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My LFSs take great care of the bettas.

One puts females in community settings and gives each male 1/2 container that gets a water change and feeding every day.

Another puts females in a sorority setting and the males are in the tanks, but in separate containers with water flow.

The last and closest one puts females into a sorority setting and males into community settings. There was 4 females and 1 male into a 20g and they were all doing great! There were cories in with them and no one had nipped fins or seemed stressed. The females were adults, but the male seemed like a juvie, so there was no aggression.

I'm really happy with how my LFSs keep their bettas. Some people still may not see it as ideal, but all the bettas I've seen are happy and healthy. Whenever the first LFS that I listed gets special bettas (HMs), they put them into huge cups that I love. Here's a picture!



If the bettas at your LFS look stressed, ask if they can cut it down a few hours. Tell them that it will save money for electricity and also will have healthier and happier bettas. Explain to them that people will be less willing to buy the bettas if they look sickly and stressed.
 

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I think, if it had filtration and a heater, and allowed water to circulate, it WOULD be better than the cups. 20 bettas in 10 gallons is still half a gallon each. Not great to live in, but better than a cup of water in a cup. heck, leave one space empty and put a heater and a filter, use mesh dividers and it would be better than the cups. Not ideal, as if one gets sick they all risk it, but that's the same in a community tank as well. Obviously with 20 in 10 gallons, it would still need a LOT of water changes. Like 2 a day. But surely it would be easier to do 1 big tank than 20 small cups.
I dunno, i think with some serious tweaking, it could work.
Each betta may have 1/2g to swim in, but they technically get all the water of the 10g. If I had divided tanks for bettas, I would divide a 10g into 4 sections (this is how I've kept my bettas before) and then have one male per section. That's roughly 2.5g each. Not only do they have more room, but it also lets you have access to do simple gravel vacs/water changes and to grab the bettas a lot easier. You have to remember though, if you use mesh dividers then they'll have to silicone them in. People are going to poke the dividers and knock them down. 4 bettas in with each other is terrible, 20 bettas in together is unspeakable ...
 
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