You wouldn’t transport a kid or a puppy in a cardboard box, right? I mean, you’d have to be crazy to think  that would be OK. That’s why I was shocked when I saw that a Reddit user had posted photos of betta fish who had been transported in tiny plastic bags that had been stuffed into a cardboard box.

Check out the photos that blew my mind!

betta fish in tiny bag

betta fish in box

Betta fish in bag

As horrifying as this looks, it is actually standard practice in the pet-trade industry. Most fish are transported from dealers to pet stores in tiny, cramped bags and containers that don’t look anything like their natural habitats! In fact, the water that they’re transported in often contains a blue-colored tranquilizing agent that’s used to reduce their agitation while they endure bumpy, often days-long journeys from one end of the country to the other.

MYTHS
  • Betta fish can survive in tiny bowls or vases.
  • Bettas MUST be housed by themselves.
TRUTH
  • Being kept in a vase with a plant restricts bettas’ access to oxygen, which they take mainly from the surface of the water.
  • In nature, bettas eat mostly insects and insect larvae. They die slow, painful deaths from starvation if they are given only plant roots for food.
  • Female bettas can be housed together, and male betas can live with other species of fish.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

Helping is simple: All you need to do is let fish live in peace in their homes in the wild and never support pet stores that sell them. Already have fish? Check out this guide for caring for fish!