The home of my bettas. . .

  • #1
Hello everyone.
On my previous posts I had repeatedly been asked what kind of homes my bettas have & I have also been privvy to heated debates on the topic of betta housing.
So I will answer the questions and tell you all the absolute truth.
I fell in love with bettas on my birthday 5 years ago. My first was named Apatite and through him my adoration & respect for them grew as he was injured when I bought him. I watched him fight to recover, to stay optimistic and to still be a tower of strength and I knew there was something special about these fish. Over the following years I have had many other fighters all of whom I loved and cherished for their unique personalities.
I have been apalled at the cruelty inflicted upon them by the hand of mankind.
Through coming to know these fascinating little creatures I have discovered their innate intelligence and beauty. I have bonded beyond closely with my fighters and trained their intelligence to a point that has amazed my friends and family to watch the unimaginable unfold in front of their eyes.
So besotted am I with my fish that I wanted more than anything to share them with the world. Especially my Wonderfish Achilles.
So I joined this community and started upon establishing myself in the forum.
I want more than anything to share my experiences with you and show you the tricks my bettas can do. But due to the heated debates I must come clean.
All my bettas are kept in what you would classify as bowls.
I come from a low income household. I cannot afford to keep each individual betta in their own heated, filtered tank.
I hate their ill treatment as much as the rest of you. I detest the confines of the cordial cups and marketted betta bowls. I endeavour to rescue my bettas, I put them in large containers with as much swimming space as the fish could want. I treat their water with medicines when required. I feed them a proper diet and I put a warm lamp on them in winter to heat their water.
I have watched my bettas thrive. I have taken ill and injured fish on deaths door and turned them into something that could easily win a blue ribbon. I have the pictures to prove it. You have all said in my previous posts that my boys are beautiful & shiny. Look at my pictures, do my fish look ill treated?
I do my best by them and I would never put my bettas in harms way.
They swim non stop, they flare, they fight, they clink their containers, they eat like the horses of the fish world. Under my watch there has never been a fight due to jumping between my males. My fighters are well and fine. They live beyond their expected life span and I have my bettas for years.

I know that some of you may think I have no right to own the fish if I cannot keep them as you would ideally wish but in so saying you are depriving the fighters of a loving caring home and condemming them to a life in the cordial cups and a premature death. Can my fighters really be worse off?
There are larger fights to be had than my bettas.

Fight the intentional training of them to kill each other, with bets placed on them until they rip each other to shreds.
Fight the green, slimy cordial cups that they cannot turn around in let alone swim.
Fight the ignorance of households that put them in together.

I want to share them with you. But if this is going to be a witch hunt, every time I attach a photo or video of my fish I see no point in continuing.
I will be deeply saddened if I have to quit before I've really started.
Please let me know if I should contine.

Sincerely, FishTroy
  • #2
HI FishTroy
Of course, I think you should stay, if that's what you're asking.
Although our beliefs in bowls vs tanks differ, I would not accuse you of not caring deeply for your fish.

Now, a warning ahead of time to our members, please keep remember the rules of FL.
1. Discussion and debating is encouraged but rudeness, insulting posts, inflammatory posts or personal attacks will not be tolerated. Above all, be respectful of your fellow members.

Tony G.
  • #3
I agree with Lucy Fishtroy, we won't accuse you of anything. If you're fish seem happy and are showing it then they are good with you!
Betta Whisperer
  • #4
Fishtroy stop beating yourself up. It's really OK. Those of us who raise betta's also keep them in containers. Mine are 48oz. containers and my fish are healthy and happy. When we are raising hundreds at a time it's impossbale to have tanks for all of them. I have many Betta's and not one of them has a heater or a filter. They've grown from fry to beautiful adults without either. Everyone has there own opinion and this is mine. You sound like you are doing good at taking care of your lovely fish. Keep up the good work. Also stay with use on Fishlore and learn as much as I have on this forum from the other members.
  • #5
From what you say, you most certainly care for your fish and understand what it means when many of say that all creatures deserve proper care and love. Bowls (I've seen plenty in the 3-5 gallon size) that provide room to swim, a heat lamp for cozy warm water, (an air stone if possible), and regularly cleaned water can certainly make happy homes.

Many of us become so passionate because we assume "bowl" means a gallon (or much less!) container of cold, unclean water, which is a terrible environment for any creature. Bowls don't necessarily equate to inhumane care, imo.

We would most certainly love to have you stay and we'd enjoy pics and videos of your fish babies.
  • #6
Dear FishTroy,

In the matter of Betta care and housing there will always be debate. It is inherent in the hobby. Many ignorant fish keepers take betta's home and but them in little "Betta Condo's" thinking oh this is cute. They then treat the betta is an ornament, adding water occasionally, feeding it when they remember, and cleaning the container when they fell inclined (which is usually rarely). Hence the debate's entire basis.

It isn't a debate about a cup vs a tank. Betta Breeders world-wide raise they're show winning betta's in jars that are frequently around .5-1 L of water. How and why can they do this? They can do it because typically they live in a part of the world (or pay the cash in heat) to keep the ambient temperature of the room at near the 30*C mark, which allows they're fish to live in water around 28*C which is the ideal temperature range. They spend hours daily cleaning 100's of jars so that they're fish have clean homes and healthy water. They feed them multiplue times a day have and eagle eye out for any disease outbreak that might be brewing to treat before they lose fish. In this environment there is little room to complain about the treatment of these fish. However contrast this is the scenario above where none of the care was given. That is the scenario that people know of. As soon as one says, "bowl", that is what comes to mind.

This whole bowl vs tank debate is really one about ignorance. You are not the first member to come here showing lovingly cared for Betta's that are in good health and housed in "un-traditional" tanks. However those keepers like you are very rare. Typically members join because they're betta in a bowl is ill, and they have the spark of a good keeper in that they come looking for help, rather then just "replacing" the fish. The reason's their fish is ill is typically because they are ignorant of the fishes needs. They either don't or rarely clean the tank, they live in a place in the world where the ambient room temperature isn't sufficient to keep they're betta's water warm, etc. Hence the compounding stresses cause their Betta's to become ill.

As this is the typical scenario that is faced by other members here we tend to advocate tanks over bowls. Simply because they're easier to maintain. You can solve nearly all the heating and water quality issues simply by having a tank of at least 2.5 gallons that's heated, filtered, and cycled. It's far easier to convince a new keeper with problems to take that route then it is to tell them that they need to do daily water changes, and turn their heat up by 5-10* (which would cost a small fortune). However this also means that when a caring member joins, who doesn't keep they're betta's in a tank, it's a habit that's hard to break.

Fish keeping is a hobby that is about finding new ways to overcome the challenges of the hobby. There is no right way, and no wrong way to do that. For Betta's these are the physical challenges that need to be faced.

1) They're water is kept at the proper temperature. This means that water sitting out at room temperature will tend to be 2* colder then the ambient air temperature. For me this means that my 56 gal goldfish tank (which has some sunlight exposure during the day) sits around 20-21*C. Much too cold for a betta. Therefore my boys and girls require heaters. Since heaters aren't designed for anything less then 2 gallons of water, my betta tanks range from 2.5 to 10 gals. I prefer the 5 gallons because for me they're the most convenient to maintain.
2) They are not being exposed to the cycle toxins (NH3, NO2, NO3). There are 3 means I know of to accomplish this.

  1. A cycled filter.
  2. A tank so heavily planted that the plants use up all of the above and keep them at safe levels.
  3. Fresh water, either through a system of regular and frequent water changes or a drip system.
3) The Betta's Health. Since a major cause of disease in fish is stress this means that they have a proper temperature to allow they're natural immunity to function at peak performance. They have a healthy enviroment that isn't putting un-necessary demands on they're immunity. Any infections that occur even though the above needs are met are treated as quickly and efficiently as possible (and throwing all the meds you own at them hoping one will work doesn't meet then requirement).

4) Space, here is where the bowl vs tank requirement can be argued. However it's the same argument that goes on with people who keep dogs in cities vs rural or acreages. If the fish is healthy, active, flaring, and giving the best betta attitude they have then in the end it's a moot point. And a point of keeper preference.

So FishTroy, you will have keepers argue with you but I personally feel that Fishlore should be a place with diverse opinions. In the end, if the fish are happy and healthy, then we're all happy. The trick for you will be to point out to new members you live in a place in the world (australia right?) that allows you the chance to keep your fish this way. In Canada for example even the Vancouver folks can't pull off betta's in a bowl with out supplemental heat.

I hope you chose to stay around,

Sincerely Red
  • #7
Fishtroy ~ I'm very new here too. I've always had bettas in bowls. I have decided to move mine to small tanks (2 - 3 gallon) mainly because I like the light on them & thanks to everybody here I now realize they NEED heaters in my part of the world. (I'm waiting not so patiently for my LFS to get in the 6 heaters I ordered.) I do like it that now that they have a little bit bigger space, I can see them better and I guess to be honest felt like everybody would be like... you shouldn't keep bettas in a bowl, etc. HMMM... that's kinda a revelation on my part.

I think it would be a darn shame if you left because of this. I think it's always going to be "we're all just gonna agree to disagree". I personally don't have any issues with the bowls. I just wanna see pics of ALL OF THEM. I want 1 (fine 100 ;D) of every color & kind.

It sure sounds like you love & take very good care of your babies to me.

P.S. Remember, I'm very new to all this and it's just my :
  • #8
LauraJoe, your opinion is just as valid, so get it out there girl!...
As for you Fishtroy... I have absolutely no problem with what you're saying! I love to read the fish profiles you post and have never once questioned their health or welfare, which says a lot for your "parenting" skills .
One of my bettas is in a 60l divided tank (with him in the main section ware some danios) which he gets on with, keeping himself to himself and they do not touch him in return. He will move to the divided section once my baby male guppy is big enough to go with the danios without being eaten etc!!
So hey, my situation is also less than ideal, but again there is no compromising on care, as they need checked on a lot to prevent any conflict. Even though they get on, I still like to monitor it constantly. My betta in the divided tank was recently ill, but is now back on form and totally recovered, so I can see where you are coming from, but in the next few weeks/month, he should be in his own 3.5 gallon section of the tank.
My other betta is in his own little 3.5g heated/filtered tank and loving it!! (think he misses flaring at my other betta as he was in the divided section until last week, he's very cheeky!)
  • #9
You sound like you care a great deal for your fish, and as long as they are happy, there's no reason to be worried. Many of us here tend to associate the word "bowl" with bad things, sometimes without asking for enough details or giving the owner a chance to defend themselves. I am as guilty of this as anyone.

Please stay, your bettas are beautiful and your opinion is as valid as anyone's. The truth is, we all have our own ideas on how to raise them (like raising kids, heh), and we all tend to think our way is the best way (I'm guilty of this too.)
  • #10
LauraJoe, your opinion is just as valid, so get it out there girl!...

Thanks you! Sometimes, I think we all need to hear that sometimes.

You know, I just started thinkin' about something else. I have a pure bred WHITE boxer. Trust me, people have opinions about that. If I would have listened to 1 vet that I was checking out, she wouldn't be here. He told me I should have her put to sleep (before I every got her, she was only a few weeks old & he had never seen her). That was his opinion (they CAN have a few more health issues than other boxers). She will be 7 in Feb & is a freakin' awesome baby with absolutely none of the health issues that she COULD have had!

Anyway, my point is... OPINIONS are like BUTTS... everybody has one.
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
HI everyone,
I have only just gotten a chance to access the internet and read everyone's responses. I must admit since posting my message I had been quite down. I was looking at my babies just last night (with them all staring at me with a 'what are you looking at?' look on their face) wondering if I was doing wrong by them. I love them so & would hate to think that I would be their downfall.
I have now read all of your responses and I thank each and every one of you for taking the time to reply. I now feel happier and I will stay. The fact that there are so many passionate people out there about the betta lets me know I'm not alone. And these are my responses to you:

Lucy: Thanks for saying I should stay.

Tony G: I am glad to be reassured that my fish will be good with me.

Whisper: It is good to know that others have raised bettas without a heater or filter &
that they have thrived.

Iloveengl: I have seen the cold, uncaring bowls too.
Surprisingly one of which I came across was in a vet surgery!
I would love to get my fish an airstone, but excuse my ignorance, does it
have to be attached to something? Advice needed!

Red1313: Thank-you for taking the time to write your in depth response.
I have used your challenges that need to be faced to check my on my babies
homes. You are right about our climate. Today it is so hot their water is
probably at heated level without a heater. It is winter that is the concern,
but I have found that the lamp works. I check their water temperature
regularly in the cold months. So thank you for that point!

LauraJoe: It does not matter that you are new here, I value your opinon. We can both
be new to the forum but have kept fish for half a lifetime!
In truth, you sound like me, I don't think I will settle until I have had a fighter
of every colour combination & varitey in the world! Lots of pics, this can be
done. You know how people keep a brag book of their childrens pictures that
they take to friends and relatives houses to show off? I literally do the same
thing with my fish pics. My brag book consists of fighters and there are now
so many pictures it has extended to 2 brag books. Welcome, I am glad to hear
from you.

Tigerfishy: Thanks for saying you love to read the profiles I post, I thought everyone
would just think I'm nuts! Don't worry, I'm hanging around to continue with
my profiling in the future!

Hooxeii: Your words of support are very much appreicated & the fact that you want me
to stay. And my bettas thank-you for saying they are beautiful.
  • #12
Well then, I guess it's all sorted! YAY
I have an airstone in my tanks. I bought a complete aeration kit that came with the air pump, tubes to attach to the airstones, and 2 actual airstones. If you can get your hands on that, you have everything you need, rather than hunting round for pumps, tubes and airstones (unless you want a better than normal bubble display as it's not as exciting as the big setups I've seen elsewhere, but my fish love it anyway!).
Keep an eye out for "bubble behaviour" as I have named it, it's so much fun to watch. This is where my fish swim to the bottom of the bubbles, float up in them with the slight current they produce upwards, swim along the surface, swim down to the bottom when they reach the end of the tank, then swim across to the bottom of the bubble stream again, go up in the current, and do the whole thing over and over again. It's crazy. Oh they also like to swim round and round the filter???? Yes my boys are strange...
  • #13
Iloveengl: I have seen the cold, uncaring bowls too.
Surprisingly one of which I came across was in a vet surgery!
I would love to get my fish an airstone, but excuse my ignorance, does it
have to be attached to something? Advice needed!

I used a zip tie to attach the air stone hose to a piece of decor. Pretty much just need to attach it to anything heavy enough so the air doesn't push the stone right out of the water.

zip tie:

Oh, I forgot to mention that the smaller the air stone the better; you don't want the air bubbles shoving the betta around the tank. It took a lot of adjustments and experimenting with mine before I got it to put out just the right amount of bubbles. Maybe you can attach the air stone hose to a tea cup and then hide the air stone inside the upside down tea cup. Or something to that effect.
  • #14
I used a zip tie to attach the air stone hose to a piece of decor. Pretty much just need to attach it to anything heavy enough so the air doesn't push the stone right out of the water.

zip tie:

Oh, I forgot to mention that the smaller the air stone the better; you don't want the air bubbles shoving the betta around the tank. It took a lot of adjustments and experimenting with mine before I got it to put out just the right amount of bubbles. Maybe you can attach the air stone hose to a tea cup and then hide the air stone inside the upside down tea cup. Or something to that effect.

You can buy a valve to add to the air hose to adjust the bubbles flow. I have a lot of them since many of my betta tank have air driven filters
  • #15
yeah, my bettas have always loved the airstones when I put them in the tanks. I eventually bought filters for the tanks instead and found that the bettas will do the same thing with the filters. They swim right into the current at the top and then they are propelled down to the bottom and then part of the way back up where they then swim over and back into the current again.! Just keep an eye out for torn fins!
  • #16
Hmm, yes I have noticed that, but the more they fly, the better they get
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Ok, will have to look into air stones! Thanks for the tip, I can imagine the inquisitive fighters would have fun with the bubbles. Wish you had a vid, could be amusing!
  • #18
I know, but every time I had grabbed the camera, they decided to stop
Will try to get one of the filter mania, it's only funny coz it's so random!
Let us know how you get on with the bubbles, can't wait to hear if yours have any funny habits with them too
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
That's the problem with filming bettas, they're too smart!
The second my bettas notice the camera they stop what they were doing which I wanted to film and start showing off for the camera!
Although adorably cute this makes it difficult capture the thing you were trying to.
  • #20
Sounds an awful lot like filming children...........
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
You'd be right, coz they are my children!
  • #22
I love watching Bettas nip at and play with bubbles.. especially if you can find flexible bubble wands.
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
Ok, hav no idea what that is?
  • #24
Hello FishTroy. A bubble wand is a flexible hose that acts just like an air stone. You can bend it and shape it how you like.
An example:

Have a good day today!
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Oh, ok, thanks for the info! There is a whole bunch of facts swimming (excuse the pun) around in my head! Have to get a whole ton of money and go to a pet store, then leave with heaps of stuff and no money! LOL.
  • #26
You can also make a bubble wand by taking a length of air hose, plug up the end and poke holes with the tiniest needle you can along it. Then it could go under the substrate to keep it anchored. Might not be quite the same, but certainly is cheaper.
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
Thanks! Can just picture my attempts at this though, everything that could go wrong probably would! LOL Will have to save up.

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked
  • Locked
  • Locked
Top Bottom