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Old 01-26-2012, 10:04 PM   #1 
chrissylee13's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Jamestown, New York
Lightbulb my goal: eliminate the use of cups for displayed bettas

So, I'm not quite sure if this thread should be placed in this category but it makes sense to in a way.

Well, as some of you know I work at PetSmart in pet care, so, I feed, clean, and treat (to the best of my ability) ill/injured animals. I also answer questions about any of our animals and help people find a solution to a problem they may be having. But, anyways, our store is brand new and has only been open since November of 2011 and I've been working there since it opened. For starters, I love my job and it's exactly what I wanted to do with my life, care for animals, and educate people about them.

So, after catching the betta bug and falling madly in love with my first betta (I now have 4 ) I decided that I wanted to do something about how the bettas are being kept in little cups. I know they're only supposed to be temporary until they find homes but that's not always the case. I've seen some bettas last at least a month in those little cups before they either passed away or finally found a home. Ideally, if the bettas are taken care of the correct way they should be just fine in the cups for a short period of time but I'm finding that's not always the case. The other thing I'm finding is many people think that bettas are boring, mean, and depressing. I know a lot is blamed on stereotypes but the other part I blame is the cups..

Since I don't plan on ever leaving PetSmart, I decided to make it a goal to try and eliminate the use of putting cupped bettas on a shelf. My idea is to have roughly the same size tank set up for a single betta as the other fish in the PetSmart stores. The only problem is that our store normally carry 4-8 of the females, CT male, HM male, and "dragonscales." Then probably 10-15 of the VT males. So my idea for this was to have several tanks for each kind and then the rest can be floated in a heated tank until there is space in the display tanks. This way bettas can be shown in sororities and with tank mates!

It's not perfectly planned out and I have no idea if anyone would even listen to my idea but it's something that I hope to achieve someday or at least possibly improve something with betta care/treatment.

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Old 01-26-2012, 11:13 PM   #2 
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Portland, OR
This is such a great idea!

I wish every PetSmart had an employee like you. I know that we were offered help when we bought Hannibal. Though it was hard, I spoke up and told the woman, "No. I know what I'm doing. Thank you for the offer." We got some odd looks when they found out I planned on putting him in a 3.5 gallon tank. Odder looks still when I got one with a filter. They didn't carry heaters for that size tank, so we had to go to PetCo. The guy that cashed us out at PetSmart wanted to tape up Hannibal's cup so "water wont splash out the hole". -_-
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:26 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Victoria, Australia
How about trying to convince them to set up a betta barracks system in their store?

Our Petbarn and the three fish stores I purchase from all use a barracks system for their bettas and the difference in behaviour and health is astounding.

Even 10x10x10cm is enough space for temporary accommodation as long as it's heated and filtered. We have a brand here called AquaOne that do a barracks system and it looks like this:

If displayed correctly, bettas can be one of the more popular species of fish sold. It's just unfortunate so many stores choose not to capitalise on this and instead leave them languishing in those dirty cups.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:29 PM   #4 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Good luck with your idea. I wish there was a way I could change things at Walmart too.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:35 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Fremont, CA
The barracks seems like a good idea. There is a pet store by me, it is a family store, but they actually have a male veiltail in with their neon tetras. I like it because it shows people that bettas aren't as aggressive. I say barracks.

I don't think sororities at stores would be a good idea though. People will try to do it with the lack of experience.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:39 PM   #6 
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Am sure each franchise varies by manager, location and state...

Having said that, the 3 petsmarts around my area all have crap-o-la betta displays in terms of health and variety.

There is a petco nearby though, wow this store must have a manager who is into betta's cause they restock every week with a lot of variety of both females and males. Just found me a crowntail female the other day from this store as well....watching her like a hawk in my sorority as she has become my fav.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:01 AM   #7 
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Virginia, USA
I greatly admire you! My Petmart has gone to mostly betta barracks, too. I think they are much better than the cups. The only ones in cups now are the newest ones.

We're all rooting for ya!
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:27 AM   #8 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: WA Australia
one of the local pet stores had a barracks system in which there were 5 rows of 5 half a gallon tanks that were terraced, each with the corner taken out allowing the water to flow downwards and after getting to the last tank was pumped back to the top.

Just an idea for you :)
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:27 AM   #9 
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: England
An aquatics store a way out from where I live (where I got Kaze from) has three shelving units filled with all varieties of bettas; they're in a similar system to the betta barracks LittleBettaFish linked but some of the larger males are in slightly longer tanks, the females are also kept in thickly-planted sororities. They always ask you if you have a heater, filter and the likes before you buy from them - they really know what they're doing.

I think it's fantastic of you to want to try and change your workplace's practices, chrissylee13! I wish you all the luck in the world with it and hope things pan out!
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:33 AM   #10 
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Jamestown, New York
thanks everyone! and the barracks idea is a great one! it would be nice to change this somehow so the stereotypes and myths about bettas can go away. it makes me sad to hear some of the comments people tell me about bettas. i hope i can change it someday.
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