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Ethical Conundrum - where to buy a betta


CalmedByFish
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I'm not ready to make a purchase, but I'm thinking ahead.

The easiest way for me to buy a betta is to go to a big box store. It's by far the cheapest option, and I could pick one whose color I know I like. But we all know how poorly big box stores treat the bettas they sell.

Although buying one from a big box store counts as "rescuing" a betta, does it not also encourage the stores to keep doing things the same way? It seems that I/we help the stores to keep mistreating their animals if we give them money to do it.

Once I'm ready to buy, I'm really not sure how to go about it.

Thoughts?

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I bought my current Betta named Hugo from a big box store (petsmart to be exact). And lets just say, I'm never buying one from a big box store again. Hugo went through some major finrot problems once I brough him home and was defentley very close to death. Thankfully he miraculously recoverd.

The only reason why I would buy from a big box store is if my intentions was to rescue one. Like how Lisa from KG Tropicals resuces Bubbles, a blind and almost dead betta. (video down below explaining it more). And the betta I would buy would have to be almost near death aswell.

So it all depends on your intentions...

  • Do you want a healthy betta that will be your favorite fish for many years to come? Then I would purchase from a local hobbyist, LFS, Aquabid, etc. I have a couple websites in mind that has GOURGOUES bettas. Because I cant paste their link below, send me a PM.
  • Or do you want to save a betta? maybe a adopt a special-needs betta thats blind, making sure that you give it the best life. But then you also risk the betta coming down with an illness. 

 

Edited by James Black
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Where I'm at my local fish store actually stores their bettas in even worse conditions than the 2 big box stores. I didn't think it was possible and was shocked when I saw it. The bettas in that store are basically laying on their side or at a side angle because the cups aren't tall enough for them to float upright in the water. So if I was to buy one I'd probably go online. I don't know how to get one from Asia using a transhipper but I guess that's an option for you too.

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The last time I purchased a betta, the best selection was from a big box store and it was really healthy. The way I think of it, there will always be bettas in big box stores, and not all locations of the big box stores are the same. Some of them are run by people who are amazing hobbyists and take good care of fish, and others are run to where the fish are neglected. I support the locations that take good or even just moderate care of the fish, letting my money speak in a way that encourages that good care.

In the event of "Rescuing" a Betta from a big box location that is neglecting them, the store is not going to know that you're rescuing it from their neglect. All they'll know is that they got paid for a fish they kept poor care of. 

Obviously, the best option is to buy from an LFS, but I wouldn't rule out the big box stores either

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37 minutes ago, Catfish_Lover_Jane said:

If you live in Washington, you could always drive to Aquarium Co-op for the high-quality healthy and beautiful bettas, as for me, to drive from home to Aquarium Co-op is about 20 - 30 minutes.

They also have more variety then most big box stores

3 minutes ago, CalmedByFish said:

While I'm on the betta topic, anybody know how to choose a betta that you're pretty sure will stay (mostly) blue? I know many change color over time, but I definitely prefer blue.

 

I beleive its just the koi bettas that mostly change colors. So if you get a regular blue halfmoon, chances are they won't change colors. @Maggie has a koi plakat who has changed colors from a redish, whiteish to compltely blue! 

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42 minutes ago, CalmedByFish said:

While I'm on the betta topic, anybody know how to choose a betta that you're pretty sure will stay (mostly) blue? I know many change color over time, but I definitely prefer blue.

 

It is the bettas with the highly metallic scales that also change over time. I had a red betta that had pink/lavender scales  on his body...over time they colorshifted to a darker purple red. I would expect a blue would shift more to black and green, but not likley pop up with more red. Also, really like the craigslist rescue idea! I have a college in my town, right around June you can find ANYTHING as students move.

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Retail is the "last mile" in the chain of a Betta going from a breeder to it's caretaker/home.  While a lot of people focus on the conditions of "that horrible little cup" that they directly see and can handle,  every video of Betta breeders that I've seen online (including Thai breeders) shows males being raised in bare red Solo cups or Mason jars (in one case old liquor bottles) that contain maybe 16 oz of water.  Yet,  no one seems to bat an eye about those prolonged living conditions.  Getting a Betta into bigger and better circumstances no matter where you get them from is a good thing.

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