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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was horrified when in my grocer's floral department I saw a vase with a bunch of greens and stuff completely closing off the top, filled with water and a live fish in the bottom!<br><br><br><br>
I've seen these before. A coworker once got one as an unwanted gift. We all agreed animals shouldn't be given as gifts.<br><br><br><br>
But they were trying to think how to kill it bc they couldn't take care of it, didn't know how, didn't want to leave it there over the weekend, etc.<br><br><br><br>
I took it home and put it in a slightly larger, aeriated tank. Who knows if he was any happier. I tried, he lived for a while, but he passed. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br><br><br>
I want to write an angry letter, and I am not sure what to say. Any suggestions?
 

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I've seen those too. Supposedly they are self-substaining where the fish get enough oxygen and food from the plant. I'm not sure about that. Though a girl in my old office had one for a few years and it seemed ok. Regardless, I view it as cruel and selfish to keep a beta that way.
 

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My mom got one of those from my aunt for Christmas a few years back. Supposedly it's its own ecosystem, so you're not supposed to have to feed it or anything, but she went to a local fish store (pet fish, I mean) to check out if that was true, and the pet store owner got <i>really</i> animated as he explained how 99 times out of a 100 they don't produce enough food for the betta to survive, and that sometimes there won't be enough oxygen in the water, and various other problems. Apparently he gets people in all the time with these dead fish wondering why they died, and he's like, "You didn't feed it. You didn't give it fresh water. What do you expect?"<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, from then on they treated the fish like it was any normal small aquarium fish, but it's pretty unfair to give someone something they have to be responsible for as a gift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, I wrote a letter to both the HQ and my local store:<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">I was very distressed to see in the floral department of your store a vase of water stuffed with plants and a LIVE fish in the bottom.<br><br><br><br>
First, this product is meant to be a gift. Any local humane society advises that animals not be given as gifts, for they require special responsibility to be carefully cared for that the recipient may not be able to give.<br><br><br><br>
Second, as an experienced fish hobbyist, I know that regardless of the rational of the manufacturer (e.g. natural, self-sustaining ecosystem), fish need space, aeration, food, and careful water monitoring changes in order to live a healthy and happy life.<br><br><br><br>
Third, animals are beings, not mere decorations to be left on people's desks and forgotten. Selling an animal as a mere decoration is an insult to the dignity of conscious life.<br><br><br><br>
I know what happens to these vases. A co-worker once got one of these as a gift, could not care for it, and was going to flush the fish, while still alive, down the toilet! I offered to care for it instead. Unfortunately, the fates of the thousand of other fish out there are most likely not so fortunate.<br><br><br><br>
Please follow the lead of stores like Target, Rite Aid, Eckerd, Walgreens, and Albertsons who now refuse to sell these imprisoned animals. Every time I see one of these in your store, I plan to cease shopping until it is no longer there, or several months, whichever is longer. For more information, please see <a href="http://www.peta-online.org/feat/aquab/." target="_blank">http://www.peta-online.org/feat/aquab/.</a></div>
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<br><br><br>
Plus, I am going to a local AR/vegetarian meeting tonight, I'll pass on this info.
 

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Thalia, that's a nice letter!<br><br><br><br>
Mine would've probably been more filled with hatred. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"><br><br><br><br>
What store chain were you shopping in?
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":up:"> Thalia <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":up:"> Very Well Written!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh, and I got a message on my answering machine, today! They want me to call them back tomorrow. I only sent the thing to the HQ through the website this morning. Maybe I saved some fish!<br><br><br><br>
ETA- it was Giant Eagle. Only in Ohio, PA, and KY I think.
 

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What did the message say? Did they honestly sound concerned, or was it a generic message they send to all with comments??<br><br><br><br>
Exciting!!
 

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Very nice Thalia. I just saw one of these yesterday at a craft shop. They had maybe half a dozen or so different examples of containers and plants with these fish in them. I complained about it to the sales girl (as if that would do anything good) and she tried to assure me that they were well cared for. They did not look it.<br><br><br><br>
I quit going to a hair stylist because she started keeping beta males in glass cylinders like the glass barometers that are sold at Christmas. They were actually part of an otherwise cute display of her collection of fairy figurines but she admitted that she had to replace the fish all the time because they kept dying.
 

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Great letter, Thalia!! I also get angry and frustrated when I see these fish-in-vases for sale. I know of a few stores around here that sell them. Thalia, since your letter was so well-worded and I doubt I could do better on my own, do you mind if I send your letter to these stores?<br><br><br><br>
Cassie
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The message did sound sincere. Unfortunately I have not been able to call back, I've been busy.<br><br><br><br>
Cassie- If you have a specific store in mind near where you live who sells them, then by all means. I'll keep you updated one what happens.
 

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I own two Betta fish they are Siamese Fighting fish and both males so they live in seperate tanks because it is ilegal to fight them in Australia. I am also annoyyed at the small cups or glasses they live in. Mine each live in a good size for them. They normaly live in small puddles in Thai Land in rice fields. When I got mine fortunatly they weren't in small vases and stuff and the owner said feed them twice or once a day. I feed them 3 times a day because thats normaly how many times I eat a day. There really great pets too! I want to get a tank where they can see each other but not hurt each other. I have seen them and there small so I want to buy a big tank and put glass in the middle. I named mine Tofu and Soy. The guy at the store said not to store them in vases and stuff because they have a much shorter life and its inhumane. They live for 2-3 years.
 

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I'm a fish person too, and these things make me sick. Bettas eat mostly meat products!!! Look at the ingredients on a flake or pellet food made for bettas. Sure, they might eat the plants for a while, but only out of desperation. This is as bad as those "aquababies" where they put about 2 tiny fish (schooling fish, usually!) in a cube that holds about a liter of water. It's ridiculous the things they get away with. And don't even get me STARTED about them making "goldfish bowl" kits. Every time I see a show or movie that depicts goldfish in bowls, I cringe.
 

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Argh!! I knew aquababies were being banned at stores, but I didn't realize that still existed! Look!<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.aquababies.com/about_aquababies.htm" target="_blank">http://www.aquababies.com/about_aquababies.htm</a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">AquaBabies Aquariums are unique gifts for birthdays, holidays, graduation, or any special occasion. They are great in the office, on a table top, by a hospital bed or any other small area in which a living water ecosystem might be enjoyed!</div>
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<br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">AquaBabies exist in a perfect ecosystem. The tiny fish, aquatic plant, live rocks, and natural water share their habitat in balance and beauty.</div>
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What on Earth are live rocks and "natural water"???<br><br><br><br>
Oh look... they have a contact us link... <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Tiny Tanks (original information stolen from the desk of our Florida manufacturer) Florida, East Coast States<br><br>
Pond Pals - East Coast specifically Rhode Island (they have an almost identical copy of our information packets)<br><br>
MicroFish - Seattle area of Washington State<br><br>
AquaBuddies (WaterBuddies or WaterBabies)- This lady first sold AquaBabies and figures she can make them cheaper) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania<br><br>
AquaBettas - Dallas, Texas area<br><br>
AquaPals - East Coast States<br><br>
AquaMinis - Alberta, Canada<br><br>
Water Wonders - Southern California and perhaps other malls.<br><br>
Names of a few more that have come and gone: BioCube, MiniFins, AquaPets and we hope to add the above names to this list in the near future.</div>
</div>
<br>
 

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Oh wow, and I thought that was the strangest idea in the world when my bf's mom got home last summer with a siamese fighting fish in a plastic bag. I wondered because she does not have a fish tank, then she wanted to put it in a TINY TINY dark green glass vase (because she like green so much).. after much persuasion she picked a bigger VASE and to my horror stuck a plant on top of it. All my begging would not help. She said that the fish is veeery happy by itself and that it gets enough air, but it was dead the following morning. So she went to the store to get another fish to put under the plant, because you get a warranty with all the fish you buy there. Naturally, that one died, too, and it took two more fish lives for her to finally give up this cruelty! I was happy they died, because at least they did not have to live that horrible life in prison.<br><br><br><br>
How sick is that to keep a fish by itself- in a vase - crowded under the roots of a plant? How can that possibly bring you joy to watch?!?<br><br><br><br>
I also want to believe in the good in people, and that they don't know any better, but after you try to open their eyes they still don't care, how can that possibly be? I ask them how they would like to be in prison in a tiny cell by themselves for the rest of their lives, with the same wall to look at all day, and they laugh. Hey, that is NOT funny! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/mad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":mad:">
 

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Live rocks... I know... I've heard of "live rock" for marine aquariums, but I have no idea what they're talking about. I think they think they're including the "good bacteria" that you need with the tank, but how can you be sure? There's no way to test that water! And the one little plant is supposed to keep the water clean enough? *sigh*<br><br><br><br>
I guess they use zebra danios sometimes as the fish in those aquababies... but sometimes I wonder if my zebra danios are even happy enough in my 20 gallon tank! They swim so fast!
 

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I think that the plant- fish "gift" is little more than a fad that once again proves how some people value aesthetics more than what they consider "less than human" lifeforms. I took a betta fish home for free because some how its tail had been cut (I have no idea how) and they said it wouldn't grow back. Well it did, and I've had him for well over 2 years now, and he's still healthy.<br><br><br><br>
I believe in aeration (he's in a good sized fish bowl), and he loves the air bubbles. Just buy a small air pump and a small air stone (and tubing of course). I know a few ppl who have done this, and have kept their betta fish for a long time (Plus I change his water at least once a week). Don't fall for the plant vase--it's just another excuse for lazy people not to clean the fish water as frequently as they should.<br><br><br><br>
Peace <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)">
 

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It's more than a fad. The first time I saw one was about 5 years ago. In any event, I hope that people become disinterested in them soon so there's no market for them.
 

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I was curious to see what instructions for care would come with one of these and ran across <a href="http://www.bfranklincrafts.com/CraftIdea-Beta.html" target="_blank">this</a> . Read taking care of your "Eco-System" in case anyone's curious.
 
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