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Old 11-23-2011, 11:21 AM   #1 
WDW Donna
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How Old are fish store bettas?

Just curious on approximatly how old bettas are when sent to stores. My youngest and I were at Petsmart last night (just to browse) and we saw the smallest male betta ever! I don't think he was much more than a an inch, if that.
My daughter wanted him right away because he was a "cute baby", but we would have to buy another tank. My daughter is 9 and has a male betta in a tank in her room, but doesn't have room for another one. She wants to keep him in a normal fishbowl and ask for a divided tank for Christmas. I think I might break down and buy a tank anyway. Might be divorced by Christmas though!
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:56 PM   #2 
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For males, they typically wait from between 5-8 months to ship them out. This gives them a lot longer fins, which really is what sells these fish.

For females, some members have seen some so tiny they couldn't have been more than 4 months, if even that! Of course this also means that there is a possibility that a male is labeled as a female and shipped out! A few members have brought home "girls" for their sororities and found out they had a male on their hands instead!

So maybe that little male was sent to the store as a female, and a semi-knowledgeable employee spotted the mistake! Or maybe it is a super young male. Or maybe it is just a very tiny male... How long are his fins?
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:04 PM   #3 
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I think it depends on the store too. My petco is really excited about getting juv bettas... I'm really concerned about that though since I don't think they will take care of the growing fish right.
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:07 PM   #4 
Dead Sunlight
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Pet store male bettas (PetSmart, petco) generally tend to be past their breeding prime, they tend to wait longer to ship them out, as Kytkattin said above, which results in fish with longer and more devoleved finnage... So generally around 8 months to a year old.
If you go to a fish specilizing store, however, their fish tend to be younger and in fine breeding prime. I got an opaque HM pair from my LFS, I'm guessing 6-7 months...

Older fish tend to have the "old, rough" look... Their scales may no retain that 'smooth appearance", they may have bred a few times or may have got into a fight with another fish... these battle marks will show as fins rarely ever heal up perfectly... Usually there is unwanted curling of the fins and kinks where fin healed up... They tend to be larger, too.

Younger fish have a smooth, sleek appearance, usually fins will still have a black edging which signals that it s still growing... Fins show no unessary curling, smooth scales, may be more lively and alert, all in all they're like a "hot, new package" next to some of the older citizens of bettadom
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:18 PM   #5 
WDW Donna
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Not sure how long the fins were. I would have to go back and look to be sure, but they looked fairly long he was just really small. Is there such a thing as a runt fish? The thing that really caught my eye is that they were labelled as crowntail, our Petsmart usually only has the VT. How horrible would I be if I kept him in a fishbowl or small kritter keeper until Chrstmas.
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Old 11-23-2011, 01:19 PM   #6 
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My petco has fairly young fish! I guess it just depends on the store. At my petco I picked up Ryu Kasumi and Okami when they were 3 months old. They even breed bettas at my local petco and sell em at about 3 months also. The fish go fast so they order more and more fish. The longest time I saw the same betta there was for 2 months making him somewhere around 5 months. However at my local petsmart I see the same bettas there for many months. I ask around my pet stores to find put the next bettas will ship in so I can get a young lil one ;)
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:00 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDW Donna View Post
Not sure how long the fins were. I would have to go back and look to be sure, but they looked fairly long he was just really small. Is there such a thing as a runt fish? The thing that really caught my eye is that they were labelled as crowntail, our Petsmart usually only has the VT. How horrible would I be if I kept him in a fishbowl or small kritter keeper until Chrstmas.
As long as you keep up on the weekly water changes (no filter you would be wanting to do 2 a week), and you can keep him warm enough- then he should be fine in a smaller bowl/kritter keeper for a long time. Just make sure there are a couple silk plants and possibly a place to hide (such as a cave or even a coffee mug) to keep him feeling secure. Petco has kritter keepers at a good price- a medium (1.75 gals) is $8-10 max. They are plenty big enough as main home tanks too- but the smaller size shouldn't be too bad either.

I actually feel bad for the older ones at places.. so sometimes I will prefer to get one that is older and not as "pretty" because they need love too :)

Last edited by Myates; 11-23-2011 at 02:06 PM.
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