Originally Posted by Sivan
I feel ad for feeder fish. Unfortunately, feeder fish are usually the prize goldfish given away at carnivals. I won a fish at my college's "carnival night" and felt bad for the thing. Nobody was told how to take care of them and all that was given was a small vase for the fish to "live" in and a small bag of food! I saved one, or thought I would, but they were all diseased. My neighbor, who was given one by some friends who had won the fish but didn't actually plan on keeping it, had hers die in a few days. Poor guy. Mine died about a week and a half later with the same weird after-death symptoms. I looked online and found that he was probably killed by bacterial gill disease or fish tuberculosis, which comes from bacteria in bad quality water (a staple of my college :C ) and I am guessing the fish were infected already when given out.
Considering the quality the fish live in at the pet store, then yes, he almost certainly was sick well before being given away at the carnival. I doubt most of them had a chance of survival even if they were taken by responsible, knowledgeable people.