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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This guy next to me was buying fish for his kid. I listened as he asked the employee some questions. I was glad to hear her refuse to sell him a one-gallon bowl for a goldfish. But then she told him that "goldfish get big, so you need five to ten gallons for one fish." Ahhhhh! I felt like turning to the poor guy and saying, Actually, goldfish get this big (holding up my hands a foot apart): you will need a fifty-gallon tank or a pond.

But I'm too polite to butt into other people's conversations.

Would you have interrupted?
 

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No, I wouldn't, and not all fancy goldfish get that big, especially not when kept by amateur aquarium hobbyists. Personally, I would never keep any goldfish in any size tank, just because, as you might have noticed, this is a Planted Tank Forum, for people who want aquatic plants in their aquariums. Goldfish and aquatic plants go together much like dogs and bones!
 

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When my daughters were young, they kept a gold fish in a gallon bowl.

That fish lived for 5 years!!! And I don't think it was much bigger than when we got it.

Now, wasn't ideal I know, but they sure loved him, and took care of him well.

And they gave him a very original name........Mr. Fishy
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I guess I was thinking of comets- I had a friend in highschool whose mom kept some in a 100 gallon tank in the living room- that fish was easily a foot long. I still don't think even smaller fancies should be in a ten-gallon...

Yes I know they eat plants.

When I was a kid my sister had one goldfish after another in a bowl. I don't think any of them lasted much longer than a week or two. Granted, we probably didn't take very good care of them back then.

When my daughter brought home a bowl she'd won at a fair a few years ago- the goldfish that came in it promptly died- I thought a betta would be a better choice for a fishbowl. Took me a while to learn better, and putting java moss in there to improve things led me back into the hobby- so there's always a place to start from.
 

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No, I wouldn't, and not all fancy goldfish get that big, especially not when kept by amateur aquarium hobbyists. Personally, I would never keep any goldfish in any size tank, just because, as you might have noticed, this is a Planted Tank Forum, for people who want aquatic plants in their aquariums. Goldfish and aquatic plants go together much like dogs and bones!
Well, I mostly agree. But my out door ponds with water lilies, lotus and other aquatic plants would be rather sad affairs without the gold fish that lumber about in them. And Larry, a six year-old pure white koi who absolutely requires a steady diet of lemna most likely wouldn't be as happy (and old) if it weren't for lots of cambomba and anacharis to rest under. :)
 

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No I wouldn't personally interfere. I was getting some stuff for my tank and thought I heard someone asking if she is ready to get a fish after 2 days tank setup and the employee affirmed this. I did not want to hear and perhaps it was a figment of my imagination because I would like to believe it was not true.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Actually I think they do pretty well. I often hear them advising customers that a certain fish will get too large, or is aggressive, etc. And this employee did tell the customer that goldfish produce a lot of waste and need a really good filter. The place looked very clean, much better than last time I was in there (few months ago). I just had that internal reaction because I thought no goldfish could live well in a ten-gallon tank. I didn't say anything. I'm in no way qualified to run a shop myself.
 

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Yeah I agree with not interrupting. No employee would appreciate it. A long time ago, the owner of a LFS was talking with a customer about aquatic plants. Typical LFS with really bad looking plants in various tanks. So I mentioned co2. To save face, his response was "that's cheating."

I just laughed and walked away.
 

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I've had know-it-all customers interrupt me before and it's never really productive.

For example, I had a novice asking me questions about betta care. I was really trying to emphasize that:
1. A betta does best in a heated, filtered tank
2. that the larger tank they got the happier the betta would be
3. and that maintenance would be easier and less frequent in a larger tank
Because, of course, they were under the false impression that a bowl would be a suitable home.

As I was giving my "it's really easy" speech about water conditioner, the novice--head in the clouds, gerbils running--interrupted, "So if I got a bigger tank could I keep two of them?" and I told them, "No, bettas are very territorial and while they could live peacefully with most other tropical fish, they can't share with another betta." At this point a customer who was standing 20 feet away down the aisle interrupted, " WEELL, NO! you can keep lots of bettas together when they're female!" Then, he set whatever he was looking at down on the shelf rather firmly, turned around in a huff and walked directly out the door.

I looked back at the novice customer, and probably blushed a little; I could tell they were probably already a little too overloaded with information, and that taking care of a betta was going to be a more expensive investment than they realized they were getting into. So, I explained that we didn't sell female bettas, and while the interrupting guy was right, betta sororities don't always work because females can still be very temperamental and that it wasn't feat I'd really consider appropriate for someone just learning about tap water conditioner that day. Anyways, I talked to them a little longer and they didn't leave with anything. Another person not in the hobby.

It's really frustrating because at the store I'm at I probably have 100 conversations with people about dog food (that I really don't give a crap about) just to have that one conversation a week with someone who thinks they might want to join our hobby.

tl;dr I was trying to explain to a novice the basics not killing a betta and some guy who was looking for something to be offended by waited nearby and then ruined any trust I was building with the customer.
 
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