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Old 08-12-2009, 11:54 AM   #1 
Misheru
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Post What You Wish the Pet Store Told You About Your Betta

Hello everyone, thank you for clicking on my topic.

I am writing an article on Betta Care for one of the local newspapers, and am doing some research on how people actually care for bettas and what they were told in regards to caring for them. I was wondering if people could take the time to answer these or some of these questions:

1. What did the pet store tell you about your Betta when you bought him? (Caring, housing, feeding, etc)

2. What do you wish you were told? Did you research on the internet and were surprised about what you found?

3. What size of a tank do you use and what size would you recommend to people?

4. If you overheard someone telling a customer how to care for a betta and it was "wrong" (if you need clarification, please ask, but I think most people here are familiar with what pet stores say, LOL), what would you say to the customer to properly inform them? Or, what would you say to the worker? If you worked in a pet store, what would you tell people about getting a betta?

5. Are they any other myths you encountered about bettas?


Thank you very much for your time,
Misheru.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:03 PM   #2 
Jynx
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Yeah I've kept a lot of bettas- usually in big bowls or critter keepers- but now I have a 3 gallon Eclipse with an underhood filter.
we talk about this a lot- the pet stores will tell people these fish are happy in less than a gallon of water but this generally makes them very lethargic and sick. They can survive in there if you keep it clean but they really do better in at least 2 gallons. Also they really need heated water and those tiny betta bowls are very difficult to keep warm.
One of the biggest myths is that bettas will eat the roots and leaves of decorative plants. This is not true- they are carnivores. We feed them betta pellets- which are meat based- and bloodworms and shrimp as treats. They cannot survive on a purely vegetarian diet.
I have told people in the pet store that they like larger bowls and tanks- I usually either recommend a small aquarium or a large critter keeper. I've also helped people find healthy bettas in the display. The little cups they keep them in often makes them sick, though they do need to be separated and it seems to be the most convenient way for the petshops to do that.
Another myth is that the bettas don't live long- actually when they're looked after properly they can live for several years. They usually have shorter life spans if they're kept in tiny bowls rather than roomy tanks.

Last edited by Jynx; 08-12-2009 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:06 PM   #3 
Misheru
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Thank you for replying. I haven't heard that one about the plants yet, interesting.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:22 PM   #4 
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oh yes- people sometimes sell them together with a vase and plant and tell people the betta will nibble the roots to eat. Bettas don't actually eat plants, and if the plant is too bushy it will block the air and suffocate the fish. Bettas gulp the air to breath, if there's not enough air in the water and they don't have access to the surface they will die. This is one of the things small tanks lack- water needs to move a bit for good air exchange, but the tank needs to be covered so the betta doesn't jump out (bettas are notorious for jumping their tanks) so these small tanks are both still water and will have solid lids- thats no good. It is possible to keep a betta in a medium sized decorative vase- and you can even have a plant in there so long as it doesn't block the air, but you have to keep it very clean and exchange the water often so it has air.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:25 PM   #5 
Kim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misheru View Post
Hello everyone, thank you for clicking on my topic.

I am writing an article on Betta Care for one of the local newspapers, and am doing some research on how people actually care for bettas and what they were told in regards to caring for them. I was wondering if people could take the time to answer these or some of these questions:

1. What did the pet store tell you about your Betta when you bought him? (Caring, housing, feeding, etc)

They told me that bettas were happier in small tanks, that they didn't need a heater, and that you should change the water "when it gets dirty."

2. What do you wish you were told? Did you research on the internet and were surprised about what you found?

Luckily for my bettas, I had already researched their care before going to buy one. However, I still didn't know what a cycled tank was and I wish that someone had explained the differences in the two ways of keeping bettas (cycled and uncycled tanks).

3. What size of a tank do you use and what size would you recommend to people?

I use no smaller than 5 gallon tanks personally, although I have no problem with people keeping bettas in 2.5 gallon tanks and above especially if it is a small betta.

4. If you overheard someone telling a customer how to care for a betta and it was "wrong" (if you need clarification, please ask, but I think most people here are familiar with what pet stores say, LOL), what would you say to the customer to properly inform them? Or, what would you say to the worker? If you worked in a pet store, what would you tell people about getting a betta?

First off I would politely inform the customer about proper betta care such as temp, tank size, food, and cleaning schedule. Then I would talk to the salesperson about spreading dangerous information and try to correct them. If I worked in a pet store I would definitely type up a care sheet to distribute and capitalize on larger tanks and heaters to prospective buyers.

5. Are they any other myths you encountered about bettas?

The betta in a vase one is especially terrible. First off, the plant will not clean the water, secondly bettas are carnivores not herbivores, and thirdly bettas NEED heat! The keeping males and females together thing is really bad as well. Then there's the mud puddle myth...

Thank you very much for your time,
Misheru.
Hope this helps!
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:28 PM   #6 
MrVampire181
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My petstores are pretty good but sometimes give out the wrong info.

I reccomend AT LEAST a gallon.

I wish they would stop telling people to put them in bowls.

I correct them in what they are saying to their customers.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:36 PM   #7 
Jynx
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Beginners often assume bowls are easier to take care of but actually that's not true either- the smaller the bowl is the more difficult it is to keep clean. The food and waste builds up very fast, the water loses oxygen and gets cloudy, and the fish becomes sick. A lot of people think it's normal for the betta to just lie at the bottom of the tank sleeping all day- but this is a result of poor care. A healthy betta is an active swimmer and is very alert and interested in his/her surroundings and caregivers.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:36 PM   #8 
5green
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrVampire181 View Post
My petstores are pretty good but sometimes give out the wrong info.

I reccomend AT LEAST a gallon.

I wish they would stop telling people to put them in bowls.

I correct them in what they are saying to their customers.
thats pretty much it
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:37 PM   #9 
dramaqueen
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My petstore really didn't tell me anything! I had to find out on my own. They told me to change the water when it got cloudy. They never told me about otherfoods available for bettas to eat. I wish they would STOP telling people that its ok to house males and females together in a 1 gallon bowl. That is one of my biggest pet peeves. People come on here all the time asking why their male and female are fighting and that the petstore people said it was ok to put males and females together.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:13 PM   #10 
rb500
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1. I knew everything I needed to from being on this site before I got my betta so the petstore people couldn't fool me. lol. But I did make a comment that I liked him specifically when I got him because he had a bubblenest. She said that he only had one because the water was dirty. This is untrue, a bubblenest is a sigh of happiness and health. She also asked me if I had pellets because he HAD to have pellets. Some bettas will prefer flakes but not most, and there is the occasional treat that we use.

2. I was suprised that the myth could be so widespread. I researched betta care before I got mine and found this site, and it opened my eyes, thankfully before that common belief would have killed my fish.

3. I don't like to have any less than a 5 gallon. I would recomend at least a 2.5 gallon.

4. I would try to tell the costumers the real facts. I would tell a worker if they were wrong and I overheard. I hope to get a job at a petstore so I can tell the right information.

5. I have heard the plant one. And of course about that bettas are supposed to be lethargic, not needing room to move and being fine with little food and infrequent water changes. This is not true
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