I went yesterday to a new pet store from my city to see what kind of products they sell. Of course I couldn't resist not to have a look at their fish, as being for the first time in this store. In one corner I've spotted some bowls which seemed to be empty. I've got closer and, to my surprise, there was a CT betta in one of them, looking extremly sad. The bowl was very small, about 0.5gal and water was dirty and cloudy. His color was very dull/gray and he wasn't moving at all. At the beginning I thought he was dead. I tried to capture his attention and he moved his sad eyes, looking at me, like he was asking for help... :( Then I've notice some small gill movements... My heart was broken... I asked my husband “How is possible to keep him in such dirty water and with no heater??! Poor fish.... Don't they see that he's suffering and that he's going to die in a very short period of time?” In the next moment, a girl who worked there came to me and asked me if I need anything (she heard me)... And I told her “Yes, I would need you to move this betta in a heated tank, for example in this one with xipho... they will get each other pretty well. He's very cold here, being next to the exit door.” (Outside air temperature was about 28 F, I don't want to imagine which was his water temperature). The girl got angry and told me “His ok there. Bettas live in bowls”. I replied they don't, unfortunately and kindly asked her again to move him because he was suffering there. She said “I won't, because bettas live in bowls, trust me”. I added: “No, I don't trust you, because bettas are tropical fish originally from Thailand. Is it so difficult to move him in a heated tank, like for the other fish?!” She became even more irritated. I've added “For how long is he staying here and which was his initial color?”. She said that he was always colored like that and I replied I don't believe her... I couldn't let the fish there... So I bought him, hoping he will resist till home and during acclimatization process. She didn't want to make and discount. In her opinion the fish was perfectly healthy. Imagine that she even tried to sell me a bowl for him... How rude! I told her I would not put him in a bowl, not even in a nightmare and that he would live happy in heated 15 gal tank from now on.
So I bought him. While I was on my way home, inside the car the temperature was very warm and I also wrapped him in my jacket to warm him a little bit more. After some minutes, I looked at him to see how he was doing and I was amazed when I saw that he started slowly to move his fins and that they were becoming a pale red. After I arrived home, I slowly acclimated him and this is how he looks now. Too bad I didn't take a photo at the store.
I am going to make a complaint today at the owner of the pet store about how is possible that a biggest pet store, well known in the entire country and with a good reputation, to keep their bettas in such bad conditions and especially during the winter. Their main competitor on the market is providing separated boxes for each of them, inside one big heated tank. Bettas deserve good life conditions like any other pet. I hope my complaint will be listened.
Now I need a name for him so feel free to give me some suggestions.