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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My annoying dorm neighbor saw my happy fish and decided she wanted some, too. She went out and bought a 0.3 gallon plastic bowl and stuck a 4" fancy tail goldfish and a 3" common pleco in it. She plans on getting yet another goldie...poor fish are gasping for air and have been in there for 3 days. How are they still alive?!?! Also, her roommate has a long childhood hear of fish. Like she FREAKS out. That said, even the roommate feels bad for the fish....

ugh this girl makes me so upset!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah unfortunately that's all I can do. Also, I'm pretty sure she realizes that they probably won't survive, but is ready to get more.
 

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My sister did the same thing untill i keep telling he no. I think its the "they look so pretty" factor and they dont do the research to keep them alive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This girl is just kind of spontaneous and immature. Last week she wanted guinea pigs--too expensive. Before then, it was a bearded dragon--more expensive. The first week of school she randomly asked me if I wanted to help her pay for a hamster cage. I didn't even know her name then haha

She's also making moonshine under her bed...
 

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Now u sould like yous in a predicament. Moonshine you say. You may need to get to know her a little more.
 

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What have you told her to convince her that the bowl is too small? Try explaining to her that fish don't just breathe out CO2 like us, they breathe out ammonia and they poop it too. Ask her if she's ever smelled ammonia based cleaners that made her sneeze or cough and ask her how bad she thinks it might be to make the fish gasp at the surface. Do an ammonia test of the water if she'll let you. If she hasn't smelled ammonia, compare it to getting chlorinated pool water up your nose.

The goal is to make her sympathize with the fish so she feels it's worth making an effort to change their living conditions. Suggest helping her find a used tank and stocking it with some small, hardy, and cheap fish like long finned zebra danios, platies, guppies, etc. You could probably find a 10g with a stand, light, and filter for $20.

If your friend likes the fish and has been wanting a pet, don't tell her what she shouldn't do, tell her what she can do.
 

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Unfortunately, there are some people who just don't care, or don't want to.

One of my co-workers has been keeping fish for twelve years now. Every two to three weeks, she stops by the local chain store and picks up a pretty much random bag of "pretties". Doesn't matter to her what it is, how big it'll grow or what its needs are. If she wants blue fish, she buys blue fish. She just wants something new and pretty, or interesting. Or cheap.

Everything I say to her gets answered with "yeah, but it'll die soon anyway". She refuses to accept that fish are supposed to live longer than 3-6 months, that bacteria have a beneficial role in the tank (bacteria are germs and germs cause disease-that's why you toss your filter cartridge out every week) and if the new oscar eats all her guppies, so what? They were gonna' die soon anyway. A few larger fish have escaped her death trap by being commandeered by her son for his 55 gal "monster fish" tank--mostly oscars, balas, silver dollars and plecos--though the mortality rate is horrendous as the fish are typically already ammonia burned, stunted and malnourished.

The closest she's come to taking advice is asking me if I could recommend a fish that would eat all the dead fish that end up floating around her tank so she wouldn't have to get her hands dirty netting them out.
 

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Wow. Sounds like your friend might have a mental problem. Compartmentalizing things like that might be a symptom of OCD. (Note that OCD is not a fear of germs, but rather when distressing thoughts pop into the mind and won't go away unless the person does something to get rid of them.)

Is she aware that the number of symbiotic bacteria cells living within the human body is greater than the number of human cells? That irritable bowel syndrome is treated by eating supplements of live bacteria? That yogurt and cheese have bacteria deliberately added to them? That the main reason women get yeast infections is because their beneficial bacteria have been reduced by antibiotics and no longer outcompete the yeast? That there are more bacteria inside your mouth than there have been humans - ever? Or that bacteria clean up oil spills?

That's like someone saying that they don't want to add chemicals to their water... not realizing that water itself is a chemical.

Your friend doesn't realize how interconnected the world is.

This probably won't work, but maybe you could try to steer her towards an undergravel filter. Have her pay you to vacuum it every month or so. That way the tank is full of nitrate instead of ammonia. Not good, but better.

As an alternative, you could have her get zeolite and an ammonia sensor. Tell her that if the sensor changes color at all, that means the bacteria that eat the ammonia are going to start growing again, and the more the color changes, the more bacteria will grow. That should work.

See if you can figure out what she does care about. A concern about organic food could lead to a discussion about how the fish are swimming in the same chemicals used for fertilizer. And try to point out to her that if fish didn't live for more than 3-6 months in nature, salmon would never make it back from the ocean to spawn in their home rivers. And that every tuna she's ever eaten was several years old when it was caught. And that goldfish can live longer than humans. She's basically created a mental stereotype about both fish and bacteria. Anything you do to break the stereotype will help.

I personally believe that fish training needs to become more popular. People tend to like animals more when they think they're smart.
 

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She's compensating for a chemical imbalance, she feels empty without an extension... the moonshine thing? ? Probably just likes to get mashed..
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Your coworker is really insane. That would drive me nuts to know that was happening. Many people often consider fish to be decorative objects, when in fact they can be pretty intelligent animals. I learned the other day that fish have a longer attention span than humans do! They also feel pain the in same way mammals (including humans) feel.



Also, I've definitely spoke to my neighbor about why that's not a good way to own fish. She basically said that she could care less because they're "just" fish. It's hard to convince someone to take care of their pets if they don't consider them pets in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I just did an ammonia test. It's about 2.0ppm! The bowl is maybe less than 5" from front to back, yet it's so foggy the pleco is blending into the gravel :(
 

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imo sounds like the perfect fish for her is a betta. should be able to withstand the crappy watter she seems to be keeping.
 

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Even bettas will die in conditions like that.

Maybe in a 2.5g with some really fast-growing plants (anacharis, water sprite, etc.) by a window or under a lamp. But you're looking at $30+ unless she already has most of the supplies and can get the plants for free. If she needed help buying a hamster cage, she probably can't afford a decent aquarium setup either.
 
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