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Old 05-03-2013, 02:41 AM   #1 
bettacrazygirl86
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Family and Fish (rant?)

My family is all kind of ignorant towards fish. They know next to nothing about them, though my mom and sisters are learning. My step brother doesn't seem interested in them at all, and my step dad seems to have a bit of an interest and kind of seems to care about mine, at least...? He turns the lights on for them when I'm not home, so I guess that counts for something, right?

The thing that makes me angry though, is how ignorant and uncaring my sisters can be. It isn't entirely their fault, as my mom won't let them have a heated or filtered tank in their room, but they could at least try to keep up on water changes and care a little more. My sisters share a goldfish tank, which hasn't been cleaned since we got the thing about two years ago. They don't clean it and just keep overstocking it, no matter what I say about it. I can understand that they can't clean that particular tank, but a tiny 1 gallon betta bowl shouldn't be a problem, right? My one sister has a betta, which lives in a one gallon bowl in her room. She feeds him 6 pellets daily, divided into two meals. One meal in the morning before school, then one before bed. She's lazy and doesn't take out the uneaten pellets, which makes the bowl so nasty, it actually wreaks. It smells SO horrible, I can't stand to help her clean it. She doesn't clean it, either. I have to remind her, and she only does it when I'm willing to help. She's 10, and I'm sure she can do it herself now. I know of plenty of users that are about her age on this site that have plenty of bettas and care for them themselves. It's kind of ridiculous that she says she can't do it on her own.

Because of her lack of care for her fish, I took him and decided to use my supplies, tank, heater, and few medicines in an attempt to nurse him back to health. He has a bad case of fin rot, which is slowly working its way to his body. It's sad, but she doesn't seem to care. She simply says that when he dies, "which should be soon," she'll just get another one. She's even planning on what she wants the next one to look like. She can't care of it properly. It's going to live in a small bowl with so few water changes, he'd practically be swimming in his own filth, and he won't have a heater. She won't listen to me.

I told her that she should care about him more than she already does. When I told her that if one of my bettas died, I would probably cry, she laughed at me. I don't think she should have a betta if she simply thinks it's there for decoration and entertainment. They're a thing that needs to be cared for. It's a pet. Bettas are family members, that require your attention to live. They need to be fed, and cared for, and they need their homes cleaned. And if you can't contribute all of those things, I don't think you should have a pet. And these two kids wonder why we haven't been able to keep a pet? Gee, I wonder why.

I just don't know what to do to make them care more. I try to give them all these weird little facts about the fish, to maybe interest them more and make them want to keep them alive, but they don't seem to care.

How do your families treat fish? Are they careless, or do they actually have an interest and care for the fish?
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:25 AM   #2 
isochronism
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We have a welfare system for people that can't/won't take care of themselves, so others step in for them. The fish can't take care of themselves, so someone able should just step in and do it. I do understand family dynamics ... Would they take offense if you took the initiative? You seem to be the caring one of the whole family :)

Last edited by isochronism; 05-03-2013 at 06:27 AM. Reason: edit
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:10 AM   #3 
Ezzie
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I had pretty much the same situation (granted my previous bettas when i was younger were in 1 gallon bowls unheated but managed to live to 2-3 years old! i had enough sense to do 100% weekly water changes ) with my sister, I would bring home a betta and so would she, great right? NO.

She would always keep her bettas in horrible conditions, the water would be murky and basically a few cm's in the bowl. She would lose interest in the fish and stop caring, so you know what i did, I told her if she cant look after it, ill take it off her.

I did that 3 different times when we were younger and let me tell you i haven't seen a happier fish to be in fresh water.

If your sister it struggling to look after her fish, just take it away, if she wants to cry and have a whine about it tell her that unless she can prove that she actually cares about it, she wont be getting it back.
If your parents want to get involved then just let them smell the water of the tank and ask if that's acceptable to them to have something live like that, i bet with that gross stanky fish water smell the answer will be no

Sometimes we even have to be hard on our own family to get a message across, if you dont look after it, it will be taken away, simple!
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:11 AM   #4 
Ezzie
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I should also note she currently has another betta but with growing up im confident that she will be able to care for this one with my guidance, if not then ill do the same thing and split my 5gal tank for him :P
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:10 PM   #5 
quietlythundering
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I'm so sorry about your situation, BCG86.
My family actually has three dogs (a chihuahua, schnauzer/poodle mix, and a pitbull) and a couple of cats (Most notably, my girl Kiku, who is an inside cat.) They don't have anything scaly or finned, though while my three little brothers have expressed interest in them, my mom and stepdad usually step in and say no, only because they feel that the youngest two aren't ready for anything of that caliber, since they slack off on their chores all the time. Also, my mom and stepdad don't like reptiles or birds, so I feel as though if anything, they have a bigger chance of getting a fish. Another reason is money; we aren't well off, and reptiles (and fish, as I've found out!) are expensive!
In addition, in my family, we all care about animals, and would never mistreat one on purpose. One of the first things we've taught my youngest brother was is how to hold small animals (i.e., cats and dogs) and the fact that it's stuck with him to the point of correcting others is just awesome to me. They all write me off as a crazy fish lady, but at the end of the day, everyone listens to me when I talk to them about my fish, and the care I put into keeping them, and my parents have realized that bettas DO require lots of attention and money, something they hadn't known before I had mine, and they are genuinely impressed with my devotion and care towards them. I'm glad to have a family like that.
But if they ever were mistreating one, I know my mom and stepdad have my back on that issue.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:20 PM   #6 
Skyewillow
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just a quick note: Goldfish are coldwater fish, and don't need a heater.

I know a lot of people that just kind of blow a person off when they talk about pet care, or that animals are living creatures who deserve respect. So many people act like animals are disposable, and it's irritating, to say the least.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:33 PM   #7 
quietlythundering
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Have you brought this up with you parents? This is madness. I think that once you tell them, in express detail, why she is not responsible enough to care for a fish, and show them why (in detail) they might agree with you. The best thing to remember, I think, is to remain cool and calm; even if they don't agree with you, the last people you want to anger is your parents, who have a chance of being your best allies in this situation. Even if they aren't educated in the field of fish care, the fact that you have knowledge gives you a leg up. They've seen how happy and healthy your fish are, and it's important to let them know that what you're doing is exactly what she should be doing; and since she's not, and is in fact, waiting for the poor thing to die as opposed to actually trying to do something about it, then she has shown her irresponsibility. And if they don't care because "it's just a fish" then tell them that even fish we eat are treated with care, since they have to be in prime condition in order to be sold, and thus, a pet fish should not only be cared for as well as those food-fish, but even better. You can do it! I've got your back. :)
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:34 AM   #8 
bettacrazygirl86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isochronism View Post
We have a welfare system for people that can't/won't take care of themselves, so others step in for them. The fish can't take care of themselves, so someone able should just step in and do it. I do understand family dynamics ... Would they take offense if you took the initiative? You seem to be the caring one of the whole family :)
She's letting me take care of the fish, but when I tell her she needs to feed him and help clean his tank, she gets all huffy and gives me a hard time. I want to get the fish better so she can take him back and hopefully treat him better this time around. I showed her some pictures of orange VTs, and she does seem to want him to get better so he can "be pretty again." Here's hoping, I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezzie View Post
I had pretty much the same situation (granted my previous bettas when i was younger were in 1 gallon bowls unheated but managed to live to 2-3 years old! i had enough sense to do 100% weekly water changes ) with my sister, I would bring home a betta and so would she, great right? NO.

She would always keep her bettas in horrible conditions, the water would be murky and basically a few cm's in the bowl. She would lose interest in the fish and stop caring, so you know what i did, I told her if she cant look after it, ill take it off her.

I did that 3 different times when we were younger and let me tell you i haven't seen a happier fish to be in fresh water.

If your sister it struggling to look after her fish, just take it away, if she wants to cry and have a whine about it tell her that unless she can prove that she actually cares about it, she wont be getting it back.
If your parents want to get involved then just let them smell the water of the tank and ask if that's acceptable to them to have something live like that, i bet with that gross stanky fish water smell the answer will be no

Sometimes we even have to be hard on our own family to get a message across, if you dont look after it, it will be taken away, simple!
I did take him away, but I'm making her feed him and help with water changes. I have enough fish to take care of, plus school work to worry about, so I don't have time to take care of more fish. She has to help me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezzie View Post
I should also note she currently has another betta but with growing up im confident that she will be able to care for this one with my guidance, if not then ill do the same thing and split my 5gal tank for him :P
I would do the same thing with my sister's, but my 10 gallon is already going to be split 3 ways, between my 3 very, very healthy and happy bettas. I don't want to risk introducing anything to any of them, especially the baby. :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by quietlythundering View Post
I'm so sorry about your situation, BCG86.
My family actually has three dogs (a chihuahua, schnauzer/poodle mix, and a pitbull) and a couple of cats (Most notably, my girl Kiku, who is an inside cat.) They don't have anything scaly or finned, though while my three little brothers have expressed interest in them, my mom and stepdad usually step in and say no, only because they feel that the youngest two aren't ready for anything of that caliber, since they slack off on their chores all the time. Also, my mom and stepdad don't like reptiles or birds, so I feel as though if anything, they have a bigger chance of getting a fish. Another reason is money; we aren't well off, and reptiles (and fish, as I've found out!) are expensive!
In addition, in my family, we all care about animals, and would never mistreat one on purpose. One of the first things we've taught my youngest brother was is how to hold small animals (i.e., cats and dogs) and the fact that it's stuck with him to the point of correcting others is just awesome to me. They all write me off as a crazy fish lady, but at the end of the day, everyone listens to me when I talk to them about my fish, and the care I put into keeping them, and my parents have realized that bettas DO require lots of attention and money, something they hadn't known before I had mine, and they are genuinely impressed with my devotion and care towards them. I'm glad to have a family like that.
But if they ever were mistreating one, I know my mom and stepdad have my back on that issue.
You're lucky. Not a lot of families seem to understand. :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyewillow View Post
just a quick note: Goldfish are coldwater fish, and don't need a heater.

I know a lot of people that just kind of blow a person off when they talk about pet care, or that animals are living creatures who deserve respect. So many people act like animals are disposable, and it's irritating, to say the least.
They don't have a heater for their goldfish. Even if the goldfish did need a heater, they probably still wouldn't get one for them. :(

It really is irritating. I mean, I understand that they're kids, but when I was a kid, I understood the value of life and that every living thing should be treated with care. I had plenty of pets that were spoiled rotten and taken care of in the best way a little kid could on their own. My parents helped me take care of them all, of course, but the pets were all mine and I took care of them. I never just waited for an animal to die to replace it.

When my beloved dog died, we tried to replace her. I was like, 7, so it was pretty heartbreaking after having her my whole life. It just wasn't the same even with another dog. There's a special bond you form with a pet, and my sisters don't seem to understand that that bond can be formed with any kind of pet, including fish. I love my bettas. If I didn't, I probably wouldn't have spent quite as much money on them as I have already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quietlythundering View Post
Have you brought this up with you parents? This is madness. I think that once you tell them, in express detail, why she is not responsible enough to care for a fish, and show them why (in detail) they might agree with you. The best thing to remember, I think, is to remain cool and calm; even if they don't agree with you, the last people you want to anger is your parents, who have a chance of being your best allies in this situation. Even if they aren't educated in the field of fish care, the fact that you have knowledge gives you a leg up. They've seen how happy and healthy your fish are, and it's important to let them know that what you're doing is exactly what she should be doing; and since she's not, and is in fact, waiting for the poor thing to die as opposed to actually trying to do something about it, then she has shown her irresponsibility. And if they don't care because "it's just a fish" then tell them that even fish we eat are treated with care, since they have to be in prime condition in order to be sold, and thus, a pet fish should not only be cared for as well as those food-fish, but even better. You can do it! I've got your back. :)
My parents know that she doesn't take care of her fish. They whine and complain that they have to take care of our dog. They whined when we had our cats and they had to feed theirs and clean up after her. THEY are why we had to get rid of them, because they stopped caring for theirs and all of her "accidents" outside the litter box were blamed on MY cat, that I too care of. It's ridiculous, but I can't do anything about it that I already haven't tried.
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