• It is NOT acceptable that stores offer for sale bettas that are sick, bettas that are dying, and oftentimes, bettas that HAVE DIED! (Yes, I have seen many dead bettas still on display). Well, guess if your pet is already dead when you buy it, less chances for you to f... up! 

    What you, as a consumer, can do:

  • A word of truth: Pet store bettas are imported bettas. They come from mass production hatcheries located in the Far East. They get raised in poor conditions, shipped in poor condition, arrive at the wholesaler and are processed in poor conditions, then go to the distributor in poor condition and arrive at your local pet store in the pooorest of poor conditions. That is why you pay $4 bucks for them. Most never make it, the rest die on the store's shelf, many more die after you have had them for a few weeks ("what did I do wrong?" you then ask). 

    In short, if you want a healthy, loved, spoiled, happy betta, get it from a local breeder who loves his fish. 

    Hugh, wise betta mermaid has spoken.


    Q: Since visiting your site and learning lots about our betta friends, I am HORRIFIED by the way PetSmart, Superpetz, Wal-Mart, etc. keep their bettas. I feel sooooo bad every time I am at one of those stores. Any suggestions on how to get them to STOP abusing bettas?

    Question submitted by Chanen, Harrisburg - PA

    A: One could add a few more pet store chains to the above list, and append it further more by then adding most of their local fish stores. Boy, that is a looooong list of people who need a brain adjustment!! 

    Yes, most pet stores (especially low end, big corps ones) treat bettas very poorly. Oftentimes it is because of ignorance, but in many cases it is simply pure negligence. Because bettas can survive in a small body of water (such as a cup), they figure that they can "store" them that way until they are "moved" (as in sold and out of their hair). To the store, it makes sense, because it saves them shelf space and since bettas MUST be kept separated, each male must have his own habitat. Now, why these stores (who obviously have large budgets)

    All stores should provide the following BARE MINIMUM for their bettas:

    clean water. In such small cups, water should be changed daily.
    although cups may be acceptable on a temporary basis (as in 1 week), they should preferably use 1/4 jars (but that is not about to happen anytime soon!) which would allow them to do water changes every 4 to 5 days (less hand manipulation of the bettas = less stress) and give also the bettas some room to move around darn it!!!
    a jar cover!!!! Don't they know bettas jump? (this is my BIGGEST complaint)
    medication for all the bettas that appear less than 100% OK (some Bettamax, which they sell, would not cost them all that much and when caught early, a disease can be defeated that way)
    go to the top: Ask to speak with the manager, don't watse your time with the little fish, go to the alpha one. When you do, be polite but show them that you mean it and that you know a lot about bettas. Tell them how your suggestions would improve customer satisfaction (hit them where it hurts - their wallet). Understand these people do not care for animals (at least most of them) but they do however care to lose customers (and $$$$$). Give simple, easy for them to implement, suggestions, such as keep the water clean, medicate your bettas, place a lid on them. DO not however start suggesting they set up a 10 gal tank for each of their bettas!! Mention that they will lose a lot of business if they do not care better for their bettas: That people can NOTICE that the fish are unhealthy and that this gives a bad reputation to their store, and people go elsewhere "where animals are well cared for". Tell them you have hear bad stuff about their store and came in to see for yourself (that one will work every time LOL). Explain to them that their customers are all ANIMAL lovers. Why else would they be here spending hard earned money to buy animals and supplies? Animal lovers want animals to be happy. Dead animals do not go over very well in their book. They will go elsewhere to buy pets and supplies and the store will lose a lot of sales and revenue (oh that will hurt them at the very core of their beings LOL).
    go even higher: During your conversation with the manager (and so that he/she will take you seriously), ask to be provided with the address of the corporate headquarters and mention that you intend to contact them about this matter. Do not sound threatening, simply state that this is the only sure way to insure that ALL the stores provide better betta living conditions. If she/he does not give it to you then simply say, "well I guess I will simply find them on the internet then, you can find EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE on the internet now a day you know!" also make sure they know that you will let the powers to be know that they did not take at heart your customer concerns (use the word CUSTOMER, cause as you know the customer is king in this country of ours :)) ).
    keep an eye on them: if the store person seems cooperative, thank them warmly and about a week later come back to see if they implemented any of your suggestions. If they have not, do not yet say anything, just quietly leave and give them another week. If by then nothing has changed, ask to speak to the same person again, and do write the headquarters.
    educate them: you are welcome to give them my website address. I heard from people out there who did just that, they gave my web address to the store and they started in turns giving it out to people who purchased bettas so that they may learn how to properly care for them. I am sure that saved the life of many a betta!

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