Why Bettas Should Not Be Kept In A Vase - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2002, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Why Bettas Should Not Be Kept In A Vase

WHY BETTAS SHOULD NOT BE KEPT IN A VASE

The latest fad of keeping a betta fish in a vase with a peace lily can very dangerous for the fish! Read this article to find out why.

By Ramona Morgan

The argument made for keeping fish in a vase is that pumps, filters, and other aquarium equipment, do not exist in nature. By putting the fish in what appears to be a natural environment the assumption is made that it is inherently as healthy as, if not healthier than, an aquarium. That simply isn't the case. It is true that in nature the Betta lives in shallow rice paddies and swamps. However those waters represent a complete ecological system, which cannot be replicated in a small vase. Rice paddies are shallow but are still part of a much larger body of water that serves to dilute toxins. Scavengers and bacteria present in native waters break down wastes and render them harmless to fish.

In nature the Betta lives on a diet that consists predominantly of insects and insect larvae. In fact, Bettas contribute significantly in controlling mosquitoes that abound in their native habitat. The Betta's digestive tract is geared for meat. Its upturned mouth is designed to grab insects that have fallen into the water. Although they may be observed picking for morsels on plants and rocks, they are not bottom feeders by nature. A diet consisting of vegetable matter may keep them alive for a while, but it is not natural or healthy. Over time they will slowly be starved of the proper nutrients, and more easily fall victim to disease.

Another factor that has been completely overlooked in the Lily- Betta combination is the element of water temperature. The primary reason Bettas in small bowls are often listless is because the water temperature is too low. Bettas are native to countries such as Thailand where the climate is hot and moist. The ideal water temperature for the Betta is about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Although they can survive at lower temperatures, they become lethargic and may even refuse to eat. Unless you live in a very warm climate, the water in a vase cannot be maintained in the upper 70's to lower 80's. Subjecting the Betta to cool temperatures is the same as if you or I had to live in a house where the temperature that didn't rise above 60 degrees.

Lastly, there is the issue of how the betta breathes. Like other fish, the Betta derives oxygen from the water. However, it also has special organ that allows it to breathe air directly. Its upturned mouth allows it to easily gulp air from the surface, and therefore survive in waters that are low in oxygen. If the Lily vase is not properly set up, there will be insufficient open space at the top of the water for the Betta to reach the air. As the oxygen dissolved in the water is used up, the Betta will need to breathe air more often. Should it have trouble reaching the surface, it may become deprived of the oxygen it needs to survive.

The Peace Lily-Betta combination is clearly a popular fad, but it is neither natural nor healthy for the fish. A dog or cat owner would never consider shutting their pet in a small closet with minimal heat, food, and air. The Betta should not be treated any less humanely.

From Ramona Morgan of FishKeepersClub.

Wife to an amazing man,
mom to three wonderful kids (9, 5.10, 4),
2 dogs, 3 hermit crabs and 2 bettas

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2002, 12:04 PM
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great post, although this fad has nto yet hit our area
Thanks for the warning though
 
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2002, 06:14 PM
 
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That fad is big at a pet store near here........they have a million little "set-ups" for them.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2002, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Wal-Mart is the world's WORST for doing this.

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mom to three wonderful kids (9, 5.10, 4),
2 dogs, 3 hermit crabs and 2 bettas

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2002, 11:50 PM
 
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These are the kind of tanks at the fish store by my house.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-03-2002, 03:44 AM
 
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That vase is better that what I have seen in some of the bet shops! In Petco they have this vase that houses 2 bettas but isn't much bigger that houses one!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-03-2002, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Toirtis
Just discusssing this sort of thing on an aquarist list to which I belong. My current beef are the "Azoo" palm 'aquariums' (more like thimbles) that are showing up in shops. They look really neat and flashy, with cool shapes, special coloured gravel, and even clip-on miniature fluorescent lights! The problem? I measured a couple at my local Petcetera today...the largest was 4"x4"x4" (yes, that was the LARGEST), the smallest was 2" x 2.5" x 2.5"...really.

http://www.zzoounlimited.com/palm1.html
Ok, these I HAVE seen, but it has been YEARS now that you have seen bettas in small cups, or those small round plastic things......
I think THESE are better than the small beeer cups i have seen them in before!!
 
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-16-2002, 11:35 AM
 
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Thanks everyone

Yes, I was a bad owner. My first Christopher Marlowe was in a tall vase instead of a small bowl so I was good there. However he jumped ship so I surmised that the real Christopher Marlowe also committed suticide. Our next beta was a resuce from a very far-gone tank. algae had killed every other fish. Red survived several months.

Martha Stewart was the one who turned me onto the Beta/Peace Lilly fad and if one sets the system up right and also feeds the Beta regularly, as I did, then it probably is a more humane system then what you guys have witnessed at pet stores. Unfortunately, I was unsure about the air thing. This time when I filled the vase, I didn't leave enough room between the plant holder and the water surface. My poor Christopher couldn't breath. Now I know better and hopefully others know better now as well.

If you you do happen to keep a beta/peace lilly set up. Feed the Beta every day. Clean the water at least once a month and make sure that there is a space so the beta can get fresh air.

Thanks again guys. I hate being the cause of a pets death, but I am glad that I can help others learn.
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