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Old 07-08-2010, 05:13 AM   #1 
SleepyRN
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Small Fish Stores vs Chain Companies - Rant

I went to Houston for the 4th of July, I lived there for a couple of years and like to visit old friends every now and again. I currently live in a city with a population of about 100,000 and only 2 pet stores (Petland and Petsmart) and one privately owned store "Exotic Fish".

I didn't know what a Betta was while I lived in Houston, so if I had found the pretty fish I did in my town I couldn't imagine what I might find in the 4th largest city of the US.

Long story short I spent nearly 2 whole days visiting every fish store my iPhone could throw at me. Outside of 2 smaller fish stores Petsmart and Petco were by far the best!

Outside of the 2 said shops and large pet stores all others were very very below par and just plain sad. I don't want to give the impression I'm calling anyone out here, but Houston has a large Asian population and inevitably some own fish stores - these were the worst. If you could dye the fish, they had it. Parrot fish with flag patterns, Mollys with hearts on them, glassfish the colors of rainbows, jellybean Parrots in multiple colors... again, you name it they had it.

On to the Bettas... I have never in my life walked in to so many stores with mistreated Bettas. One in particular had several dead Bettas which looked like they had been left for a couple months. The water the dead Betta was in was basically black, moldy moosh. They were stacked 4 or 5 high on top of each other which made me wonder how they each got fed. Others stores had these insanely small cups. Some small cup pictures have been posted here, but these were so small the male Bettas couldn't lay flat - if they were straightened out they had to be at an angle. Picture a regular sized female, that is about how wide these tubes were.

On the other end of the spectrum one of the nice shops (I was in "awe" of their setups) had a handful of very basic blue and red Bettas for $30 - $50 dollars. Some may argue those fish were probably immaculately kept and will be healthy, hardy fishes, but out of all the breath taking 15, 20, 40 thousand dollar tanks they had set up around the shop the Bettas were still swimming in their own nastiness. And this place was spotless!

In the end my GF found the prettiest Betta in Houston at a Petsmart. It was swimming in that awful blue water, but it's fins are solid white and it's body a deep red. I'm done with the whole searching for Bettas deal, lol... it just made me mad. The chain stores have WAY prettier fish than 90% of the small fish stores I've visited since getting into fishes. I don't care what y'all say
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:23 AM   #2 
1fish2fish
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I agree. 99% of the LFS I've been in take horrid care of their bettas. It doesn't matter how well they care for their other fish, they are under the impression that bettas can live in small cups with no water changes. Since bettas don't bring in a lot of money for most LFS they aren't a high priority.
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:55 AM   #3 
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Interesting to hear about your experience. I never shopped at small privately owned FS's.

The only two bettas I ever bought myself (the rest were given to me) were respectively from Aquabid and Petco. I bought a halfmoon from one of my local Petco's because I was pleased to see that all of their bettas are kept in larger bowl-like containers rather than the smaller cups, and the bettas seemed well-maintained. It's still not an ideal home for a betta but I support Petco's effort to improve. I would buy even more bettas from them if they kept them in heated, filtered barracks with a drip system.

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Originally Posted by SleepyRN View Post
Outside of the 2 said shops and large pet stores all others were very very below par and just plain sad. I don't want to give the impression I'm calling anyone out here, but Houston has a large Asian population and inevitably some own fish stores - these were the worst. If you could dye the fish, they had it. Parrot fish with flag patterns, Mollys with hearts on them, glassfish the colors of rainbows, jellybean Parrots in multiple colors... again, you name it they had it.
How sad that they have to spoil natural beauty with something so tacky.

Quote:
On to the Bettas... I have never in my life walked in to so many stores with mistreated Bettas. One in particular had several dead Bettas which looked like they had been left for a couple months. The water the dead Betta was in was basically black, moldy moosh. They were stacked 4 or 5 high on top of each other which made me wonder how they each got fed.
My mother-in-law buys us bettas from these small fish stores in Chinatown. One of them was nothing but "fin and bones" when she handed him to me in a cup with barely enough water in it for him to wallow in. I take care of the bettas she gives me, but I hate that she buys from idiots who mass-breed veiltails to make like $1 profit each. Honestly, can't they think of a better way to make a living?

Last edited by RandomFish; 07-08-2010 at 12:00 PM.
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