When you fuck something up first thing in the morning
This popped up on my Twitter. My betta knowledge is minimal in comparison to my bird knowledge, but 25% once a month CANNOT be good in those tiny bowls pet stores sell. Fishblr, please shine a light on this misinformation.
TL;DR THIS IS FUCKED UP ON SO MANY LEVELS, AND PETCO AND PETSMART AND PET CORPORATIONS IN GENERAL CAN GO FUCK THEMSELVES.
Okay, here we go.
In a 1-gallon bowl (quite often some of the “tanks” pet corporations sell are only 1/2 gallon, or even 1/4 gallon) you need to do 100% water changes, with removal of solid, visible waste, DAILY. Any fishkeeper with a water testing kit will know that one lil fish in a 1 gallon quickly produces up to 1 ppm of ammonia in 24 hours. For those of you that don’t know, ammonia is extremely toxic and most fishkeepers panic when it rises above .25 ppm. (and rightfully so.)
I haven’t even MENTIONED nitrite. Nitrite is even more toxic than ammonia, and WILL KILL YOUR FISH or at least SERIOUSLY compromise his immune system when rising above .25 ppm. Someone else chime in and tell me how long it takes for nitrite to rise that high in a 1-gallon; despite knowing quite a lot, I do not have much personal experience. (nor have I ever had a betta in a 1-gallon for long - and when I have, ALWAYS, ALWAYS with religious water changes.)
So, in a nutshell? In a “tank” this small, with infrequent water changes, ammonia and nitrites will build up like toxic gas in his home.
He will have trouble breathing. His gills may become inflamed or even be BURNED by high levels of ammonia. His fins may begin to literally rot. And quite often? He will die. Sometimes in a week. Sometimes in a month. And I don’t know how it works, but some bettas hang on for months or even years in those tiny, miserable, filthy bowls. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE SUITABLE HOMES. SURVIVING DOES NOT EQUAL THRIVING.
Remember having your betta when you were a kid? And you would be told to change his water once a week or so, and you were a kid so you forgot/didn’t care enough, and your betta died. And then you were sad, and you got another one. And it died. Rinse, wash, repeat. This is why.
Here is a basic overview of what a betta truly needs to not only survive, but thrive.
- A tank 2.5 gallons or larger, 5+ being highly preferable.
- The tank must be filtered. A simple, hang-on-back (“HOB”) filter will do, but it needs to be baffled so the current is very slow and won’t disturb your betta. They are not very strong swimmers due to their long fins, and will become stressed quickly from too much of a current.
- This tank must be heated. Bettas are tropical fish, and need water in temperatures ranging from 77-80 degrees Fahrenheit. A cold betta is a miserable betta. Also invest in a good, glass floating thermometer. It is very important to monitor the temperature carefully!
- EDIT! I forgot to mention what water changes should be like. In my 5 gallon, I do a 25% weekly, using an aquarium vacuum to siphon out visible turds and dead plant leaves and stuff. ALSO READ UP ON CYCLING. VERY, VERY IMPORTANT! I won’t talk about it here because I’d be talking a whole lot, and also, I am not a total expert on it. I can refer any curious readers to some very experienced tumblr users that would be happy to answer any questions.
- Bettas love to hide in little caves, and between the leaves of plants. Live plants are preferable, but fake plants are just fine as long as the leaves are very soft and there’s no chance your fish’s fins will get snagged and torn. Same goes for any other decor you add!
- Good food. Don’t go for the crap they sell at corporate pet stores. Bettas are CARNIVORES/INSECTIVORES and they don’t do well eating shit like isolated soy protein, corn meal, even meat products like bone meal (how nasty is that?)… I highly recommend you order your food online. It is not terribly expensive at all to get a container of freaking thousands of pellets. New Life Spectrum is one of the best betta foods out there. As for how much to feed, it varies from betta to betta, and also on the owner’s judgement. Do not take the pet store’s advice of only feeding one single pellet a day, “because their stomachs are only the size of their eye”. That may be true, but it’s a stomach. It’s supposed to expand. Your betta will waste away on 1 pellet a day. I personally feed my betta 4 pellets in the morning, and 1 or 2 (or a bloodworm) at night. If I forget his evening snack, he may not be happy with me, but he will be fine. Also, bettas are very prone to bloat and constipation no matter what you’re feeding, so it’s recommended that you fast him one day a week. (they get super pouty on fast days, lol)
- Remember that bettas are highly territorial and aggressive, and will attack and eventually kill another betta placed in his tank. Certain types of fish can be kept with bettas, but for a beginner, I would recommend you just keep your guy in his own private tank. Maybe with a snail or two, but some bettas are bossy and will attack and eventually kill those snails. It all depends on the fish.
In conclusion? ALWAYS RESEARCH EXTENSIVELY BEFORE BRINGING HOME ANY PET, NO MATTER HOW “EASY” THE PET STORE TELLS YOU IT IS. Basically, the internet as a whole generally knows best. Join a forum, follow some people in the hobby on tumblr, just find some people that know their stuff that you can learn from.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you to you and everyone else who’s reblogged with info and such!
These are corporations and this is marketing. Pet stores like this make tons of money selling bettas to people under the impression that they are easy to care for. They want customers to think that a cheap bowl and a monthly water change are enough because that’s what sells them. If you want to help the fish, simply stop shopping at these retailers.
accomplishment: making a cat sound at a cat and the cat makes a cat sound back
I have been waiting for this for 84 years
It is…how you say a…metaphor
they really improved the fighting mechanics of this game
It was funny the first hundred times.
gf: i just shaved feel my legs