PetSmart: Stop Selling Fish Tanks That Hold Less Than 1 Gallon of Water
  • Petitioned Joseph O'Leary

This petition was delivered to:

Executive Vice President of Merchandising, Supply Chain, and Strategy
Joseph O'Leary

PetSmart: Stop Selling Fish Tanks That Hold Less Than 1 Gallon of Water

    1. Petition by

      Betta Fish Awareness Day

Betta splendens, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, are a species of fish as popular as they are misunderstood. Many myths and misconceptions that harm betta fish contribute to their often unintentional abuse and neglect. The most common myth that is perpetuated by pet stores, such as PetSmart Inc., is through the sales of dangerous products, such as fish tanks that hold less than 1 gallon of water. 

Fish tanks that hold less than 1 gallon of water are harmful to all fish species, especially the betta fish that they are often marketed toward. Both the United Kingdom's and Australia's Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA) condemn the sale of these small tanks. The United States of America, however, does not enforce its animal cruelty laws for fish to the extent that these countries do, which allows for the sale of these deadly fish tanks. In addition, the myth that betta fish live in puddles naturally in the wild also contributes to the idea that it is acceptable to sell these tanks. There is even a myth that betta fish will die if placed in a larger tank because they will panic from not being able to defend such a large territory. Neither of these myths are true. RSPCA Australia notes that "while it is possible for Siamese fighting fish to survive a short while in a small tank, this is not an appropriate environment for permanent housing."  

PetSmart Inc. not only sells these tanks but puts them next to the betta fish and even sets them up as demonstrations. Some of these tanks are even divided in half in order to house two betta fish. Often they are labelled as "ideal" homes for betta fish and are purposely advertised to new betta fish owners either through PetSmart Inc.'s website or in stores. 

These tanks are harmful because "overcrowding fish in a small volume of water will lead to high levels of harmful chemicals such as ammonia and nitrite, which can poison the fish and cause disease or even death" (RSPCA United Kingdom). In addition to concentrating high levels of toxic chemicals, these tanks cannot be adequately heated or maintain a constant temperature between 72 to 85 degrees that betta fish, which are tropical, need to survive. Cold water leads to lethargic behavior, illness, and stress.  No amount of water changes or perfect water conditions would make these tanks appropriate as a result.

By removing fish tanks that are less than 1 gallon from the store for pet keeping purposes, betta fish owners will not have the opportunity to place their pet in a toxic and deadly environment. In addition, the removal of these tanks will help take a step toward ending the myths about betta fish care and will provide a healthy, suitable, environment that betta fish are often denied. Like all animals, fish deserve proper care and should not be disregarded simply because they are small. Harmful and deadly products should not be made available for purchase for any animal, fish included.

It is time that PetSmart Inc. stops selling fish tanks that promote harm to the living creatures they sell.


RSPCA Australia. "RSPCA Australia Knowledgebase." What Sort of Environment Should Siamese Fighting Fish Be Kept In? -. Web. 02 May 2012. .

RSPCA UK. "Decorative Fish Tanks Are Inadequate for Fish." RSPCA United Kingdom. RSPCA United Kingdom. Web. 02 May 2012. .

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 500 signatures
    2. 10% of signatures reached!

      Betta Fish Awareness Day would like to thank each and every one of its supporters against the sale of fish tanks that hold under 1 gallon of water for permanent housing purposes. 10% of the signature goal has now been reached thanks to everyone's help. However, it is still a long way until change will be made. PetSmart Inc. needs to realise the dangers of small tank housing and the more voices there are speaking out about this matter, the more PetSmart Inc. will become aware of the issue. Although it seems like a lot, 100 united voices are mere whispers to a corporation. Please send this petition to of the all animal lovers and fish hobbyists you know who are against animal abuse and animal cruelty. With education and a united voice, change can be made. Be the change you want to see: Speak out against animal cruelty on behalf of all animals, even the tiniest of creatures. Fish need just as much care and proper treatment as any other living creature. Thank you.

    3. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • almost 2 years ago

      Fish welfare should ALWAYS come before fashion and these tanks are just disgusting.

    • James Foley THUNDER BAY, CANADA
      • almost 2 years ago

      I used to be an aquarium store owner. I never sold any fish for tanks under 5 gallons. It's just not right.

    • Michelle Araya THUNDER BAY, CANADA
      • almost 2 years ago

      people look up to those selling them pets to have some knowledge, if something isn't safe then its irresponsible to sell it

    • Kyla Turner THUNDER BAY, CANADA
      • almost 2 years ago

      Encouraging the improper housing of any species of fish is cruel and inhumane. It leads to loss of life for the fish and the stress of losing the fish discourages people away from the hobby.

    • Kenny Geary MOUNT WASHINGTON, KY
      • almost 2 years ago

      Pets need to have normal standards of living vital to stay alive & comfort.


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