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Is Cycling Necessary For Betta Fish?

Discussion in 'Cycle your Tank' started by xJooliex, Aug 16, 2015.

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  1. xJooliex

    xJooliex New Member

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    I recently started working at PetSmart and I joined this forum to become more educated about fish.
    I see that cycling can be essential to the fishes health but ive seen on one or two articles that betta fish can go without cycling. Is this true and to with what conditions?
     
  2. Wildbetta

    Wildbetta Moderator
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    Since bettas can be kept in tanks without filters, cycling is not mandatory in that situation.  However as with any other fish, keeping bettas in filtered cycled tanks is best.  
     
  3. TwoTankAmin

    TwoTankAmin Member

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    The answer is both yes and no. The point of cycling is to establish bacteria that will handle the ammonia all fish produce. This includes bettas. If one does not have a cycled tank, the ammonia will build up quickly and harm or kill the fish. However, it is possible to keep a tank safe in this respect by using an alternative method which is to change a lot of water very day. Failing to keep up with such a schedule will result in the ammonia building up and doing its thing.
     
    So, if you know you can do larger daily water changes without fail, a tank can do fine without being cycled. But what happens if you have to travel for any reason and will not be available to do these daily changes? What if you get sick and cannot change the water every day?
     
    Having the bacterial colonies which will handle ammonia means that only weekly water changes are needed at most and under light stocking conditions this time can be extended. But in the end no fish has died because its water was too healthy for it. And those bacteria will not stop working just because you miss a water change now and then.
     
    So when somebody tells you that bettas do not need to be in a cycled tank, smile at them, walk away and then set up your betta in a properly cycled and filtered container with a heater where needed. And no, bettas do not belong in tiny containers either.
     
  4. NickAu

    NickAu Member
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    I agree.
     
    Personally I think that those little cups that bettas are kept in shops should be outlawed, the minimum size should be 2 litre tank. Yes I know the LFS or what ever shop will tell you " We don't have the room "  I don't care, don't sell bettas. NO animal deserves to be treated like that.
     
  5. nic1

    nic1 Member

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    Omg, that video is so sad, I've heard of walmart and the cruel way they keep fish, but I had no idea that they were kept in conditions like that!
    Even a kid knows the difference between acceptable and unacceptable. How are they allowed to do that? why hasnt anyone challenged them? makes me so mad.
     
  6. AmtotheBurr

    AmtotheBurr Member

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    Their opinion is "well Bettas live in puddles so they're used to being in very small places" I've been told that by a fish store employee!
    Heartbreaking
     
  7. TwoTankAmin

    TwoTankAmin Member

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    Hmmm- you wander into the fish dept. of a big box chain store or a pet store. You are a good person who feels responsible fish care is a good thing. Then you see a poor scraggley looking betta in a small bowl. And there a whole shelf of them. "How can they do this?" you ask yourself. How can I help?
     
    And then this little light goes off and you think, "I can rescue this poor fish. I will take it home and give it proper care.
     
    And the store is laughing all the way to the bank. And before you have driven out of the parking lot with your rescued fish, there is a replacement bowl with another betta beckoning to the next fish rescuer.
     
    In the end the cause of this problem isn't the stores. it is the people who rescue the fish. If people would refuse to buy them, the stores would stop selling them this way. I can buy the bettas you see in those tiny bowls and cupsfor 25-50 cents in bulk- 200 to 500 fish. I can buy them wholesale for 50 cents - $1 in smaller numbers- 20-50 fish. What do they sell for?
     
    And that in a nutshell is how it can be done. It helps greatly that many labyrinth fish can survive harsh condition because they can breath air. This is an adaptation to wild conditions where they can be trapped in ever shrinking pools during dry seasons. Pools where dissolved oxygen is minimal. So they can do the same in a tiny cup or bowl in a store. This trait is exploited by the sellers.
     
    If one wants to keep bettas, I would strongly urge you not buy them this way. There are plenty of good breeders and sources for fish that are not "mishandled" and which will make you very happy with their quality as well.
     
    Finally, there is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to see bettas housed in this fashion and one's desire to rescue them is noble and decent. The problem is these feelings are being exploited by the sellers. So it is good for one to feel this way about the bettas in the bowls. But instead of rescuing the fish, complain to the store. Tell them as long as they are selling fish this way you will not buy anything from them. If enough folks would do this the problem would be gone. While some unbought bettas will suffer or even die, it will be way fewer than if this practice just keeps going on year after year without ever changing.
     
     
    A rescue fish is given away for free. It is not sold.
     
  8. Ch4rlie

    Ch4rlie Unlicensed Moderating Moderator
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    This I agree with 100%.
     
  9. AmtotheBurr

    AmtotheBurr Member

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    I agree whole heartedly as well. I don't mind telling the stores I won't buy them that way either. Heck, I'd picket for betta freedom if someone did it with me :)
    All fish should have good living conditions. If you sold puppies in a tiny box where it could barely stretch it's legs, there would be outrage.
    People don't feel the same outrage for fish unfortunately
     
  10. guppiegirlie

    guppiegirlie Member

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    Here here.

    We don't have Walmart here in the UK and I can honestly say I've never seen anything like that before! How shameful!

    I once seen some stunningly beautiful Betta's kept in 6inch square boxes in a large chain pet store and thought that was inappropriate for them, I made sure the store knew about it too.

    Poor things
     
  11. NickAu

    NickAu Member
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    Yes that's how I got Zsa Zsa.

    My New Betta Zsa Zsa
     
  12. thrujenseyes

    thrujenseyes Member

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    this thread is heartbreaking.
     
    I whole heartedly agree with twotankamin.  And I wish there were more we could do to stop stores from selling bettas this way.
     
    And to the one who started this post....I praise you for wanting to get more educated.  It will be so helpful to your customers...and you and the store!  Way to go!
     
  13. gmc1

    gmc1 Member

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    I watch my betta swimming around in the 20 gallon doing multiple things through the day.building bubble nests.hunting.flaring.chasing.its great to see.to assume this fish is ok in such a small place is ludicrous.
     
  14. RobRocksFishTank

    RobRocksFishTank Moved On

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    Just some food for thought.
     
    Even in the best of conditions, Bettas have a fairly short life span. If I remember right, it's about three years. Experienced keepers were the majority of the business at the stores I worked at. I'm sorry but this rescuing them from the store is way overdone in this thread. That was a small portion of the business at all the places I worked at. I worked in a bit more than few pet stores, some better than others, and most of the Betta customers had kept them successfully before.
     
    There were two stores that had questionable practices with their Bettas. One actually supported a local fighting ring. These customers put big money on the fights and payed big money for the wild caught "fighters". The other one was receiving them in these tiny bags that barely held a tablespoon of water and even less air. The water was heavily medicated. They lived in those bags for well over a week sometimes. Really cruel stuff on both accounts.
     
  15. thrujenseyes

    thrujenseyes Member

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    wow...I really wish I hadn't read that
     

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