Petco Betta Baby Rant

Discussion in 'Betta Fish' started by Kylee, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. KyleeValued MemberMember

    This isn't a question but just a rant about Petco. I've never been a huge fan of the chain itself, but the store in my town is as good as they get. Their fish are always healthy, reptiles are actually fed, etc. But then there are the bettas...

    My first betta Gatsby (RIP :() was from Petco and he lived for about 2 1/2 years. He struggled with fin rot throughout his life and I partly blame it on where he came from. So it's definitely my fault for falling into the trap again.

    I originally planned on ordering a betta online, but during a trip to the store to get fish food, I saw the cutest baby betta. I thought it would be so cool to raise a betta from the beginning, and I hoped it would increase the chances of a longer lifespan. The label said baby boy but nothing else.

    When I got home I did a water change in the already established 10g tank that was just waiting for a new betta. I added him to the tank and added a dose of melafix. He was doing great. A little timid, but by that night his color was already brighter and I could tell he was less stressed. I went ahead and fed him, then sat and watched him for awhile. He would see the food and swim to it, but then swim away. I was concerned but figured he was still a little stressed and turned his light back off for the night.

    It took almost two days, but he is now finally eating. I did research on babies and realized they are more work than an adult betta. Which is where my rant about Petco comes in.
    First of all, I know I should have done my own research on babies and not taken their advice, that is my fault. But they literally have a huge sign that says a baby betta is a great first pet for kids. That is so misleading and I'm sure causes so many unnecessary baby betta deaths. That sign shouldn't even be up. Also, there should be a separate care sheet for the baby bettas at least.
    And second, do they even feed their bettas? I remember Gatsby wouldn't eat for the first day I had him, but I assumed that was stress related also. My new betta acted like he had never seen food before. He's just now understanding how to come to the surface. Has anyone else had this issue with a baby betta from Petco/Petsmart?
    And lastly, plot twist, he's a she. After doing lots of baby betta research and seeing tons of pictures, I realized I definitely have a girl. And from the posts I've seen, this doesn't seem to be an uncommon Petco mistake.

    I know this is stuff people say all the time but I just had to rant a bit. I really wish pet stores would stop selling bettas. And don't even get me started on Walmart still selling bettas.

    On the bright side, she's doing great and is getting used to me. Her tank is Spongebob themed, so I named her Mystery (Spongebob's seahorse, it's a hardcore fan reference :p). It's very fitting considering I have no idea what tail she is going to have. Can anyone else tell already? Ignore my tank, I'm in the process of converting to planted tanks!


  2. KimAnnKitzValued MemberMember

    Awe...she is beautiful. I too bought a young betta about a month ago. My first one in a while after a couple of sad deaths of what seemed like perfectly healthy online ordered betta. One is my profile pic. They did live 6 months or a little longer (one in a 5 gallon, one in a 2) but that was a short life. I actually picked the new one
    because he was small but fiesty and he's from a LFS. They didn't provide any special instructions for care either. He was almost all white/cellophane with just a hint of blue around his gills. He is picking up a little more color but I have no idea what kind of betta he is. If he ever sits still I will post a pic and get some ideas from the forum. I am feeding Fluval Bug Bites for small fish instead of betta pellets. He loves them! My only problem is that they are such tiny pieces, that I'm not sure how much to feed him. He's in a planted tank that's 2 gallons. I know many will say 2 gallons is too small, but it's a very well filtered, heated Fluval Spec. They stay exceptionally clean. He has a couple of ramshorn snails to clean up excess food if there is any. They are still tiny and I'm aware of how easily they reproduce...I bought 5 of them 5 years ago and they are in every tank I own and I have to manually reduce the population every so often.

    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  3. scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    I don't find them that much more difficult (if at all) to care for than adults. I just fed my baby boy regular betta foods, with the occasional frozen mysis shrimp and daphnia.

    I'm not sure what you mean about her just learning to go up for air. They don't learn; it's instinctive. Otherwise, they'd die.

    Not sure about the tail type, but I think yours will get a deep red color like mine.

  4. KyleeValued MemberMember

    Thank you, I love her too! Aww I'm sorry to hear about your betta losses. Good to know online ordering isn't always a better option. I found a few reputable sellers on Ebay that had beautiful fish, but I'm glad I didn't spend the money.

    I bought a female baby a couple months ago that was stuck in a tank with two older females who were attacking her. Not sure why they had them together! She died the next day, I figured she would, but I had to try!

    I tried soaking pellets to soften them, but she ignores them. I've just been feeding her Omega One flakes that I feed the rest of my fish. I'm planning on taking a trip to the store later this week to get her some frozen food, and maybe a few cory friends to eat the leftovers so I don't have to keep sucking out uneaten food every day :p I'd love to get a few nerite snails again, but I've had bad luck with them. :(

    I was reading that you have to do more frequent water changes because they secrete a hormone that stunts their growth. Is it not as big of a deal in a bigger tank?

    And I should have specified what I meant, she didn't understand how to go to the top to get food. She would wait until it all sunk down before she'd try to eat. But she's doing good now. :)

    Thank you, I hope she does have a deep red color!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2018
  5. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    well the hormone part is partially true. They do release a hormone to stunt others growth when they are very little but they are past that stage before they are typically sold in pet stores. Not all bettas come to the top to eat some of mine wait for it to sink.
  6. NYFishGuyValued MemberMember

    I just got one too, it's eating crushed flakes and dried blood worms.
    Put a sponge on my intake so he cant get stuck...again:eek:
  7. KyleeValued MemberMember

    Yes, I made that mistake with my first betta! Sponge filters are the best for bettas for sure! :happy:
  8. RtessyFishlore VIPMember

    Aw, she's gorgeous! I did want to say, melafix, pimafix, and even bettafix aren't actually safe for labryinth fish like bettas, as the tea tree and bay oil can coat their labryinth organ and suffocate them. With Petco bettas, it's been 50/50 (2 adults, 2 babies) and one of each has gotten severely sick. The other two are fine. I agree that the babies are more sensitive though.
  9. KimAnnKitzValued MemberMember

    Thank you...the two bettas that were the most gorgeous and lived short lives were imports. They cost around $70.00 each. I decided no matter how gorgeous the fish, I couldn't spend that much on short lived fish. I would love another colored like the one in the pic and I search the LFS every time I go in. Joey was stunning... Vinny was equally beautiful. He was silver and pinkish red. It was kind of heartbreaking.

    I would be like you and try to rescue that poor fish. I've done that with a male betta that was suffering at Walmart. He had fin rot and I just couldn't cure it.

    At first this betta, Bugsy, was confused about eating. Bug Bites don't float very long and he would just stare at them as they sank. He started trying to chase them down but was too slow at first. Now he likes to eat some immediately and then he'll let a few sink so he can chase them. He gets mad if they beat him to the bottom and will try to get them. Sometimes he can. He almost attacks my finger at feeding time. He's also starting to get some red in his fins. I can't wait to see what colors he ends up with....he wasn't the prettiest betta they had but the cutest and most fiesty. Most of them looked as if they'd already given sad

    I got my first nerite snails in early April. They came as a 5 pack but I ended up getting 8. One died about a month later. The rest are still roaming around. I don't have any experience with them as I keep mystery snails and tons of red ramshorns. The mystery snails are the most interesting and get quite large. They escape if they get a chance! Love Cory's too. I have 5 that I've had for several years.
  10. aBettaNamedRoyValued MemberMember

    @Kylee I had virtually the same experience as you. I was ready for a fish, but unprepared to care for a baby betta, and originally followed Petco's information. Once I did my own research, I realized how much care my "boy" needed. He went, eventually, into a heated, planted, and filtered 10 gallon, where I fed him brine shrimp and small bloodworms. Unfortunately, his days in "the cup" and his original 1 gallon bowl may have stunted him. I am just beginning to realize that he may be a she, as I've had Roy since January and he/she hasn't grown. I wish Petco was straightforward with the care their animals require. It was my fault buying a pet I didn't know how to best take care of, but Petco's misinformation doesn't help. I'm upset that their company strives to sell animals for cheap and make them disposable. Perhaps their goal is to have unprepared persons buy a pet, get attached, have it die, and get another. And so will the cycle goes forth. It's too bad my city doesn't have an LPS; maybe some people would get more reputable information.
  11. Lacey DWell Known MemberMember

    I love the two LFS we have for getting some much better information...but they're still ready to send people home with fish with very few questions asked. WE'VE still had to be the ones to ask THEM what the fish's requirements were, etc. (I do get more information volunteered when I have my 7yr old in tow though, especially when he was captivated by the pufferfish :p)
    Our betta came from PetSmart, and he's had some (minor) health issues in the past couple of months we have had him. But we just went in, picked him up and some plants, paid and walked out, without any pamphlets or anyone discussing care of betta at all. I had done my research for well over a month BEFORE we got him and had the aquarium set up in weeks advance, but they didn't know any of that. I nearly forgot the food for him :p

    About the babies in specific, YES, it is frustrating that they don't have more information for their care, since they have special requirements. Then again, they sell common plecos, so -_-
  12. BettaFishKeeper4302Well Known MemberMember

    Love the tank! Just had to say that.
  13. DemeterFishlore VIPMember

    Well, to be fair it's not like a petstore gives the general needs and info for all the critters they sell. There may be care booklets and if you ask, someone might be able to inform you but it is ultimately in the buyer's hands to research and know how to care for the animals they buy. We've all done it, been there done that. Now I always research what a fish needs before deciding to buy it. I make legit "fish lists" when I go shopping now.

    Just I heads ups, I feel your female betta might be a male. Pretty sure it's a VT but the pelvic fins and other fins really, are looking like they will start growing long.
  14. aBettaNamedRoyValued MemberMember

    All very true. However, the advice of staff and the packaging of the baby betta at my store contained misleading information. I have no issues with the content of Petco's information if I don't request it, but if I do, their responses should be frank and accurate.
    Going into the store, I knew how to care for a betta, however, when I spoke to the staff about the specific care for a baby betta, they did not tell me that it had different needs.
    They also told me my African Water Frog needed dry land to live on partially. Luckily I knew not to take the advice to heart, rather than adding terrain to my tank!
  15. KyleeValued MemberMember

    Joey is absolutely beautiful. Also I love the name Vinny. Makes me think of Welcome Back Kotter, that's an old show you might not know about. :p Mystery was the liveliest fish there, but I struggled between getting her or a male VT that was a beautiful purple and blue. I hope to get a purple betta someday, but Mystery is still beautiful and already has a cute personality.
    I had two mystery snails for a year, and they were fully grown when I got them. My nerites were a lot better when it came to eating algae, but they didn't live long and ended up flipping over all the time towards the end and it drove me insane. I'm wanting to try another kind, I'll do some research on ramshorn snails.

    Yeah I could rant all day about Petco, starting with the fact that they still sell fish bowls. It needs to be common knowledge that fish need a tank with a filter and an air pump. People end up just wasting money on a fish that will die in a couple weeks. It's just like you said, they want you to come back and get another. Even the "knowledgeable" ones have given me bad advice.

    They advised me to get a bristlenose pleco and now I know that they aren't the best for tanks under 55g, even though he suggestd the pleco for my 20g. You pretty much always need to do research.

    Thank you so much!! I can't wait until it's a planted tank, it'll look so much better!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2018
  16. KyleeValued MemberMember

    Thank you so much, that is so good to know!! I had no idea!!

    Yes, I 100% agree that it's ultimately up to the buyer, but I just hate seeing misleading or completely false info that can easily persuade people who would never do research. And thanks for letting me know, I was leaning towards VT myself, but I will be interested to see what gender I have! I'm happy either way, it'll be cool to raise a female if that's what she is.

    Oh my goodness... Why in the world would anyone think that? :facepalm: I'm very glad you didn't take it to heart!!
  17. phenrisValued MemberMember

    She looks almost identical to the baby female I just recently got haha.

    By the time they're sold in pet stores they're usually the same care for adults, just a difference in feeding because their mouths aren't quite big enough to eat pellets or flakes or bloodworms, and you do have to feed them more often.

    Also, it looks like your girl has a bit of ammonia burn on her gills? Could just be me, so I'd wait for a second opinion before making the jump. I had the same issue with Moana here.
  18. KimAnnKitzValued MemberMember

    :D I am old enough to know Welcome Back Kotter! I didn't get the name from there though... I live with my fish a bit and let a name come to me. My Walmart betta, Pete, actually lived longer than the expensive ones --over a year. I gave up on bettas after that because I had a friend who kept a betta in a tiny plastic box like "tank" with no filter, no heat and very infrequent water lived for over 3 years! Made me think I was doing something very wrong. I think with Pete I was overfeeding even though I gave him just a few pellets a day. The betta i tried to save from fin rot lived a few months but I never gave him a name... except for calling him baby.

    Wow! Your Mystery snails live a long time. Mine grow extremely fast and don't last too long... 6 months to a year. I think it's water temp. I keep my tanks between 78 and 80. Think twice about Ramshorn's! I originally bought 5 pretty red ones... 4 years later I have a pretty big population that I sadly have to reduce occasionally. I have had them show up in tanks that I never put a snail in! I suppose I'm transferring tiny babies with my water siphon or cleaning sponge and that spec of a snail turns into hundreds sometimes. I always check my cleaning tools for them but im not seeing any... You can control them with assassin snails, if you'd like to try them and if they get outta hand. It's not too gory or anything because you rarely see the assassin...just empty snail shells. They don't get very big...I had one live to almost dime size and I was amazed -- that is pretty huge for them. Not sure how long they live either because there's too many to keep track of. If I noticed the eggs I would get rid of them but I've only seen them once or twice in my tanks. They're numbers actually don't bother me but I know that they poop a lot so you can't keep all of them in a small tank. o_O

    That nerite snail I lost was forever upside-down too. I set him up one day and he never moved again. They are great at diatomes or brown algae and seem to keep green algae in check. I have bba which nothing will eat and it drives me crazy... Well, I need to amend that. Mysteries will eat it if it's dying. Had a rock covered in it. Removed it from the tank and sprayed it down with peroxide and waited a bit before putting it back in the tank. It was already turning red and dying. I noticed overnight the Mystery Snails have pretty much taken care of it. They seemed happy with the treat.

    Sorry for the long posts... I am probably putting out TMI! :confused:

    By the way...I keep forgetting to tell you that the betta in your profile pic is beautiful too. I'm a big fan of the pinks! They seem to be the hardest to find around me. Solid red and lots of different blues are the norm as are dark purples and of course lots of strange mixes.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2018
  19. aBettaNamedRoyValued MemberMember

    Here's my Petco baby betta, Roy. He/she has grown up relatively nicely... I'm actually really surprised by his growth so far.
    (Semi) Adult to baby growth!
    Roy is six months old now! Screenshot_20180618-194130.jpgScreenshot_20180206-161038.jpgSnapchat-841238273.jpg
    *In the first/newest photo, the white spot on his head is a stain on the exterior of the glass.
  20. KyleeValued MemberMember

    Oh my gosh how cute!! And I love the name!! *refrains from bursting into song*
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that about the ammonia burns. It didn't look like her normal color to me. I need to do some research on what to do about that.

    Yay, glad you got the reference! :happy: My mom's coworker kept a betta in a vase for 4 years, I completely understand, it's very maddening!! I will never quit though, I love them too much lol.

    I was very surprised by how long they lived because they were from a very questionable pet store that is luckily shut down now. They barely ate any of my algae and one of them would always float. So I gave up on that. I might try to order some nerite snails and see if I'm lucky this time. My other 2 had cracks in their shells that never healed and I feel like that lead to their early deaths.
    Thanks for the heads up on ramshorn snails! That is what is keeping me from getting trumpet snails for my planted tanks, I think I'll just poke the substrate and let air in myself hahaha.
    Brown algae is what I struggle with the most. It took over all 3 of my tanks slowly but surely and I ended up having to bleach all the ornaments/gravel and vigorously rinse them in hot water. That wasn't very fun. :p Luckily it's never came back to that extent since then! Now I'm having issues with this weird white cloudy stuff on the glass of my 55g. There always has to be something hahahaha.
    And don't apologize, it's nice to get to know people on here and their experiences! :)
    My profile pic is of my first betta, Gatsby, thank you! He was very pretty, and I miss him a lot! My dad let me bury him in his yard, I couldn't just flush him!
    I'm hoping to find a light purple betta someday, preferably a rose tail like my first one.

    What a beautiful betta!! Mystery definitely resembles his fins as a baby, so I could see her gender going either way! I'm kinda hoping for a male, I just love their fins more, I can't help it!

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