One of the most popular fish that we sell in local fish stores is the male Betta, or Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens. These wonderful fish have all of the qualities we like to see in fish. They are beautiful, coming in many different color varieties, all with long flowing fins. They can be kept in small containers without need for aeration. They require only a small amount of food and their living-quarters only need cleaning once a week. However, for many stores, bettas often pose a number of problems. The major problem is simply that the bettas clamp their fins and die, usually with a degree of fungus. I would like to suggest a few important aspects of keeping and selling bettas in a retail store.
Keep Them Warm
Bettas are often thought of as a “room temperature” fish, meaning that they will do well at low temperatures. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Bettas are very tropical fish. They are raised in Asia at temperatures in the low 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and they need to be kept at around 80-degrees in the fish store. At lower temperatures, they pretty much just sit there, fold their fins and soon pass on.
Fish stores should use triple sulfa in their water. Triple sulfa does not color the water at all, but it provides good protection against fungus, which is the most common problem fish stores have with bettas.
Buy Good Fish
Bettas are available in all sizes and quality, and I strongly recommend that you buy the better, more expensive fish. The difference is not much, often being $0.25 or less, but that small extra cost will buy you larger, stronger and more colorful fish. Better fish will live better, and sell better.
Don’t go for the “exotic” colors and patterns. There will always be customers asking for a yellow, black or “cellophane” betta. These are fish they have seen in magazines or on the Internet, and often can cost $25 and up, and these folks are looking to buy one for $5 at your store. Don’t fall for it. I wholesale hundreds of bettas every week and the best selling colors are solid red, blue, green and purple.
I hope this little discourse helps. Bettas can be an important profit center for any fish room and if you start with top quality fish, keep them warm and use triple sulfa in their water you can make lots of money with these beautiful fish.