Angry Petitioners Fight Tiny Betta Fish Cups


fishy fish, originally uploaded by hessiebell.

Petitioners in Scotland are furious that local fish stores are housing their Siamese Fighting Fish(Betta splendens) in small containers instead of larger holding tanks, much like they do here in the United States. While there are laws protecting pet shop animals a loophole in the Pet Animals Act 1951 and Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 allow pet shop owners to keep these fish in small containers. The petition, organized by Chris Law, was brought forward to members of the Scottish Parliament on March 17th and outlined their worry that these small containers lead to inactive and obese pet fish.

According to one committee member, “Many of the fish, which are popular because they are colorful and relatively cheap, are kept in tanks that are too small, which leads to poor health and obesity”. Though no surprise to avid aquarium hobbyists, the petition also stated, “small containers are open to temperature fluctuations and rapidly declining water quality”.

The small plastic cups used to house betta fish at local fish stores here in the U.S. have been the subject of much debate. Please let us know your opinion.
To read the full article visit,Storm in a Goldfish Bowl as MSPs Debate Obese Pet Fish

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Christie F is a Betta splendens hobbyist that enjoys spending time caring for her fish and helping new betta keepers learn the ropes. More posts by:

9 Comments for this entry

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is great… there was a LFS near me that kept their bettas in BABY FOOD JARS! Thats 1/3 the size of the normal betta cups!!!

    I vowed never to go back to that store, and let their owner know my displeasure with the way they kept their bettas.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I had gone into my local department store “supercenter” a few months ago to but betta food, and realized that they were keeping these poor fish in little plastic bowls filled only a third of the way with water, so i notified the manager, and the very next day when i returned, They had all been put in the tanks, and the three that were left in the containers, were filled all the way with water. A lot of times, if you just make someone aware, they will fix it immediatly. We have to bring it to their attention though! :)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Betta fish always look ill. I think it is because their fins droop. Are they easy or hard too keep? I would love to have some but i am scared that they would die easily.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am a breeder, and I don't have the money or room for barracks, so putting them in jars is my only choice. As long as the bettas are in cups with full water a weekly water changes this will be fine. I am twelve. But I do agree, pet stores should keep bettas in the back in barracks or vessels.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I understand the need to have the fish in larger tanks as pets, I have 5, 4 males and one female, that are all in at least 2.5 gallons. I would feel guilty were it any other way. However, from a business standpoint and the fact that many betta breeders are just people in their homes, having them all in that size aquarium is just not feasible. I do think that pet stores should have them displayed in the setup they should be in, a gallon at least. Or larger tanks partitioned by an opaque divider. Too many people think its okay to have them flaring all the time and in teeny spaces, simply because they don't know any better.

  6. Anonymous says:

    They should be kept in tanks no smaller than 2.5 Gallons, be fully cycled, heated, filtered and ideally covered as they like to jump. They are very easy to keep, but beware as constipation is common (feed a thawed shelled pea once a week or fast them for one day a week to prevent this). They are full of personality, and love to onteract with humans, and should be kept alone (yes,even females as sorority tanks rarely work long term). I respectfully disagree with the 12 year old breeder at changing water only once a week. They are living in their own filth and the ammonia build up really harms them as it is toxic. Water should be change every day in samll jars, every second day if in larger residences. However in a fully cycled tank, once a week is sufficient.And try Pets At Home, they have bettas in tanks with other fish (not ideal), but they will not let you have the fish unles you can satisfy you can look after it…

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think that it is fine for the bettas to be in that small of jars, from what I have heard, they like small spaces, it's no big deal!

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