There is a pet shop in town that we do not shop at. We had been there once before and were horrified. The store is way too small a space for the number of pets (puppies, rabbits, hampsters, various birds and other rodents, and fish) and supplies they attempt to carry. It looked over flowing and disorganised to say the least. Most of their stock looked very old and kind of dusty, and many things were piled on top of each other. And they're fish section was awful. First off - the male bettas weren't even in the "fish section"(a glorified closet filled with tanks), they were sitting it little vases and bowls right next to the door (we live in Canada -it is currently just below freezing and this is a warm day). Needless to say all of the males were very listless and laying on the bottoms of their tanks. They also said they had females which had just arrived a couple days earlier. When we went to look for them in the "fish section" we found them in a large community with fish many times their size who obviously had nipped their fins very badly. We found about five of them dead in the tank. Of the half dozen that were alive almost all of them were covered some kind of fuzz, and they all looked very unwell. When we pointed this out the woman who worked there looked upset and came to get rid of the dead ones. We told her they couldn't be kept in with the larger fish and she agreed and said she would move them. The man there seemed annoyed and said he had already added something to their water for the fuzz, but it didn't look like it and I don't know why he wouldn't QT them for treatment. If any of them had looked like we could have saved them we would have brought them home. But instead we left and decided we would not be back.
But today we went back. We went back because we saw an add that said they were closing and all of their stock was 50-70% off. We did not intend on buying any live fish, only some supplies if they had anything we were looking for.
We did have luck with some supplies, we found a master test kit for $15 and talked them into giving us ten packages of frozen bloodworms for $9.
The fish were still awful. The male bettas were still next to the door (there were only three of them and they barely moved). The fish in the fish section were -if possible- more disturbing than the first time. There was a large tank of Oscars -one big one and several little ones. One of the little ones was absolutely covered in fuzz and the big one was covered in fuzz sitting at the bottom of the tank and was very possibly dead.
We were getting ready to leave the fish closet in disgust when I spotted a little Cambodian female in a tank with a couple other small fish. There were no other female bettas. She must have been hiding before, which wasn't surprising as the filter was far too strong for her, but at least the other fish didn't seem to have injured her. She looked healthy and active despite the scary conditions of many of the tanks.
We couldn't leave her there. As everything was on sale she was only $3. We have named her Portia and she is currently in QT with a little preventative aquarium salt.
Her fins still need to colour up a bit, but she's looking happier.