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How do y'all choose your bettas?

252 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  tooawaketosleep
The title doesn't really describe my question/thoughts, but how do you choose where you source your bettas?

My betta was a ten dollar fish from an LFS and I could not have asked for a better friend and pet. He was so sweet and full of life and personality. And he was very beautiful I think. And I've noticed that places like PetSmart make an effort to take better care of their animals, and my favorite local pet store keeps a few bettas at a time. They are still in cups, but with a small piece of java moss or floater in clear water. They are strong, healthy, beautiful animals in clear, clean water. They advertise the requirements for bettas (and their other fish and animals). And I've been to ones recently with some sad, sick looking animals.

On one hand, I feel like I should seek out and give hope to animals in these poorer situations. It would change that one betta's whole world. It would give the animal a chance at life when it never chose to be born into that situation. If I could, I would take home every single sick betta and help heal it or make it comfortable till the end. But then, that just gives money back to people who don't take care of the animals in the store, and gives money back to people who overbreed them with little to no regard for their wellbeing, and just perpetuates the system.

Choosing a small breeder with high quality fish feels sort of like choosing a breeder over a shelter. On one hand, choosing a breeder means choosing quality, choosing welfare, and choosing a fish with a purpose. On the other hand, I could chose an animal that needs help, love and compassion. How do you decide? Where is the line between helping an animal, and contributing to a harmful system? How do you chose a breeder betta vs a pet store betta? I'm very interested to hear people's opinions about this.
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My heart isn't necessarily up to bringing the visibly sick ones home, although I realize some people do try to help them, to your point of trying to give them quality even if they aren't going to get quantity of life.

I have a brick 'n mortar pet store close to me, and they do a pretty decent job of water changes and taking care of all of their fish including the bettas. When I got back into fishkeeping about 5 years ago, I went there and looked for beauty in color and fins and tail. I had a 20 gallon split into half and my boys lived a good life. I was a little dismayed at how the one in particular had such large fins and tail that he was struggling a bit. The next two boys I brought home were crowntails and did much better :) Then I set up a slightly smaller tank and returned yet again to the brick 'n mortar, and selected a little girl. The next boy I got was a King, as I'd read they are a little healthier and sturdier regarding being able to handle the challenges of their early life.

Choosing a small breeder with high quality fish feels sort of like choosing a breeder over a shelter.
I agree, I'd never put it into words like this but I think you're right. We just lost our cat who we'd had for 13 years, and although my partner was researching into purebreds - again because of a better track record regarding health, we ended up going to an animal shelter and bringing home a wonderful, sweet, funny boy who is at least 7 years old :love:
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