Con ustedes, Betta Splendens, originally uploaded by Xavi Calvo.

SJ wrote,

On impulse (and without my prior knowledge) my daughter purchased a male betta from a major pet store. He lived in a tiny bowl for awhile until I kind of took over and now he lives in a ten gallon tank with a couple of fake plants that he likes to hang out in. I have never had fish and we know virtually nothing about them. I did a little research online to be sure he was at least getting the proper care. We’ve had him for about 5 months now. She quickly lost interest in him and now he’s kind of mine. I would like to find a good home for him with someone who appreciates him and can care for him better than I. I keep his tank clean and he gets feed twice a day. I think he’s healthy, but he doesn’t seem to have grown any. His tank his not heated and we keep the temp down in the house, so I’m sure his water temp is not ideal for him. I would greatly appreciate any resources you might have for finding fish homes. I am hesitant to give him away for free because I don’t want him to go to someone who doesn’t care about him and will use him for fighting or as a throw away pet, but if you know of someone who really cares for these fish and trust them, they can have everything. I just want to find a good home for him.

A:Thanks for writing in. I applaud you for looking for a new home for your Betta when you are no longer able to care for him. Too often people choose to ignore their fish until it succumbs or decide to euthanize a perfectly healthy fish without first attempting to find it a new home. There are lots of options available to you. First, you can always bring your fish to a local animal shelter. Most won’t turn any animal away and you will be surprised to find a variety of small pets there including fish, hamsters, mice, birds and reptiles. You can also call your local fish store and see if they will take him back. They probably won’t pay you for him but may take him back if he’s in good shape. Call first though because some may have policies in places baring them from taking your fish. Another option is to call or email your local fish club. You didn’t say where you live but there are fish clubs in nearly all major cities full of enthusiastic hobbyists who would be happy to help. Most clubs readily accept donations and will add your fish to their monthly auction. If they can’t do that they almost certainly could put you in touch with a club member who could adopt your fish from you. Start by going online and Googling your city and “freshwater fish club” or “tropical fish society” or some version of those terms. Another option is to sell your fish at an online fish auction like This site is very popular among serious fish keepers but you will need to register and learn how to properly ship a fish if yours is purchased. Yet another option is to place an ad online at a site like, an online fish club site like or your local town message board. I was able to find a home for many of my fish before I moved across the country by posting on my neighborhood’s online web forum. My neighbor, who had a large tank already, contacted me through the forum. One final option that you may find appealing is to donate your fish to your local elementary or middle school. Very often teachers will take them in and use them as a classroom pet and will often solicit help from their students in caring for them.

I hope you find one of these ideas useful and find a new home for your little Betta soon. Thanks so much for writing in.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Anonymous says:

    I would just like to thank you for maintaining such a great blog and website. There is so much bad information on the web. I’ve had my betta for about a month, and I’m committed to giving him the best possible life. Your blog has helped answer many of my questions. Pekoe (my betta) and I are very grateful!

    • Somebody says:

      HELP! My female crowntail suddenly developed a white patch on her eye. I was searching the web, bout couldn’t find answers. I checked on her to find that the patch has become a ring in the middle of her cornea. She doesn’t seem sick and is very healthy and none of the other fish in the tank seem to be affected. Any help?

  2. Holyg/betta4christ says:

    I am amaze with the excellence of your blog, could please give me a few pointers please. I am starting into the blog thing, i am using it as a journal, to use it in the future as a reference for breeders. here is my link:
    do you mind if i add you to my reference links? by the way to answer your question in yahoo.answers, yes is perfectly normal for bettas to show their buttom gills, in most bettas this button one is not noticeable because they are the same color as the rest of the body. but with all the breeders trying to breed pure black bettas from multicolor bettas i think they are just narrowing down the common colors and just making them small adjust ments to their genes.
    I do not have to much experience but i know alot, i been on this only for 6 months but i have had bettas for nearly 15 yrs.
    p.s. i really like your blog.

  3. Romelda says:

    I found your blog a few days ago, while looking up information on about sick Bettas – your blog and website have been very helpful.
    My original Betta (Futo Maki) died in early December. Then, the day before Christmas, Sashimi (Sashi for short) arrived. Anyways about a week ago, he just stopped eating (very suddenly) and then overnight – literally) his abdomen started swelling. At first I thought he was constipated, but nothing I did seemed to help.
    After reading much of the very helpful information on your site and in your blog I figured then it was Dropsy (even though the pineconing had not set in at the time). I lowered the water in his bowl, gave him Epsom salt baths and have been keeping the water temp up and the water clean. Over the last four days or so, his condition got worse, and he was so bloated that he was well over double his size where his abdomen was so tight he didn’t even look like he had scales at all. His energy level decreased, but he still darted around the bowl occasionally. Then a day ago in the morning I noticed a small white bump under his abdomen at the back (like something sticking out in a head like a pimple) in front of his main big bottom fin underneath and he seemed to just be getting bigger and bigger, his fins were “breaking off” too at the ends, and of course he pineconed and was lethargic. This white protrusion was new however in terms of symptoms and Sashimi would often bang himself against the bowls sides….it really was horrible to watch because it felt like he was trying to commit suicide or something.
    Last night when I turned off his light I really thought he’d be gone this morning.
    I woke up this morning and came in to my office where his bowl is to find him almost back to normal size. He is a bit off colour, and a little pineconed still. When I saw him my mouth fell open and I thought to myself….”how odd – he burst and lived – how could that be?” Then I see a big fat curled up worm-like thing at the bottom of his bowl, almost as wide as him. Click to view image
    For the tiny fish he is, what came out of him was huge…its bigger than a whole green pea the way it corkscrew curls.
    I’d really like to know what the heck that is – and if Sashi can recover from this – there is some loose skin and he now has a slight hole from where it came out. Is there anything I can do? He is still not eating (can’t say as I blame him on that) and he is definitely not back to his normal colour, or habits, but I dare say he seems relieved. I was thinking a fresh bowl of water, and a warm epsom salts bath this morning would keep him comfortable. Any other advise?

  4. Anonymous says:

    i just was on the web and passed by your blog and just to say,it is AWSOME. I know you may here many compliments from other visitors but i really mean it, this is the best betta blog ever. You should so make a betta cam so we can see your betta fish ,that would be a great addition to your website not thats its great already. Keep up with the great work you are doing. Thanks for all the reliable inforamation. I am definatly going to tell my friends about this blog!!

  5. Karolina says:

    Hi! I have betta too, his name is Hermes. My blog’s adress is Unfortunately it is writing in Polish, because I’m Polish. You have nice blog 🙂

  6. Alfredo says:

    I tried to email you but I got an error saying that you went past your quota?
    Anywyas I hope its ok if I just write the email here:
    I really wanted to e-mail you to congratulate you on your site. I find it to be outstanding. I have been researching about betta care and your site has answered my questions in non-confusing ways. I don’t own a betta yet. I am still trying to convince my parents into allowing me to purchase one. They seem like amazing and beautiful fish. I was also wondering if you could tell me a good water temperature, I am mostly worried about the heat. Is it ok to keep betta fish in sunlight?
    Thank you so much,
    Alfredo S.
    PS: I also wanted to know if betta fish like some sort of light at night, or if they are disturbed by them. I wanted to put a few a LEDs becuase they light up the tank but don’t give off heat while doing so. Thanks again 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hi Christie,
    Just wondering how I’d be able to get in touch with you, I have a question concerning the health of my betta and I’ve tried e-mailing you but I keep receiving a delivery status failure. I’m not sure what the issue is but if you could please let me know that’d be great!

  8. Hugmej9 says:

    Hey Misha
    I tried to send Christie an e-mail too and it wouldn’t go through at first b/c I had copied and pasted her e-mail onto the To: box. However the e-mail was written betta[at] You may want to change the [at] to @. Maybe that was your problem. As soon as I did that, the e-mail went throught.

  9. Hugmej9 says:

    My name is Janine and I read your blog a lot. I got a Betta a year ago and I had left it in the care of my grandmother because I left for school. She fed it well but she is old and couldn’t really change its water or care for it as well as I could have. When I came back from school I realized that his fins weren’t really as nice as they were before and the area around his mouth and head where whitish. I wouldn’t describe it as cottony just a discoloration. He was a bit lethargic but ate well. She kept it in a bowl but she told me the water would sometimes get thick. Moreover, when we would change the water, we’d put warm water. However, since we didn’t have a heated tank the water would turn cold right away.
    When I came from school I bought my betta a tank, a filter and an air pump (athough its really not necessary) and I thought it had ICH so I got it Quickcure and I’ve been using that for about a week. But now i’m not sure WHAT IT HAS. I’m not even sure if its sick. I’m still having the problem with the water temperature, and the area around his face is getting better although sometimes it still appears white to me, while other times it seems as its going back to normal. He doesnt have any cysts on his body its just the color of the are above part of his body/head are not as rich as the other parts and it looks like he has grayish dots on his skin. (I do not want to make it seem like it looks disastrous. Im confused whether this might be normal or not b/c the grayish dots dont look threatening or wrong…i dont know) His fins are still not the way they should be although they have gotten a bit better…and He’s not lethargic at all.
    Its my first time owning a Betta and I don’t know if its safe to use water from the kitchen sink, filtered water or what!? It eats regularly and his tank is well kept but I’m just not sure what I can do. The water temperature and the fins really get to me =(.
    I’m so sorry for the many contradictions in this e-mail but I am so confused, I tried taking a picture but my camera is not that good and it would have been pointless to send it.
    I would appreciate any advice you can give me! I really don’t want Bobby to die on me =/.

  10. Michelle says:

    You gave very good advices for the women that wrote the letter I would have add the simple action of asking around. I was surprised on many times how many people that I know could help me find the right person as everyone knows someone

  11. Grace says:

    I just got one betta fish. I have an one gallon tank.

  12. Danielle says:

    SJ, I would be happy to take your betta if you are not sure to keep him. I have had many betta fish before. Their actual lifespan is 1-2 years. The longest time I’ve had a betta was for three years. I know how to help all the diseases of any kind. It would be my pleasure to add a new member to the family!

  13. Carole says:

    Hi Christie,
    I have been searching for you for 2 hours on the net, I had thought I had you bookmarked, but I could not find it:(
    I just wanted to thank you for such a wonderful blog on your art. My daughter wanted some snails for the tank with her female betas, and I could not for the life of me, find any good info anywhere, hence the 2 hour scramble to find you.
    Thank you!
    oh and SJ if you are in Illinois I would be happy to adopt your beta, my son’s male Beta “Nemo” just died this morning, he was almost 2!

  14. Lolli says:

    Wow – that betta is BEAUTIFUL! I would love to have him – but I only have one tank with a male, Blue Night Shimmer, and about 100 3-day-old fry, so I can’t have him………..

  15. Lolli says:

    Hi Christie,
    I need your help! Three days ago, I found baby bettas swimming my tank. My two bettas had mated without me noticing. This is the first time I’ve ever had to care for any kind of baby animal, fish, ectera, and I need some advise! Thanks!

  16. Laura says:

    Hi Christie,
    I am a freshman in college and I’m sad to say I left home without my betta. I knew I would miss him terribly but I thought living with him in a dorm would cause too many problems. My biggest concern was cleaning his bowl – at home I kept him in a glass vase which usually got very mucky even after only a week and always smelled bad even after rinsing it regularly in the bathtub. I thought that if I emptied and washed his bowl in the communal bathrooms my hall mates would think it was smelly and unsanitary. I knew another alternative was an aquarium – I’m not very familiar with aquariums and how they work but I know if you use one with some sort of filter you don’t need to change the water regularly. The problem with this was that I knew I wouldn’t have much space in my dorm room and aquariums are pretty big. I also worried about holidays. I couldn’t leave him alone over breaks with nobody to feed him, but I thought taking him on the plane would be expensive due to pet fees or even fatal due to changes in pressure.
    Now fall break is coming up and I’m having second thoughts, I would like to take him back to college with me when I return from visiting home. Do you have any suggestions on how I can make my situation work?
    (PS I posted this on your site because your email wouldn’t work)

  17. fish says:

    Really awesome that every post on your blog is dedicated to answering questions from your community. One of the best blogs I’ve seen to date. Honestly surprised it hasn’t been nominated for best pet blog.

  18. Anonymous says:
    Many people buy fish just because they look pretty (the fish, not the person). I bet they’d even put a clown fish in a freshwater tank because it looks like nemo.

  19. B says:

    This was really helpful. I’ve been thinking about buying anouther fish, but I don’t want to buy him/her from one of those horrible pet stores. Maybe I can give someone a good home…

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