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Purchasing from a breeder vs. the pet store

While bettas tend to be readily available for purchase at most pet stores, if you’re looking to find a fancier finned betta then your best bet is acquiring one directly from a breeder. One of the problems of purchasing your betta from a pet store is that you don’t know what conditions or stresses the fish has been through before that may have a detrimental effect on the rest of the betta’s lifespan.

By purchasing directly from a breeder, you are able to get the betta at both a young age and the fish goes straight to your home. Often times bettas are available from breeders at just a few months old and you will know the exact age of your fish. When you purchase your betta at the store there’s no telling his or her age and sometimes it can already be a year old. With the typical betta lifespan only being a few years, the younger you are able to bring them into your home, the longer they’ll be with you.

Many breeders work to produce quality bettas genetically and that cannot always be said for the fish you find at pet stores who may have been mass-produced solely for profit. Additionally, breeders mainly work with tail types other than Veil Tail bettas that tend to be what you’ll readily see available at a pet store. There are many other types to pick from – Half Moon, Crown Tail, Delta Tail, Double Tail…

To find a local breeder, check out the International Betta Congress (IBC) website at ibcbettas.org for chapters near you. There are also other resources such as Aquabid where you can purchase bettas directly from the breeder.

Betta-purchase

“Rescuing” sick bettas

Unfortunately some stores keep bettas in less than ideal conditions, such as dirty water or too small of cups. This may be caused by too much stock and not enough staff, improper training as to the care of bettas, or many other factors. While it is heartbreaking to witness a bunch of bettas in poor health, purchasing these fish to rescue them from the horrible conditions actually promotes the problem to keep occurring in the future.

The stores where you typically see improper care of bettas are large chain stores of some sort. These are the types of stores where the head honchos just look at the profit numbers. If they see that people are purchasing their bettas and they are making money off of them, they’re going to continue keeping them in stock. Basically if they think the demand is there because people are buying bettas, they will keep filling the supply back up. They don’t know that the fish aren’t being cared for and being bought out of pity.

However, if they see that no one is buying the fish, they will likely stock fewer over the long run. This in turn means less fish that will be subject to poor conditions. This system certainly isn’t perfect and we’d all wish for fish to be kept in ideal environments, but in the long run it may make a positive change for bettas.

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