How Do I Convince My Friend To Get Her Goldfish A Proper Aquarium?

TheNacho

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My friend got a redcap oranda goldfish 2 months ago, and currently keeps him in a fishbowl with a plastic plant and an air stone. She changes the water every few days.

I tested the water with apI test strips and the nitrate & nitrate levels were so high they were literally off the charts. I explained to her why its wrong and even offered to rehome him to one of my tanks (a 10 gallon with 3 balloon mollies and a pleco or a 4 gallon that I've been preparing for a betta) but she just says that the guy in the store that has been keeping fish said it's ok, and claims that the fish looks happy and that its better for him in the bowl than in the tank in the store.

She refuses to get a tank because she doesn't have space for it. How do I convince her to stop mistreating him? She just doesn't listen, and claims that the bad water results were because that time it was after a few days of not changing the water. Her parents are with her in the same opinion. How do I convince her? The fish isn't showing visible signs of sickness, he might be glass surfing but it might be just regular movements... help!
 

kallililly1973

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Test with an API kit and then show her the results which i'm more than sure the Ammonia will be above 3 as well as the nitrites. And pretty positive the nitrates will be off the charts as well. buy a shrimp and try to trade her for the goldfish. Your 10 and 4 aren't really suitable for a goldfish but they definitely beat being in a bowl. Good luck. Unfortunately I forsee a goldfish floating in the bowl in the next week or so if not sooner
 
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TheNacho

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The fish doesn't seem to be dying or even sick at all.. That's why she doesn't listen to me. It might survive, goldfish are hardy after all, but she'll just keep saying he's ok as long as he doesn't look sick. I'm trying to convince her that surviving≠living properly but she doesn't listen....

He's been living like this for 2 months now and hasn't died or gotten sick yet... how do I make her realize its not ok? She saw the test strips, the nitrates and nitrites were off the charts...

Also she'll be going to study in September and will only return once a week, she says it's ok for him to change the water once a week. She claims she loves and cares about him, but she won't listen to me.

I accidentally wrote 2 weeks in the original post but meant 2 months.
 

pagoda

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Sadly there are some people in this world who will never ever listen and who always think that they know best

If it was me I would kidnap the fish and replace it with a potted plant....but I suspect your friend would probably murder that too
 

hanra85

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You could have your friend do a quick search of what full grown red cap orandas actually looks like... They're huge fish... People who specialize in fancy goldfish recommend a 20 gallon tank for the first alone and 10 gallons for every fish after. To me even this seems slightly cramped for the first one to only require 20 gallon but it's far more responsible than a bowl. Unfortunately some people have to make mistakes to understand. There's plenty of great YouTubers and sites dedicated to fancy goldfish care, Jenny from "Solid Gold Aquatics" seems to know her stuff and I would trust her info.

Just ask them to at least do the animal the courtesy of researching it's species a bit.
If she doesn't have space for anything more than a fishbowl, she doesn't have space for keeping fish, it's that simple, tell her to get a plant or something.
 

Crispii

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Just tell her it's animal abuse and it's basically like putting a dog inside its cage for the rest of its life.
 

CheshireKat

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That's tough. It's possible you won't change her mind. Is there any other reason(s) why she doesn't or might not want to change anything, such as finances or space?

Have you shown her any articles or proof not coming from you about the dangers of fish bowls? What ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate poisoning does? Maybe you can leave some articles near the fish tank or something.

She may be brushing you off if/because it seems like you're nagging or being a know-it-all or fish snob, whatever. And because the dumb fish store person said it's okay, she probably thinks that person has more knowledge and authority.
That's why if you show her evidence and information, that might help change her mind. But, you don't want to be aggressive about it or in-your-face, since that might not put her in the best mood or frame of mind to accept what she's being told.
 

jsheehan

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Maybe use a human analogy. Would person be happier living in a home/apartment or in solitary confinement, alone and in a small room?
 

Skavatar

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that's one of the downsides of being hardy. many people have kept goldfish in a bowl for years.

try to convince her to atleast change the water daily. its basically living in its own waste. like swimming in a pool of sewage.
 
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TheNacho

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The thing is she'll going away to study in September and will only be home once a week at best. She thinks it's ok if she only changes his water once a week...
 

Crispii

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TheNacho said:
The thing is she'll going away to study in September and will only be home once a week at best. She thinks it's ok if she only changes his water once a week...
Here's the thing: What's the whole point of caring for an animal if you're going to be away for a majority of the time or give little attention to it? If I were her, I would give it to an lfs or give it to someone who has the time and appropriate housing.
 
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TheNacho

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I will be going away to study as well, we're going to study in the same place, but the difference is that I have tanks that need water changes once a week which I can definitely do.

She doesn't listen, she wants to keep him and wouldn't allow me to do anything about the situation.

I even offered to buy her a tank myself, at least get him a 2.5 gallon, but she rejects my offers. I'm at a loss of words...
 

Crispii

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TheNacho said:
I will be going away to study as well, we're going to study in the same place, but the difference is that I have tanks that need water changes once a week which I can definitely do.

She doesn't listen, she wants to keep him and wouldn't allow me to do anything about the situation.

I even offered to buy her a tank myself, at least get him a 2.5 gallon, but she rejects my offers. I'm at a loss of words...
I have zero respect for anyone who abuses animals. Have you told her my analogy yet? Perhaps that would change her mind of how she "cares" for her fish.
 

Mr. Kgnao

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This is going to come off as rather callous, but I wouldn't fret about it. Could that particular fish be better off, yes, but this is a myopic crusade. How do you think you produce a carp that has a weird, fleshy mushroom growing out of its head? Hint, it's definitely not by ensuring that each of the hundreds of fry produced in a single spawn has a long, happy, fully self-actualized life. Nothing is quite so Manichean as we might like, and the universe is utterly indifferent.

Also, chill HokusaI profile pic.
 
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TheNacho

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I realize that some fish can definitely live for years in those conditions, but she can definitely make a but of space on her table for a small aquarium with a filter and she's just not willing to!

She says "its just a fish"
 

hanra85

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TheNacho said:
I will be going away to study as well, we're going to study in the same place, but the difference is that I have tanks that need water changes once a week which I can definitely do.

She doesn't listen, she wants to keep him and wouldn't allow me to do anything about the situation.

I even offered to buy her a tank myself, at least get him a 2.5 gallon, but she rejects my offers. I'm at a loss of words...
A 2.5 gallon isn't much better, I mean in relatively it is compared to a bowl, but even that's 10 times too small, unfortunately. Personally, I don't think any fish should be housed in anything less than a 5 gallon tank just for the sake of parameter stability alone, volumes less than that should be left to experienced hobbiests. But we've probably all been at that point in the hobby where we think we know what we're doing and these 'pet experts' give us terrible advice and we assume they know what they're talking about so we believe them, we end up buying ourselves a fish that's gonna get way too big for a setup that should basically only be used as a pot for a plant instead of a living growing animal... especially one that produces as much waste as a fancy goldfish... They're essentially water piggies... Adorable little poop factories being forced to live and breathe their own waste. Anyway I hear ya, it sucks. Instead of telling her what to do, cause from my experience, telling a woman what they should do is super dangerous and ultimately more often than not, entirely ineffective... Try to help her to learn a bit more about her pet, the more she learns about him the more she might realize what she's doing wrong and maybe even start wanting what's best for it instead of just what's convenient for her.
 

Brenden

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TheNacho said:
I realize that some fish can definitely live for years in those conditions, but she can definitely make a but of space on her table for a small aquarium with a filter and she's just not willing to!

She says "its just a fish"
People who say things like "it's just a fish" should not be owning fish.

They see the fish as an accessory, rather than a living, breathing, animal.

To them, you're sounding like a "nut" and they're blocking everything you tell them out because of what some less than knowledgeable employee told them.

Hate to say it, but if they won't listen to your advice, let them learn the hard way. I hate to say that, as keeping a fish healthy is the number one goal of fishkeeping. However, if they end up losing that fish, they will understand they were wrong.
 

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