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Old 06-24-2011, 02:07 PM   #1 
Jrf456
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Why do different people have different answers for bettas? ITS SO CONFUSING.

So yeah. I've just entered the world of betta with a 5 gallon with 5 females. These are some of the problems I've had:

Heaters
I went to Petsupermarket, Petsmart, Petco and even a local fish farm and they all told me that betta fish don't need a heater.
I've been told by about three people on this site that betta fish do need a heater.

Tank cleaning
I was told at all of the stores and fish markets above that I would need to clean the tank 10-20% every 5 days in order to keep them healthy if I have a filter.
On here, people have told me I need to clean it 100% every week.

5 gallon tank
I was told by Petsupermarket, Petco, Petsmart, TWO fish farms, a woman my mother knows who has been raising betta for 20 years, and a bait shop that also has a small betta section that 5 female bettas in a 5 gallon tank is fine.
I've been jumped on by about five people here that tell me that that's " cruel " or not so.

So basically, why do trained proffesionals tell me one thing, and the fish owners on here tell me something completely different?
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:14 PM   #2 
Schwannsee
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PetCo, Petsmart, & the LFS are all relying on the experience and knowledge of the individual employees, who may or may not actually know the individual fish species.
"Common knowledge" (which is what you have been given by the LFS etc.) about bettas will keep them alive for months, while the info on here will keep them alive for YEARS.
Rule of thumb for fish-keeping is 1" of fish per gallon of water in the tank. This is because fish produce ammonia, and ammonia is lethal. In order to dissipate the ammonia enough to allow a reasonable amount of time between adding new water and toxicity, the rule was invented. If you don't mind making 2X a day water changes, 15" of fish (I'm guessing at your girls' overall length) could theoretically survive in 5G of water. However, due to betta splendens "feisty" nature, it would be wise to give them lots of hidey holes....at least 1.5 per fish.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:19 PM   #3 
Schwannsee
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And trained professionals is a misnomer....they have either been "trained" usuing the term as loosely as possible, by a fellow employee who may or may not know what they are talking about, or by a care sheet they read once, which may or may not have accurate species info on it. Or they are MAKING THINGS UP. Fish store employees know how they keep the tanks and cups at their store, which may have a mortality rate that would SHOCK you, but is acceptable because it is business.

The folks on here keep bettas as pets, and therefore, each fish is worth something more than the $3 it actually cost.

Only you can choose which advice to follow. And only you
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:35 PM   #4 
Sakura8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrf456 View Post
So yeah. I've just entered the world of betta with a 5 gallon with 5 females. These are some of the problems I've had:

Heaters
I went to Petsupermarket, Petsmart, Petco and even a local fish farm and they all told me that betta fish don't need a heater.
I've been told by about three people on this site that betta fish do need a heater.

Do not under any circumstances listen to the pet store people who tell you bettas don't need heaters. They're idiots. The only time a betta does not need a heater is if your ambient temperature stays around 80* farenheit reliably. In the winter, you will need a heater.


Tank cleaning
I was told at all of the stores and fish markets above that I would need to clean the tank 10-20% every 5 days in order to keep them healthy if I have a filter.
On here, people have told me I need to clean it 100% every week.

People on this site tend to error on the side of great caution because we have seen to many bettas become fatally ill from poor water quality and too infrequent water changes. You can clean your tank 10-20% every five days once your filter has cycled, but that is no guarantee your fish will stay healthy. Ideally, once your filter has cycled, you can clean it 10-20% one week and 50% the next week. There is no such thing as too many water changes, not if you want a happy, healthy betta.


5 gallon tank
I was told by Petsupermarket, Petco, Petsmart, TWO fish farms, a woman my mother knows who has been raising betta for 20 years, and a bait shop that also has a small betta section that 5 female bettas in a 5 gallon tank is fine.
I've been jumped on by about five people here that tell me that that's " cruel " or not so.

The people in pet stores like Petco etc are NOT trained professionals. They are employees who are given the basic knowledge to care for the fish long enough to get them sold. Their primary concern is making a profit by selling as many fish, healthy or not, as they can. Fish farms also are out to make a profit. Also, the setup and mindset at a fish farm is drastically different than that of a home hobbyist. At a fish farm, the goal is quantity of fish, not quality of care.

Without knowing your mother's friend or her fishkeeping practices and success rate, I cannot say that what she says is right. The truth is she may be able to keep five females in a 5g tank but that is no guarantee the fish were happy or healthy. Also, the circumstances under which she kept five females in a 5g tank may be drastically different than what you are doing. For example, you can keep five female sisters when they are only a few months old in a 5g tank as they grow out, but they cannot stay there forever. They will get too big and too territorial and will need at least a 10g. In general, because bettas are loner fish, you want as much space for them to have to themselves as possible when keeping them together. Each fish should be able to retreat to a chosen hiding spot and have her own territory and in a 5g, this won't work. If you keep your fish like this, they will be stressed and will either kill each other or will succumb to injury or illness.

You can keep five men in a 10X10" but that doesn't mean they will be happy or healthy. It is the same with fish.



So basically, why do trained proffesionals tell me one thing, and the fish owners on here tell me something completely different?
Again, I would like to reiterate that the people in pet stores are NOT trained professionals. They are employees. They are only given basic knowledge and their primary goal is to sell fish, not to keep them healthy or happy. The people on this forum have kept bettas for years and have had a high success rate. Our advice comes from experience, often very sad and heartbreaking experience as we learn through trial and error what works and what doesn't. Unlike pet store employees, we spend hours interacting with our fish and understand their behavior. We keep them and care for them because we love them. Pet store employees keep them but do not care for them.

In the end, it's completely up to you to decide who to listen to and who you believe is right. I wish you the very best of luck and I hope your decision, whatever it may be, works out for you.

Last edited by Sakura8; 06-24-2011 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:05 PM   #5 
Littlebittyfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrf456 View Post
So yeah. I've just entered the world of betta with a 5 gallon with 5 females. These are some of the problems I've had:

Heaters
I went to Petsupermarket, Petsmart, Petco and even a local fish farm and they all told me that betta fish don't need a heater.
I've been told by about three people on this site that betta fish do need a heater.
Depending on the temperature you keep your house you may or may not need a heater...I keep our house at 77 degrees...My one tank is currently unheated...however..It is in a very warm location in our house and the water stays steady at 76-77 degrees.I plan on eventually getting a heater for this tank though come winter.Betta fish are tropical fish..just like any tropical fish they require warmer water. They can live in cooler water...however it sets them up for illness and they become slow and sluggish in the cold and may not live as long.This is often why bettas are sick in there "betta cups" at petstores.as well as lack of water changes.

Tank cleaning
I was told at all of the stores and fish markets above that I would need to clean the tank 10-20% every 5 days in order to keep them healthy if I have a filter.
On here, people have told me I need to clean it 100% every week.
Do not clean it 100% every week...50% once a week on a 5 gallon filtered should be fine as long as the tank is cycled...If your tank is not cycled I would do 2 50% water changes a week until it cycles.

5 gallon tank
I was told by Petsupermarket, Petco, Petsmart, TWO fish farms, a woman my mother knows who has been raising betta for 20 years, and a bait shop that also has a small betta section that 5 female bettas in a 5 gallon tank is fine.
I've been jumped on by about five people here that tell me that that's " cruel " or not so.
5 bettas in a 5gallon is a bit crowded...You can use a website such as adadviser to get ideas on stocking...But definitely do your own research ...Alot of petstores are just trying to make sales...If they told everyone they needed 10 gallons and a heater it may off put people from buying the fish.....On a tank that fully stocked I would preform 2 50% water changes weekly and possibly get them a bigger tank when you can.
http://www.aqadvisor.com/AqAdvisor.php

So basically, why do trained proffesionals tell me one thing, and the fish owners on here tell me something completely different?
A lot of people here do plenty of research on betta fish...There are even a few breeders on here. Most fish store employees only know the basics of keeping fish alive until they are bought.Betta fish are fish just like any fish they deserve a decent amount of swimming space and clean water...

Last edited by Littlebittyfish; 06-24-2011 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:00 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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It can be frustrating when you get so many different answers for the same questions...what and who do you believe.......as posted by others...on most fish forums the member give advice based on personal experience, experiments conducted, opinions based on experience and/or research they have conducted, read, heard...etc....and only want what is best for the Betta...we don't make a dime....fish shops on the other hand are profit driven...they have to be.....some shops are better than other....

You also have lots and lots of correct ways to keep this species successfully....you have to sift through all the information, do your own research and then by trial and error...find you own way to keep your Betta that works best for you and what you have available to you...all while using common sense and logic as you learn and sift through all the information...both myths and truths....... that can be over whelming at times...while hoping that you don't kill your Betta in the process......

I have different views and keep this species different than a lot of people...but I also don't think the way others view or keep their Bettas are always wrong...only different...some more than others....with that said...you also have standards/basic needs that need to be met in regards to keeping this species and once you grasp this.....the rest will fall into place......

Water quality is the most important aspect in keeping any species of fish....poor water quality is the number one killer...by understanding water you can generally keep Bettas healthy and happy

To be a good keeper of fish you must first be a good keeper of water

Freshwater fish thrive with fresh water.....

Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of Betta keeping.....
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:12 PM   #7 
newarkhiphop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrf456 View Post
So yeah. I've just entered the world of betta with a 5 gallon with 5 females. These are some of the problems I've had:

Heaters
I went to Petsupermarket, Petsmart, Petco and even a local fish farm and they all told me that betta fish don't need a heater.
I've been told by about three people on this site that betta fish do need a heater.

Tank cleaning
I was told at all of the stores and fish markets above that I would need to clean the tank 10-20% every 5 days in order to keep them healthy if I have a filter.
On here, people have told me I need to clean it 100% every week.

5 gallon tank
I was told by Petsupermarket, Petco, Petsmart, TWO fish farms, a woman my mother knows who has been raising betta for 20 years, and a bait shop that also has a small betta section that 5 female bettas in a 5 gallon tank is fine.
I've been jumped on by about five people here that tell me that that's " cruel " or not so.

So basically, why do trained proffesionals tell me one thing, and the fish owners on here tell me something completely different?


I think its very important to understand that some things are NEEDED and some things really depends on the attitude and needs of each fish individually.

For betas at least heaters are need. Makes them healthier and happier

Now tank cleaning and tank size which i know is a major point for ppl here.

Ill use my fish for example. I have jaws in a 1G tank which for some ppl on here is a kin to torture lol. I personally think he and any other fish would do fine there. Now where the issue of tank size becomes really touchy is with cleaning. Again with my 1G i clean it out %100 every 7-9 days, my fish has done just fine. On here though that is like killing him and tank cleaning should be every other day, which to me is silly, especially since he has a filter in there.

So to sum it all up, just use a mix of advice and common sense and do whats best for your own fish.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:37 PM   #8 
brownmane
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Try not to get too overwhelmed with info. How often you change your water does depend on if you have a filter, tank size, and other things. Bettas do need to be warm. The best thing that you can do is watch your bettas. See how they behave, are they colourful, are they curious?

When a betta is warm and healthy, his/her colours will be bright, s/he often swims around the tank checking out everything, and s/he will come to see what you are doing if you come near the tank. Bettas all have individual personalities but I have found that all are very curious. You will get to know your fish and will know when s/he is healthy and what keeps him/her happy.

For general fish care, water changes of at least once per week (without a filter, the changes are usually done more often and with a bigger percentage changed at once). If you get a water test kit, it will help you determine when a water change is needed and, once you are more familiar with your fish, you will know the routine that keeps them healthiest.

Good luck and let us know how your fish are doing. BTW I started with a betta in a small gallon container and now, several years later, have several different tropical fish in a 20 gallon, so beware if you are just starting out with fishkeeping, it can be addictive.lol
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