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Old 03-24-2012, 09:55 PM   #1 
MadameDesu
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Friends are slowly killing their fish ... (mini-rant/need advice)

Hey all,

I live on a college campus, and fish are the only pets allowed, so almost every room I walk into, I see fish. Unfortunately, it's not a pretty sight.
Almost all of them are in jars or half-filled bowls with cloudy water and very sad looking bettas
The branch college that I work at even has one of those atrocious plant-vase setups ...

Well, this is really a story about one fish in particular - a goldfish. One of my good friends keeps him in a small bowl filled with spring water. Well, I spent some time observing him this week and he almost definitely has swim bladder disorder, is overweight, and may even be suffocating.
His belly is HUGE, and he just can't seem to control his swimming. He's always up near the water line freaking out and blowing bubbles. I asked my other friend (her roommate) how much she feeds him and how often, and it sounds like she feeds him a pinch of flakes or something all throughout the day, which explains that belly of his. They've also told me that he'll sometimes just lay motionless on the bottom if his water hasn't been changed frequently enough.

My friends are good people, and I've hinted to them that there's something SERIOUSLY wrong with the way he's acting and being treated. They just brush it off and attribute his weird swimming to his quirkiness.

Since I've gotten Rosie, I've found myself being more sympathetic to all sorts of animals (I moved a frog out of the road this week ), but especially other fish. People look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them I have a filtered, heated, 3 gallon tank for a betta. "That's a little overboard for me." Well, the fact is that it's not overboard! It's even a little small for her! And of course, they ALL find it weird that I say I LOVE my fish, that she's friendly, and that I feed her from my fingertips.

Well, anyways, to conclude this rant, I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to gently tell their friends that they are essentially killing and torturing their pets.
If I see one more sad betta, I think I'll lose it

- MadameDesu
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:23 PM   #2 
Sheldon31
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All you can do really is give them the approprite advice and urge them to act on it or if they are finding it hard to look after them offering a home if you can. I pretty much take care of my mother in laws fish. I treat them and do the water changes for them and I shown them how much to feed etc. I'm like Dr daughter in law as my father in law can't see too well so I do all the diagnosis and treatments for them. Mother in law doesn't believe in pandering to them. "I've never pandered to fish in my life and theyve always been fine..." I dunno if that means they lived for agges or she thinks a few months is a long lifespan for a fish. Makes me sad.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:55 PM   #3 
MadameDesu
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I'm trying to. Today I suggested she skip a feeding because he's so chubby, but her roomate's like "Oh no, I don't want him to die. He's perfectly fine."
I'm not sure I'll ever be able to communicate the fact that this fish is suffocating and dying. It's hard for me to look at him :(
I was thinking of suggesting they feed him a pea, but I've heard others say that it's bad for fish bellies.
Honestly, that fish would be better off in our campus' pond.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:59 PM   #4 
Olympia
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If you're up to it, post a few posters somewhere that you're willing to take in unwanted fish. I'm sure you'd get a few. And even in unheated bowls, you doing more water changes for them would make huge difference for them, you could save up for heaters over time :D
You could also make some care sheets and leave them around. I'm sure some people would step up and take care of their fish.

Also- peas are bad for betta tummies. But for a goldie they are totally fine, and can be part of their regular diet. :)
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:08 PM   #5 
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That's actually not a bad idea, Olympia.
I'd only be able to take about 2, possibly 3 bowls, but I'd really love to take care of some fish that others can't care for. At least then I could do the proper amount of water changes, and they could live out the test of their lives in relative peace.
In the mean time, I'll definitely try to get people to read more care instructions!
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:12 PM   #6 
Olympia
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Maybe keep an eye out for 2+ gallon bowls and tanks on a local online classified/newspaper, if you could go pick them up and offer them for free to people? :)
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:20 PM   #7 
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Alot of people have the "its just a fish" mentality and think its just a $2 fish, i can get a new one if it dies. It makes me mad.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:29 PM   #8 
MadameDesu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tikibirds View Post
Alot of people have the "its just a fish" mentality and think its just a $2 fish, i can get a new one if it dies. It makes me mad.
Exactly! If you have that mentality (as I am ashamed to say that I once did) I don't understand why you'd even want a fish!
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:35 PM   #9 
Sheldon31
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I hate that too Tikibird. People think I'm nuts for naming my Betta. "it's not as if it can hear if it has a name or not" I've been told "it's not like you can take a fish for a walk or cuddle it" If I wanted a cuddle, I'd grab one of my cats. I love my 1.49 tetras just as much as I loved my 1000 dog. I've offered to take in my inlaws tetras because they have loaches in with them and I know they're gonna grow and gobble the poor bits up but they insist they will be ok. On the net there are hundreds of free websites offering free advice and care sheets for fish. It takes 10 minutes to read about betta care so either be prepared to pay a bit to give your fish the care it deserves. All pets cost money for the proper home, clean and warm environment and food. Thank heavens you're not allowed cats on campus! "and breath" rant over. :)
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:01 AM   #10 
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Madame, if it helps, I am working on a goldfish care pamphlet as well as a betta one. Once it is finished, I can send you a copy and you could give it to them. :) They probably will think it's written by another barmy animal lover, but hey, it's worth a shot.
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