Diary of a Petstore Bystander - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care

It is important to know what to look for when buying a Betta from the pet store or fish dealer
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I can't say where all the distributors are for each of those retail chains, but I know my store (a PetSmart) has one of the better distributors amidst my company and our Bettas come from Utah. The distributor is a fishery and it appears as though they produce all of the fish that they sell.
That betta fish you picked up at your local pet store may look pretty swell in its fishbowl, but ever wonder where it came from?
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Basic Betta Info

The Tank - Your Betta's Home
Bettas are labyrinth fish, meaning they can breathe directly from the surface of water. Therefore they don't need air pumps to provide them with oxygen like most fish do. You often see bettas at pet stores in small bowls without any type of filtration at all, as bettas do not like fast currents (they come from small rice paddies). And most pet store employees advise their customers to keeps bettas in such small spaces because they seem "happier". How would you like it if you lived your entire life in a 2 x 3 ft room?Bettas need a minimum sized aquarium of two gallons. Although bettas can easily be kept in a two-gallon aquarium, the bigger the better - they would also appreciate the extra space. The larger the tank, the less frequent you'll have to execute water changes. Make sure the aquarium has lid or hood, as bettas are excellent jumpers. A  detailed pictures under the title: “I work for a pet store. This is how betta fish are delivered from the vendor.”
Photo provided by FlickrBetta fish while still at the pet store are likely to have ripped or torn fins. While this is very common, it’s still sad to see.
Photo provided by FlickrA  detailed pictures under the title: “I work for a pet store. This is how betta fish are delivered from the vendor.”
Photo provided by Flickr
Ask questions before making your purchase to ensure that the Betta was well cared-for at the pet store. Also, be attentive when bringing home your Betta to make sure he is still alive. Since Bettas are not very active, they could lie dead in a plastic bag or glass bowl without anyone noticing. Sometimes Bettas are already sick because of the less-than-healthy conditions in the . To guarantee the purchase of a healthy fish, visit only those dealers that have been referred or those that have a proven reputation. 1. Place the bag in the aquarium with the still-fastened end hanging out over the side. Let the bag float in the aquarium for 10 to 15 minutes so your betta can adjust to the new water temperature in the aquarium.

2. Unfasten the bag and let the open end hang freely over the top edge of the tank. Try not to let any water from the bag get into the aquarium. The water from the pet store could have any number of parasites, fungi or other , and you don’t want those to follow your betta home, especially after you went to such lengths to choose a healthy one.

3. Gradually add small amounts of water from the tank to the bag and let your betta sit in the bag (which is still in the tank) for another 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Use a fish net to gently remove your betta from the bag and place him into the tank, still being careful not to let any potentially nasty water from the pet store get into the tank. Opening the pet store bag and plopping your betta into a tank will shock and stress your healthy fish. Don’t do it. Follow these steps to ease your betta into his quarantine tank. Bring with you a dark shipping bag, which will also help calm your Betta. Most pet stores put fish in clear cellophane, but that’s not the best way to transport your fish. If you don’t have what is needed, put the clear cellophane into a paper bag which will be better than having nothing at all.