The cups are cruel, and so is a bowl without a filter, plant and light.
My LFS (not PetSmart/PetCo) keeps their bettas in small divided tanks (they look like 2 gallons to me), attached to their main filtration system, with walls that are not transparent so there is no stress. They always look beautiful-they don't seem to have them too often because they only have room for 10 or so and sell out as soon as they are in. That is the way to sell bettas, not in 8 oz cups.
What they cost more then discus??? we are thinking of the same discus, arn't we???
We are.;) Problem is the pet store still thinks it's a good price. IMO, the owner should learn to venture to other pet shops and look at the differences between show-type bettas and ordinary ones. The ones they sell aren't even in good health condition.
i am very on the fence with ths issue, and the reason for this is because i feel that most people arent aware of both sides of the issue, and focus mosly on the fish side without understanding why.
here are the two sides.
side A:(lfs side) it isnt very economical to house bettas in ten gallons by themselves. or even split the tank. It doesnt really make any sense for them to do that. For example, space can become a concern and just cost, where as keeping them in jars etc... provide a way less expensive way to house bettas.
side B:(fish lover) it is hard to see bettas in small tanks. However, not saying this is always 100% true, but most of the time, people who really complain about this issue, only have 1-10 bettas max. which is fine. So they can easily house a betta per 10 gallon etc... So that is why most* people feel strongly that this is wrong.
Also another key fact is most people who havent seen the wholesale side of tropical fishkeeping wouldnt know how bettas get here from overseas. When i import bettas, they arrive in litle bags with maybe 1-2 oz of water. i do have a picture,(but i am new so it will take time to get it up) i will post up that shows the way the fish are shipped.
My stand: over the 13 years, when i was focused in on bettas only, i owned around 500 males at one time, so you can image how impossible it would be to house 500 ten gallons around etc... i house my bettas in small tanks, but find no problems with it. As long as the care is there.
of course on my yong bettas they have a long enough tank to grow out first.
um... i hope that i have enlightened this issue alittle bit.
Though I'm not a fan of the small bowls that bettas get housed in, I've seen a number of bettas quite content in these small environments. I've seen several create bubble nests and such in the tiny bowls.
And, I am guilty as well of the rescue purchase, I bought a 12g tank for a betta from the LFS. :P
I'll admit, my purchase was half a rescue purchase. I wanted a top dweller after deciding not to purchase Hatchetfish. Immediately Bettas came to mind, and their ease of keeping and beauty sealed the deal. There were virtually no cons to buying him for my 20gal. Except I think he may have had ich, I'm currently looking into the situation.
I also understood that he would be getting a kickass home, which I believe he does quite like - exploring my tank day and night, only surfacing for air and food. :D :D