The Fish Vase or “Betta In A Vase” display is a new fad on the market today. It might sound like a nice thing, and the price is tempting. People figure they are getting a Betta and a plant for a somewhat low price and it seems a good deal.
What This Display Is. It is a vase, filled with distilled water, with a Betta in it and a plant (usually a Peace Lily) at the top. Both the Betta and the plant's roots are supposed to share the small amount of water in the vase, where the fish is supposed to live his entire existence eating the roots. The diabolic display comes with an instruction to not feed the Betta nor change the water EVER.
The Reality. Bettas will never thrive in such a display because:
• Bettas are carnivorous and although out of despair they might eat roots, they cannot survive long that way.
• Distilled water is not adequate for fish. It is lacking all the proper elements Bettas need to be healthy.
• In such a small amount of water, how does one plan on preserving the ever fragile balance between: fish eating, fish excreting waste, plant neutralizing fish waste and plant then cleaning water, plant being healthy enough to grow roots just enough to feed Betta the perfect amount of food daily, etc. You can see how one small change could radically affect the system and invariably cause the Betta's death.
• People have been reporting that their Bettas die within 1 to 6 weeks. They starve to death or become diseased because of poor water conditions.
The Right Thing To Do. If you see such displays out there DO NOT BUY THEM. They are designed to make big companies big money, at the expense of your Betta.
Take Action. If you already own such a display you can still save your fish, here is what you can do:
• Keep plant roots trimmed back and very clean.
• Favor the Betta over the plant. Make the Betta happy and if the plant does not like it, move the plant to its own pot.
• Feed your Betta daily the proper Betta food.
• Make weekly water changes.
• Provide your fish with basic Betta care requirements.