Question, do any of you have gardens? If you do even if its just a windowsill with plants on it, use the water to water the garden. I have been watering my mum's garden (I actually save my water from water changes in 25L water drums) and take it to her place and water her plants - her orchids and her lemon trees as well as her olive tree - since I have started doing that she had the best ever blooms on her orchids and the trees are growing beautifully!
So using the water to water some plants in the house will show your families that you dont waste water and that its good for the plants.
My mom point blank does not allow me to use a sink for the fish, or the toilet. I have to carry my 5 gallon bucket outside and away from the house and pour it. I'm also now allowed to clean gravel, really, since she thinks it'll go down the sink. If I wanna clean it I've got to pour some in my bucket, add water, agitate it, then take it outside, dump, and repeat. >> It makes getting a new tank done fun.
Get yourself a nice mesh colander that's what I use =D catches even the small gravel pieces.... and you can use the bucket indoors even. I do this in my room, since well, it's my room :) just have a towel for the bottom and then yeah ^^
I do use a bucket. For me I have a 5 gal bucket that's just for fish water, and gravel vac, and a milk jug with the top cut off to scoop water with.
I pull out water with the gravel vac, then take it outside once the bucket gets full. Then I fill the bucket in the tub with water of the correct temp, bring it back to my room, and use the milk jug to pour it into the tank once I put my conditioners in.
I don't get told off for water changing my tanks (which I do by removing the water and vaccuuming the gravel with the siphon, then replacing it with clean dechlorinated water), but I do get told off if I attempt to clean the goldfish tank. The poor thing (he's a comet) is stuck in a 23 gallon with a snail, no plants or anything. He gets a water change once a month if he is lucky. I offer to do it whenever I do my own betta tank, which is next to his, but get told no. One day I did it anyway, and was told off because I wasn't doing it the way it "should" be done (all manner of pH adjusting crud, a cheapo water conditioner (I use Prime!) and conditioning salts and far too much cleaning of the filter). Well, actually, I'm doing at right - in fact, at least I'm doing it at all! :( He's such a beautiful fish. I love my family, but they are not doing right by him.
And I do get scoffed at for spending so much money on my fish, going to the local aquarium society etc, but hey, I'm 20 and it's my money. :) And I spend far more on my ratties.
Yeah once a month in my own 20 is not enough! At least 20% once every two weeks for mine and I do not own that big of a bioload.... for him he'd need 30% water changes every week and then probably a 50% the last week of the month.
I get told by my boyfriend I'm doing too much work for my fish... He once said, "Why don't you treat it like a betta?" I then had to explain to him in extensive detail why a betta's hardiness is also his downfall.. And just because a betta can survive in poor conditions doesn't mean he should have to. I was pretty upset at him. My boyfriend's dad has a betta in a 2.5 gallon with no filter and no heater and it survives just fine, and even makes bubble nests, which is why my boyfriend thinks it's okay to not do much work for them. -SIGH-
My mom is a big animal lover and she admires how well I care for my fish. :)
My college roommate doesn't really say anything about it. When my baby, Persica, was really sick, she was extremely supportive about everything, and even more supportive of me once he died. So she understands how much a fish can mean to me.