The Sad Truth About Your Fish Tank
Reccently I switched jobs, and became a "In-Home" Nurse. I find the work much easier than being in a hospital - Anyways my new job has me go and visit and take care of people who would rather stay home. This puts me inside said persons home for up to 4-5 hours a day. I visit many people during my week, and in doing so I wittiness some rather upsetting household conditions. Due to my position I am unable to say anything, Unless it is life threatening to a client or a child.
However one house has a fish tank. Joy I thought to myself! But as I approached the 50 gallon tank, I noticed 3 fish were dead. Quickly I analyzed the tank and noticed there was at least 40+ Tetras, 6 clown loaches, 2 cobalt lobsters, severak bloodfins and such in this tank!
"Hey, looks like you got some dead fish in here hehe.... So how many fish do you have?" I asked.
"Yeah Hahaha! They died last night, were going to go get 10 more in the morning. that will give us about 80 something fish." Both family members answered "Let Me guess your going to tell us we have too many fish and our 'PH' is too high? Righ?" She asked me in a snap
I just looked at her an smiled and nodded slowly "Your fish will die off to make bio room to support whatcha got. And even then they wont be happy but they will be alive."
In just 4 weeks I wittnessed the entire tank die off and be re-stocked twice! Over the past 3 months Ive been able to get them in the habbit of changing their water once every 3 months all the way up to once every 2 weeks for 50% Thats not where id like it to be but its better than nothing.
Four months go by and still they are replacing a minimum of 15 fish a month - not a total extinction of their tank, but still too many. Every other day it seems there is always some mangled up body of what was left of a fish, stuck to the side of the filter where 3 other fish constantly pick at it and nibble at it.
Im not able to convince them to let 60+ fish go, or to give them away. But these people did make me realize why I am able to buy so many colors of fish so cheap and so many varieties to choose from.
You are able to buy these fish and fish tank accessories so cheap - because somewhere out there, there is a person who murders them all every week and must restock with new victims.
Well that is certainly an upsetting rescue story. I have worked in animal rescue for years. Mostly dogs and horses so... I understand where you are coming from. Change is slow in these types of minds, but it sounds like you have eeked forward and least a tiny bit. Maybe in time, they will understand that they need to make changes to keep live fish. It is truly sad to think of all the horrors animals go through as our captives. Blessed are those who treat their animals with respect and kindness and may the others get an uncomfortable rash. Oops, I mean, I hope they will learn from their mistakes and grow a larger space for compassion within themselves.
That is a disgusting story, and sadly I am sure there are many many more situations like that out there, and not just with fish.
This is abuse, wether it is out of ignorance or not, it is abuse.
Fortunately, well I personally hope that the majority of us out there who keep fish 'captive' so so to speak are conscientious enough to educate ourselves, and caring enough to do the right thing.
We all make mistakes I am sure, I know I made a huge one recently! luckily no one died, but I nearly gave myself a heart attack with all the stress that it caused me! and we learn from these mistakes, but to continually do the same stupid stuff over and over.... that is unforgivable and if they are buying these fish from the same supplier then they are partly to blame too!
I have harped on about fish suppliers before, and won't continue here but someone should recognise the signs of trouble and at least step in and offer some sound advice when selling these people their replacement fish, rather than being blinded by the $$ signs in their eyes.
But life is life, and people are strange, like those that horde cats and live in piles of cat excrement, or dogs etc. its a mental illness and this kind of thing will always happen, and theres is nothing we can do about it. It is just a shame those poor animals who have no choice in the matter have to suffer. breaks my heart.
if they won't learn and change their ways I would report them to some humane society for animals...
(But i couldnt say anything because of my scrubs I was standing there in xD)
Other wise id mention something about one of my weekend clients drug using mother...
Good grief :shock: It is clear that they don't care about the well being of the fish and are just being selfish buying more and more to let them die off.
Kudos to you for getting them to take baby steps in tank maintenance. All you can do is keep trying to convince them that stocking less and maintaining more will be better for THEM since they don't care about the fish.
It is next to impossible to educate someone who thinks they know more than science does. We have had a few members here like that.
Not long ago, I was at a "Pet" store that claims to be very "Smart". I was there buying a new bubbler and air hose. While there, I overheard an older lady with her granddaughter talking with an associate and buying fish. She bought a South American Cichlid, two emerald/green cory, 2 Goldfish, a Clown Loach and a Koi fish. When asked what tanks (plural) she had, the older customer said "we have a 50 gallon in our living room. The associate asked if that was all, and the lady said yes in a stern voice. The associate (to her credit) tried to tell the lady that these fish don't mix and really tired to educate her. The customer would have none of it. She rudely said something to the effect of "just bag the fish". The the DIScredit of the associate, she bagged the fish. Another customer said something to the lady, but I couldn't hear what. She just raised her arm up in the air and walked away in anger. The same man went to the associate and asked her why she sold those fish to her. I didn't hear her response. I later talked to the man and he told me the associate said "we have to sell them anything they want to buy without question".
I honestly think people should have to obtain a license to own any fish. They should have to take a test and pass before getting said license. I also think the sale/ownership of fish should be HEAVILY regulated. That would mean all fish prices would rise, but fish abuse and idiot owners would decrease. Perhaps that's an overreaction, but as of right now that is what I feel.
At this same store, I always have to re-stack the Betta jars. The always put them one on top of the other, cutting off the air holes. Don't get me started on the poop-filled blue water.
The lack of education regarding fish out there is utterly frightening, and only when delving into the hobby and doing some research does the full extent of what is required to keep fish healthily and humanely come to light.
unfortunately, because fish don't have big sad puppy dog eyes, or waggy tails, or have the ability to let you know they are unhappy. Some people seem to still have the opinion that....."oh its just a fish" they'll forget in a few seconds, I'll just flush it, ooopps another 5 dead fish this week, won't bother looking at why, lets just go get some more!
This is probably what the majority of irresponsible pet owners think about keeping fish, and the few (although these few are hundreds upon thousands strong) of us out there who actually care, and really want to do our best for these creatures must keep doing our best, and help others when we can.
Little story... I was in my LFS one day and a guy and his probably 12 yr old daughter are picking out a goldfish, and I see the guy lean into the store persons ear and ask him, which one of these last the longest? and that says about all I need to say about that...... how many have met a watery grave due to lack of knowledge? very sad.
Makes me think of a friend of mine who drives me nuts. She consistently puts incompatible fish together in aquariums despite my pleading with her to stop. E.g., putting cold water and tropical fish together is her biggest crime against all things finned. *sigh* She'll buy a Pleco and put it in her (too small) goldfish tank and when it's dead three days later, buy another. Right now she's keeping goldfish with harlequin rasbora. I've told her how cruel this is, but it falls on deaf ears. Pisses me right off. I can't even discuss fish with her anymore. But so long as people can walk into a Petsmart and point to the fish they want, they'll get them.
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