Welcome back, Little Leaf! I'm sorry to hear of your losses. It is always sad to lose an animal that you care deeply for. *hugs*
I've read many of your posts about your parents and their unwillingness to help you out with caring for your fish, though I don't think I've ever responded on-thread. . . I am familiar with your situation.
I understand how difficult it can be to live with parents who aren't animal lovers. . . When I was a kid, I encountered similar situations - though not with fish. My brother and I begged for animals, and when our folks caved in and got them, they expected us to 100% do the work in maintaining them - we were even younger than you are, around 8 and 9 years old, and I still
feel very strongly that they went about things in the wrong way. Parents should
teach their children how to care for their pets properly, and realize that by allowing a pet into their home, the ultimate responsibility is on them to ensure that the animal is properly cared for - or re-homed.
But with that having been said. . .
worry that you may be pushing too
much of the blame onto your folks. You aren't exactly a child anymore - and you are certainly
old enough to take on the responsibility for the proper care of the animals that you
have chosen to bring into your home. There may be some issues with getting your folks to run you to the shop for supplies, and/or provide funds for medications, food, filters, etc if you don't have a source of income yet. . . But as far as general day-to-day care, water changes, and maintenance, I've never seen anything in any of your posts to indicate that you have any physical limitations that would render you unable to take care of a tank on your own. . . and I know we have many members here that are
physically handicapped, and still manage to find a way to keep their fish healthy, and the water clean.
Please understand that I'm not trying to be rude, or make you feel bad. I'm not posting this as a mod, but as a mother. . . so I ask that you hear me out, take my words to heart, and consider what I'm saying, please.
My daughter was given a betta for her 5th birthday last year, and though I helped her, it didn't take very long for her to be able to do water changes more or less on her own. She learned how to wash up, fill a bucket with water of the proper temperature, add dechlorinator to the water, siphon out and dispose of the dirty water, and gently siphon in the clean water. Though I double checked behind her to make sure that she hadn't missed anything, she essentially did all of this by herself - I would have helped her out more, but she insisted that she could, and so she did! She can't pick up a 5g bucket, either - but we got a couple of little 1g buckets from the dollar store, and even those were heavy for her! But she was able to handle them, and she got the job done! (I don't have a thread about her tank, but you can see it under the my aquariums tab - that was when it was a 2.5 gallon, it eventually was upgraded to a 5g)
I also worked with her entire kindergarten classroom
of 5 and 6 year olds, and they
went well beyond my expectations in helping 'save' and maintain a gravel-bottomed 29 gallon tank - those were some dedicated kiddos, and there were a few of them that were very insistent on helping me with cleanup - even skipping their recess once a week to be available in the classroom for the dirty work. They got 1g buckets, too, and really pitched in and helped out with water changes and maintenance - even though it was difficult for them.
Another example that I'd like to share with you from my life, and perhaps one closer to your situation, is that of my 'neice,' and her goldfish, Waddles
. An overstocked, and under-cleaned goldfish tank in a house where the parents simply did not care to do ANYTHING to maintain the tank, or ensure the health of their fish. She was 11 years old at the time, and learned how to clean and care for her tank all on her own. She ultimately did make the (wise) decision to give up her fish (who now lives with our member TheKoiMaiden), but to my surprise she WAS
able to do water changes completely on her own - including lifting and dumping 5 gallon buckets, which had to be transported up and down a flight of steps. . . She chose
to use the 5g buckets, even though I had purchased a couple of 2 (or 3?) gallon buckets from Home Depot for her to use, thinking that a 5 would be too heavy.
If she could do it at 11- 12 years old. . . I'm sure
you can, too!
You might have to build up the strength in your upper arms a bit, maybe start with a 1 or 2 gallon bucket until you are able to handle 5 gallons of water. I'm not saying it's EASY! I struggle with them as an adult (I'm on the small side!), but I keep and maintain at least 7 tanks spanning three floors of my home, some large, some small - and I take care of each and every one by myself. I do not expect my husband to lift and carry the water for me - they're my pets, I chose to bring them home, and it is my
responsibility to care for them. If I felt that I was unable to properly provide for their needs, I would find new homes for them. To me, it's really that simple.
Again, please don't take this in the wrong way! I'm not trying to down you, or slam you - and I truly feel sad for your losses. I know you're in a bit of a tricky situation, and that your father isn't very supportive of your hobby, but girly - you have to do what you have to do to keep your animals healthy. It isn't his job, honey - it's all about YOU. If you can't do it, and he won't help, then right now is just not a very good time in your life for you to be keeping fish (even if that sucks!). I'm glad to hear that you're doing well with your little Betta in his 1 gallon tank. Keep up the good work! *hugs*
Very sad to hear about the diagnosis of DID/MPD. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for one so young to deal with such things. . . we're here to support you, and will do all we can to help you out as we are able - that's what is so wonderful about our community. So many have found acceptance here, even when real life gets a bit difficult, you always have friends here that you can turn to. . .
Ahhhh, and I hate to do this, but I am
going to switch tones now and speak as a mod, because I feel that it may be important for you to note that, although we understand that you are going through a difficult situation, and will do our best to help as we are able, forum rules still apply to you, in spite of your circumstance. A little loopy is fine (we're all a bit loopy here, I think!), but the line will still be drawn at violence, and rudeness will not be tolerated. As mods, we are unfortunately unable to separate you from your alters, and though it may seem unfair. . . well. Please do your best to keep your posts friendly and on-topic, because I'd hate to see you get into trouble because of things that are out of your control. *hugs*
So yeah! That! lol... sorry for the book - but welcome back to BF, girl!