How to get people to properly are for their Betta
So, I work at Petsmart, and people come in all the time wanting a simple pet that doesn’t require a lot of TLC because of their busy schedules. Whether they’re a small child getting their first pet, a college student needing a companion for their dorm, or an adult wanting a hobby, fish can be a good and bad option. It always depends on the person what kind of pet they should have, but for right now, I am going to use the scenario with the college student.
So a girl comes in and says she wants a fish. She just moved in an apartment by herself and dogs and cats are extra money to keep them. She doesn’t like reptiles, and knows small animals and birds need attention, and she doesn’t have all the time. She has classes and a part time job to juggle, so she settles for a fish.
This girl asks for my help to get the basics for caring for a fish. She told me that she wants something that’s pretty and not ‘basic like a goldfish.“ So I show her the Bettas. She picks one out that she likes, then asks where the fish bowls are. I always cringe when people ask me, but I will always fight for the Betta. I mention that once her betta gets bigger, he will get very crowded, become unhappy, loose his color and probably die. Granted, some people have claimed they had a betta in a bowl for the longest time, but its a low percentage that they’ll last a while depending on amount of care.
So, I tell this girl about the low likely hood of her betta surviving in a bowl, and she asks for my suggestion. I show her the smaller tanks and say, "2.5 gallon is the smallest I would go for a younger, smaller betta. I would update it to a larger tank once he gets bigger.”
“But they’re kept in these cups for who knows how long, why isn’t a bowl enough?” That was the moment I came up with an analogy. I asked her how many bedroom apartment she lived in, and she told me she lived in an efficiency apartment.
“Okay, so imagine that being in these cups is like living in your bathroom. Then when someone put you in a bowl, add your kitchen to that space. Sounds crowded, right? Now, a 2.5gal is like an efficiency apartment. Its the minimum space anyone could mind living in, but you don’t want to live in one forever. So you eventually get a 1 bedroom, which is like a 3.5gal. Once you move up in life you can get a house, which is like a 5 or 10gal tank, depending on your budget and you can even add a roommate or two at this point. Now, after thinking, which would you prefer to start out in?”
And that is how you get someone to get an actual filtered tank with a heater and to properly care for a betta. I’ve used this analogy on a few different people and its worked 80% of the time.
People, please understand that you don’t want to live in a cramped space
So why should your pet?