I went to Petsmart last night to pick up some cat litter and Prime, and while there I decided to look at the bettas (like usual). I hadn't been in there since 1/2, when I went and bought my new rescue boy who was pretty sick. They had gotten in a new shipment of bettas between now and then, and they all looked so terrible! Two of the females had white fuzz/ich growing on them, all the fish were in blue water (which is unusual for this Petsmart) and there was SO much crap in the water it was hard to see the fish. I got so pissed I went home and emailed corporate. This is what I said:
I have noticed over the course of the last month that the betta fish at this Petsmart always look terrible.
I actually purchased a very sick betta last week, one which when I pointed out his sickness they told me he needed to be put in back for quarantine and to check back in a couple days. I checked back and he was "all better" so I bought him because he obviously WAS NOT. The ammonia level in his cup was over 4.0 on the API Master Test Kit, which is unacceptable and makes it quite obvious that these fish are not being properly cared for (daily water changes) while waiting for a new home. Luckily that fish was able to be saved, and in the matter of a week he has transformed into something that looks NOTHING like what he did when I brought him home.
While visiting the store today I noticed multiple fish with obvious fungus growth on their bodies. These fish were emaciated with rotting fins, had lots of debris (feces, uneaten food) in their cups and overall looked terrible - I would not doubt the ammonia levels were also very high in every one of those cups. No one wants to buy a sick fish, let alone see them in plain site at the store, and most of those fish are just going to die because of horrible husbandry. It is very disappointing to me because in November 2012 I purchased two male bettas from this same Petsmart location that were in perfect health, had beautiful fins and were very active - obviously taken care of (unless I just happened to get them the same day they arrived at the store). It's a shame to see the health of these fish go down hill in a matter of months. I hope you take this into consideration and do something about it. Until something is done, I will not be purchasing any more fish from Petsmart.
I got a reply from them about an hour later:
Thank you for your e-mail and for bringing this to our attention. I have taken the liberty of entering a customer complaint on your behalf. Your complaint will be addressed by a member of our Management Team within 3-5 business days, and you can expect a reply at that time.
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or frustration this may have caused you, and we appreciate the opportunity you have given us to set the matter right.
I know the blue water is medicated water when they get the bettas. Luckily my petsmart isn't that bad but the petco is so bad. Most of their employees are teenagers probably dealing with their first job and they don't care. I don't understand how management can hire people like this to care for animals. They should be fired if they can't handle the responsibility or taking care of another life no matter how "insignificant" they believe it to be. Pet stores should only hire caring people because I hate watching animals be neglected because the employees goof off or don't care. It's a shame
I know! It's so frustrating. I actually complimented the Petsmart employees not too long ago on how well their betta fish looked and how they actually seem to know how to care for them unlike the fish at Walmart. And then a couple weeks later they're actually looking as bad/worse than the Walmart fish. Same employees, too. It's so weird becaues the Petsmart employees actually seem to know what they are talking about and seem to care a little bit and their fish look crappy, but Petco's employees don't know anything and don't seem to care at all and their fish always look so much better, at least lately! Poor fishies. :(
Kudos for writing a letter, I hope they fix the issue. My nearest LFS dont rlly care about their bettas. One of which I wont be buying fish from again - they said 'If he dies, just bring him back and replace him.' Where I replied 'Oh? You have that policy for your kittens too? How about your parrots? Just because you think its a little fish doesnt make it a lightbulb or battery - you cant just plug another fish into my aquarium like nothing was lost'
I should've written a letter. I'm amazed my little guy survived the whole predicament.
It just amazes me that they have the guts to sell really really sick fish for $10-$20! I hope they do something, it's just so sad to see them go downhill like this so fast. The worst part is two of the aquatics employees that I have talked to there claim to be betta owners, one of which even said she used to breed/have a sorority. HOW DO YOU NOT REALIZE THESE FISH ARE SUFFERING?!?! Gah!
That's the worst! When they claim to be betta owners an they don't care for the bettas at the store. I hate the "not mine not my problem" attitude. I wanna give them the benefit of the doubt and think maybe they have a heavy work load but when I see them laughing and making jokes with employees it bothers me! There was a fish that somehow jumped out of the tank at petco. My boyfriend Jordan has always had a fear of accidentally stepping on a fish that has jumped out. I told him that was silly they couldn't jump out. Well one did and the poor thing almost got stepped on. (Not a betta) a died and Jordan told someone and they didn't act on it right away! No they took their sweet time finished their conversation and waves Jordan off with a "We'll take care of it". Again? Employees play a big role in the health of animals and you're right, they shouldn't sell them at so high of a price if they're gonna treat them this way. It's not right
I think just because they work with fish as a job, they feel like they obviously have a license to own fish and not think they do it wrong at all. One at my PetSmart kept bragging about her fish and it was annoying because she was wrong on several things so I brought her over to the bettas and pointed out the dead ones, sick ones, mis-labelled ones and even the poor yellow VT that was having minor seizures and said 'Does that look right to you?' She shut up real fast. I keep trying to think of a betta cabinet design that gives each betta .5 - 1 gallon of water that's has somesort of drip method that constantly refreshes the individual tank's water for them. It wouldnt have to be large, and if you built it deep instead of wide you could effectively stock 60 healthy bettas easy.
I keep trying to think of a betta cabinet design that gives each betta .5 - 1 gallon of water that's has somesort of drip method that constantly refreshes the individual tank's water for them. It wouldnt have to be large, and if you built it deep instead of wide you could effectively stock 60 healthy bettas easy.
Okay, this needs to be marketed ASAP.
We have a similar system in the culture room at my work, except it's set up using 10-20 gallon tanks for Fathead Minnows. This is a photo, not sure if you can see how it works, but there is a big head tank (black box on top) which fills with water and then flows downwards into the tanksv through a pipe system. Each tank has a drainage so it only gets so full and the water is constantly being replaced with fresh well water that has been treated with a carbon filter. Works great for these guys.
Now someone just needs to downsize this system and patent it for use at LFS and the bettas will be so happy!!!