This is not how I normally operate actually. I am someone who does a lot of research typically as I did for my beta (little good it did me). I tried to save details to keep my post from being too long but here they are now. I'm working on my master's thesis in biochemistry (actually my department is biochem but my thesis is really more genomics/bioinformatics) and I have moved back in with my parents (shame shame I know) while I am finishing it.
So actually this was something my mom did with my neighbor since they are good friends. She didn't even ask me first, she asked me afterward and I thought, if they already have a tank that is set up and running, cycled, living fish I could take it and refresh my memory about all the care. Like I said, I did have this very same tank before.
And it wasn't until today I realized that the tank was coming over. I thought I was going to have more time. I mean the first time I had this tank, I bought the tank at the store almost on a whim, yes but I didn't buy any fish. I bought some books and I read how to set it up. I did a fishless cycle I remember being quite frustrated that I had to wait so long to get fish.
Ok now that I'm done sort of defending myself a little-- here's the story and it isn't pretty. I was picturing they were going to come over with the tank and then with the water or most of the water in jugs or something. This is how I did it with my beta because we all lost power the other day and my beta's tank was getting cold. So I put all his water into jugs so I could haul the water and his tank to my neighbor's house (they have a generator) and then I poured the water back in so it was still the same water.
What they actually delivered was an empty tank and a gallon container with the fish in it and that's it. In fact she threw out the old filter and gave me a new one. :( And here's the whole story of these fish I now own (she either didn't tell my mom this or my mom failed to mention it to me), she had this tank full of fish and then she got a new one from MallWart and after 3 days (she didn't quarantine) almost all the fish were dead except for these four. It's been a month and these four are still alive.
I'm not sure the exact species but I'll take pictures and/or look them up to ID them. One is a type of shark, the other is a type of the kind that clean the tank (totally blanking on the name), and two are tetra-like schooling fish (not the same species though).
So I cleaned up the tank which was pretty gross and I set it up with fresh water since that's all I had. The water was already slightly warm and I turned on the heater and the filter and bubbler. And I'm going to slowly change the water between their gallon and the tank and then maybe float them in a bag for a while before putting them in.
Then tomorrow I'm going to run to the store (don't think they'd be open by the time I got there today--I live in the boonies) and pick up whatever I need I imagine that will be a test kit, pH up and down (although on the beta board I remember them saying not to use those?).
You're right though, I should have handled this better. I should have called the neighbor myself after my mom told me and gotten more of the whole story and been more assertive about when I could take the tank and maybe go over there and moved it myself or something. I don't mean, by my previous comments, that I am trying to shirk my responsibility in this. Generally I am not this type of person especially with animals but still, I could have played a much more active role in getting it done right instead of how it was handled.
So can anyone suggest where I should go from here? I have read once about doing fish-in cycling and that if you keep on top of things it can work, it's just not ideal.