Hello, betta lovers :)
I have an 11-year-old friend who I have recently started tutoring (we were friends before that, she goes to the childcare I work at). She has 3 goldfish: two comets and a fantail. From her description of the tank, I'm guessing it's roughly 5 gallons. She frequently forgets to feed them and rarely cleans the tank.
For Easter I bought her a little TankMaid filter (not great, but better than nothing and I couldn't afford too much), with a bottle of Stability to help it cycle and a bottle of Prime for water changes. I wrote out instructions on the water changes she would need and gave her some elodea and duckweed to a) supplement their diet and b) help suck up bad crud. However, she turns off the filter at night because it "makes too much noise", then forgets to turn it back on in the morning.
I can't seem to impress upon her that she is taking terrible care of her fish. I desperately want to rescue her comets for the pond I am making, so that at least they can be in a proper environment, and her fantail will have that much less ammonia, but I don't think I'll be able to convince her to part with them.
I don't know how to tell her that the water quality is going to be causing her fish horrendous gill pain and that if she can't keep them properly, she doesn't deserve to have them. She knows and doesn't care that they won't live long or get big.
Is there any way I can help the fish and educate this girl without losing her friendship or her studentship (is that even a word?) Please help me. It makes me so sad to think of her fish. :(