As bad as these are? At least I see young aquarists on youtube far ahead of what my generation were on fish knowledge and care and about the habitats and equipment needed. I've learned more in the last 4 years about plants and keeping them than I had in the previous 45 years or so. The internet and google/utube- ha.
I just wish we could move to the Euro way. Something about always going for a natural looking aquarium and less of the Spongebob look. Fish husbandry attitudes instead of fish as toys.
It needs to start with responsible sellers. My local fish shop refuses a lot of sales because just talking to the customers they don't know what they are doing. 'had the tank running for two days' kind of thing. owning any pet is a privilege, not a right. Those who can't prove they have the knowledge and means to look after them need to be refused.
Sadly there are lots of shops that'll sell to anyone no questions asked.
And these shops could take advantage of the opportunity to upsell...
"Well you could keep a betta in a 3 gallon tank. But he would be much happier and healthier in a 10 gallon tank..."
But then, it's probably harder for them to make that pitch when they keep them in little plastic cups in the first place.
A brand new Pet shop opened 5 minutes from my home. I was like sweet, got to check it out see if they will buy my plants and possibly BNP fry. There are no words. Needless to say I will not sell anything to him. He had a beautiful tank set up under the checkout counter, at least 240 gal. It had his personal fish, a number of African cichlids, several SA cihlids (Oscar, Blue acara, Jack dempsey and Blood parrots) as well as one massive and lonely clown loach. He also had an escaped hampster which my son caught and brought back to him and during the time we were there two ferrets also managed to get loose. There were baby tortoises stuck upon their backs and snakes who were not looking too well. He also sold a mix of coldwater and tropical fish for the same set up without even attempting to guide the buyer to do better(because he obviously doesn't know better himself). The buyer who did not fuss, just simply asked for fish that would work in a 20 gallon. Nope, I will continue to drive an hour for my favorite LFS.
Ugh, speaking of fish abuse, look at this gem I found while looking for a fish tank for sale. Those goldfish are screaming for help. I would help them but they're selling them on the other side of the country.