Hello, my name is Shepaski...and I am here to admit that I am a horrible aquarium/fish owner.
I hope I am writing this is the correct section of the forum, this is like an introduction of myself and I am writing my greetings in this way because I don't want people to start scolding me when I ask a completely ignorant question or when they see how horrible I am treating my fish (though I am prepared to get scolded in the beginning). I come with an open mind to learn, and I now wish to learn how to care for my Betta fish properly.
I am what most people would see as a extremely "normal" Fish owner, or what i would like to classify as a human, who keeps fish's mostly as décor or for novelty because I like viewing a tank with fish swimming around, and I like the fact that I am keeping them.
Before I get going with the story, I shall list why I am considered a horrible owner.
My fish live in a 30 X 30 square tank. It's filtered with a H-300 Dolphin filter. And that is it, I have never considered to get a heater at all(despite the fact that the tank is in my room where my brother and I turn on the AC occasionally), I do not understand the use of adding a pump and i have never checked the pH level of the water in my tank
I own a bunch of corydoras, some otocinclus cat fish suckers. one balloon lamp eye fish, 2 black phantom tetras, 2 female bettas and 1 male betta. All of which are in the same tank, no divider what so ever
I currently have 2 sick fish in my tank, them being my Phantom tetra and one of my female Bettas. My female (named Tiny) is the reason why i have decided to come online and actually figure out things i never bothered to look up before. I noticed Tiny had some white growth on her head some months back, it looked like a wound and I, being your "average" owner didn't think to look twice when I fish saw the wound (or growth, i really don't know what i is). Thanks to my ignorance, roughly 2-3 months later, Tiny's head is now half eaten and now i have to put her down or let her die. please refer to this thread for pictures http://www.bettafish.com/showthread.php?t=124488
In the past (and still in the present) I have never cared for any of my sick fish before in my 3 years of owning this tank. I've had about 8 betta fish die due to disease under me, 1 of which I..murdered.. each usually living up to a year or so before passing away. 3 out of these died because of my inexperience with tubiflex worms, 1 died because she jumped out of the tank and her head wound from drying up never healed, eventually catching Dropsy and dying. 2 males died, one from dropsy (my fish betta) and the other..i suspect from old age, but he was always hiding, and his color begun to fade with a slight case of fin rott (he was with me for 2 years but he was roughly 3 because he was adopted form my friend who bought him on impulse), 1 female passed away from dropsy. The only fish i ever murdered was a very territorial female I once owned who refused to allow any of the other fish to even go near the food in the tank, I flushed her down the toilet alive and I understand that i shouldn't have and regret that i ever did that. Also, because i have never heard of euthanizing a fish before(thought never crossed my mind). I left my Bolivian Ram in a bucket in the bathroom when it was unwell and waited for it to die.
All of these cases, I never bothered to look up the cause and methods to cure them (a trait passed down from the friend who got me started in all of this). But this time, because the wound on Tiny's face is so bad (literally half her face is gone including one eye) I really feel that I should start caring for my fish the way i would care for any other animal. Because i've still been doing it all wrong, because i've been neglecting them when they are sick.
Before i got into owning fish, i knew nothing about caring for them and my bettas would only last a month(or 2) under my care (no filter, wrong method of changing water). it was only until a friend of mine(then my bf) taught me how to keep my fish alive 3 years ago and since then the survival rate of my fish has been a lot better, in my current stock, some of my fish have been with me for a full 3 years and my last healthy female betta has been with me for about 2 or so years.
But as you can read all my wrong doings above, i think i'm not quite there yet when it comes to making my fish happy. Their basic necessities are there (minus the heater and pH lvl part) they're alive and well (for now)
but from what i see here on these forums, what i have is not nearly enough for my fish is it?
Currently i am waiting for all my fish to die out, but while i do that, i want to keep my current fish alive and happy with me, Rehoming them is a bit hard for my country where i am still unsure of how the betta fish community is like and my fish will most probably end up with another owner like me.
So i come here to learn and hope i can improve in caring for my fish more then i am now.
With this, i hope i can pick up a few things here. and i hope to path to becoming a better fish owner won't be as rough as i expect it to be, considering the amount of thing's I've done with my ignorance.