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Old 11-01-2011, 02:10 PM   #1 
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Betta Elitism

This is just sort of a rant if you would call it, or maybe a light discussion. Maybe someone here feels the same?
But when I'm on this forum, I feel like I'm walking on pins and needles whenever I post a picture, or talk about my fish, afraid that betta elitists will jump down my throat for the wrong color substrate, or the tint of my fish suggesting that he's in moral emotional distraught. Now I want to say up front that's not always the case, but it is the subject of this thread.

I understand that there are definitely some important rules to betta care, but in my experience here, I've heard a lot of conflicting arguments, both from valid and experienced betta owners. In the end, sometimes I felt more overwhelmed with the information that I often OVERTHOUGHT a lot of the way I took care of my betta. My friends who also had bettas, looked at me like I was insane for the scrutiny I had on my fish and every micromanaging aspect of his life. In the end, their fish were also happy, lived long and healthy lives, and they never onced over-researched it to the degree that I had. I'm not saying that it's bad to be well-informed about betta care, but I guess my question is: how much is too much?

I had become so much of a betta-hypochondriac that I wonder if that had resulted in unnecessary treatments and long hours of woe and stress. So much of it was due to elitist betta owners on other sites, and even deviantart, railing on the way I treated my fish, yet anyone who knew me in real life, knew that fish had the happiest, healthiest and most spoiled life of any creature they'd ever known. I'm not saying I was a pro-betta-care efficianado, and there things I could have done better, but it always astounds me how some novice fish hobbyists can run something as complex as a saltwater tank with exotic fish, and not nearly go through the bells and whistles that I did for one betta.

I guess what I'm saying is, I feel like I'm going crazy here XDD I want to start a sorority tank when I get an apartment of my own but I'm so afraid that I'll be "doing it wrong," no matter how much I research into it... I dunno, anyone else feel the same way?
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:23 PM   #2 
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I've never had too much of a problem with that, but I can see what you're saying. When I had Jalen in a 1 gal when I first got him, I would post on here and say 'yea, I know his tank is the minimum size, but I didn't know that when I got him, and I'm upgrading him soon,' and people would still sometimes imply that I was being cruel or something.
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:33 PM   #3 
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I can see, and agree with both sides of this statement. There are people on this site who put immense amounts of time and money into these fish, and all animals and just want to see them happy and healthy. Part of it is the way they are treated in pet stores, and the general misinformation of employees or blatant negligance. It boils blood...easily especially since people have this idea that fish are lesser than other pets like dogs, snakes, cats ect.

However, it's up to you the owner to decide what is right for you, and your fish. There is always going to be the most optimal condition for any pet, but as long as your fish is exhibiting healthy signs and seems happy I would say you're doing a good job.

As long as you are providing a reasonable place for your betta (1+ gallon) with good care, it will always be better off than the cup you bought it in

I honestly think some of the members are so severe is because not everyone keeping a betta, or looking at these forums is an adult, it's meant to discourage people, or children without the time or capibility to do some things mentioned (such as sororities, breeding, or community tanks).

as far as your sorority idea goes, I have had my males for a couple of months now, and I recently came into a 10 gallon, and wanted to make it a sorority. After reading extensively, and backing it with my previous aquarium experience (kept salt water, and freshwater tanks for 4 years). I decided to go for it. People have been nothing but receptive, and helpful when they see you want to do the best thing for your fish,and if you can reasonably provide for them they will reasonably respond just my two cents.

Originally Posted by ThirdPotato View Post
I guess what I'm saying is, I feel like I'm going crazy here XDD I want to start a sorority tank when I get an apartment of my own but I'm so afraid that I'll be "doing it wrong," no matter how much I research into it... I dunno, anyone else feel the same way?
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:39 PM   #4 
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Here's my opinion as a moderator and a fellow forum member. If you are caring for your fish to the best of your ability and they are happy and healthy, then it doesn't matter what anyone thinks. You're going to get a LOT of opinions. It's your responsibility to find, among those opinions, what works best for you and ensures your fish receive prompt care and attention.

We all had to go through that newbie thing. We all had to learn. But starting with obsessive care is TOTALLY normal for someone who cares for animals and is wading in unfamiliar territory. Then you learn what works for you, and you start to relax.

Everyone has their opinions and they are entitled to them. And you're entitled to ignore them. Just make sure to report anything you think is abusive or mean.
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:55 PM   #5 
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I am sorry you are being made to feel that way.....I do agree we do have some members that due to their passion can be overly critical of others when your method differs from theirs.....

There are lots of correct ways to keep this species of fish-more than one right way to do it-you have some standards of care-but even this can vary.......The way I keep my Bettas differs from most of the members on this site as well and my views of keeping this species differ greatly in several areas of keeping....but I view this species as a domesticated fish-not its wild cousin...not a human or even a dog or cat......

By understanding the anatomy/physiology of this species can answer a lot of question and assist in proper keeping.

By understanding their environment can answer even more questions to assist in keeping this species and any species of fish for that matter....

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

Over the many years that I have kept fish-I have conducted many different experiments that have helped me answer a lot of question and bust myths....

Lots and lots of myths as well as out-dated information that is repeated so much that it soon is viewed as fact...when it is still only a myth......these myths and out-dated information are really hard to bust......and often well meaning members will base information on these myths/out dated info-that can further confuse new to the hobby members.

What is important in my opinion-is that your personal fish are thriving with your care and method of care.......lots of different ways to keep fish...its finding what works for you, your Betta and what you have on hand......
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:59 PM   #6 
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I do think that there are some basic standards that need to be upheld. I don't care so much about the tank size, but I am a huge stickler about it being warm. I really can't emphasize enough that they are tropical fish. I am also a strong believer in good nutrition. Maybe it is because I struggle with most people feeding their dogs moldy corn and byproducts in a bag most of the time, but spending $3 more on the better food that will last at least a year for a fish is just something I think should be done.

Why are larger tanks always suggested? Because they are so much easier for a beginner. Less water changes, easier to heat. I know that most of the breeders on this site can't keep all their fish in even 1 gallon, but they keep the water warm and clean and have the experience and desire to do so. You have to remember that probably 99% of first time betta owners bought their fish on impulse, knowing nothing about these fish, and many will get bored and neglectful. A larger tank or a little bit of an investment can make all the difference for the fish.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:26 PM   #7 
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I kinda understand what you're are saying but all in all I think everyone is very helpful and as OLF said what your mistaking for critical behavior is simply passion.
You have to figure out what works best for you.For example I was given conflicting advice about the length of time my betta should do his aquarium salt treatment for fin rot,a lot of people said up to 14 days while some were adamant no more than 10.In the end my betta told me by going pale and having a funny little episode on his 12th day of treatment so I put him back in his tank and now he's fine.In future I'll just do 10 days.
I must admit though I do get a little shy about being so in love with my betta and thiking he's so beautiful when he's simply a red veil tail and not some marbled butterfly or copper dragonscale
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:32 PM   #8 
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Yeah, I understand what you mean. People have opinions, and you just have to sort through them and find the ones that arent completely wack. There are alot of people on the internet who have nothing better to do, even here. Heck, on another forum I had people berate me badly for letting my cats outside LOL! It's pretty much just a matter of finding what works best for you and keeps your fish healthy.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:37 PM   #9 
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Only you know what is fully best for your fish. You are the one who sees him everyday. So reguardless how others talk to you, it is always your opinion that really matters to you and your fish.
I have had a few Bettas in 1.5 gallons, some people would tell me it was too small but I knew for that certain betta, that they perfered those tanks.
It still sucks when some people are rude though, it always makes me feel bad when someone gets mad at me. Sometimes, even though you know your fish are happy, people can still make you feel like a bad owner.

I think one of the reasons some people on betta forums come off rude is because they have gave the same advice many many times, when they see a fish in a small tank they cannot help but tell you about it with the weight of many other people doing the same thing.
I know sometimes when someone tells me about how their pet is eating cheap food for instance, I usually think of all the stories I heard before of a pet getting sick and whatnot and cannot help but sound overly concered.

It may be hard, but basically just take the advice that you think you need and remember that most are just trying to help (and then there are trolls. lol).
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:00 PM   #10 
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I completely agree.. Everyone has their opinion & some people like to stand on their soapbox & tell everyone else its the only way of doing things.. When talking about something alive those emotions that drive this behavior become even stronger.. A good example is a recent thread where someone has 200 betta's & was completely slammed by several people for keeping them in small quarters.. Well look at the alternative for those fish. Most would ahve probably been kept in vase's or mason jars living off of plant roots until they died a few months later. So this one individual is giving 200 fish a "B" grade of life as opposed to giving much much less fish an "A+" lifestyle. So is this person doing wrong by rescueing so many fish & having to make some compermises, or is it better to spoil a few & let the rest suffer the alternative? (& this is not actually meant to spark a conversation on the subject, only to make a point that different folks have different views & they may all be right or wrong).
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elitist, hypochondriac, too much

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