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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I was just at Petland Discount (that's the only pet store near my school) to get a thermometer for one of my tanks and of course I have to take a look at the bettas. They had a small tank (it looked like a 5.5 gallon to me but I could be wrong) with a bunch of glofish (like probably about 30 or so) and in the tank were 5 female bettas being sold. There was a very minimal amount of hiding spots and most of the girls had very intense stress stripes. It absolutely broke my heart.

I have an empty 10 gallon tank that I was filling anyway so I was wondering if it would be a bad idea to take the girls home if I can provide them with plenty of hiding spots and no other fish. What do you guys think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
They didn't look great but I honestly felt horrible for them and was hoping that maybe I could save them and help them recover. And I figured that because they are already used to each other I hopefully won't have a problem with them being together (although I will provide a backup plan)
 

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I wouldn't take the females home and put them into what sounds like a newly set-up and uncycled tanks.

After previous experience, I feel sororities should only ever go into fully cycled and mature tanks.

Also, you can never count on how fish will behave in a home aquarium versus a store aquarium. Fish under a great deal of stress can behave very differently compared to fish that are not. Just because the females are cohabitating without much aggression in the store, doesn't mean they won't start fighting once they come home.

Honestly, I know it tears at you, but I say leave them at the store. I would not be surprised if you purchased them, only to have them replaced with a new batch of females. Where do you draw the line?

Sororities can be extremely volatile and I would not be keen on starting one without proper preparation or with fish that have been already under a lot of stress. It sounds harsh, but I know how badly it can go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's what I thought. I think I just needed someone else to tell me it was a bad idea haha. I just feel so bad for those girls... I wish I could take home all badly kept bettas :(
 

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Instead of buying them donate or buy them some fake plants to help alleviate their stress and that of others that will follow. Give them a sorority care sheet also.
 

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there are two petlands in my city. one has an amazing fish manager, who actually knows what he's talking about and more. i've witnessed him training new fish employees, and he's so thorough with them and ensures that customers always have the proper training and that the fish are going home to the proper set ups... so i stupidly thought the other petland might be similar.

when i went to the second one the poor bettas were in these tiny, tiny, glass jars that looked as though they hadn't been cleaned in weeks. i was disgusted and instantly walked away (i'd been on the hunt for a betta, but i refused to purchase from anywhere that doesn't take proper care of their fish), when my friend who i was with called out to me and asked "why don't you get a female?" i was really confused because i hadn't seen any... then she pointed them out to me. there were six of them at the back of the shelf in one of those top fin 1.2 gallon contemporary fish tanks. one poor girl had no finnage left on her at all. another was lying dead at the bottom... so, basically, i'm super lucky with one of the petlands near me but the company as a whole doesn't seem to recognize the aggression or needs of females... or any of their fish, really.

i know it sucks to see, believe me. i wanted to take the girls home with me, too... i wish pet stores would actually look into the creatures they deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It was terrible. I felt so bad for those poor girls. I went back today actually and noticed all the girls were gone and I can only hope that someone who will provide them with proper care brought them home.
 

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When I was working, I used to have a pet shop nearby that would keep several females together in 1-2 gallon bowl. I have a soft spot for Cambodian coloured females, so I did 'rescue' probably a handful of fish from that bowl.

Unfortunately, while my fish at home were healthy and happy, that bowl continued just to fill up with new females (a number of which were actually plakat males). It was so disheartening. You do make a difference for the individual fish, but it's a never-ending cycle.
 

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I used to be more proactive about this but I've reached the conclusion that there are only so many fish I can care for. I have plenty of room but there is only so much of me to go around. I do try to say something to a pet store employee if I think it will make a difference. One example is that Jacks has started stocking bettas in a vase with a plant. I noticed that they had not left any air space in the vases. I explained to the employee that they are air breathers and will drown without air space they fixed it before I left. In the past I have snuck and changed water of bettas in retail store and I've stood around at a Petsmart and I would not leave until they started changing the bettas water. It took about an hour to get response. You get a little jaded because it's a never ending cycle. I try to appreciate the bettas I already have. I think if you can "befriend" a regular employee that you have the best chance of getting a change made.
 

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Speaking from the opposite side, the side where I work at a Petland...

It's VERY difficult to keep fish in a pet store. There just isn't enough space for every fish, and sometimes we end up overstocked which we can't help. It sucks for us sometimes when we have to see fish living in ****ty conditions every day but all we can do is make sure they're fed, tanks are clean, and minimize stress as much as we can. Sometimes there isn't enough decorations to spare to give every fish a place to hide, sometimes there isn't enough staff to devote that extra time either... It sucks, I know, and I'm sorry that customers have to see that, but if you've ever worked in a pet store, you know that you can devote 100% of your time to the fish room and yet you still can't make every fish happy. There just isn't room for it. Our job is to make sure they go home to healthy tanks and caring owners. I've even refused to sell fish to people would only treat them as a decoration (I told a lady flat out if she didn't buy something more that a gallon for her betta, I wouldn't sell her the fish. She got mad and stormed out, and I got a high five from my manager)
Point is, pet stores aren't generally evil fish killers. Those fish bring in money, pet stores depend on money to remain on their feet. We do our best to keep as many fish alive as we can until they go home, and we always make sure they go home to the best possible place. Some stores are really bad at that, and some are really good... but it usually depends on available staff, the amount of space the store has, and various other factors.

Basically, just remember those girls will be going to a good home someday and you needn't worry too much.
 
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