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How I made a difference to neglected Betta Fish

Updated on April 12, 2015

Fish deserve not to be neglected

I love Betta fish and hate more then anything to see these beautifully made creatures live in a small plastic cup waiting to be sold. Seeing them in flthy water makes me want to hit the ceiling because they do not deserve that kind of treatment.

Every week I shop at the same retail store and would check the Betta's while purchasing food for my animals. Every week they were in filthy water. I called the manager and asked him if he would like to live in dirty water. He got someone to change it and I sent an email to corporate.

The next week I went in the same store and again they were not only in dirty water, but some you couldn't even see because it was so dirty. I dialed the store on my cell phone and called the manager again to the fish department and pointed out that there were dead ones on the shelf also. I sent another email to corporate.

Things got better for a while and the fish seemed to be kept clean. Then one day it started happening again and this time they not only were living in filthy water but were suffering from fin rot, a condition that happens when they are not kept in clean water. It rot's off their tails and fins and then they can not swim (making them die). This time I changed the water in all their bowls, an employee walked right past me while I was doing it and never said a word. I sent my final email to coporate.

I told them if they did not do something immediately about this situation I would not stop until they either started taking care of them or stopped selling them and the latter would please me the most. I also asked them how they would feel to sit in a bucket of dirty water all day. I told them that even though to some they are "just fish" they do not deserve to live in those conditions and that I will do what ever it took to make sure they were never allowed to sell these fish again.

Two days later, the manager from the store called me. He informed me they hired someone to work in the fish department and assured me until they started; that each morning the other employees were to go check on these fish first thing before they did anything else.

Of course I gave him a piece of my mind, told him that I changed the water in their cups, and that it was a disgrace for any animal to have live in fllth. So justice for those fish have been served and someone got a job. I think I scored double on that one.

I hate to see any animals being abused even if it is fish. Every animal deserves to live in a clean environment until they are adopted or bought.

I am their voice and I will always do what is best for any animal I see treated unfairly. These beautiful fish deserve to live a wonderful life. We took them from their homeland of China to make them pets, so why should they be neglected and uncared for.

Betta's come in all colors

How to take care of the beautiful betta

Betta or Chinese fighter fish are a species that come from China and are shipped here in little cups for people to buy thinking they can stay in a little cup. That is farther from the truth. Betta fish do not need a 50 gallon tank but at least a ten gallon tank to freely swim in. Males can not be housed together as they will fight each other to the death. Females can be housed together if they were born together.

These beautiful fish can do well with other aggressive species but should really be by themselves. You can put two fish in separate bowls next to each other so that they can exercise their puffy jaws. Males puff up their jaws at females to prove their manhood.

I do not recommend mating them however. These fish are bred like puppies and kittens, then make their way to store shelves to sit in a little cup. Most stores like Wal-Mart leave them sitting in dirty water for days on end without a care in the world that these fish need to be treated in a fair fashion.

Betta's need a warm tank just like other fish. You can buy a small heater and place it in the tank or a simple filter will generate enough heat to keep it warm. They need weekly water changes if you have a filter and every other day if you don't have a filter. They are dirty fish in the sense that their tanks do not stay clean very long.

Feeding should consist of a few pellets made for betta's daily or every other day.

If you can't take proper care of these fish, then please don't get them.

How to take care of Betta's

International Betta competition

How to tell male and female apart.

Most stores separate these fish so that the guesswork is taken out of trying to figure out if it's a boy or girl, but you can look at them and tell.

Male Betta's have beautiful long feathery fins. Some are two different colors and some are just one color. Female Betta's are much smaller then the males and have very short fins.

You can not house male and female together unless the female is full of eggs. If you house them together the male will keep fighting with her until she is dead. Hence the word fighter fish comes in because they are exactly that.

© 2012 Cheryl A Whitsett


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    • profile image

      animal lover 

      3 years ago

      I love Bettas! The one I have now is a white with a slight pinkish hue. I love him - he has such a good personality. His name is Fishy ( I know, very original - ha ha). I truly hate seeing them in those little cups. I feel so bad for them - I wish I could give them all good homes. But I know the pet stores would just get more to sell.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      you go girl!

      Be the change you want to see. :)

      I love Betta's and mine lives in a five gallon hex aquarium which he loves.

      Maybe you could start a Betta blog with helpful tips for newbies.

    • profile image

      Kristine Spencer-Abbott 

      5 years ago

      I know exactly what you write/speak of. Did the same at our local W$%#@*&, actually told them they should give me their worst looking Beta (which they did!) and have checked on them weekly and found the situation has improved and maintained a level of acceptance. I'm ready to pounce the second it doesn't, though!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Good for you. All animals deserve to be well treated. I also feel sorry for those poor fish in those tiny cups. It is inhumane and should be illegal. Thank you for making a difference and standing up for life.

    • lizyetter profile image

      Elizabeth Yetter 

      7 years ago from Oley, PA

      I love betta fish, as well. I used to buy crown tails, but I could't stand how the ones in the pet stores were treated and I bought a few of those to give them better lives. You see people keeping them in small bowls, but I loved to decorate their 5 to 10 gallon tanks with aquarium marbles and watch them enjoy their extra space. Beautiful fish with great personalities.

    • Faithful Daughter profile image

      Evie Lopez 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Awesome! You spoke up for helpless little creatures and made their lives better. The world needs more people like you. Just because they're fish does not mean that their lives are any less important. I feel the same way about abused animals; I can’t stand to see an animal being abused or neglected.

      I also love Bettas. I worked in a place where they kept one as a decoration. The owner changed his water everyday without testing it for chemicals. The poor little Betta developed ich and became very ill. His red color became a faded white and he barely moved. I begged his owner to let me have him and promised I would nurse him back to life. After a week of begging, I won. In a short time, Captain Nemo healed and his color and tail became strikingly beautiful. He lived 3 more years with me and then passed on. Maybe one day I'll write about him. Great story of compassion.


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