There are many products similar to the one shown above.
It consists of a vase or small container (even sometimes a large one)
with a male Betta Splenden inside and a plants of some kind (most often
a Peace Lily) on top. The worst part about these setups is that the
persons selling them most often then not, tell the buyer that the betta
does NOT need to be fed and can live off the roots or tells them to feed
him VERY little. To add insult to
injury, they also tell you that the water does not need to be changed.
They claim that this is a mini ecosystem where the plant lives off the excrement
of the betta and the betta lives off the roots of the plants. This is
entirely not true. Here are a few important facts :
1) Bettas a carnivorous fish, meaning they eat meat. This blows the
whole idea of them living off the roots. You may see your betta nibbling
at the roots, but if you were hungry enough, you would nibble too :( They need to be fed a supplement
DAILY, twice a day is good too. A few choices are Hikari Betta Bio
Gold (Hikari Cichlid Gold, baby size is the same thing, but more
economical), HBH Betta Bytes or AquaCultures Bettas (which I recommend). Bettas do not generally care for flake
food. Many people who have bought these vases have found that their
betta will not survive without food and immediately go out and buy them
some. This is why when I see one of these for sale, I urge the business
to tell their customers the truth. The customer would rather keep their
fish alive. Sometimes, the business themselves is ignorant to the facts
and knows no better than what THEY were told,.
2) Fish waste produces a chemical called Ammonia. Ammonia is toxic to
fish, therefore regular water changes are necessary. The plant cannot
take care of this problem entirely. Weekly water changes are the best way to
ensure you have a healthy happy fish. I also urge businesses to tell
their customers this as well. When changing their water use either
bottled SPRING water (not distilled, it lacks essential elements) or use
can use tap water treated with a dechlorinator such as Novaqua/Amquel,
Stress Coat or AquaSafe.
3) Bettas breathe the oxygen from the
surface of the water. This can pose a problem if the roots are left to
over take the surface area. It is really better for them to get to the surface to breathe.
they do have gills and can breathe from the water, but their preferred
method is the surface. I have seen bettas 'drown' with lack of
surface area to breathe from.
I have found that most people/businesses selling these products, do
so without the knowledge that this does not work. As far as they know,
what they were told is the truth. Almost everyone I have spoken with about
these was more than willing to change the way they marketed this product
by informing their customers that the bettas do in fact need to be fed
and that frequent water changes are necessary. If we approach everyone
we see/hear of selling these in a polite and informative way, we may be
able to make a difference.
If you have bought one of these products, don't hesitate to buy your
betta some food, it can take 2-4 weeks for a betta to starve to death
and sometimes longer.
That is why these products sell, they seem to work for that period of
a first hand experience with what can happen when these are sold.