I need to get this out of my system.
ALL fishes need a filter. Whether you are keeping a SGD$2 Betta, or a ten grand Arowana, they all need filters!
The reason for this is that a few close friends of mine have decided to go back to keeping fish. Take note of the words ‘go back’. This means that they have got fish keeping experience, and probably have got more experience than I do. I have to admit, although I have been keeping fishes for 2 years coming 3, I am still learning new things everyday.
I have committed the mistakes almost every fish keeper would have, from throwing fishes into a new tank, (although, the pet store is equally irresponsible for not telling me otherwise, and furthermore, encouraging me to do it. Yes, its great for sales, but just plain cruel to the fish, and for giving wrong information. I knew nothing about the Nitrogen cycle until when i woke up one day to cloudy water and half my fishes floating on the surface) to playing God by throwing in random medicine in hope that the fishes get better.
So when this supposedly more experienced friend, let’s name him A
(because he’s evil, like “A” in “Pretty Little Liars”), decided to get a Betta, the same time as I do(since the aquarium disaster episode), I asked if he has cycled his tank. All he told me was: ” A betta doesn’t need a cycled tank, nor a filter. Just a bowl, since Bettas live in stagnant water and can even survive in drains” I was outraged! For a split moment, whatever he said actually made me question myself and my beliefs in fish keeping. After all, he has more experience than I do.
A week later, another mutual friend (let’s name him B), also an experienced keeper, decided to keep a Betta too. To my disbelief, he heeded A’s advice and just threw the poor fish into a less than a gallon tank, with the water only half filled (reason being that Bettas jump. Bettas are strong fishes, which can easily leap that distance, and furthermore, it is unfair to shortchange their living environment when they just want to get out of that filthy environment)! With no surprise there, no filter. At the same time, A decided to get a 1 Ft tank, cycle if for 2-3 days with conditioned water (note that there’s no beneficial bacterial used), and threw in a monster fish, a Polypterus Senegal.
I feel so bad for the fishes. Imagine living in such conditions. Although I have tried to convince them otherwise, but they stood their ground, that what they did was right. If I should make them live in a cupboard box. they will be ok, being provided with food and water, but will they be happy?
Truth be told, I find myself questioning myself, All those hours spent on forums and websites, painstakingly learning about water parameters like pH levels and gaseous names (I’m not a chemistry student) and making sure that the fishes that I keep have the right living conditions, waiting for weeks to months on end for the water to cycle, and all they do is plop the fish into aged water without filters, so much for ammonia and unstable temperatures.
Frankly speaking, I blame pet stores for not educating the public. Making money at the expense of lives. Oh, and don’t get me started on pet stores. They are just cruel! Have you seen the little containers that they use to keep Bettas? Some of these containers have so much filth in them that the water turned brown with little room to swim!! This however, isn’t the case just for Singapore, but also everywhere around the world! I have talked to people in the US, who have also complained about the living conditions of Bettas in Petsmart and Walmarts.
I sincerely urge people to read up and do their research. Came across this website which gives insightful and yet easy to understand information. A filter is essential in any aquarium. It is where the beneficial bacterial grows and without it, ammonia levels will get out of control, especially in a small tank.
Please don’t make the same mistakes as me, these are living creatures after all. Just because pet shops put Bettas in tiny ass containers without filters, does not mean Bettas are meant to live the rest of their lives in a tiny ass cesspit you call their home.
please feel free to leave a comment below.
P/s: I do not hate A, we’re still friends. I just get very agitated when I see pet owners not giving their pets what’s best for them, even if it was within their means. Animal lover? 100% guilty as charged.