Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Redwood City, CA
I complained to ThinkGeek about the USB Fishquarium. Here's my letter:
"Hello, fellow geeks,
I have bought about $300 worth of stuff from ThinkGeek in the last few months for myself, coworkers and my husband. We have all been extremely happy with our t-shirts, toys and gadgets thus far, so thank you!
However, today I wanted to write to you about your "USB Fishquarium" that you have for sale on your fine site. I wanted to alert you to the sad fact that this is an absolutely tiny "home" and is in no way appropriate for a betta fish. Contrary to popular myth, bettas do not live in mud puddles but instead live in rice paddies which are considerably bigger and fresher. A minimum of two gallons is recommended as a permanent home, with a preference for 3-5 gallons. The USB Fishquarium is only 0.4 gallons - unfortunately completely inadequate for betta fish. I'm fairly sure a cat would survive in a 3 foot box if you fed and watered it every day but it certainly wouldn't thrive - it's the same sort of deal with betta fish. Also, there is no heater or filter included, nor space to add these. Both of these items are required for bettas to live happily and healthily.
On your website you use the phrase: "(Granted with beta fish there's less frolicking and more floating in catatonia, but you get the idea)" - this simply isn't true. The reason the betta is just hanging there is because it only has 0.4 gallons to swim in. Back to the cat example, do you think a cat kept in a 3 foot box would be happily frolicking? Unlikely, but a cat in a small apartment would almost certainly do so. :)
I am a huge advocate of ThinkGeek and always recommend it to my friends, but I will certainly be thinking twice before doing so in the future - or at the very least I will be ensuring no-one buys the USB Fishquarium. It's a real shame as I love ThinkGeek and want to continue to shop with you folks! Please, please strongly consider removing this product from your (online) shelves. All it will lead to is short-lived betta fish and unhappy customers.
Many thanks for your time and consideration."