Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
GothSpice

How do I tell my friend her betta is miserable?

Recommended Posts

So my best friend is an absolute peach pie, and truly loves all the animals she keeps and tries to do right by them. Unfortunately, due to common misconceptions, her betta sits in an unfiltered, unheated bowl in the center of her table. She changes his water every few days, maybe as long as a week. The bowl is filled 1/4 of the way with large, smooth river rocks, and has one live plant dead center. She over feeds him as well.

Now the thing is, her cats, birds, and 20+ other fish are living in pretty sweet digs. She goes out of her way to provide them the best, most enriching lives possible. It's just this poor little betta. Every time I go over there I take a moment to see if he's even alive. He just kind of drifts, fins all limp and straggly. I want to say something, but I don't want to go about it the wrong way and make her feel as if I'm attacking or accusing her. Idk if she really even has room for a bigger tank at this point anyways, but her family is making plans to move to a larger property within the year.

Should I say something? Is it even my place? If so, how? I don't own bettas, so I can't point to mine for reference. Should I show her a video of a happy betta in a proper setup, let her see the difference? We often like to wander the aisles in Petco together, maybe linger by the bettas and comment on how sad it is that they keep them so poorly, and launch into a brief rundown on filters, heaters, and gallonage?

Any advice would be most appreciated, fellow fish-nuts!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So my best friend is an absolute peach pie, and truly loves all the animals she keeps and tries to do right by them. Unfortunately, due to common misconceptions, her betta sits in an unfiltered, unheated bowl in the center of her table. She changes his water every few days, maybe as long as a week. The bowl is filled 1/4 of the way with large, smooth river rocks, and has one live plant dead center. She over feeds him as well.

Now the thing is, her cats, birds, and 20+ other fish are living in pretty sweet digs. She goes out of her way to provide them the best, most enriching lives possible. It's just this poor little betta. Every time I go over there I take a moment to see if he's even alive. He just kind of drifts, fins all limp and straggly. I want to say something, but I don't want to go about it the wrong way and make her feel as if I'm attacking or accusing her. Idk if she really even has room for a bigger tank at this point anyways, but her family is making plans to move to a larger property within the year.

Should I say something? Is it even my place? If so, how? I don't own bettas, so I can't point to mine for reference. Should I show her a video of a happy betta in a proper setup, let her see the difference? We often like to wander the aisles in Petco together, maybe linger by the bettas and comment on how sad it is that they keep them so poorly, and launch into a brief rundown on filters, heaters, and gallonage?

Any advice would be most appreciated, fellow fish-nuts!

:yikes

Maybe you could say you are thinking of getting a betta and ask if she knows any good forums or websites for betta care (maybe mention you have been on a forum Kokosgoldfish for your goldfish questions)?

1. This might prompt her to look up some forums and kokos herself

2. It creates an in for you, to talk about betta care next time you see her (cos you researched it on the net)

:thumbup2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm it really depends on your personality and your relationship with your friend. Like is it one where you are really open about things? Personally, I'm kind of blunt so I would probably confront head on by saying her fish isn't happy and here is why and knowing my best friends they would be happy that I told them (we have the relationship that we are open about everything). If I didn't then I think I would just tell her that it's bugging you how her fish isn't properly cared for and maybe lay out a list of what a betta would need and why. I would I know not a lot of people are like that but you should definitely try to talk to her about it because your friend's fish might die. Like mention all the fish you have cared for and then tell her how many pet stores do not have the right knowledge to care for a fish and tell her that she should go do some research like you have to care for your fish.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why don't you ask her why she keeps her betta in a small, unfiltered, unheated tank when all of her other fish have what they need? You don't have to be confrontational if you don't want to. You can say that you saw that bettas need warm temperatures and do better in filtered water.

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How blunt you are will really depend on the friendship. If your relationship is anything like mine, we can say (or talk about) anything without causing problems.

I like Speckle's and Mothercrow's ideas too. Both are good ways to go about things gently. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why don't you ask her why she keeps her betta in a small, unfiltered, unheated tank when all of her other fish have what they need?

 

I like this question, but I wouldn't elaborate unless she explained.  Then ask if you could show her some pics/videos of betta tanks online.

 

I would just say that her betta looked unhappy and let her ask me why I thought so, then point out the symptoms.  Let her ask what is wrong with the setup.

 

People don't like it when you preach, so first get them to ask for advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd direct her to many of the excellent basic care sheets on betta forums and let her know these conditions make for sick, short lived fish. She may just not know. If she didn't show interest I wouldn't press the issue except to suggest that daily water changes would be a better fit for that small of a tank then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could also show her a betta tank that you personally found exciting, maybe one that would fit in the space she has--there are pretty 5g tanks that have small footprints-- and try to direct the conversation around to why the tank is better.

I'm just brainstorming. If it were me and one of my friends, I would be talking about my personal experience keeping fish in a bowl--can you say DISASTROUS, traumatizing, and nightmarish?--and how much more I like aquariums, how much better I feel knowing that the fish are getting enough oxygen and the water isn't reaching toxic levels quickly, how hard and stressful it was to maintain the bowl (you wouldn't think so, but I've found my aquarium so much easier to maintain even with larger water changes), and how many more options I have for decoration, to keep the betta entertained, because they get bored easily.

But then again, maybe my experiences have convinced my friends that they don't want fish. I can't get a single one of them to talk fish with me anymore.

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it's been several months since I've posted anything, but I'd like to let everyone know my friend's betta is now happily living in his own 10-gallon, filtered, heated, lighted tank! We're all amazed at the difference in appearance and behavior. I had begun dropping "hints" here and there, and she herself took the initiative to research betta care, finally culminating in the tank described above. Thanks for the input, guys! This one had a happy ending!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me it would not be a problem.  I would just tell her.  Who else is going to speak up for the betta?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is awesome!! :nana 

_________

I have two bettas in bowls :donthit: and two in mini filtered tanks. One was thrown at me, one was a rescue, one was a school betta I took home, and the other was an impulse buy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it's been several months since I've posted anything, but I'd like to let everyone know my friend's betta is now happily living in his own 10-gallon, filtered, heated, lighted tank! We're all amazed at the difference in appearance and behavior. I had begun dropping "hints" here and there, and she herself took the initiative to research betta care, finally culminating in the tank described above. Thanks for the input, guys! This one had a happy ending!

This is great news! :nana well done Ms Spice :hi5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is awesome!! :nana 

_________

I have two bettas in bowls :donthit: and two in mini filtered tanks. One was thrown at me, one was a rescue, one was a school betta I took home, and the other was an impulse buy.

You need a :wa for that one Mikey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is awesome!! :nana

_________

I have two bettas in bowls :donthit: and two in mini filtered tanks. One was thrown at me, one was a rescue, one was a school betta I took home, and the other was an impulse buy.

You need a :wa for that one Mikey
i know :rofl these guys are doing well with big bubble nests :peeka

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
  • Create New...