Petstores do get their bettas at about fifty cents a betta. The reason for this is that 50 cents is about 150 Thai Baht. In Thailand you can get petstore quality bettas for about 3 cents when you convert currencies.
Personally, I don't think not buying Bettas makes a difference. Unlike everyone else, my petco takes terrible care of their Bettas, adn half of them are looooooong dead. Even so, the bettas are swarming with people, I'd say over 20 a day bought, because I always see many people holding the Betta cups. Most of them are uneducated, too. I think that instead of trying to get the stores to do something impossible like not selling (Kind of hard for places like petco to stop selling all over the country) We should inform them and make sure that they keep Bettas in clean conditions.
pet stores and walmart don't make alot of money off the bettas, even though they're prices at $3 and up. the money comes from the supplies you buy to help the fish. if you already have a spare tank and meds, ect, buying the fish and telling the manager you won't buy supplies from them until they clean up their act, will hurt them alot worse than you not buying the fish at all.
The whole purpose of petstores is to sell pets and pet supplies. Some stores are better than others as far as how well they care for their animals. My Petsmart does a pretty good job of taking care of their fish. I haven't seen a dead betta for a long time. All of my bettas but one have come from Petsmart and in all the years I've bought from them, I have only had one that died shortly after I got him. I also do not think sending someone a nasty e-mail is the answer to the problem of poor animal husbandry in petstores.
I think in the case of creatures that are sold for so little money it's far more effective to write and vocalise complaints as and when necessary. Not purchasing a $250 puppy from a puppy mill really hits the breeder hard, but not purchasing a $3.99 betta from a huge chain store isn't exactly hitting them where it hurts.
I do tell people I meet at stores that it's fifty bucks for the first fish unless they're just taking it home to kill it.
Gets their attention right off and they ask me why, so I point behind me at whatever supply I was looking at.
Mesh Top $10.00
Tetra Filter $10.00
Water Treatment $3.00
You can skimp on a lid, or the heater, etc. But for your fish to have a fighting chance you need to buy about fiddy bucks of stuff if you don't know what you're doing. This is where they make their money.
I tell the store employees that, quite simply, a person who enjoys the fish and can keep them successfully will not only come back for food, ornaments, replacement filter media, chemicals and medicines, but they'll come back for fish AND send their friends if you're kind enough to explain the actual basics and they're still interested. This is why Aqueon puts heaters in it's 10g starter kits and charges a fair price hood included. A betta is a fish and you can either waste the $15.00 for the cute little awesome OH he died bowl or you can consider it an investment in a pet and learning a hobby.
An aquarium is probably the single most durable hobby supply I've ever owned, short of my 1983 Blue Chip XT's motherboard. (wow, tough thing)
i bought an Aqueon not too long ago because the only 10gal i had is occupied but little black eyes lol anyways it didnt come with a heater just the filter, hood, usually little water conditioner and flakes:-?