more about saving money than the feelings of the fish.
  • #6
There are quite lovely 3 gallon tanks with great filters or if one could get a 3 gallon tank and put a sponge filter in it that would be good, but there is a world of difference in the behavior of a betta with the larger tanks so keep that in mind. 3 gallons will be a technically acceptable tank but the betta will develop a much more interesting personality and be more active by far in a 5 or 10 or even larger tank. I am aware that not everyone can do this however, but no tank less than 2.5 gallons can be SAFELY heated so that is the absolute MINIMUM.

My bettas love their tanks with the sponge filters and they are PICKY. None of these tanks came with sponge filters. Just find a tank (even a used one that you have cleaned up good) and get a really good heater and a sponge filter (they are very cheap) and you are set. Find gravel you like and some decor that is safe for the little friend (no corners or sharp edges) and some silk or real plants (plastic can rip fins) then you can start to do the fishless cycle. The whole thing can be very inexpensive. My biggest recommendation is to get the best heater you can. My very best recommendation for heaters is the Marineland Visi-therm Stealth heaters in the 25 watt size for small tanks. They are accurate and have LIFETIME warranties. (be sure to keep the box and receipt) I have never had to replace one but I keep a spare and will use the warranty if I need to. Marineland is the BEST to deal with if you ever need to. I know from issues with my light on the 5 gallon hex tank I own. They replaced it immediately.

  • #7
I use the Marineland Stealth heaters too! They were the only ones out of like 5 brands that actually kept the tank at the right temperature.

As to the subject of Bettas in stores, there is no excuse for a store keeping Bettas in tiny cups. My lfs keeps all their Bettas in 10 gallon tanks. The females all share a tank, and the males each go into a tank with other fish. Sometimes the males do get nipped, but I guess that's just because whoever stocks the tanks doesn't know much about compatibility, which a little knowledge would fix. Places like Petco and Petsmart certainly could do this, considering they have twice as many tanks as my lfs. I have seen a Petsmart keeping females in a tank, but the males were in cups and at my local Petsmart all the Bettas were in cups.
I would rather the stores didn't sell Bettas at all than they sell them in tiny cups.
  • #8
I have a few LFS's. The one near me is Big Al's and they keep all there bettas in little cups. Superpet keeps there girls in a tank and the males have more space that a little cup. I'm not shur how bit the containers are but they are better than the little cups. they also put cuting of plants in for the bettas to play with
  • #9
I have seen small fish stores who put their bettas on shelves on the wall. If instead of putting tiny bowls on the wall, all spaced out, they took up the whole space with a barracks type arrangement of oh, say 1/2 to 3/4 gallon boxes connected with a filter system... it would be a larger initial investment but the health of the bettas would improve (How many times have I brought home a new betta thinking it was a fairly dull color, only to place it in a larger container with clean water and the next day discover gorgeous, vibrant colors?), there would be less work involved because betta bowls have to be cleaned EVERY day to keep them looking even halfway decent, whereas a system with a filter could be cleaned less often, and it wouldn't take up any more space. Also, a well designed system could be adjustable so that if the store received a large shipment, more dividers could be added to make each part a bit smaller, and then as bettas are sold they could be expanded. Systems such as this could even be devised fairly easily for stores that keep their bettas on interior shelves rather than walls.
What does everyone think about this?
  • #10
I go to Petco and they keep bettas in large cups. A "How to care for your betta" sticker is also on there. I used to go to Walmart, but stopped when I saw how cruelly they were treated. Bettas were kept in tiny cups that barely gave them space to turn around!
  • #11
I think the pet store owners play on this a bit. I think another reason why they keep bettas in such small tanks is so that people like our good selves feel sorry for them and want to buy them to give them a good home.

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