So in my Intro To Communications class I have to do a 5-7 minute informative presentation. I decided to do mine about bettas and how people think they should be treated vs how they really should be treated.
I need help with an attention getter and 3 topics that will explain my point.
Sure! I'll just randomly rant here and add stuff, feel free to take points and add them and change them to suit your speech!
-Although bettas are advertised as beginner pets for children, there are many aspects of their care that employees fail to mention to new owners
-Betta fish come from Thailand where the water is warm. If you've ever heard that they live in puddles, this is only half true; the dry season in Thailand is so severe, the huge rice paddies they inhabit will sometimes dry out until there are only small puddles and waterways left. Thanks to the Betta's labyrinth organ, it can survive in these conditions because of it's ability to breath air from the surface. After the dry season is over, those betta who survive the drought will be able to swim free as rain adds precious clean water to their homes.
-Now, even though they may be able to survive in those small waterways for a short time, a bowl has even more disadvantages many do not consider. In the wild, the plants and earth in the ecosystem will absorb all of the unhealthy ammonia and decaying matter from the water and adds healthy nutrients, so even in a stagnant pond, the water may replenish itself. A bowl made of glass does not have this ability, so the harsh ammonia that burns the gils of the betta is trapped in with the fish.
-Because bettas are in captivity, it is our job to replicate the environment they are suited for, seeing as we have taken them away from nature. Water in an air conditioned house is simply too cold, so most betta fish owners need an aquarium heater, which only function properly in at least 2.5 gallons of water. Additionally, water changes are necessary to simulate how the earth removes the harsh, toxic chemicals from the water and replaces it with good nutrients. Depending on how big the tank is depends on how often and how big water changes should be.
Blah blah blah, blah blah blah, that's pretty much it.
I guess another point is bettas are not like their wild cousins, they were developed in captivity and are more sensitive than the wild ones.
I guess here are some shortened points
1. To properly keep betta fish we must first examine how they live in their wild environment
2. In the wild they have warm water, plenty of room to swim, and nature itself cleaning up the waterways
-the proper temperature for their water is 76-82 degrees.
-In droughts it is true that a betta's water may shrink to the size of a small puddle. They can survive this, but only for a few weeks, until the water rises again or the fish perishes.
3. When placing a betta in an artificial environment, it is our job to replicate their natural environment
-that means getting a working heater to keep the temps up
-that means changing the water to remove ammonia
-that means giving them room to swim
You know, whatever, all that stuff
I know all of this is random and silly, but this is sort of just in brainstormy format, which is where I just blah blah blah all over a page and figure out what I really want to say, LOL.. I hope at least something here sticks out and helps
purplemuffin great job! This basically sums up the biggest misconception about bettas.
I don't have anything further to add at this point - except sort of a rant. I have seen a lot of people on the internet (mostly outside of this site) bragging out their awesome tanks etc. But yet they're keeping them in unheated containers less than a gal and justify it by saying that since they're kept in cups in the store and the store sells .5 gal betta tanks, then its fine. People need to realize that not everything people try to sell is GOOD.
Fast food is widely sold in the US and other countries. But the US has the highest obesity rate and many issues including cancer, etc. The same logic applies to pet-keeping. Just because a lot of people are doing it, doesn't make it right!
I just want to add to what PurpleMuffin has said about their habitat. :) They aren't just found in rice paddies, even dried out ones - a lot of betta species (it might be interesting to add that betta splendens is only one of many), including splendens, are also found in "mud puddles", and some are quite small. However, a lot of people don't realise that:
- although these are only a few inches deep, they can be quite wide
- bettas can survive in 'bad' water, but it's bad by our standards, not those of the fish. Yes, it's muddy, gross, full of decaying leaves and covered in mosquitoes, but it is part of a natural ecosystem that basically eliminates ammonia and provides a massively healthy environment for a fish. Dirt is not necessarily bad. Ammonia, which is invisible, is bad. When people say bettas can survive in "bad" water because of their labyrinth organs/mudpuddles/whatever, they aren't thinking of the right 'bad'.
- air temperature there keeps the water at a steady 80F all year round.
- during the rainy season, water is changed and replenished, and puddles may grow to form part of a river.
- the dense vegetation of their native habitat makes them feel safe. They are frequently perfectly happy in large tanks as long as we can give them that coverage to help them feel safe.
So yes, bettas do sometimes live in mud puddles, but I've seen them and they aren't "mud puddles" as most people envisgage them. They are fully functioning eco-systems and we cannot hope to come close to replicating them without a heater, filter, enough space and frequent water changes.
I also would mention that a lot of people justify tiny betta tanks because "if people are making them, it must be alright". There's a lot to be said on how bad that argument is, but a lot of it is - think about the motive of the people selling it to you. Money. They don't care about fish - most of the success of these gimmicky tanks comes through marketing them as decorations.
Thanks so much guys! I think the 3 main points I have down are as follows
I. General Information About Bettas
A. Where Betta's come from
B. Common behaviors of bettas
C. What Betta's eat
II. Housing Requirements
A. Why 2.5 gallon aquariums and up are better than bowls
B. Plants and hiding spots
III. The Importance Of Heat & Clean Water
A. Temp requirements & heating
B. Regular water changes and ammonia buildup