Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Kim 10-11-2008 08:52 PM

The "how to kill a fish" class
Ok, I just need to complain about something!! Where I go to school, I take an animal management class. A couple weeks ago I was dismayed to see my teacher bring in a fish bowl that probably holds only I gallon, some flat marbles, a rough plastic plant, and you guessed it, a betta fish.

The poor little guy has no filter or heater. Furthermore, the school is only going to be heated to 65 degrees all winter! Since the cool weather has come in, he has been just floating near the top of the tank.

His water is only changed once a week, and if this isn't bad enough, it is changed by students. Now, most of the people who take this class do love animals, but this doesn't seem to transfer over to the fish, they just don't care about them! Anyway, the way that they change his water includes netting him out of the tank, putting him into a smaller container, rinsing everything out, putting all new water in (I don't even know if they use a conditioner or even attempt to match the temperature) and putting him back in.

The plastic plant in his tank is rough, and he already has small rips in his fins from it.

I should also mention that while we learn how to take care of every other animal in the class properly, my teacher knows NOTHING AT ALL about fish. It just makes me mad that this class is supposed to set a good example about how to properly care for animals, and this bad treatment is just perpetuating all the common myths about betta fish.

I should also mention that they managed to kill a goldfish in an approx 40 gal. tank. Yes, you heard properly, they killed a GOLDFISH! That tank is going to be way overstocked when, or should I say if, these fish reach full size, and they only do water changes once per month! Believe me, I have seen them do water changes, and there is so much gunk in there that it actually turns the normally alkaline water acidic! But, they have a solution to that too........just put a bit of pH up or pH down! Kinda reminds me of a mad scientist lab. That is how they killed the goldfish, they changed the pH quite drastically one day (yes, they just randomly decide to test the water every once in a while and if the pH is off, in goes the drops!!!) and the poor little guy just couldn't handle it. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that when they do water changes, whatever temp. water comes out of the faucet goes into the tank! So, on a chilly day when the tank is cool, they might add enough warm water to heat the tank into the 80's that is, if that faulty thermometer is actually working!

So, there you have it. The "how not to take care of fish" class, being passed off as a high school animal management class. Disgusting. I want to say something, but I really need to think of the right way to introduce it. Sometimes I have a habit of just listing the facts, which some people don't take to so well, so I am trying to figure out how to say it so that she will actually listen to me. It just makes me so mad! :mad:

AussieTimmeh 10-12-2008 04:07 AM

Well that sucks alot, sorry to hear it.

Amphitrite 10-12-2008 04:15 AM


Originally Posted by Kim (Post 147135)
I am trying to figure out how to say it so that she will actually listen to me. It just makes me so mad! :mad:

That's awful. How about telling her in a friendly manner that you keep fish at home and it's one of your particular interests. You could point out that the betta isn't receiving the best possible care, and offer to show everyone how it should be done. :)

Tyyrlym 10-12-2008 06:33 AM

That would be the best way to handle it. Let the know you keep fish and then show them how its done. This class could be a perfect opportunity to demonstrate to a lot of people how to properly care for a fish.

Little-Fizz 10-12-2008 10:12 AM

Ohhh man, I had a teacher like that once. Well good old Willy did listen to me about how you HAVE to change the water. But he didn't let me show him how. So he changed all his water out of the (I think) 20 gallon, stocked with... Hmmm 8 or so goldfish? Comets I believe. And then just dumped cold water in there. The next day one of his white comets was dead and my friend and I took him behind the portable and gave him the best burial possible (It was winter time). I'm sure theres still a dead goldfish back there, and I haven't been in his class room this year so I don't know if these poor Goldie's lives have gotten better or worse.

Anyways, I would have said something a while back. I can't stand that, I hate having a fish tank in my class room at school because its distracting and always upsets me when the SCIENCE teachers don't know how to take care of fish. I agree with what everyone else has said, explain that you are some what of a fish hobbyist and you take care of a lot of fish at home and want to see the Betta's life improved. Heck just give him the fish forum website and tell him to check it out then he can see just how bad his Betta's home is.

aunt kymmie 10-12-2008 10:47 AM

Science teachers....Mr. Peirce thought it was important that those of us in the 7th grade needed to understand the effects of alcohol. He put a poor fish in a dish (displayed on the overhead projecter) and put drops of alcohol in the dish as we all watched the poor fish swim around drunk, hitting the sides of the dish before he succumbed to alcohol poisoning.

I agree that you should offer to take care of the fish. Keep us updated in your efforts!

Flashygrrl 10-12-2008 01:39 PM

You need to ask if you can show him and the class how to better take care of the fish. Otherwise this will just continue.

As for the fish/alcohol thing...that's animal cruelty. I'd suggest talking to the office about it unless it's been a couple years already.

aunt kymmie 10-12-2008 02:14 PM

It happened in my 7th grade science class and the year was 1972. I'm sure things like that are not done in classrooms anymore. At least one would hope not!

Flashygrrl 10-12-2008 02:15 PM

lol....probably not.

Kim 10-12-2008 08:56 PM

I will definitely try to talk to her on Tuesday. I feel kind of like I would be responsible for any more deaths if I do nothing.

As for the fish/alcohol thing, I think that if it had been in my class I would have grabbed the fish and not given it back no matter what. Then I would have called the cops. Probably would have gotten into a boat load of trouble, but at that point I don't think that I would have been able to reason anyway!

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