Is it humane to sell fish in small cups?
Am I the only one bothered by this practice of selling Bettas in small plastic cups?
No. It drives me nuts. The idea of a fish, a creature made to swim, trapped in a tiny enclosure like that is just cruel.
Bettas in the wild do not live in 'puddles' as is erroneously believed, but in swampy areas like rice paddies. This doesn't mean they need a million gallon aquarium to live in, but they need some swimming room, something small cups do not provide. It is recommended to provide at minimum, 5 gallon aquariums for them. Other recommendations are higher, such as at least 10-20 gallons. They aren't long-distance swimmers, and they aren't 'highly intelligent' needing room to explore, but the teeny cups are unfair to them.
I found this on wikipedia. I know its not always 100% reliable
"The Betta is native freshwater fish from Thailand (formerly Siam) and Cambodia (formerly Kampuchea). Wild Betta can often be found in a small pond, river and drain. As Betta can survive in a low-oxygen level of water, Betta can live anywhere and mostly in Asia." I know they are very territorial and durable fish. We had a male beta a few years back and tried to put a female beta with him. I wasn't but a few seconds that he started attacking her. The lady at the pet store said they live about 1 year. Ours lived for more than 3 and required very little care. I think given their habitat the small cups aren't too inhumane. I a big animal lover too and know how you feel though at first glance.
Bettas can live at least 3 years. The 1 year prediction is totally incorrect. I would advise against listening to pet store employees about this information. Bettas should also be housed alone, unless they are female pairings.
Thank you for that info. Its a shame that pet store employees are giving false information to people who consider things like the life span of a pet.
No, it's not the best idea. But since male Betta fish can't be housed in a tank together, there are no alternatives. There are better ways and worse ways for this to go down.
The better stores make sure they only have as many Betta on-hand as they're going to sell in a short period of time. Employees check on them regularly, make sure the stock is rotated, and any sick fish are dealt with. Ideally I would think a Betta cup should not sit on the shelf for more than a day or two.
The worse stores just don't care. A certain family-friendly superstore that shouldn't be selling fish to begin with comes to mind. They just stack up the Betta cups like they are any other products. Fish die, Cups get tipped over. Kids mess with them. Nobody cares. There is a special place in Hell for store managers who allow this kind of thing to happen.
Once Betta is home he needs a tropical aquarium just like any other fish. Five gallon minimum if it's just him, but ten gallons is much better.
It makes me sad when I see those fish in the tiny cups. I have seen dead ones for sale at Walmart. I agree with those who say Bettas should not live in a cup. I even wrote a hub about it called "Bettas in Bowls: Just Say No." Bettas need a heated aquarium.
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