Friends/family/whatever Keeping Fish Incorrectly

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Bat26

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I was just wondering if anyone else has this issue with people they know keeping fish but not knowing/caring enough about them to really take care of them.

For example:

My ex boyfriend was there when I got my 20 gallon and decided that he wanted to get a 10 for himself. No problem there, 10 gallons is a good size for a lot of people, not too big, not too small. That's fine.

The first problem was with his "cycling" of the tank. He thought that all you had to do was run the filter for a week, but instead of running it for a week he ran it for 10-20 minutes because he got the tank and fish at the same time. Even the guy at petsmart told him not to, but he didn't listen. So without even knowing it he pretty much did a fish in cycle (I think that's what it's called).

He got two swordtail and two serpae tetras, one albino cory, and one panda cory. All at the same time, too. I tried to ask him if he was sure he should put all those fish in the tank at once, but his response was pretty much "I know what I'm doing, my dad had a fish tank a few years ago." Key word: dad's tank

So about a week later he's lost the cories, both tetras and one swordtail. He googles why his fish are dying and what does google say? It could be because of the ammonia buildup from overfeeding, or from lack of water changes, etc. His response then was along the lines of "this is all wrong, I know what I'm doing." Spoiler: he does not know what he's doing

By the next week he had gone back to petsmart and replaced all the fish he had lost, this time opting for two bronze cories and adding two Dalmatian mollies. I asked him if he thought his tank was a little overstocked and nope. He thought it was just perfect. All but two fish died within the next four days.

We go back to petsmart yet again and the lady who got the fish put asked him how big his tank is. He tells her it's 10 gallons. She then asked how many fish he has in it currently. He tells he eight fish and tells what kind of fish they are.
"I do believe you might be a little overstocked. That could be why your fish keep dying." Was she rude in saying this? No, she was being perfectly polite and was just trying to help. He just returns his dead fish for a refund and we get in the car and he starts complaining about how she was being rude and he knew better.

I eventually get him calmed down and suggest that maybe he read up on his fish and stuff to help him figure out the problem. He says he will when he gets back from taking me home and texts me a while later saying that his tank was indeed overstocked. He has nowhere to put the "extra" fish as he doesn't have another tank, nor does he have room for one, and my fish aren't compatible, so he just keeps them until they eventually die.

He then decides to go and get only a few more fish to replace the dead ones. He comes back with a swordtail and a serpae tetra and they live for a few more months. I believe the two tetras are still alive now, but the swordtails (you guessed it) have since died.

I should also mention that he has never tested his water ever. I even brought my test kit to his house so he could and he told me he didn't need it. It kind of frustrated me because I was over there thinking "if you don't test your diddly darn water I will take you outside and spray you with the water hose." I didn't do it, considering it was January and that would've been mean, but sometimes I wish I had just so he would test his water.

I also had to remind him every week to change his water and, even though I helped him, he only did it about every 2-3 weeks because he was "busy". If you're too busy to change your water then why in the fruit loops do you have a fish tank?
If I was his fish, I'd bite him.

He later finds a 2 gallon tank for 4 dollars and gets it, saying he wants to put a betta in it. I'm tired of the way he treats his fish by this point and I tell him no. I can't stand bettas being mistreated and I tell him the minimum is 2.5 and that half a gallon really does matter when it comes to a tank that small. I don't know how, but I got him to listen to me and he got two guppies instead. One dies the next day, but the other (I think) is still alive today.

I also have the 2 gallon that he got and he starts spitting out all the fish I could keep in it. I am adamant and tell him it is for shrimp only and he eventually leaves me alone about it.

He also would always overfeed his fish saying that they "might get hungry later". *insert face palm*
He went away to a church camp one week and I stayed with his family on most days because they said they would miss not seeing me and his sister wanted a sleepover. He had asked me to feed his fish for him (they all are fed those topfin tropical flakes, which aren't the healthiest) and I gave them all minimum amounts of food, especially the guppy since I was told not to do any water changes. No fish died that week. I wonder why...

Reading this back I realize how "salty" I sound about all this. I don't mean to sound mean towards him or anything, we're actually still pretty good friends, his ways just annoy me sometimes. And before anyone assumes anything about him, he wasn't trying to hurt his fish, he's just a bit hardheaded and learns from his mistakes so hitting him over the head with a fish book and telling him to fix it wouldn't have helped any.

If anyone else has any stories like this I'd love to hear them. (And sorry this was so long lol)
 

Truckjohn

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You can lead a horse to water... But you can't make him drink.

Some people have to pay a lot more money for their learning experiences.

Yes it's frustrating... They are going to do what they will do - but you don't have to be along for the ride.

You have said your piece - time to let it be.
 

corycatlover21

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Bat26 said:
I was just wondering if anyone else has this issue with people they know keeping fish but not knowing/caring enough about them to really take care of them.

For example:

My ex boyfriend was there when I got my 20 gallon and decided that he wanted to get a 10 for himself. No problem there, 10 gallons is a good size for a lot of people, not too big, not too small. That's fine.

The first problem was with his "cycling" of the tank. He thought that all you had to do was run the filter for a week, but instead of running it for a week he ran it for 10-20 minutes because he got the tank and fish at the same time. Even the guy at petsmart told him not to, but he didn't listen. So without even knowing it he pretty much did a fish in cycle (I think that's what it's called).

He got two swordtail and two serpae tetras, one albino cory, and one panda cory. All at the same time, too. I tried to ask him if he was sure he should put all those fish in the tank at once, but his response was pretty much "I know what I'm doing, my dad had a fish tank a few years ago." Key word: dad's tank

So about a week later he's lost the cories, both tetras and one swordtail. He googles why his fish are dying and what does google say? It could be because of the ammonia buildup from overfeeding, or from lack of water changes, etc. His response then was along the lines of "this is all wrong, I know what I'm doing." Spoiler: he does not know what he's doing

By the next week he had gone back to petsmart and replaced all the fish he had lost, this time opting for two bronze cories and adding two Dalmatian mollies. I asked him if he thought his tank was a little overstocked and nope. He thought it was just perfect. All but two fish died within the next four days.

We go back to petsmart yet again and the lady who got the fish put asked him how big his tank is. He tells her it's 10 gallons. She then asked how many fish he has in it currently. He tells he eight fish and tells what kind of fish they are.
"I do believe you might be a little overstocked. That could be why your fish keep dying." Was she rude in saying this? No, she was being perfectly polite and was just trying to help. He just returns his dead fish for a refund and we get in the car and he starts complaining about how she was being rude and he knew better.

I eventually get him calmed down and suggest that maybe he read up on his fish and stuff to help him figure out the problem. He says he will when he gets back from taking me home and texts me a while later saying that his tank was indeed overstocked. He has nowhere to put the "extra" fish as he doesn't have another tank, nor does he have room for one, and my fish aren't compatible, so he just keeps them until they eventually die.

He then decides to go and get only a few more fish to replace the dead ones. He comes back with a swordtail and a serpae tetra and they live for a few more months. I believe the two tetras are still alive now, but the swordtails (you guessed it) have since died.

I should also mention that he has never tested his water ever. I even brought my test kit to his house so he could and he told me he didn't need it. It kind of frustrated me because I was over there thinking "if you don't test your diddly darn water I will take you outside and spray you with the water hose." I didn't do it, considering it was January and that would've been mean, but sometimes I wish I had just so he would test his water.

I also had to remind him every week to change his water and, even though I helped him, he only did it about every 2-3 weeks because he was "busy". If you're too busy to change your water then why in the fruit loops do you have a fish tank?
If I was his fish, I'd bite him.

He later finds a 2 gallon tank for 4 dollars and gets it, saying he wants to put a betta in it. I'm tired of the way he treats his fish by this point and I tell him no. I can't stand bettas being mistreated and I tell him the minimum is 2.5 and that half a gallon really does matter when it comes to a tank that small. I don't know how, but I got him to listen to me and he got two guppies instead. One dies the next day, but the other (I think) is still alive today.

I also have the 2 gallon that he got and he starts spitting out all the fish I could keep in it. I am adamant and tell him it is for shrimp only and he eventually leaves me alone about it.

He also would always overfeed his fish saying that they "might get hungry later". *insert face palm*
He went away to a church camp one week and I stayed with his family on most days because they said they would miss not seeing me and his sister wanted a sleepover. He had asked me to feed his fish for him (they all are fed those topfin tropical flakes, which aren't the healthiest) and I gave them all minimum amounts of food, especially the guppy since I was told not to do any water changes. No fish died that week. I wonder why...

Reading this back I realize how "salty" I sound about all this. I don't mean to sound mean towards him or anything, we're actually still pretty good friends, his ways just annoy me sometimes. And before anyone assumes anything about him, he wasn't trying to hurt his fish, he's just a bit hardheaded and learns from his mistakes so hitting him over the head with a fish book and telling him to fix it wouldn't have helped any.

If anyone else has any stories like this I'd love to hear them. (And sorry this was so long lol)
All I can say is,, Yikes. I don’t know, that was a whole rollercoaster. At least he was trying to learn for a tiny stint there? There’s growth in even the hardest of places. I’m sorry it was (I assume) stressing you out so much. I think that my dad would be exactly like him if my dad were to attempt to keep fish... it’s good that he’s learning(?), I suppose
 

scarface

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I wouldn't stress too much about it. He either sticks with it or he doesn't. If he does, he'll eventually (probably) evolve into a better fish keeper as he becomes more passionate about the hobby.

Now about the betta. That .5 really wouldn't have been a big deal. It certainly would have been okay with a betta. Much better than having 2 guppies in there. Sure you can read something online, but also use your head and a little bit of common sense.
 

MissNoodle

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I have a family member... got a 2 gallon betta tank, threw a male betta with two cories in it. No heater. Never changed the water.
I gave her our 10gal when we upgraded, for her betta and cories.

She puts the betta, gets 1 more cory to the other two, and then buys 2 lampeye tetras, a snail, and some other schooling fish she doesnt know what its called. Then the betta starts going after the tetras and vice versa... moves the betta back to the 2gal and adds more lampeyes.


Worse, i "inherited" a betta when i was younger. This was when i didnt know much myself but the "bare minimum".
A family member had a betta in a half gallon bowl. They didnt want it anymore, so they tried to kill him. They didnt dechlorinate his water, they starved him for months, theyd purposely take him out of the water by hand as a joke, theyd put him in cold water and then warm water, but the poor thing wouldnt die. I felt sorry for it so i took him home. Got him a 3 gallon hexagon tank and some nice fake plants. They had him living in fish **** for 4 years. He eventually grew so decrepit and old with me. He lived 5 years more in my care, barely able to move for the last year. We kept his water low so he didnt have to swim far to get his food and we let him have a peaceful retirement. He had clean water and more room at least. He was at least 9 years old when he passed. His name was Tank, because he lived through all that was done to him.

The worst part is they didnt care that they were torturing this creature.

I wish i could have given him even better, now that i know more about proper husbandry, but he at least had a better retirement than he first lived.


Theres not much you can do about other people.
 

Cognac82

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My coworker had a pacu in a 10 gallon tank...with a common pleco.
Mother in law had a common goldfish in a 10 gallon tank. It was always about half full. So really about 4.5 gallons. Never any water changes or gravel vacs, just occasionally topped off. It was as long as the tank and about five years old. She gave it to her sister and she took the fish out and cleaned the tank...with bleach. So yeah, that went well.
I am surrounded by people who have a long history of negligent animal care. It's very frustrating, especially considering that I work in the veterinary field and there is rarely anything I can do to change these people's minds about what they're doing. I totally get where you are coming from.
 

jjohnwm

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Well, congratulations on the fact that he is an "ex".

Don't waste your breath on this sort of person. You will suffer stress, they won't listen, and nothing will change.
 

Elkwatcher

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Bat26 said:
I was just wondering if anyone else has this issue with people they know keeping fish but not knowing/caring enough about them to really take care of them.

For example:

My ex boyfriend was there when I got my 20 gallon and decided that he wanted to get a 10 for himself. No problem there, 10 gallons is a good size for a lot of people, not too big, not too small. That's fine.

The first problem was with his "cycling" of the tank. He thought that all you had to do was run the filter for a week, but instead of running it for a week he ran it for 10-20 minutes because he got the tank and fish at the same time. Even the guy at petsmart told him not to, but he didn't listen. So without even knowing it he pretty much did a fish in cycle (I think that's what it's called).

He got two swordtail and two serpae tetras, one albino cory, and one panda cory. All at the same time, too. I tried to ask him if he was sure he should put all those fish in the tank at once, but his response was pretty much "I know what I'm doing, my dad had a fish tank a few years ago." Key word: dad's tank

So about a week later he's lost the cories, both tetras and one swordtail. He googles why his fish are dying and what does google say? It could be because of the ammonia buildup from overfeeding, or from lack of water changes, etc. His response then was along the lines of "this is all wrong, I know what I'm doing." Spoiler: he does not know what he's doing

By the next week he had gone back to petsmart and replaced all the fish he had lost, this time opting for two bronze cories and adding two Dalmatian mollies. I asked him if he thought his tank was a little overstocked and nope. He thought it was just perfect. All but two fish died within the next four days.

We go back to petsmart yet again and the lady who got the fish put asked him how big his tank is. He tells her it's 10 gallons. She then asked how many fish he has in it currently. He tells he eight fish and tells what kind of fish they are.
"I do believe you might be a little overstocked. That could be why your fish keep dying." Was she rude in saying this? No, she was being perfectly polite and was just trying to help. He just returns his dead fish for a refund and we get in the car and he starts complaining about how she was being rude and he knew better.

I eventually get him calmed down and suggest that maybe he read up on his fish and stuff to help him figure out the problem. He says he will when he gets back from taking me home and texts me a while later saying that his tank was indeed overstocked. He has nowhere to put the "extra" fish as he doesn't have another tank, nor does he have room for one, and my fish aren't compatible, so he just keeps them until they eventually die.

He then decides to go and get only a few more fish to replace the dead ones. He comes back with a swordtail and a serpae tetra and they live for a few more months. I believe the two tetras are still alive now, but the swordtails (you guessed it) have since died.

I should also mention that he has never tested his water ever. I even brought my test kit to his house so he could and he told me he didn't need it. It kind of frustrated me because I was over there thinking "if you don't test your diddly darn water I will take you outside and spray you with the water hose." I didn't do it, considering it was January and that would've been mean, but sometimes I wish I had just so he would test his water.

I also had to remind him every week to change his water and, even though I helped him, he only did it about every 2-3 weeks because he was "busy". If you're too busy to change your water then why in the fruit loops do you have a fish tank?
If I was his fish, I'd bite him.

He later finds a 2 gallon tank for 4 dollars and gets it, saying he wants to put a betta in it. I'm tired of the way he treats his fish by this point and I tell him no. I can't stand bettas being mistreated and I tell him the minimum is 2.5 and that half a gallon really does matter when it comes to a tank that small. I don't know how, but I got him to listen to me and he got two guppies instead. One dies the next day, but the other (I think) is still alive today.

I also have the 2 gallon that he got and he starts spitting out all the fish I could keep in it. I am adamant and tell him it is for shrimp only and he eventually leaves me alone about it.

He also would always overfeed his fish saying that they "might get hungry later". *insert face palm*
He went away to a church camp one week and I stayed with his family on most days because they said they would miss not seeing me and his sister wanted a sleepover. He had asked me to feed his fish for him (they all are fed those topfin tropical flakes, which aren't the healthiest) and I gave them all minimum amounts of food, especially the guppy since I was told not to do any water changes. No fish died that week. I wonder why...

Reading this back I realize how "salty" I sound about all this. I don't mean to sound mean towards him or anything, we're actually still pretty good friends, his ways just annoy me sometimes. And before anyone assumes anything about him, he wasn't trying to hurt his fish, he's just a bit hardheaded and learns from his mistakes so hitting him over the head with a fish book and telling him to fix it wouldn't have helped any.

If anyone else has any stories like this I'd love to hear them. (And sorry this was so long lol)
And then there are caring fishkeeper's like yourself, we just love those types here! Welcome to Fishlore! @Bat26 :)
 
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