Mar 27, 2008

Making care booklets, anyone want to help?

  • If you don't want to read this monster of a post:
    making two booklets, one of general care and another directed at people
    working in pet stores to try and convince them to take better care of
    their bettas. Any ideas you guys have about content and any pictures
    you'll let me use would be great. These will be for free distribution
    and I will post them as PDFs when they're done so you guys can print
    them and distribute as you please.


so I go to pet stores a lot... I'm sure I'm not the only one. It's like
"I have ten minutes to kill... hey, pet store!" and then I spend more
money and tend to come home with a new fish... and it's all bad.

Recently, I was standing in PetSmart staring at their female bettas.
They were in with some other fish that obviously weren't the best tank
mates and they all had really, really dark stress marks. My boyfriend
comes up behind me and says "no", which is a fairly common occurrence.
"But look at them! They're so stressed..." to which he said something
that has been bouncing around in my head ever since "So don't buy them.
They'll just keep buying more so long as they sell." Now, I already
knew this, it just hadn't really sunk in... because really, staring at
those poor fish, what could I possibly do other than buy them? It's the
same with the males, even though every single male I've ever bought
from a pet store has died within the month - usually within the week -
due to a combination of ich and columnaris, usually.

yesterday I stopped into the pet store near my work on the way home and
was caught staring at the bettas. The lady working there walked up and
asked if I wanted to buy one and seemed kind of surprised when I said
no... because I had been standing there playing with one of them for
about five minutes already (gorgeous... almost black body, royal blue
fins... I wanted him...) so I explained that every pet store fish I buy
dies. Then she asked where I get my fish - Big Al's, breeders - and I
tried to tell her a few ways they could keep the fish healthier for the
week they're usually hanging around the store. She obviously didn't
know much about bettas, but she seemed concerned.

So that got me
thinking... if I made a booklet about this stuff - highlighting the
main problems with how bettas are kept in pet stores - something might
come of it. The higher-ups might not care, but at the level of the
employees actually working in the stores it's generally just ignorance.
I plan to give it to whoever I see working in the stores and somehow
make it clear that I'm not trying to make them stop selling and it will
be beneficial to them to not have their fish dying all the time. People
kind of like pets that live.

While I'm at it, I thought I might
make a simple "caring for your betta" booklet to distribute for free to
new owners. I'm sure at least some of the smaller stores won't have a
problem handing them out for me.

Now that I've said all that...
I need some input. Anything you think I should include would be great,
as well as some pictures of the most common ailments among pet store
fish. I plan to put these online somewhere as PDFs that you guys can
print them out aswell, once I have them done.

I'm about to start a list of things to include right now... just so I can be sure not to miss anything.

I won't take offense to you guys tearing my idea apart, if you feel
like it... so long as you don't take offense to me fighting back.
Arguing is one of my favourite pastimes ^^

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twocatsandafish said...

I'm pretty sure this will only be accepted at smaller non-chain pet stores. Petsmart doesn't usually allow things like that.

However, I still think you should at least try.

I made a "what I've learned about bettas" post in my journal a while back because some friends were interested in buying a betta and wanted to know what to do. For owners I think the key points are:
-what/how to feed
-how to take care of the tank
-what supplies you need in addition to the tank (i.e. a turkey baster for poop sucking-up and aquarium salt)
-where to find info about betta illnesses/remedies

Good luck! I hope it works out!

Jaime said...

I think it's a great idea and I hope pet stores will distribute them!! I would love to put a link to the PDF straight from Frosty's picture page on my webpage. :-)