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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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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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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.



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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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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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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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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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 :-D
 

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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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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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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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The way I see it...if your bettas are happy, that's the most important thing. Sure keeping the water warm, and clean are very important, but besides that, there are many ways to keep your fish that are right for you.
 

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I have to say I am sometimes surprised at how critical forum members can be. Criticism should always be given (constructively) but I think a lot of people can be too harsh in doing it. There is always a polite way to give your opinion. :) And I do know what you mean - on a different forum I was slammed for not replacing my faulty nitrate kit because I chose to spend the money on a vet bill, instead, which was just ridiculous. We have to learn to shrug off those criticisms that are blatantly outrageous, cruel or nitpicky, because ultimately, we know our situations and our bettas.
Obviously some people will use this excuse and say their betta is 'happy' in room temperature water in a 500ml jar or something, but obviously that's not true for you. :)
 

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All forums tend to be..horribly critical. Try visiting a computer forum. Expect to leave in tears, they are HARSH.

The danger of forums is we can let out passion blind us in anger and we lash out on the new user who is doing something wrong. But... If a new user is attacked on a computer forum and is attacked to the point that they run away--that's no problem. They can just get a new computer or deal with the problem. But if a new fish owner is attacked to the point where they run away... They still have a sick fish who can suffer and die without the help.

I think it would be nice if things were put a little more gently :) Yes, we do want the best for the fish, but remember if you scare the owner off with an attack, the fish has not been helped at all!
 

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^ +1000, purplemuffin! :3

No one has been overly critical to me personally, but I do know where the OP is coming from in saying that a lot of people are really harsh sometimes on this site. Most definitely not pointing any fingers at all. I see people getting exasperated easily, and it's understandable when we're talking about beautiful living creatures we all only want the best for. But still. It's like when I used to peer tutor special ed kids (definitely not saying anyone is mentally handicapped, just making a comparison. lol). It would be like me going off on one of my autistic kids because they won't talk or they only eat the same thing day after day. They don't know any better. New owners often don't know any better. They try their best with what they have. As long as the criticism is strictly constructive and not mean, I think there's nothing wrong with it. It's when people start nitpicking and throwing out broad generalizations when feelings get hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Man all these replies have really helped me a lot. I guess it stands to reason that these people are just passionate about their fish, though one should never assume that the other person isn't either.

It would seem to me, that anyone who would bother to register and post on a forum about bettas has enough heart to treat them like a pet, and not like an object. Most of those spontaneous-buyers wouldn't even bother to go on a forum in the first place, but if they do, should be welcomed with open arms so that they can learn about their betta in a safe and tactful environment.

I agree with what a lot of people are saying, and it's really helped me understand things too, especially hearing from some of the senior members, that they don't always follow "standard protocol." XD I also got a kick about the computer-forum comment.

I guess the reason it struck me so deep, is because I am exceedingly passionate about my pets, from my fish, to my bunnies, to my hermit crab. When I see bunnies in cages it always makes me cringe, and I often like to tell people to get them a solid flooring for their feet, so I can see why the members here tend to jump-the-gun when it comes to betta critique, though yes, it should always be dealt with tact, or else it's just spoken out of the need to be right, and less out of the love for the animal.

Anyway, this discussion has encouraged me to tackle my sorority tank with new fervor n.n
 

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Plus we are all a little biased since we strongly believe that we have a "right way" when it comes to things. For instance, I would tell you to plant your sorority to the point that even seeing one of your fish would be like seeing bigfoot because they could be so well hidden. However, others have had success with sororities that are lightly planted. It really is about finding what works for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Plus we are all a little biased since we strongly believe that we have a "right way" when it comes to things. For instance, I would tell you to plant your sorority to the point that even seeing one of your fish would be like seeing bigfoot because they could be so well hidden. However, others have had success with sororities that are lightly planted. It really is about finding what works for you.
Funny you should mention XD I wanted to do up a nice planted tank, but not to the point where they're TOTALLY hidden. XD but I do want some nice greenery.
 

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I tend to get angry sometimes, when people keep fish in small tanks. Not because I don't think they are good fishkeepers, but because then someone getting a betta for the first times goes; Oh 1/2 gallon is fine lots of people do it! It's only a bit smaller than a 1 gallon and that's a good home!

The other, more grouchy side of me notes that when I started I was a TERRIBLE HORRIBLE person if I had a 1 gallon tank. And I 'NEEDED' a 10 gallon, and I 'needed' the most expensive best food, and I 'needed' expensive adjustable heaters, ect. And I spent a lot of time and money getting the 'best' things and wanting to be part of the cool kids club. So part of it is feeling a little like I had to walk uphill in the snow both ways... and now things are laxing up.

Honestly the way people talk here your 10 gal is overstocked if you have more than one betta fish in it. I started to realize how silly it sounded when someone said something about people not 'playing' with their fish enough being bad owners.

And you know what? I've been a lot happier since I stopped treating my fish like little people. I change the water slightly less often and the fish are happier. Instead of dunking them in 8 kinds of salt at the first hint of illness I wait a bit-- and you know, what, it clears up sometimes. I don't carefully measure my food and feed three small meals a day.

Do you know what I've seen since doing this? Happier, healthier fish who are more vibrant and more active. Of course, I'm starting to come out of my year-long obsessive streak of wanting ever betta I ever saw, too. I like my 10 gallon a lot more now that it's not divided into 4. Calder likes it a lot too. He used to be scared of 10gs, but as I slowly moved other fish out, and slowly he space go larger... well, it's not too big for him anymore.

Anyway my point is, I think a fish has basic needs... and then I think there's what people are comfortable with and they act like you're a terrible person if you don't have that. I enjoy my fish a lot more doing things my way. And most of the time, I just lie here if I know it's going to be a problem. (Horrible, I know. But I'd rather not face a lecture I know the front and back of 80 times for changing my 2.5 g once a week instead of twice)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
...
Honestly the way people talk here your 10 gal is overstocked if you have more than one betta fish in it. I started to realize how silly it sounded when someone said something about people not 'playing' with their fish enough being bad owners.

And you know what? I've been a lot happier since I stopped treating my fish like little people. I change the water slightly less often and the fish are happier. Instead of dunking them in 8 kinds of salt at the first hint of illness I wait a bit-- and you know, what, it clears up sometimes. I don't carefully measure my food and feed three small meals a day...
Well there's nothing silly about playing with a fish attall, actually. I loved my fish more than I've loved most people, and treated him no different than I'd treat family. I'd show him the things I bought from stores, I would dangle shiny things in front of his tank throughout the day to keep him stimulated, I would talk to him. When he got sick and I had to leave for a few weeks, I left my photo with him and hell, I even skyped... my fish... XDD I left him videos so he wouldn't be lonely. That little guy stayed by my photo as he got sick and old u.u he was going blind, but he stayed in that part of the tank, watching my photo awaiting my return. He held on to the last bit of life just until I came home. He passed away the following morning as I held him in his bowl... u.u (not IN his bowl, held his bowl.)

Fish are like little people, as is any animal when you get to know them.

That being said, in all other accounts, I agree with you. It seems ridiculous to -over-think something, while there are definitely some things to keep in mind. I believe the forums have made me more savvy in understanding my fish's eating patterns, diagnosing possible health issues, and providing non-harmful water conditions (which was always a struggle with me).

But yeah, I never got why people would be mad, per say. The only reason for that is if the person started talking about how they loved to see their fish in the tiniest bowl possible just to see them suffer >,< which I don't think is ever anyone's case.
 
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