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Andyandsue 04-21-2007 12:35 PM

What do I do? Goldfish bowl!!
I am "fish-sitting" for our neighbors while they are away for the week. The know I have fish, so they asked me to care (in my home) their goldfish. The instructions were that they just changed his water, so he'll be ok for the week (!), and give him a tiny pinch of food every day. They said he's on the old side (a year!) and may not make it through the week since he looked odd to them.

This poor thing has no substrate, no plants, no FILTER, no AIR. Nothing.

The inside of his gills look very red, he has a red spot on one side of his gill and it looks to me as if his growth has been stunted. He swims up to the surface constantly, and every once in while he takes enormous breaths.

I added some gravel and an extra plant that I had because I couldn't bear to look at an empty bowl. I just tested the water for ammonia only and it is .25 .

I don't know what to do for this poor thing. I lowered the water level to provide more surface area, and I added a bit of water conditioner and will probably change out some water. I also added a teeny tiny bit of salt water to the bowl last night.

What would you do?

Rue 04-21-2007 02:04 PM

I think you have several options...I suppose I'd:

Look after the fish the best I could...and make things better for him.

Upon the return of the neighbours, do a little non-aggressive education...explain that the fish is a baby and needs a 20g tank, filter, veggies in his diet, etc. and that the fish can be expected to live 20 years if well looked after (or more!)...

...I imagine they won't go for that case, offer to adopt him from them!


Andyandsue 04-21-2007 02:25 PM

It's such a mess. Not only are these my neighbors, but my son is friends with their son. So this fish being their son's, I can't offer to adopt their fish. This poor thing is destined to die after a short, painful life. :(

I don't want to insult them-the dad has a Doctorate Degree in Microbiology, so I'm pretty sure he knows what is going on but doesn't care all that much because "it's just a fish".

Amphitrite 04-21-2007 02:35 PM

It is a tricky situation. When returning the fish to them, I would just explain why it isn't looking well and tell them you've done what you can to inprove its conditions a little while they have been away. Explain the need for filtration, tank etc - and leave it to them. All you can do is try.

Falina 04-22-2007 08:52 AM

I agree, all you can do is tell them what's going on and how to help - unfortunately a lot of people don't seem to think of fish as animals and therefore don't treat them as such. If the fish is the son's, maybe suggest that for his next birthday or someting they get him a bigger tank so that he can keep another goldfish in with it or something? That way maybe the son will campaign for better conditions for the fish as well? I don't know, just a suggestion.

Andyandsue 04-22-2007 09:15 AM

Thank you. GREAT idea about the tank. His birthday party is actually in the coming weeks, and my son will be going to his party!!

I doubt they will go for it, but I will try anyway. You just never know. I will offer a small one gallon tank. It won't take up any more room, and it will have at the very least, an undergravel filter and air stone.

Rue 04-22-2007 11:12 AM

Just because the man has a PhD in micro, doesn't mean he knows squat about fish... me on that...

Andyandsue 04-22-2007 01:06 PM

No, but I'm sure he knows enough. I think he just plain old doesn't care...

Rue 04-22-2007 03:20 PM

If Dad doesn't care, maybe Mom does?

Andyandsue 04-22-2007 06:19 PM

She might care, but I have a feeling he "rules the house". I could be all wrong, but that is the feeling I am getting.

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