What about Petsmart?

grice(z5 Michigan)June 2, 2005

I was in a Petsmart today for about the fifth time in my life(I've never been a huge fan of the chain). I was looking for supplies for my cat,bird,and new found bettas. I was appalled at the way this store houses their bettas. I read here on another thread about how people feel that Walmart treats their fish(at least Bettas)so poorly. I for one happen to agree,which explains why I end up finding a new fish in my buggy with each visit there!! The site of all those poor fish trapped in those little containers is heartbreaking to me.

I was shocked to find that petsmart is a far cry worse! The cups that they are selling Bettas in makes Walmart seem as though they are throwing in an 'aquarium' along with the fish.

There ,in the place where pets are to be treated like royalty,were all of these lovely fish doomed to life in this 'drop' of water!

While I am not a stockholder in Walmart,I have to admit that their handling of Betta was certainly better. The container that they sell there fish in is loathsome yet at least the poor betta does have room to turn around in. More than I can say for Petsmart.

They are supposed to be the pet store who cares right?

Sorry for the rant. I just don't get it. If I had to lay odds on which retailer would be more cruel to fish and pets,my money would certainly go on the department store,not the 'pet experts'.

I'll say one thing for them. If their goal is to make consumers feel sorry for the little critters and mount a rescue,it works. I now have yet another male betta entertaining me,LOL.

Thanks for listening.


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isis_nebthet(8b/11suns SoCA)

My closest petsmart isn't that bad. They have bigger cups than Wally world. Again it probably comes down to the person running the department. I can't buy a betta in methylene blue I tell ya I want to see the color I'm getting....and both put that in the water hence no betta.

How would you have them sell them?

This is the question I try to answer myself when I feel bad about the bettas in the cups. I've never been able to come up with a good answer. You could put them in divided 5 gallons but then for 20 bettas that's ten tanks and stock needs to be gotten rid of to accomadate that...if they can still see eachother and there's room they'l jump dividers...they can't go on the fish wall...I doubt the metal shelfs could support all that I could be wrong though. Then after all that a person is going to buy one of those tiny betta habitats for it anyhow...


    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 10:25AM
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You should see how betas are grown in Malasya and Singapur Grice and you would have a completely different impression, there they are grown in plastic containers about the same size a betta container is, they don´t need more space, putting them in small containers is not as cruel as you think it is.

Methylene blue is an absolute necessity Adrea, it´s used as a fungistatic and bacteriostatic or the fish will develop fungi or fin rot and die, that´s the reason why you always see bettas in blue water.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 3:06PM
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My daughter worked at Petsmart in the Specialty(animal) department. She didn't like the blue water either, but that's a corporate decision.
As far as being in a small container, they live in rice paddies in small puddles of water. That's why they do fine in a small container.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 3:35PM
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While they (the fish may not like it) they can survive in the small amount of water. Isis is right on the space issues in stores. What could be done and has been in one of the local shops here is use dividers made of frosted glass. Fish see merely a shape and don't get all that excited.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 4:27PM
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one of the small pet stories I go to have a betas in larger containers and the water is cleer

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 6:51PM
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isis_nebthet(8b/11suns SoCA)

How much space do you think they'd need per fish before they didn't have to rely on the mb?

Just a curiosity to add into the equation of the original question ;)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 8:10PM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

Hey Andrea,I agree with you about the blue water. I had to guess the color of my first betta due to the color of the water. I had no idea what it was. I have noticed that one of the Walmarts I go to has had clear water lately. So like you said,it may come down to the person over that department. As far as how I would like it done,I think Kev has it nailed down with the frosted glass. If I had my druthers that would be the standard setup. But hey,who cares what I think right?
Hey Raul and Nancyisme,you should check Shirlie Sharpe's article about the rice paddy mud 'puddles'. My idea of what a mud puddle is and the photos she posted are worlds apart. The puddles are not that small and aren't confined to a solitary spot(like I thought). They seem more like a long winding stream where at least the fish can (and most likely do) have abundant space to roam. I am sure a fish or any other animal is capable of surviving in a small confined space, does that mean they should have to live that way forever? Put it this way,you and I could survive in a jail cell for the next forty years. Would you be happy? I know I would'nt!! So why would I expect an animal to live happily that way? Btw Nancyisme,from what I have read thus far,the min tank requirement is at least 3 gallons for a betta. That may be the opinon of a few, yet I know that I feel a bit happier when I see my fish swimming in their tanks as opposed to the 'cells' that they were sold in.
"Then after all that a person is going to buy one of those tiny betta habitats anyhow". This might be true but imo is still a shame!
Raul,be it Mexico,Malasya,Singapore,or Roseville(Michigan) I still think it is cruel.
Batboy,glad to hear that your local pet store has the larger containers.
Thanks to all of you who took time to reply. I have to say again that I am in no way affliated with Petsmart or Walmart. I'm just someone who cares about animals. The only reason I posted this thread is beacause of another thread that was posted where the person who posted and several members here on the forum blasted Walmart as the devil incarnate for their 'horrific' handling of bettas. I just thought that it was only fair to 'call em all out' as it were.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 8:59PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

Well said Grice. A "puddle" normally evaporates at the end of the day if not sooner. Of course unless it rains which means it would have to rain frequently (which is what we try to mimic in aquaria with filtration and partial water changes) to keep a "puddle" long enough to sustain the life cycle. And just how do these "puddle" fish breed? I guess they hop puddle to puddle looking for some action. The space issue doesnt concern me as much until they are purchased as the temperature and water quality with no filtration. Most shops have a variety of fresh water tanks that can have 2 to 3 specimin/breeder containers in them that hang to the side they have holes drilled in them to allow water flow. This would be better than pre-treating them for fin-rot caused by the bacteria/ammonia conditions that occur in those little bowls. Bowls are for soup.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 9:22PM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

Amen and Halleluah to that Woisme. I think that there's always a correct way of doing things(even when trying to make the almighty dollar.LOL). You've suggested an excellent option.
Good one about soup and bowls!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 1:16AM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

Hi Raul in Mexico. Not to put too fine a point on it but I wanted to add a futher thought to your reply(6-02-05)on my posting.
You replied to a posting here on 11-20-04("IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH MY BETTA").
Your reply reads "Get a BIGGER tank(5 gal),heater,add filtration. I never understood the desire to having bettas in small containers,betta bowls and anything that resembles are good for nothing".
That was 7 months ago. Your response to me was that I should see the 'puddles'that they come from ,then I would have a different outlook and would'nt think that the small containers that I found my lastest fish in was not so cruel afterall.
Well,two things. I still think it's cruel. Secondly,what happend in 7 months that led to your change of heart.
Do'nt think I am being combative or picking on you. It's just something I though should be shared.
Take care.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 8:38PM
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I have nothing against putting the Betta's in larger tanks but I would like to hear from those of you who have them in larger tanks. Do they swim around most of the time? Mine are in approx. 1 gallon or a little more and most of the day they just sit around and don't do much unless I stick my face up to them and they think they're getting fed. Just wondering :-)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 3:31PM
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Minaku(z6 Pittsburgh)

For those of you who say that bettas live in rice paddies and therefore will do fine in small spaces, do you actually know what a rice paddy looks like? Do you know how large they are and how deep the water is? The rice paddies in Malaysia have water that, if I were to step into one, would come up past my knee. I am 5'1". You do the math, and then re-think keeping bettas in tiny containers.

Keeping a betta in a larger space will do it good. The occasional betta will prefer a smaller space, but most of them like having room. A betta who has lots of room (2.5 gallons is just right, 5 gallons is great, and 10 gallons is a mansion) and heat (78-80 degrees F, no fluctuations) will be active, make bubblenests, eat voraciously, and flare.

The blue water you see in chain shops like PetSmart is treated water to keep the fish healthier. Usually all it does is mask disease that would attack if the fish were living in normal, clean water. This is why, as a betta owner and a buyer of fish, one must be very careful in choosing a fish, and know the warning signs of disease.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 8:05PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

Nancy, if the water quality is bad or the water is cool or cold the fish become lathargic. Allthough I no longer have a betta (mine lived about 6 years) they do swimm about but will claim a spot or territory.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 10:29PM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

Nancy all but one of my bettas is in a 2.5 gallon tank. The three of them each swim ,flare,explore,and 'enjoy life' non stop all day and evening til I turn off the lights. My newest(Bailey) is in a 1 gallon container til his 5 gallon arrives. The rest will be upgraded to 5 gallon as well. I guess it just comes down to the personality of the fish,yet so far all of mine have been active once they were taken out of the small cups and given space to swim.
Minaku,ur a jewel!! Thanks for the great photo. When I first got interested in Bettas,I had no idea what a rice paddy looked like. Maybe that's why I bought the myth that these fish do well in tiny cups and such. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 11:57PM
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I have a betta in my 5 gallon, heavily-planted office tank, along with 3 kuhlis. It is filtered with a Mini Aqua clear, DIY CO2 and 30 watts of light. The betta, a female, swims around a bit but sepnds most of the time a the spot in the tank closest to me waiting for more food. A bit of pig she is!
And a bit of clarification on my first post. If the pet shop specializes in fish, they may well have a tank with dividers for bettas. Larger shops can't really afford the space to do so. I did see in one Pet Smart where they had male bettas, one each, in tanks with other fish. All seemed healthy and they were not in tanks with notorious fin nipping fish.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 1:20PM
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Nancy, one thing is to own a betta in your home and a completley different thing is how fish are handled for the trade, bettas in fish stores don´t stay there for a long time, when I had the aquarium store in a good week I could sell 20-30 bettas and I didn´t even unpack them from the teeny tiny plastic bag they came in, the bettas that weren´t sold during the week were transfered to containers, but never in those betta barracks that you hang on the sides of the aquariums because they interfere with the normal aquarium chores that take place everyday.

Since you quoted me I reply the same way, in a long term basis a betta bowl is not the proper way to keep a tropical fish, betta bowls are good for nothing in a long term use and they shouldn´t be kept in a small container.

On the other hand, words like total confinement, keeping and raising animals in total confiment doesn´t bother me, I am a Veterinarian, I´m used to that system and if someone thinks it´s cruel it´s their point of view, to me it´s not cruel, it doesn´t bother me even a little bit to see swine, cattle or birds raised in total confinement system as long as they are kept well fed and clean. Think of that when you purchase eggs or meat in the market everyday, the eggs you´re purchasing come from hens kept in total confinement, 4 hens in a cubic foot and a half space, it may sound cruel, I call it efficiency, the maximum ammount of animals kept in the minimum ammount of space available and possible.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 9:04PM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

Raul. It was I ,Grice,not Nancyisme who quoted you.So let's not heap that on Nancyisme unjustly alright?
"Words like total confinment,keeping and raising animals in total confinment doesn't bother me at all". Those were your words Raul,not mine.
How you view the treatment of animals(be it swine,cattle,or birds,etc)kept in confinement is your right and priveledge(Thank God for America and democracy).
I was in no way attempting to change your point of view. I was just sharing my thoughts.The only reason I even bothered to quote you was that the two responses (the one to me here recently an the prior one way back in Nov. of '04 seemed to vary considerably. Maybe it's the nature of my profession that I am a stickler for consitancy.
As for me purchasing meat or eggs in the store,well that doesn't not apply to me.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 3:05PM
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Thanks Grice, I appreciate that.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 10:50PM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

No problem,Nancyisme.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 11:57PM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

(This is a reply to a message emailed to me from Misssourmamma. I assume it was in regard to this thread that I started. The orginal message from Missourmamma follows.)
You know what,if you hate Walmart that's your buisness!

If you think I'm pushing Walmart as 'great' then you are terribly mistaken. Re-read my post about Walmart. I've never said they are the end all be all of retail.

If you like Target,hey shop there til your broke. It makes no difference to me. I shop there also if the price is right. But isn't that the point of retail shopping? Looking for the best bang for your buck is the golden rule of retail,from a consumer standpoint.
I don't limit my shopping to one outlet. I go where my dollar will stretch the furthest. Sometimes that's K-mart,Target,Home Depot.Lowes,Walmart,Walgreeens,Marshall Fields,Saks,Macy's,Petsmart,Internet outlets,etc...

If you bought your hamster a cage at a great price,well bless you and the hamster.

I urge you again,avoid Walmart at all costs if you are unhappy with the store,their policies,a and treatment of their employees!!

If they are treating their employees unjustly,then the employees have to unite and try to change the conditions or they can simply seek employment elsewhere. If the employees you've had contact with have not performed customer service to your satisfaction,you have two choices.

1.Complain to management about your experiance.

2. Stop going to Walmart!!

Simple huh?

Please the next time you have the urge to berate someone for a simple opinon,please read,understand what you read ,and for God's sake be a bit more informed.

From Missourmamma
Dude... What's so grand about Walmart?...I keep seeing you push
Walmart as a good place...they brainwash thier employees, underpay
them, have everything made in china,
lack in benefits...and the list goes on. The employees have a big
lack of information on any product..they just point you to where
things are at. They are driving family businesses to close...
I personally hate walmart and wont shop there anymore. I choose to
shop at Target. And Petsmart beats Walmart anyday.
I find the staff very helpful and the prices very
reasonable..especially compared to Petco. ( I once bought a small
hamster cage for $9 at Petsmart and found that the same one was $17
at Petco!)
Seriously, Walmart is a bad store.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 11:46AM
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You do state in the opening post of this that Wal Mart does better handling with Betta than Petsmart.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 10:31PM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

So what the heck is your point?
I never denied saying that and stick by that statement today!!
I think you and all others who feel the need to respond to this in such a defensive manner should keep a few things in mind.
1. I am stating my opinion.
2. I am speaking from my own individual experience here! I am not making a cross country tour/survey of Walmart or Petsmart ! I frankly don't give a rats hot a** about either company! Neither one if clothing or feeding my family.
In my part of the world,Walmart has bigger containers to house their bettas in than Petsmart does,
period!! END OF MY OBSERVATION!!!!!!
3. If Petsmart is doing a better job where you live,then God bless them.

4. I am not on Walmarts payroll,nor am I affliated with them beyond the occasional purchase from their pet/garden departments!!
So,to review,here in my retail market in the few Walmarts that I have gone into they(Walmart)provide 'better'living conditions(LARGER CONTAINERS) for betta fish than the few Petsmarts I have gone into. It's that simple. Honestly,from the reaction I have gotten,one would think that I have posted some message condoning an unholy abomination against humanity!!
People this was just an observation here from my own personal standpoint.
I never knew this would cause such a firestorm with me on the recieving end. I say to you all (across the country and I guess to be safe,across the world. To whom ever reads this.),if you don't like Walmart,avoid that place like the plague at all cost!! If you think they are the source of all things evil and should be destroyed,please let them know. Tell the management or better yet tell them where they are sure to listen and take note. How you may ask? DO NOT SHOP THERE! HIT THEM WHERE IT WILL HURT,IN THEIR MONEYBELTS!!
I had no idea that I would have to preface this thread with a disclaimer. Perhaps something like this would have appeased you Guppy
"The views of this thread are one man's opinion only". Does that make you feel better?
In closing,again I ask you GuppyGuppy,what the devil is your point?
Now if you will excuse me,I am off to enjoy the rest of my day off!!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 1:02PM
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seems like many are really taking this one to manic degrees! I had to read through more than a couple of times to figure out exactly where the whole thread was going.

I read guppy's response as an affirmation to your original post - not one that was dissing you!


Just enjoy your day off...

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 3:29PM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

Gee Sky,I reread it and perhaps you're right.
Guppy what was your intent?
Btw Skygee,I had a ball today.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 7:36PM
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I was just saying that maybe you were misunderstood by the statement you made in the first post. No hard feelings!! I didn't mean anything by it. Honestly. Skygee is right, I was most certainly not trying to diss you.
I do hope your day off was a good one!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 8:54PM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

Dear GuppyGuppy, it is ME who owes the apology. I somehow missed your meaning and flew off the handle unjustly.
I sincerly hope that you can forgive me for the tyrade.
I feel that I should try and explain why I reacted so strongly. You see I had just yesterday received an email sent directly to my mailbox berating me for this thread. The person apparently did not read and understand my meaning when I orginally posted. Well couple that with the recent death of a dear neighbor on Monday(the second neighbor to pass away in less than two months),a terrible fire,and health concerns of my 85 year old father and my spouse,well I am just about at the end of my teather. Yet that is no excuse for tearing into you unjustly.
I did'nt mean to lash out at you or anyone else.
Again,please accept my appologies. Btw,my day off was much needed and enjoyed.
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 9:49PM
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FuriousMachine(7 Virginia)

Well, to maybe shine a bright happy warm becon into this thread, you all will be happy to know that petsmart is changing the way that they handle their bettas. All new petsmarts that are being built are being furbished with betta barraks, and they they are going to start putting barracks into existing petsmarts as well. I can't say where I got this information from cause it was another fish forum and I would get in trouble for advertising it.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 9:48PM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

Thanks for the good news Furious.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 2:14AM
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Both Walmart and Petsmart near me use about the same container if not the exact same container to house the bettas..

    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 12:13AM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

Thanks for the post Minnesota. I was in a Meijer and strolled by the pet dept. and found some bettas in what seemed to be almost mini 'tanks'. They were not quite a half gallon but did look to be larger than the containers at both Petsmart and Walmart.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 4:17PM
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I saw some bettas in one of the kiosks (small stores in the mall--mostly disply tables) at my local mall and saw bettas in small containers looking lethargic and not moving much. One was in this round turtle container (not covered) where the water was only two to three inches deep. The poor fish looked dull in color and miserable. I was going to tell lady that ran that kiosk that that fish needed more water and a different set up but she had gone to a different location and couldn't be found. My petsmart keeps the fish in clear water and in containers where they can turn around. The fish look happy, too and good colored.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 7:26PM
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grice(z5 Michigan)

It's heartbreaking Alexis isn't it? I can't stand to see that kind of treatment to the poor little things. Unfortunatley,some do not know better and are'nt as informed as they should be when handling and vendoring live animals.
On the plus side,glad to hear about the Petmart in your area and the conditions in which they house their betta fish.
Btw,stay safe this hurricane season.
Minaku,I will implement your suggestions. Hopefully,Buddy will continue to do well. I'm not sure if you or someone has already answered this,but do the fins grow back?
Thanks .

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 8:39PM
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