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Old 04-17-2004, 08:41 PM   #1
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the plight of the betta...

We've talked about it many times lately, those poor little fish that are supposedly most happy in two tablespoons of water... There are soooo many things that have been upsetting me lately about the entire hobby, or what's become of the trade anyway... We surely can't fix everything but there's got to be at least some attempt to fix what we can, right??? In another post I mentioned how frustrated with how many bettas were kept and in those tiny containers, stacked on top of each other, we've all seen it... The most frustrating part of it all is the mis-information... Are these people really soooo dumb that they think someone is out harvesting those beautiful creatures out of a cup sized mud puddle, or do they just not care at all... Anyway, it's been suggested to me that I write a letter to Walmart and share my disgust with them. I plan on doing so but I have a proposal for all of you... I propose we all ban together in this quest... I don't know if anything like a petition is required but I'll tell you what I am looking for... Basically a general letter for anyone to print out and send to whomever they chose. Basically, some of you know WAY more about bettas, know the proper resources with VERY detailed info and some of you may be better gifted in the art of words... Basically what I'm looking for is for someone, or some people to join together and write an all purpose letter of disgust...(doesn't have to be titled so...) I want something that is very informative, absolute facts to counter the myths they are spreading, and something that will almost make them cry... I want these people to really come to grips with reality and I need everyone's help... If I get a lot of people sending me what they would like sent to people I will either pick one that I like myself or post them for a vote and I will personally give out 200 kudos to the best one... All kudos aside, please, please help...

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Old 04-17-2004, 09:10 PM   #2
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Its frustrating indeed. And the testiment to the amount of mis information that is out there is in how many websites and books exist on the subject. After all if the LFS was truly the ONLY source of info that we needed then we would not have many online sites would we?

About all we can do is try to inform folks 1 person at a time as best we can.

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Old 04-17-2004, 09:24 PM   #3
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Every time I see someone looking at the Bettas, LFS, Wally World, anywhere, I always tell them that they really need to get atleast a 10gal tank to go with them.

and explain how the shallow water they live in is knee deep, and so on and so forth.
30gal; Bala Shark, Pl*co
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Old 04-17-2004, 10:38 PM   #4
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I point people to the 2.5 gallon bowls at Pet'smart, it ain't much of an improvement but it at least gives them enough room to move around...
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Old 04-17-2004, 11:28 PM   #5
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How's this?

Dear Petsmart, Walmart, whatever-you-are-mart,
It has come to not only my attention, but also to my fellow fish-lovers that you persist in keeping the gorgeous fish known as bettas in tiny tanks , no, tiny cups. Many people think that it is humane, but think about it. How could it be ? Please leave these creatures in their natural habitats or treat them with the respect of another human being. This is why.

1. There is a rule in fish keeping that every freshwater fish should have a gallon of water for every inch it is long. Bettas are at least an inch and a half long and would surely grow longer if they were not stuck in a quarter gallon of water, destined to die stunted and prematurely.

2. Second, let's convert the dimensions, okay? The average human is about six feet tall and half a foot to a foot wide. That means that if you were in a similiar situation to a betta, you would live your whole life in a room twelve feet tall and a foot to two feet wide. Have fun!

3. They have no way of cleaning that tank themselves. That water would become polluted astonishingly fast and i doubt there is a filter small enough to fit it. You would have to do water changes every day! To put this in perspective, while you are in that room, remember that you are living in your waste and running out of fresh air to breathe. Try to live like that!

As you can clearly see, these poor creatures are being treated like scum. Sure, they can live, and so could you. But the real question is if you would be happy. I doubt it. If i lived in a room with no one else, in my waste i would not live happily. The one thing any pet owner can say is that they want their pet to live a long and happy life. I know that if that goes for dogs, the same should go for fish. Whatever animal you have, it probably brings you joy to see it happy. Just like if you were a father or mother...you would want your kids happy. Even if you don't like fish, dogs, pets or kids, fight for the right cause. Just because the ASPCA hasn't made a move doesn't mean that they won't or that you shouldn't.

Fellow humans, please be humane and let the bettas free. Let them thrive in a bigger, better habitat whether it is a pond or a tank. Please do the right thing.

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Old 04-17-2004, 11:40 PM   #6
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But the problem is that regular people can't be aware of much when making a impulse purchase..and that is what betta are meant to be . In ANY retail, the featured endcap is for sale items and impulse items. that is just good marketing practice.

But then comes the problem..it happens to alive.

It would take a mighty movement of reasonably concerned people. You can't get much action from PETA extremism. And that takes somnething like a clamouring for state laws for animal cruelty adn husbandry to include fish. If fish are included into a anti-cruelty law that has fines involved..I guarantee half these stores will not even carry betta anymore. And the rest will probably have them in larger containers. Like a kit..... or a few singles in communities.
This will put the cost up of course. Bettas will no longer be such a quick impulse buy when you have a cramped 1 gal or imperfectly reasonable 3 gallon tank already in the price

My daughter and her friends already made an impact at Walmart here. They contacted the store manager and the district manger. They camped across teh street making a fuss about the waterbabies and bettas. Waterbabies were discontnued here altogether. The betta got the large cups that walmarts were starting to use in less than two days. And were in neat shelved rows vs, stacks. I am sure the paper planning to interview the rabble of children had something to do with it. And the group (Paladins for Fairness for the Unfuzzy) are now starting to petition for help from every kooky evergreen college group that ever snagged a headline. Some group form California has taken interest as well (some society for equal something) And ..>shudder< PETA. They promise to send 'help" when they have some magic number and the date they are preparing to clamour to the governor and the Dept of Agriculture.
PETA sent giudeboks on petitioning legally as well as stacks of some really not nice posters to paste all over town. Petco and Petsmart is the main target, but they are now checking every fish seller in a 30 mile radius. And the findings are not pretty. Owners always seem to lean to taking excellent care of one type of fish (their favorites/ showcase that they usually have the most in stock of) while hideously mistreating others...

I told her to use PETAs support as a last resort, that they are like setting loose a guard dog fed gunpowder..hard to call back! 8O

trouble with saying something to a customer William is that the associate will 8 out of 10 times steer them to it as soon as we go anyway..after all we are just another customer..but the dept person KNOWS better..are they not he expert?.
I saw our Petsmart sell angels for a 1(2?) gallon spongebob tank as well as bottom feeders. I had just steered the woman away from barbs, neons and goldies to the bettas.
The witch loudly said that oh any of these would be fine and just pointed to the middle selection. Four fish bags she was at the checkout with! FOUR!
"Fish! Thank You! Oh, tropical huh? Did you buy a heater? Auuugh!"

Mega-pet stores prolly should not be allowed to sell animals as retail "items".
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Old 04-18-2004, 10:05 AM   #7
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Regular people? It doesn't matter! Buy a bigger tank! I've got a one gallon tank with an under gravel filter for $10. It isn't stocked yet., i'm only planning on one fish. I dunno, i was gonna get a betta and put a plant and a shelter in it but i might just go planted. h
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Old 04-18-2004, 10:05 AM   #8
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Regular people? It doesn't matter! Buy a bigger tank! I've got a one gallon tank with an under gravel filter for $10. It isn't stocked yet., i'm only planning on one fish. I dunno, i was gonna get a betta and put a plant and a shelter in it but i might just go planted. h
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Old 04-19-2004, 04:18 PM   #9
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If it were not for this website, my two bettas would be living in an unheated, unfiltered half-gallon sized container of their own pee.

Why? Because every LPS I have been in has propogated the same myths: bettas like small bowls of shallow water, bettas don't need heaters, bettas don't need filtered water. One 'enlightened' clerk at Petco told me that I was wasting my money on a 7 gal for a betta - "That's all you're going to put in it?", he asked.

So thank you to Christmasfish and everyone else who rants and raves here about bettas-in-a-teacup. My bettas seem very happy in their 10 gal tanks.
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Old 04-19-2004, 04:48 PM   #10
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When I bought my first betta, the lfs said that he should be in a 2 gallon bowl. I bought the bowl because I thought they knew best, and I didn't, back then. I did wonder if there was a better way to house the betta, and I went back to the same lfs, and they sold me an Eclipse 3. My poor betta was not happy in this tank. The current was much too strong for him, and there was no adjustment on the filter flow rate. I returned the tank, and told the lfs that they shouldn't have sold me that tank for a betta. But I was thinking how happy the betta was in that tank when I unplugged the filter.

Some of the other lfs that I had been to had so much stuff and it was so intimidating back then (and they wouldn't explain any of the equipment -- they just said "put the betta in a bowl"). For instance, I remember now that I was looking at a powerhead and wondering if I needed something like that!

I went to a SW shop near me (it was the only lfs with no other animals to irritate my allergies) to get help for my betta, and they suggested a 5 gallon tank, sponge filter, and 25 watt heater. They also suggested a 10 gallon setup too, but that wouldn't fit where I wanted to put it. I was happy that the SW shop helped me out with my betta! Some of that equipment, and how to set it up, can be confusing for a newbie.

Now I have 2 bettas, each in their own 5.5 gallon tank, and they are very happy. When I do have to put them back in the bowl, for medicine, they just lie there. When they get back in their tank, you can tell that they are happy!

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