I think you have just identified most of us on here. (I myself now have 8 5.5 gallon tanks around my office.) I started out with just one 5.5 gallon and said that was it. and as time went by I added another. and bought a few more complete setups when I noticed them on sale. For the most part they were setups under $20.00. And since I have the space I said why not. I have one true rescue ( Gunny) who is now 6 years old and another Walmart rescue (Morry) who just found him self being put into a 10 gallon community tank (for revenge on the rest of the inhabitants who the other day tore up Cal My big blue HM. ) Cal is doing fine and resting in Morry's old tank along with Morry's tank mate Gilford Guppy. ))
Getting back to our subject of the length of time and age of in store betta. Depending on how much business this store does you may find that they don't replace their stock that often. When they get down to one or two betta then they will replace the stock. The older betta are still kept until they sell. Most times the betta don't sell for many reasons. One being You can see they are not in the best of shape and suffer may different ways. and customers see these indiscretions and the lack of care and don't bother buying because of it.
It is truly a shame that this happens but there are some smaller LFS that have had their betta and other stock for many more months. I know there is a place up in Eire PA that I go to to get plants . They have betta also ( VT and Crown tail) this is all they carry because the owner likes the price he gets them for. Most of the betta he has ( 15 ) have been in the store for more than a year. However they are well cared for and each one is in a 2,5 gallon tank and when he sells them the tank goes with them. His price for the betta and tank are around $70.00. This is another reason they don't sell.
In my book Betta are like money in the bank. (you can't have enough.) ( 8 betta and growing, two community tanks of 25 fish each, Two cats soon to have 3. ) Yep crazy is not an option it is the way thins are around here. LOL
I have the space I suppose, but saying why not is a quick way to get me to 3 or 4 tanks. :)
6 years though! That's awesome. Now that it looks like were staying in one spot for years and years (I hope) I thought it was time to venture back into aquarium land. Betta land more than anything else. And I thought 3-5 years was good, but 6?! #bettagoals
$20 complete tank setups? wow. That would make more bettas far simpler to acquire. :D
And this particular store I'm told does 225-250 Betta sales a month, double that in December. They just got 75 beautiful ones in a few days ago, which is how that lovely but not so flashy boy is getting overlooked. It's hard to sell him though when he's tucked in a corner and the lovely, beautiful, flashy blues, blacks, turquoise, and reds dance with their big fins right at eye level.
I just wish they'd move the slow sellers to center stage. Get them a little more attention.
Is there any way to tell how long a fish has been there? Obviously, size can be a clue...but just curious. Is it just that you've recognized the same one over and over again on subsequent trips?
Not all of them change much in size, it's a bit like plants it seems to me. Occ. with both, keep them in a too small container and they won't achieve any real growth. Move them to an appropriate container with better food and living conditions? They'll quadruple. Leave them in tiny containers and they will, eventually, die early.
This at the store guy is about 8 months old I guess and he's smaller than some of the baby Bettas coming in. :\
The employees knew the 3 or 4 that had been sitting there out of hundreds for more than a month or two. Faded white, small bettas don't go quickly. Especially when they leave them down on the side rows.
Some stores have arrival dates on the labels! Pet Supplies Plus does this for sure, because that's where my mother looked for the fish that had been there the longest when choosing her latest betta. I think the oldest at our store was there for about three months.
I wish they would put on the arrival dates, but I'm guessing that would mean having to admit they don't manage their fish population very well.