Kids hitting aquarium

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Cinder

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My boyfriend's granddaughters, ages 4 and 6 sometimes visit our home. They have always gone straight to my aquariums and started hitting the sides of the tanks. The first time this happened, four fish were dead within 24 hours. I have asked the girls' mother to please not let the children hit the sides of the tanks--they can look, but not touch. Now my boyfriend and his daughter are insulted--they seem to feel the kids do not need boundaries when they come over. Is there any correlation to hitting/slapping the sides of the tanks hard, and demise of fish?
 

Butterfly

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Yes there definately is! Stress can kill fish. You might as well say they were scared to death.This type of behaviour can cause them to dash themselves against the sides, decor and gravel in the tank.
It would be the same as an unknown creature much bigger than your home beating on the walls over and over. Would you be frightemed?
They need to be taught to respect life not torture it. Also what if they hit the aquarium with something and broke it, they could get seriously hurt.
Just my opinion please understand, but the boyfriend and daughter will get over being insulted- The fish won't survive this behaviour and the children won't either, whats next if their not taught better? cruelty to other animals? These are life lessons these children are learning.
Carol
 

Izabela

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I'm so sorry to hear about your problem. The girls are definetely old enough to understand this rule and follow it. My twin daughters are 4 years old and are taught not to tap the tank, not to hit the sides, and not to run by the aquarium. They slow down when they get near it, being careful not to scare the fish. Maybe you can talk to the kids and base your discussion on the movie Finding Nemo. Tell them that when they tap or hit the aquarium the fish will get scared and die like in Nemo, when Darla shook the bag and tapped the aquarium. Perhaps this will help them realize how cruel they are being. If they haven't seen this movie, it's definetely a good one to wtach together. If I were you next time mom doesn't react, I would tell the kids myself.

Izabela
 

BettaBuddy ~ Miley

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Cinder - sorry to here about that and also Izabela that is really good idea!!!! Miley
 

Peter243243

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I have Finding Nemo on DVD!!!
 

BettaBuddy ~ Miley

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i do too!! its like one of my fav movies!! lol Miley
 

cherryrose

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I agree with Miley. That is an awesome idea, Izabella. Even if they have seen it before, who could possibly want to abuse a fish after watching "Finding Nemo?" I think watching the movie together would be a great teaching aid.

CherryRose
 

Guzalot

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Cinder said:
My boyfriend's granddaughters, ages 4 and 6 sometimes visit our home. They have always gone straight to my aquariums and started hitting the sides of the tanks. The first time this happened, four fish were dead within 24 hours. I have asked the girls' mother to please not let the children hit the sides of the tanks--they can look, but not touch. Now my boyfriend and his daughter are insulted--they seem to feel the kids do not need boundaries when they come over. Is there any correlation to hitting/slapping the sides of the tanks hard, and demise of fish?
At ages 4 and 6 the children are definitely old enough to know better, or at least be taught to know better. My son is 3 and a half and HE knows better. This sounds like a case of lazy parenting (no offense intended). The "Finding Nemo" idea is excellent but if these kids don't don't learn boundaries soon I fear for their future.

I'm sorry if that came off as harsh.
 

Butterfly

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yep i'm afraid I came off a little harsh, but I fear for children growing up with out boundries. They will do things until somebody stops them.
watching Nemo is an excellent idea, it will also set the mood for discussion. Maybe they could name some of your fish, they they might see them in a different light.
Do just the two of you ever have the kids alone? How about Movie (Nemo), snacks, and fish naming
Carol
 

nmwierman1977

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The 3 year old boy I nanny for does the same thing to his fish. I'm constantly telling him not to tap on the tank because when he does he's scaring the poor Betta. It's bad enough the poor thing has to live in that 1 gallon tank. Boundaries are definitley needed especially when they are old enough to understand and if they aren' t listenning now then the parents are going to have major problems when they get older. The little boy I watch has watched Fidning Nem a gazzilion times and so have I not by choice. I do think the movie is cute. Natalie
 

BettaBuddy ~ Miley

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thanks cherryrose! i think that all the ideas that you guys mentioned were good!! Miley
 

Isabella

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I really like the idea that Izabela gave you - very thoughtful.

And, yes, you should definitely do something about this entire affair. Carol is right, the children are at the learning stage, and if you do not explain this to them now, no one ever will. It is important to teach children to respect and love animals. I don't understand why your boyfriend and his daughter are offended by this. You should explain the effects of tapping on the glass both to your BF and his daughter, and to the daughter's children. You don't have to sound angry - you can do it in an educating and gentle manner. I am sure they'll look at this issue differently when you all sit down and talk about it with them.

If she allows the children to do whatever they wish to do, whether what they do is bad or not, they will not grow to be good children. They need to know how to distinguish right from wrong, and they need to learn to respect not only people but animals as well. Spoiling is never good. Of course, this is just my opinion - I am not trying to tell anyone how to raise their children! LOL But anyhow ... that is how I'd raise my own
 

Richard

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Perhaps giving the kids a box of crayons and letting them use his car as a canvas might drive home the point that: (a) Without rules/guidelines/boundaries in their formative years, children tend to become society's losers, never doing well in school, not being able to keep a job, and probably ending up behind bars.. (b) What's yours is not communal property, for anyone to treat how they wish, regardless of age or familial ties.. What's yours ( both of you) is your home and everything in it, and if he can't understand that there must be certain rules in place for family or friends visiting in order to protect your space, then his personal possessions become fair game for anyone to treat however they wish.. and (c) As your partner, shouldn't he respect your feelings and at least be partly on your side in this issue?
 

MamaM

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Great ideas everyone! Once the kids learn to respect the tank & fish in it, they will have so much fun watching the fish! My kids (ages almost 4 & 2) hit the tank only once, but then I explained to them what happens to the fish (basically that it scares & could hurt the fish). So now they just like to go up to it and watch the fish (they help me feed them), and sometimes show their toys to them! Maybe you can get the kids to help you feed the fish--when they are more involved with something, the more personally the feel about it. It helps that my kids live here with the fish, so they've been a part of every aspect of setup, fish buying, fish care and enjoyment. The biggest problem at my house is they BOTH want to stand in the middle of the tank to watch! (I've given them an imaginary line halving the tank so my girl has one side & boy has another!) I hope things work out for you, Cinder! (It sounds like boundaries in all areas are an issue for them--kids need firm boundaries and secretly like them, so don't be afraid of gently enforcing yours!)
 

inari

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I would go with the crayon idea I don't have kids of my own yet but when i do they will be taught that other animals are for watching and caring for not to torment I don't know if you have any other animals if you do you might want to try and work them into the lesson as well. "...Like if you pull a dog's tail what happens? He turns around and will bite because it hurts the fish can't do that but it still hurts them when this happens." Something like that would help

~Inari
 

shollia

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I know I shouldn't be angry, but reading that just got me all irked.
I can't believe they actually had the nerve to be offended by you not wanting the kids to literally scare your fish to death.
It's your house... so you set the rules down. If they don't like it, tough... How would your BF or that mother have handled the situation if it had involved something furry such as a cat or dog? What if those kids had started pounding on a dog and killed it? I'm sure they would've jumped in and done the right thing before it had even happened. Too many people just have that "it's just a fish" mentality so they don't care.

I'm really glad my niece hasn't done that. She's 2 right now and we made sure as soon as the tank was set up to tell her that she can't bang on it.. she's tapped the glass once (no fish were in it)... and that was it.
 

guppygranny

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You could explain to the children that slapping or hitting the tank would be the equivilent of being caught in an earthquake, or of being shoved by a ghost. (I like the Nemo-in-the-bag-shaken-by-Darla ideas). To the adults who condone the girl's behavior I would give the lecture on how sound waves travel faster and harder in water (where the FISH are) especially in a confined space, how the sudden impact on a fish's sensitive lateral line can cause internal damage and how the stress of enduring these impacts can kill the fish. Would they allow their girls to remain in a room subjected to high volumes of percussion-like booming? I hope not! But then again, these people have no respect for your property either. My 3 year old grandson smacked my 55 gal. tank only once about a year ago. I sat down with him, let him touch the tank, point out the fish, and let him name them. Now when he comes over, he has to help me feed all my fish. He loves to see them flock to the surface to get the food. Then we watch Nemo, and our popcorn is 'our fishfood'! His mom says he can have an aquarium this year for Christmas. I'm thinking a nice 39 gallon with a couple of comet goldfish to start out with.
_____________________________________________________________ ;D

55 gallon-5 green corys, 4 plecos(temporary housing until moved outside),7 adult ghost shrimp, 4 pairs red wag swordtails, 3 columbian tetras, 6 black skirt tetras, 6 cardinal tetras, 2 pristellas
20 gallon-12 black tuxedo platys, 2 albino corys, 2 chinese algae eaters
10 gallon-endlers livebearers
55 gallon-12 pr half-black reds, pleco. Heavily planted with anacharis. Multiple fry
1500 gallon multi-tiered pond-16 assorted koi, 5 orandas, 2 comets, hundreds of mosquito fish, 2 plecos, 16 inches long each.
2 gallon clear glass vase with male crowntail betta, red,white,and blue.
 

FishFyer

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I cant stand when the little kids at my work hit the fish tanks. We have a 180 gallon tank with an arrowana in it and whenever a kid hits the tank the poor thing almost jumps through the top of the tank...on of these days hes gonna get hurt.
 

tan.b

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i'm with you all on this one. my kids are 2 and 4 and they know not to touch the tank. i involve them by letting the 4 yr feed them (with my supervision!) and they have named them (2 of them are named after nemo characters!!). we also watched nemo several times before we got the tank and while it was cycling, so by the time the fish arrived they has grasped the idea that the tank is for watching, not abusing. kids must be taught to respect everything, furniture, toys, people, animals etc, or they'll grow up to be thugs. may sound harsh, but thats just my opinion. they will push boundaries until you tell them where the line is. they need to know when its been crossed. i may not know much about fish, but i know more about kids!!
 

inari

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I think it is so bad that parents don't realize what it is doing to the fish like someone else posted earlier beating on a fish tank is like a giant octopus beating on the windows at your house....it would stress anyone out!!

~Inari
 
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