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Old 12-03-2012, 01:07 PM   #1 
whiskandbowl
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Rehoming Rescues: Screening potential owners

Hey all! I rescue bettas here and there, not many since I don't have much room.
I have a male who is ready for rehoming, but I'm worried on how to screen potential owners. I've already had one person interested, but after asking some questions re: tank size and if they have a heater, this is their reply

"its one of those ones that u put the plant on top i thing its a gallon and a half. thats about how much water i put in it. he will be by himself. my other betta i changed his (blu) water every two weeks. i dont have a heater. any other questions??"

How can I politely say "Sorry IMO those vases are like torture chambers for bettas and not a suitable home"?? I'm having trouble writing it politely. I'd be happy to give a heater away with him, but you can't really heat those vases safely anyway.

(Oh and I'm prepared to keep him forever if need be, but if I can open up space for more rescues, that'd be great. I would put him on here, but do not want to stress him out by shipping him)
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:21 PM   #2 
aemaki09
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I had someone ask me about the ones I was planning to re-home, said she had a bigggg tank and read it was okay to put them all in the same one if there were enough hiding spots.

I would say "sorry, but I am no longer interested in rehoming this guy/these guys"
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:41 PM   #3 
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I would say tell her about the minimum of 1 gallon per inch of fish rule. It's a general rule for all fish, not just Bettas.
Maybe say something like "Despite popular belief, Bettas actually thrive in larger, heated tanks. They are tropical fish and need warm water. Also contrary to popular belief, they don't actually live in puddles, but rather shallow trench-like rice paddies, which have lots of space to swim around vertically." Then tell them about the gallon per inch rule reminding them that it is an absolute minimum per inch (not oh, my fish is an inch and a half, so 1 gallon ought to be plenty - no 1.5 gallons would be the absolute SMALLEST), really stress that point so they get it. If they scoff at you, or tell you they've had Bettas in something smaller and no heat and they lived just fine, politely thank them and tell them that you have other people interested and would like to talk to interview them as well and that you will let them know if you decide to choose them to be the owner of your rescue. You can also tell them that since you have taken the time to nurse the fish back to health that you are very particular who you will let own him, and you have certain criteria that must be met in order to rehome him. That way they know you are serious and aren't just going to take the time to heal a fish and put him back in the same or worse conditions he was in before. Also, if they agree to your terms, they also know someone reliable to go to for advice if something should go wrong.

Last edited by sainthogan; 12-03-2012 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:49 PM   #4 
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I would just straight up tell them that they are not a suitable home for your fish and move on. Many people who keep their fish in small aquariums do not want to be educated and have no intention of changing their ways. I would be worried that even if they promised to make changes and seemed eager, as soon as the fish is out of your hands they will just revert to treating it poorly.

Better to wait and find a more appropriate home. Otherwise it is pointless to have rescued the fish in the first place.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:58 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBettaFish View Post
I would just straight up tell them that they are not a suitable home for your fish and move on. Many people who keep their fish in small aquariums do not want to be educated and have no intention of changing their ways. I would be worried that even if they promised to make changes and seemed eager, as soon as the fish is out of your hands they will just revert to treating it poorly.

Better to wait and find a more appropriate home. Otherwise it is pointless to have rescued the fish in the first place.
Not necessarily, they could just be naive. I was, but I was willing to learn what it takes to really keep a Betta healthy and happy. My first Betta when I was a teenager was in a gallon tank with a very fast moving bubbler, he sat in the corner and never moved because he couldn't. I didn't know any better. With the one I have now, she started out in an unheated half gallon tank, because again, I didn't know any better. My uncle told me it was too small, (he keeps lots of fish and he's the one who told me the gallon per inch rule), and now she's in a heated 5 gallon tank. So just because they have small aquariums and have kept fish in small aquariums in the past, doesn't mean that they aren't willing to learn - I was. Yes, some won't, but some will be willing to listen as I was, and do what it takes to keep the fish happy and healthy.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:03 PM   #6 
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Why take the chance though? I wouldn't want my rescue betta I had nursed back to health to end up in a worse situation than before. This really to me does not sound like someone who is well-versed in fish care or who has the knowledge and experience to provide a fish with a good home.

Quote:
"its one of those ones that u put the plant on top i thing its a gallon and a half. thats about how much water i put in it. he will be by himself. my other betta i changed his (blu) water every two weeks. i dont have a heater. any other questions??"
It's why rescue groups with other animals always have stringent rules and hoops to jump through before you can adopt. For me personally this does not sound like someone I would be comfortable leaving a fish in the hands of.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:12 PM   #7 
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Maybe you can give links to recommended tanks, and say if you get one, i'll give you the fish and the heater?

Or, true, you can just move on.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:39 PM   #8 
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I think it would help if you set up a list of guidelines of minimum requirements. If they are willing to meet those, then you can consider rehoming to them. I agree littlebettafish, that's why I put the part in there about if they scoff or say something like, "But, this is what I did before," then those people are not acceptable. And it sounds like this lady is one of those, but that doesn't mean that everyone she comes across who have had small tanks will be one of those. Setting up guidelines for adoption will help, if they don't want to meet the minimum requirements, they are not the right person to rehome to. If someone who was naive before, and is willing to learn, they should be considered, but that's why they need to be "interviewed" and if they say they have a small tank, tell them about and what it really takes, if they still seem interested, give them the guidelines for adoption. At that point, given their reaction to the guidelines, you can tell if they really will be willing to take the proper care or not. You could even also make a care sheet to give to potential fish owners that lists out things like proper amount of water changes, water testing, etc. Someone like this lady would never have even gotten to this point if adoption guidelines and interview procedures are set up.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:13 PM   #9 
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Some very good points, thanks everyone! This is my first rehoming and it's been really hard wording everything how I want. I definitely don't mind being picky about a new home, as LittleBettaFish said, I don't want the whole effort of rescuing Stumpy to be pointless.

It's hard not to judge people, but it's really hard. I get customers like this every day (I work in a petstore) and sadly, yes, the majority who keep bettas in small unheated tanks, do not want to be educated- they just don't care.

In my ad, I have "please reply with your tank size and it's current temperature"
I was worried that having something like "you tank must me min __ gallons" could lead to people lying and saying they have a big tank, but really don't.

I ended up replying before I read most of this thread (I wanted to send it before I went to work) and this is what I came up with.
"After some consideration, I'm sorry to say that Stumpy would not be suited to your style of fishkeeping. Bettas don't really do well in unheated containers under 2 gallons. With his delicate fins, he really needs water changes every other day."

Reading these replies, I might have changed or reworded a few things but oh well.
I haven't heard anything back.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:36 PM   #10 
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You could always simply ask her to please do some more research, and suggest good links/books (You know, the clear, simple, easy to assimilate kind. Not discussion forums, etc.) that have all the essential, indisputable facts, such as more surface area means more oxygen, grime gets caught in glass jewel substrate, bettas are carnivorous(ish), water changes per gallon.
"Well, I'd love to re-home my fish to you, but would you be willing to do a little reading on bettas first? ----- has a lot of important facts that every betta keeper should know"
Then, she'll make her own decision. If she still decides, "Hey, plant and vase are okay, then you still get to make your call. All keepers (just like all parents) have certain ideas of their own, but there are the indisputable facts, such as making your kid live in the broom closet under the stairs with no entertainment, exercise or engagement will lead to cuckoo brains
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