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Why do stores keep Betta fish in small containers?
08-17-2012, 04:32 AM,
#1
andrew320 Offline
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Why do stores keep Betta fish in small containers?
It always saddens me to see these Betta fish inside small plastic containers. At times, they're stacked up to on a shelf. I spoke with a clerk once and he told me they like to be in small bodies of water.

I did research and there is conflicting information. I think common sense would tell me Bettas like open water.

Thoughts?
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08-17-2012, 04:55 AM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Why do stores keep Betta fish in small containers?
Betta can't be kept with other betta, since they are aggressive and territorial toward each other. It is also highly likely there will be trouble when house them with other fish. Not necessarily that the betta will be the bully, but rather many nippy fish might nip at slow moving betta's fins. So it is the best to keep each betta alone. It is not economical for fish stores to have one full set up (fish tank, filter, heater, etc.) for each one of the betta. So they use small plastic containers instead. Of course, many of the betta die before they can be sold, because small containers with no filter and heater is no place for any fish. There is no way to get the fish stores to change this policy unless there is a law in place to prevent them from doing so. Money always comes first for a business.
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08-17-2012, 07:09 AM,
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Thor Offline
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RE: Why do stores keep Betta fish in small containers?
No fish can be alive for long in a container with no filter system. Everyone who knows about aquarium nitrogen cycle should know this.

Betta or Siamese fighter fish is a tropical fish species. They need water temperature of 78F+. Any lower temperature might result in weakened immune system. They can't live for long without a filter either.

Small betta cups at pet shops are no place for any fish. The pet stores do not care because they hope to sell the betta before it die. The cheap wholesale price makes it still profitable for them even some betta are dead on the shelf which is often the case.
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08-17-2012, 09:59 AM,
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dashboardc33 Offline
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RE: Why do stores keep Betta fish in small containers?
I'm not sure that they should be kept in a small container for their entire life, but I know that Bettas should not be with other fish, especially other Bettas. I once had a 20 gallon aquarium with an assortment of fresh water fish. Tetras were one of them that were in my tank. I put my betta fish in with the others and he would always try to nip at the other fish. I think they like to be in larger bodies of water, but it is best to keep them separate if you can.
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08-20-2012, 01:16 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-20-2012, 01:18 PM by Ram.)
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Ram Offline
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RE: Why do stores keep Betta fish in small containers?
(08-17-2012, 09:59 AM)dashboardc33 Wrote: I'm not sure that they should be kept in a small container for their entire life,

It is a sure thing that no fish can be kept in small container and live through their "entire life". They will die to ammonia poisoning and/or unstable water temperature in just a few days to a few weeks at most.

Even in small tanks like 1~3 gallon fish "tanks", fish tend to die rather quickly because these undersized containers can't really be called fish tanks. The smaller the tank, the harder it is to keep the water temperature, PH, etc. at stable level.

It is recommended to have minimal 5 gallon of water for a single betta fish for the water stability issue, as well as the room for install filter and heater systems. The tank also must be cycled or the ammonia will kill the fish for certain.
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07-20-2014, 01:09 AM,
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Treeca86 Offline
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RE: Why do stores keep Betta fish in small containers?
Betas are fighting fish and can NOT be kept together, they will kill each other. Betas won't get much bigger than those containers in the time it takes to sell them, unlike the goldfish who grow quickly. Betas are lovely, come in array of species, and colours. They breathe air and don't need a filter. A glass container with the scalloped top in the floral department is a fine size for them.
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07-20-2014, 03:12 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-20-2014, 03:17 AM by evelynmcgregor.)
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evelynmcgregor Offline
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RE: Why do stores keep Betta fish in small containers?
Bettas are kept in those small containers because that is how they are shipped. They do not require a lot of room for the amount of time they will be in the store. I have kept them in small containers at home with a lot of success. I do prefer to keep them in a container around one gallon in size because they do not require as much cleaning. The small containers tend to accumulate waste very fast and have to be cleaned about once a week with the bowl being washed, well rinsed and the water replaced with declorinated water. You cannot put two male bettas in the same container, no matter what the size, because they will fight until on is dead.

When I use a container of at least one gallon, I only have to clean it about once a month. You are able to put an artifical aquarium plant in it as well as a decorative piece. They can be very attractive and the betta does enjoy having more room to swim around.

OH.. as for food. If you use the pelleted betta food rather than the flaked food, you will not have to clean the container as often.

Bettas do not require filtration because the are air breathers. There is an organ on the top of their heads that take in oxygen with they go to the top of the tank. Heat is good in the winter time because they are tropical fish. I kept bettas ( I had over 100 at one time) and never had a problem with them not having filtration. Most of mine live 3+ yrs. And they did fine as long as I did not let the house temperature get below 65 degrees.
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07-24-2014, 12:06 PM,
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Thor Offline
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RE: Why do stores keep Betta fish in small containers?
(07-20-2014, 01:09 AM)Treeca86 Wrote: Betas are fighting fish and can NOT be kept together, they will kill each other. Betas won't get much bigger than those containers in the time it takes to sell them, unlike the goldfish who grow quickly. Betas are lovely, come in array of species, and colours. They breathe air and don't need a filter. A glass container with the scalloped top in the floral department is a fine size for them.

I am sorry, but you are wrong.

1. If you have read about aquarium nitrogen cycle in our library, you should know there is absolutely no fish can live in a closed system without a filter system. The fish will be killed by its own ammonia toxic waste within weeks if not days.

2. Like we have pointed out in earlier posts, betta is a tropical fish, it will become sick and eventually die without a heater.

3. Yes, betta fish has a labyrinth organ which allows it to breath directly from the air, but this fact only mean you do not need an air pump. Be able to breath from the air has nothing to do with the filter system nor the heater, and the betta still need them both in order to survive.

A glass container is a death trap for any fish. You need a real fish tank of no less than 5gallon for stable water temperature, PH, hardness, nitrate concentration, etc. Fish can die easily in unstable water.
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07-24-2014, 12:15 PM,
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Thor Offline
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RE: Why do stores keep Betta fish in small containers?
(07-20-2014, 03:12 AM)evelynmcgregor Wrote: Bettas are kept in those small containers because that is how they are shipped. They do not require a lot of room for the amount of time they will be in the store. I have kept them in small containers at home with a lot of success. I do prefer to keep them in a container around one gallon in size because they do not require as much cleaning. The small containers tend to accumulate waste very fast and have to be cleaned about once a week with the bowl being washed, well rinsed and the water replaced with declorinated water. You cannot put two male bettas in the same container, no matter what the size, because they will fight until on is dead.

When I use a container of at least one gallon, I only have to clean it about once a month. You are able to put an artifical aquarium plant in it as well as a decorative piece. They can be very attractive and the betta does enjoy having more room to swim around.

OH.. as for food. If you use the pelleted betta food rather than the flaked food, you will not have to clean the container as often.

Bettas do not require filtration because the are air breathers. There is an organ on the top of their heads that take in oxygen with they go to the top of the tank. Heat is good in the winter time because they are tropical fish. I kept bettas ( I had over 100 at one time) and never had a problem with them not having filtration. Most of mine live 3+ yrs. And they did fine as long as I did not let the house temperature get below 65 degrees.

You should also read what I just said.

I really mean no offense. From the look of it, you and Treeca are both newbies in fish keeping. Big Grin

Filtration (filter system) is for nitrogen cycle, which is to detoxify the (toxic) ammonia produced by the fish, and to convert it to less harmful nitrate. Since ALL fish species produce ammonia (from their gills directly, from their poop, and from leftover food), ALL fish species in a closed system (such as a fish tank) must require a filter system just to live.

An Air pump is what you do not need for betta. An air pump is the equipment making bubbles in the fish tank to increase surface movement thus promote gas exchange between the water and the atmosphere. You are confused on what these equipments are for. Wink


Quotes from you: "1 gallon tank", "Clean once a month"...
I very much doubt your betta lived for long. A healthy aquarium requires weekly partial water change of 30~50% in order to get rid of the nitrate buildup (end product of nitrogen cycle from ammonia), and it needs filtration 24/7 to keep the toxic ammonia at 0ppm. A tropical fish aquarium must have a heater as well. Air pump is required for those fish without labyrinth organ. A healthy betta in a healthy aquarium can live for 5~7 years or even longer.

You guys really need to read up on the articles in the fish section in our library. Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle, etc. to help you get the basics.
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07-25-2014, 07:17 AM,
#10
Treeca86 Offline
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RE: Why do stores keep Betta fish in small containers?
I have kept 100s of Betas in glass decorative containers for years, they lived for years. I had one live for about 5 1/2 years in one. If your house is warm enough, the Betas will live just fine, mine sure did. The only problem I have ever had with Betas dying, is my Autistic son eating them straight from the bowls. I fixed that real quick, though, only lossed 5 out of 30 that way, until I explained in a way how nasty that is, and working God and Christ into it because he loves religion and God and Christ.
So someone who has kept 100s of Betas this way since I was 10 and will be 28 next week, I think my Mother, Evelyn, and I know what we are doing.
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07-25-2014, 12:47 PM,
#11
Ram Offline
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RE: Why do stores keep Betta fish in small containers?
(07-25-2014, 07:17 AM)Treeca86 Wrote: I have kept 100s of Betas in glass decorative containers for years, they lived for years. I had one live for about 5 1/2 years in one. If your house is warm enough, the Betas will live just fine, mine sure did. The only problem I have ever had with Betas dying, is my Autistic son eating them straight from the bowls. I fixed that real quick, though, only lossed 5 out of 30 that way, until I explained in a way how nasty that is, and working God and Christ into it because he loves religion and God and Christ.
So someone who has kept 100s of Betas this way since I was 10 and will be 28 next week, I think my Mother, Evelyn, and I know what we are doing.

Excuse me, but I found it is hard to believe. Including that part "my Autistic son eating them straight from the bowls".

Where do you live? What is your usual room temperature? How often do you do water changes? How much water do you change? How often do you feed them?

Tropical fish species need more than just a certain temperature. They need stable water temperature. Any sudden fluctuation in the water temperature of more than 3F can be deadly to them. In a tiny body of water without a heater, it is hard to avoid large temperature fluctuations even if you live in a tropical area.

More importantly, there is nothing can be a substitute for a filter system. Do you know what ammonia is? Nitrogen cycle? Ammonia produced by the fish can build up quickly in a small container. Any trace of ammonia in the water is toxic to the fish. No amount of water changes can completely eliminate ammonia from the water since it is produced on a constant basis 24/7. In your decoration containers, the fish would be suffering from ammonia burn and sit in their own waste waiting for death to come.

Lets assume everything you said is true, including "100s betta", "lived for years", "one lived for about 5 1/2 years". Just how many of them lived for years? Under ideal conditions, every one of them should have lived for years. Out of your "100s betta", only one lived over 5 years while most of them should? It has said enough about how "ideal" their conditions were. Undecided

In concentration camps, a few people still can survive and live for a very long time while most will die in short term. Does it mean the conditions are right and people should be treated in such way?
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08-18-2014, 05:48 AM,
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tess pfeif Offline
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RE: Why do stores keep Betta fish in small containers?
From a marketing point of view, Betas might be kept in small bowls/mini-tanks in order to make them seem "easy" to manage and a simple, starter fish. Going into a pet store and seeing all the large tanks, requirements, etc can sometimes be overwhelming. Perhaps seeing the small tank makes a customer think "Hmm, this can't be too hard to take care of. I'll take it!". That being said, I think it downplays the level of care betas needs. I'm not saying they are high maintenance but they do have some maintenance. It's like the myth of the "goldfish bowl". Goldfish should not be kept in goldfish bowls.
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08-29-2014, 10:12 PM,
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LexxxiNicole Offline
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RE: Why do stores keep Betta fish in small containers?
This isn't directed at OP, I'd just like to point out that some of the posters are a tad dramatic. I'm sure a 5 gallon tank or more is ideal for a betta, but it will not "die in days" if it is in a smaller tank. For my first betta, I (being uneducated Huh) kept her in a decorative bowl without a filter. I cleaned it regularly, fed her pellets. She was active, moved homes with me without a problem, always had bright colors, lived for 4-5 years. My house was usually about 70 degrees at room temperature. She was active, interactive, had a very high appetite, would blow bubbles upon seeing me. I would regularly bring in water samples to the store where I bought her food, and have it tested. I was always told it was among the healthiest levels they had ever seen.

You do not need a massive tank to have a happy betta. It is ideal for exercise, balance, ammonia level, temperature control, and filter options, but your betta will not immediately die if you have recently bought one and do not have a tank yet.
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09-01-2014, 01:59 PM,
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Thor Offline
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RE: Why do stores keep Betta fish in small containers?
Most people will not be able to keep up with (daily water change) for long even if they have set such goal at the beginning. Most people will get lazy quickly. It is the very reason a filter is needed to run 24/7. Not everyone has a room temperature of 70F+ all year long. Betta will become less active when the water is too cool for them, and in longer term their immune system gets weakened which makes them easily to catch diseases and die.

Besides, most pet stores do not have the most educated pet owners working as employees. Many of them will tell you that your water is fine when there is ammonia and nitrite. They would think "it is acceptable level" while no ammonia and nitrite is acceptable at all in an aquarium. They should be at 0ppm.

The average lifespan of betta is no more than a few weeks after sold. Most of the buyers do not own a proper sized fish tank, nor a heater and a filter. You can see where the problem is. If they get all of the above which don't cost much at all, the life span of betta would be a lot higher. In the process, they save themselves a lot of trouble too. Only weekly partial water change is required for a well equipped and well maintained aquarium. Betta is happier, you are happier. I don't see why not.
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