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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Today I had the misfortune of seeing another sad animal rights case involving Bettas: Petco is now(?) selling "Baby" Bettas. The fish are about the third the size of your pinky, kept in the same containers as the other Bettas (i.e a tupperware container with a lid) and being sold for $1.99.

This made me so sad. I was seconds away from buying one of them because it looked tattered and hungry and probably wouldn't survive very long. But I had to remind myself that buying one of them only means the Pet industries get the money and will replace it with others. It's a crappy choice to make, I really wanted to buy the fish anyway and throw it in one of my shrimp tanks. I know they eat shrimp, but he was so tiny he couldn't eat a newly hatched one-- which makes me wonder what they were feeding him, if anything at all.

I guess this just really stuck with me today. It's one thing to sell Bettas in squalid conditions to people without even telling them how to care for them, but to add the gimmick of a "baby" fish is another level of cruelty because it preys on our psychological need to take care of things weaker than ourselves.

Well it made me pretty pissed.
 

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I agree. The real sad thing is that Pet Co. and one other fish store are the only ones within 50 miles of my home. Actually, the LFS is barely hanging on and I fear that Pet Co. will be the only supplier soon. Then it will get much worse.....................
 

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I've took two to a happier place one did not make it long ,but the other is a spectacular Betta in a nano tank full of plants and shrimps.
 

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I agree, this kind of profiteering is disgusting. Remember-it is by how we treat our most vulnerable that we will be measured. If you want to obtain a betta, get it from someone who is not exploiting these animals and subjecting them to a miserable life just to make a dollar or two of profit. This is a business model based on mis-informing the customer and the suffering of the animal.

Here is another thread about these: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=177211&page=2

While some may feel these are a better option than adult bettas, remember-whenever you buy a betta in a cup-you are just feeding the beast that produces them. For every one you buy, you line the pockets of the supply chain so they can put 100 more into small cups on a walmart shelf.
 

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Yes it's sad to see betta's like this but in reality, any fish you buy from most fish stores or breeders even are bred in big vats and tanks, and "farmed" for us, forced to breed and spawn as much as possible to get the most babies possible, even if its way more breeding than would do in nature. Same with just about any other pet we buy, the food we eat, etc, etc. WC species are usually caught by natives of that area paid pennies on the dollar to what the fish or shrimp are actually worth.

If you're going to feel bad for the betta, feel bad for the 100 tetras in a 20 gal tank in the store, the hamsters bred in breeding cages, etc, etc, etc, etc.
 

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I have to admit I bought one. I am so against buying bettas from Petco and petsmart because they always look so sad and never have a clean bowl. It's just wrong to keep fish that way. But I saw the baby bettas and they looked worse. There were like 5 or 6 and they all looked in pretty bad shape. I was going o walk away but one of them perked up and looked at me and she was swimming around and looked ok. I bought her so she wouldn't have to suffer much more. She was so small and all white. She's the only one I will ever break the rule for. Hopefully she will get her own tank after Christmas.
 

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I have one as well and I've had her since the end of October and she's doing great in her own planted 5g tank. Like with any pet, people just need to do some research in order to keep them healthy.
 

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I agree there are issues surrounding ornamental fish in general, but what they are doing to bettas is especially cruel. 99% of these fish meet a horrible end within a month or two. A betta should not be kept in a stagnant cup of water period. You should not sell people juvenile bettas, craftfully mislabeled as "babies", just to get them to buy these glorified cups of water for 15 bucks, knowing full well 99.5% of the juvy's will starve to death within weeks:
http://www.thewallaquarium.com/images/wall mounted fish bowls/7seas-bubble-wall-fish-bowl.jpg

Rather than arm people with the necessary husbandry information and taking inhumane enclosures off the shelves and holding their livestock in acceptable conditions, they choose to do what makes the most money.

And I know there are people that feed live guppies to their fish so all of these bettas being killed off doesn't really matter. etc. etc. -as they always say "two wrongs don't make a right"-remember these are living things which we owe respect.
 

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Yes it's sad to see betta's like this but in reality, any fish you buy from most fish stores or breeders even are bred in big vats and tanks, and "farmed" for us, forced to breed and spawn as much as possible to get the most babies possible, even if its way more breeding than would do in nature. Same with just about any other pet we buy, the food we eat, etc, etc. WC species are usually caught by natives of that area paid pennies on the dollar to what the fish or shrimp are actually worth.

If you're going to feel bad for the betta, feel bad for the 100 tetras in a 20 gal tank in the store, the hamsters bred in breeding cages, etc, etc, etc, etc.
Most fish are wild caught. Large scale farming for the most part is for food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have to admit I bought one. I am so against buying bettas from Petco and petsmart because they always look so sad and never have a clean bowl. It's just wrong to keep fish that way. But I saw the baby bettas and they looked worse. There were like 5 or 6 and they all looked in pretty bad shape. I was going o walk away but one of them perked up and looked at me and she was swimming around and looked ok. I bought her so she wouldn't have to suffer much more. She was so small and all white. She's the only one I will ever break the rule for. Hopefully she will get her own tank after Christmas.
Hey absolutely no offense meant because I was almost in the same boat. But that's how they try to get to us!!! Show us poor animals and say for $2 you can nurse them back to health. I mean, how can you say no to that??! It's in our nature to want to help them and they profit over it. Glad to hear your betta is doing better now- saving a life (even a fish life) is never wrong.


I have one as well and I've had her since the end of October and she's doing great in her own planted 5g tank. Like with any pet, people just need to do some research in order to keep them healthy.
Yeah but the issue isn't really that they're selling without informing people, it's that they're selling at the expense of the animals. If they kept the bettas healthy (and in nicer containers/actual fish tanks) I would have no qualms about buying from them.
 

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I hate the idea of subsidizing any pet shop that does not treat its animals well. That's one reason I won't buy from my local pet store. They keep some of their animals in deplorable situations. The rats look like they're ready to die.

I would never buy a dog from a puppy mill for the same reason. I don't want to contribute to that sort of cruelty. Maybe one day, if everyone felt the same, these people would go out of business.
 

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I have seen the baby bettas at my local petco store but I won't write them off for that. The head of aquatics special orders anything I ask and she will give me the fish still in the bag before they have gone into the store tanks. My petco also has cats available for adoption that are from the local county animal control. As long as they have the space, these are less cats to be euthanized because of a lack of space at the shelter. I can't say that I observe the rodents and I do shop at my Lfs but they are pricey and they order from the same place petco does. If I'm special ordering I def don't go through the Lfs. An L030 pleco was $45 at the Lfs. I special ordered it from petco and it was only $25.99. I try to support local businesses whenever possible but I also have to support my own wallet.....


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"Yeah but the issue isn't really that they're selling without informing people, it's that they're selling at the expense of the animals. If they kept the bettas healthy (and in nicer containers/actual fish tanks) I would have no qualms about buying from them. "

But this is true with all their animals - none of them are in ideal conditions. The babies aren't in any worse conditions than the adults, and so far at my store I've not seen any dead in their cups. Mine was just a tiny thing when I got her - less than half an inch long, totally transparent and very stripey. But she readily ate finely crushed flake, Hikari betta bites, and micro pellets as well as finely chopped bloodworms and brine shrimp. Petco's goal is to make money so they are not gonna purposely starve and kill their merchandise.
 

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But this is true with all their animals - none of them are in ideal conditions.
Not just petsmart, any animal we keep as pets.

Are turtles that used to having a 50,000 gal pond to live in, "fine" in a 55 gal tank?

Are snakes that have hundreds of square miles to roam "fine" in a 55 gal terrarium?

Are the fish and shrimp we keep that have ten's of thousands of gallons and miles of water to swim in "fine " in a 20 gal tank?

Are birds than fly 100 miles a day "fine" in a 3 foot cage and never get to really fly their whole lives?

I could go on with any pet out there.

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The fact is anything we keep is in no way even close to the way their live in nature and it all can be considered "cruel".

Most of the stuff we keep are inbred and selectively bred to have pretty colors for our enjoyment. Big fancy bright colors in most freshwater fish makes you a visible snack to another fish, bird, and other predators. Dull, blending in to your surrounding colors usually do best, but we don't like that look so we find one that is a bit bright in color, inbred the heck out of it and get pretty colors that we like.

If you're going to upset over a betta, you should be upset over 99% of the other pets people keep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If you're going to upset over a betta, you should be upset over 99% of the other pets people keep.
Read your whole post, it was very poignant, but this is the point I'd like to take out of it because most people will say tl;dr and just read the end.

Change starts with one thing.

And to be honest while I'd love for change to happen for all those animals I don't think most of them are cruel, especially for bonding animals like cats, dogs and some birds which can thrive in the company of humans. They're the good "companion" animals. And I'm not actively searching for change; I'm just a lazy guy on a computer who has too much other stuff to deal with than to campaign for betta fish lol.

But by making that thread I was hoping for a discussion which could at the least inspire some people who might have been oblivious to what was going on. I'm happy if I did just that, because you never know who you help and who might eventually help you in return.
 

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I went to my local Petco today and they didn't have any "baby" bettas, but the female bettas they had were pretty small.
 

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The difference with bettas and all those other animals you mentioned is that the standard rearing practice that these National chains push on the customers is CRUELTY-a miniscule enclosure with no filtration or circulation-and they set an example to these customers by keeping them in even smaller cups at the store. THEY ARE MARKETING CURELTY TO THE CUSTOMERS!!!! Just because you can find food that will suit these juvenile fish that are still developing rapidly (or maybe they are permanently stunted from being kept in horrendous conditions for a few months) doesn't mean your not feeding the beast by buying them. The argument that well we do other bad stuff to animals so therefore we don't need to quit this practice of mass torture of bettas DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT!! It needs to start with those with knowledge-the hobbyists- to get the word out that this is wrong. Sadly people are not developing character in this society anymore, the majority of people views living things such as these bettas the same as they would the latest Ipod so it's not going to just stop on it's own. Hopefully if enough of those who know, can send a sharp statement to the walmarts and the petcos and the petsmarts who are behind this they will get the message that it is animal cruelty and cease the practice.
 
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