60% of fish sold for new aquarium die within 30 days?

Discussion in 'Advanced Freshwater Aquarium Topics' started by toosie, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    The following article claims, "Statistically, as much as 60% of the fish sold for a new aquarium will die within the first 30 days. 2 out of every 3 new aquarists abandon the hobby within the first year."

    I have no problem believing this statement, but reading it did disturb me. How do you feel about this statement? Do you think the statistics they claim are accurate? Do you think the death rate is higher or lower? I'd like this to be just a general discussion so your thoughts and opinions are all welcome.

    The full article tells a lot about nitrifying bacteria. It's a bit of a pitch for a product called Fritz-Zyme. I've never heard of it before but the information enclosed maybe very interesting for those of you who don't know everything about nitrifying bacteria already, and even for those of us with a fairly good handle on things, may still find a tidbit or two that will make it worth reading.


    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  2. pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    I would have to think that the death rate is actually higher than that, mostly due to pet stores selling anything to anyone who is willing to pay for it.

    Personally I think that the good stores that won't sell to customers who do not know the tanks and systems do help keep things in line to a point but they also need to make a buck somewhere as well. It is an unfortunate side effect of this hobby.

  3. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    Here is a curiosity question for you pirahnah, and I have really no idea what the answer would be myself but, how much of the 40% is alive simply because of forums such as FishLore? Do you think we are having much of an impact on the survival rate, or is our impact still relatively negligible?

  4. pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    Ill actually probably only give you about 50% of the remaining are because of the forums GOOD employees of the box stores, LFS, and such. Most times its just dumb luck, ill admit I went thru that phase too and it is a lot easier to keep fish when you know what your doing.

    I think that 50% may even be a bit high but I like to think we have a good impact.

    In all reality most of the people that I talk to that keep fish have no freaking clue what they are doing or how to do it to the best for the fish. They just kinda have a point and shoot attitude about it. Ohh look pretty fish lets get a tank and put him in it. I have rescued my share from that fate...
  5. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Well, assuming the new aquarium belongs to a new fish keeper, I'm not surprised one bit. There is certainly a learning curve. I think it would be unreasonably to expect anything else, quite frankly. It can be difficult enough for EXPERIENCED fish keepers to keep the death rate down, if they don't have access to quality stock. There are a lot of hurdles for new fish keepers.

    As for people leaving the hobby - it's not for everyone. If they leave, it's probably for the best. With the information that is so readily accessible with the push of a button, there really is no reason for people to make uninformed purchases, whether it be a fish, a TV or a car. There is MORE THAN ENOUGH help available to anyone who's having difficulties.
  6. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    pirahnah, I'd like to think we make a good impact as well but you're right, 50% of the survivors is probably overly optimistic even with including good employees, LFS and such. I think you're right in that "dumb luck" does play a huge part in that 40% statistic. I tortured a few fish as well in my early days of fish keeping. The internet and forums like this is really a goldmine for anybody starting out. Unfortunately I had already made a big majority of my mistakes before the internet was thought of.

    I've noticed a number of newbies coming to us lately BEFORE they set up their tank which is very nice and hopefully we get them off on the right foot and manage to increase the number of fish that make it in a new tank.

    Point and Shoot! Yep, witnessed more of that phenomena myself this weekend. It's an ugly scene and it's a really good thing my Mom fastened an invisible zipper to my lips when I was young.

    Jaysee, I agree with everything you've said, especially about information being readily accessible. It does seem we still have a number of people, including members of this forum, that buy first and ask questions later. I'm not dissing them, because we usually learn more by the mistakes we make than by doing things right in the first place, and in some cases you just don't know until you try. Then of course there are the experimenters among us that just need to see and figure things out for ourselves as we go along. I know you're not guilty of anything like that ;) , but I'm a bit guilty of this myself.

    I just never gave any thought to how many fish ever made it past 30 days (in a new tank) until I came across that article. It makes me wonder how many fish make it past 30 days as a whole. New tank or not. I'm sure the percentage must be higher, but by how much?
  7. pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    Its great that alot of people are coming here looking for information before they start up their tanks, it def will save on some fish losses.

    I had made the mistakes just like the majority of folks here but we all try to help everyone to not make them, but it is the best way to learn.
  8. uphill4meValued MemberMember

    These forums are having an impact!!! As a newbie you have no idea how many casual users have encouraged me join and share knowledge here!

    Years ago a local aquarium shop did an Adopt a Fishkeeper program for a short time (mid to late 1980's). Experienced fishkeepers buddied up with one or more dedicated but less experienced fishkeepers. The shop closed a few years later but many of those relationships and spinoff relationships still continue today. That was the most impactful, rewarding program I can imagine and really bolstered that business! It's too bad other factors led to it closing.
  9. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    That store had a fantastic idea. I guess with the invasion of the big chain stores that kind of inovative thinking is even less likely to happen.

    Thank you for sharing that.
  10. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    i think internet forums help people very much. not only here....but all over, and about anything. the web is a great tool to use. i'm where i am in this hobby because of it.
  11. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    I totally agree jeri, the internet IS a great tool. I think I'm a research-aholic. I'm always looking things up on the internet, shuffling through good and bad info, trying to identify which is which. I really don't know what I would do without it anymore. Ummmmm, MAYBE get a little more "real" work done... ;) Oh well.

    Any predictions as to what the statistics will say in another 10 years time about the 30 day death toll of all fish purchased for new aquariums? Will the information available on the internet including this forum be able to decrease that fish loss number, or will it stay at 60% regardless of the information we make available?

    I'm usually pretty optimistic but I'm going to say that number is likely going to stay very much the same as it is now.
  12. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    I would like to think in the next ten years we will see a great improvement in fish keeping. a far as ppl being educated/educating themselves. I am pretty sure that without the information on the web...things would stay the same.

    I think more and more ppl are turning to the web/forums to help with many things....i think this will continue to be the trend

  13. uphill4meValued MemberMember

    Adopt a Fish Keeper was born out of necessity. High volumes of contaminated Cycling chemical had been sold at every store in town for an extended period of time before isolating the issue. New stock received kept testing as contaminated and could not be sold. Chain stores started to offer refunds on purchases in the last thirty days about 3 weeks after it had been removed from shelves. This innovative shop keeper did it to encourage others to share their gravel to seed tanks for those that had been facing problems. We "donated" a measured amount of established gravel, they puchased a bag of new gravel and the donor got two free bags (often given to the purchaser). They had a bulk gravel deal with a non aquarium related local company that offered to help out, donating warehouse space, bagging gravel and possibly even shipping. I believe their employees volunteered their time for the project. The most unique crisis can bring parts of a community together and build lasting relationships.
  14. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    I hope you're right jeri, it will be interesting to see. The aquarium hobby has taken vast strides of improvement since I started keeping fish back in the 70's, so it will be interesting to see how that trend continues especially with information being so readily available now, and better products such as Prime and TSS for people to take advantage of.

    uphill4me, did other stores also jump on the band wagon being as their customers had been affected to, or just the one store? I'd think they would see it as being an awesome idea and want to be a part of it. It's only good customer relations and it would have helped them keep their clientel as well.
  15. uphill4meValued MemberMember

    No, they did not jump on the band wagon. They were very reluctant to even acknowledge the problem (liability?). Most of those stores closed or downsized a few years later. After his store closed many had to travel hundreds of miles to find a store they were willing to shop at. This encouraged the budding community aspect even more as people travelled together, picked up other's orders and had more incentive to share resources. He is reluctant to acknowledge his role in Adopt a Fish Keeper and says he was "just trying to make a dollar." The business has turned into it's own unique industry locally in recent years. Most chain stores still don't last long.
  16. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    That's unfortunate. It's really nice he chose to help everybody out and that they are still carrying on what he started.

    Thanks everybody. It's been interesting to see people's opinions.
  17. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    I think it will be big box fish places that would hinder people from becoming educated...just because they want to make money on the products they sell (that we don't need), and from the fish that have to be replaced because they died.

    if we can somehow get the public aware before they enter into fish keeping, the better the success rate will be..

  18. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    I think for newbies, gathering their only information at the lfs, the percentage of fish loss is probably higher. For newbies who've done research minus forums, the percentage is a little lower. For newbies who've done research including forums, the percentage is a lot lower. Obviously for experienced fishkeepers, the percentage would be lower still.

    For newbies (info at lfs), I can see 2 out of 3 abandoning all hope. For newbies (research minus forums), it might be 1 of 5. For newbies (research plus forums), it might be 1 of 10.
  19. jerilovesfrogsFishlore VIPMember

    i think that's pretty true lynda. luckily i fell into the newbie+research+forums category when i was new....but if i didn't, i could have given up pretty easily. i guess it comes down to....are you smart enough to realize there is a whole world of help out there...you just have to go find it.
  20. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    The big box stores are partly to blame for sure, but the manufactures of the... handy ALL you need to start up, aquarium kits... could easily enough enclose a proper brochure detailing different ways to cycle an aquarium, stressing the NEED to cycle it in some fashion. Most newbies are drawn to these kits. They wouldn't have to provide it with all of the bigger aquariums, although it wouldn't hurt if they did, but most people who buy the bigger tanks already have some kind of fish keeping experience under their belt. True... if they did, (take Hagen for instance) they wouldn't be quite as successful marketing their product "Cycle" because it really isn't a "proper" way to cycle a tank. I suppose they could still enclose it in their brochure as an "option" but it's probably one of the many reasons they don't supply the kits with good cycling information.

    We'd still have people of course following the manufactures advise on changing out the filter contents, but given their marketing strategies and need to keep the demand up for their filter products, I'm not sure that that is something that is avoidable.

    Lynda, something that might be interesting, and of course there is no way of knowing, but... I wonder how many people that have joined FishLore over the years are still keeping fish even if they aren't still participating on the forum. It would be fun to be able to find out how close your estimate is, even just based on this forum alone. Oh well, I was living in a fantasy world for a minute there. :)

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