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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every time I go into my LFS, there's some person buying a betta and a betta bowl at the same time. I could rant forever about how people don't do their research, but what gets me is the apathy that goes alongside this. I have a friend who keeps a bala shark like in a 20 gallon, and his mother has a common goldfish... in a 3 gallon. It was a carnival fish, that has somehow lived to be 5 years old, in a dirty 3 gallon tank. It can hardly turn around. I asked him if he'd consider convincing his mother to give it up to a LFS, but she likes her fish. And "when it dies" she's going to get a betta.

I asked why I can't see through the glass and he said the goldfish makes it dirty (duh) but that they clean it out once a month. I could just cry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So then...teach them.
@ichthyogeek No use. My friend doesn't take my advice seriously, and he just doesn't care (where the apathy part comes in). We're long distance now, so we communicate via online. Every time I tried explaining the size they grow to, how long they live, that they are messy eaters, need a large tank size, and stable water parameters, he wouldn't actually reply, he'd just show me random goldfish GIFs. It's the same as it was back then when his mum first got the fish; I had thought he'd taken my words to heart but the entire time that gold fish has been stuck in that little tank. I'm friends with his mum online so I sent her a message to talk about it. Maybe she'll have more sense.
 

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Sometimes you can't teach people who don't want to learn. You have obviously given your friend advice on how to care for fish. That's all you can do. You can lead a horse to water........
 

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well yikes, show him some pictures of abused sick fish online in tiny bowls, maybe knock some sense? if that doesn't work then if you have time, voluntarily clean his tank, makes sure that's a last resort as that will result in your friend being more an more lazy as days go on
 

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Half of the problem lies with the LFS. They aren't taking the time to educate the people that they sell to. As unfortunate as this sounds, a lot of people don't really care because these fish are cheap to buy and cheap to replace. When people spend more money on the fish, they are either more inclined to take care of it, or they learn an expensive lesson in caring for the fish. For example, years ago, one of my aunts bought a juvenile silver arowana and stuck it in a 20 gallon tank. As soon as I saw it, I informed her about how big it would get, and what would happen if the didn't get a bigger tank for it. She kind of laughed it off. When I saw her again some months later, she told me the fish had died, and that she would not be replacing it because it was expensive.

With regard to your friend, you can only do so much if they aren't willing to listen. 🤷‍♂️
 

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Goldfish like cool water. They would be happier around 60 degrees fahrenheit. I have this fantasy of keeping some in a big chilled tank with cool water plants. I would have two cannister filters. They deserve better treatment. Cooler water requires more surface area for gas exchange as I recall. Which means fewer fish per volume of water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
show him some pictures of abused sick fish online in tiny bowls
He took a picture of the goldfish in the dirty 3 gallon and it didn't seem to bother him at all--the picture is very disturbing to me. The fish can barely turn, the water is cloudy and the glass is dirty; so I don't think he cares. His mum told me that originally when she got a big fish tank for her son, the plan was to put the goldfish in there too. It wasn't compatible temperature-wise with the fish he wanted, so... instead of making it a tank for the goldfish, he bought a bala shark for it (tank is too size for a bala, I've told him, he doesn't care) and left the goldfish in the 3 gallon. I have no idea how it's alive after all this time but I feel so bad for it.

Half of the problem lies with the LFS. They aren't taking the time to educate the people that they sell to. As unfortunate as this sounds, a lot of people don't really care because these fish are cheap to buy and cheap to replace.
I do wish pet store companies allowed their employees to be more vocal. In a family-owned store the owner probably wouldn't mind laying down some facts, but in these more corporate ones, I can tell the employees don't want to make trouble. I hate confrontation, but every now and then I try to let a customer know that they should cycle their tank first before buying their fish. Best case scenario, someone is very interested in what I have to say and puts the fish back, but takes the tank home. Worst case scenario, the person doesn't give a damn and is kind of rude about it. I hate people.

I also dislike the whole carnival goldfish thing, because that's how this goldfish came into the picture.
 
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