Problems with Overstocking

  1. Elodea Well Known Member Member

    I have a friend who owns 10 goldfish (fancy) in a 10 gallon tank (for a few years)! When I first saw them, I just couldn't think of how much more you could get overstocked. Every time I try to explain the Nitrogen Cycle to him, he turns his back on me or just plugs his ears. How do I get him to listen or get new fish?

    Even worse, he has a TopFin 10 power filter at 7 gUS.
  2. fbn Well Known Member Member

    That's sad! Have you ever showed him any care sheets? By the way he sounds, it probably won't work, though. Oh, maybe you could tell him the horrible death that they will experience :( . Hope It works!

  3. Jaysee Fishlore Legend Member

    You can't tell some people anything. Obviously it's not a concern to him, so I would let it go, unless it's important enough to you to risk forming a rift between the two of you.
  4. Elodea Well Known Member Member

    Anyways, he's a really good friend though. However, after he got his dog...he kinda neglected the fish. I'm pretty surprised that they actually lived for 2 or 3 years in that tank (10 gallons!). Don't you need 15 gallons per goldifsh when they're small and at least 55 when they grow larger or something?

  5. Jaysee Fishlore Legend Member

    Need is relative. I've always read 30 for one, 20 more for each additional - so 2 in a 55 gallon. My girlfriend kept her big, ugly gf in a little 10 gallon that wasn't maintained and had moldy, rotting food all throughout the gravel. He lived like that for 5 years before I came along. When I did the first gravel vac, the water that came out was black - she was quite embarassed. I promptly bought her a whole 29 gallon setup to rehome Fish the goldfish. It was interesting, because Fish wasn't initially strong enough to fight the currents in the new tank. It took him a few weeks to swim normally.

    If you were going to try and convince him of anything, I would work on an upgrade to a 29....or a new filter at the very least.
  6. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    with someone who plugs his ears rather than listen, this will probably be ineffective.
  7. Elodea Well Known Member Member

    Or I could somehow buy them off him...and then do what? Give them to the LFS? My LFS is okay, they spent about 5 minutes trying to tell this old lady that if she went shopping after she bought her fish, it would die of stress (before I intervened).

  8. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    elodea, if you do that, would he be the type to just turn around and buy more?
  9. Elodea Well Known Member Member

    Nah, I doubt it. He's probably more interested in his dog (but if I buy them, I'll have to give them to my LFS and hope that a little girl doen't come along and buy them all for her fish bowl.)
  10. crazedACD Member Member

    One goldfish in a bowl is better than than 10 in a 10g! Yikes, tough situation. I've always had luck with explaining "Yes, a Goldfish will only grow to the size of it's tank, but their organs keep growing...resulting in a painful, premature death." Shock factor, ya know.

  11. Elodea Well Known Member Member

    I even told him that! (what a coincidence) I wouldn't think of putting 1 goldfish in a 10 gallon, much less ten! That's the biggest problem with goldfish: they're so common and popular. Normally, the LFS sells them at small sizes, so most beginners go with the "1 inch of a fish per gallon" rule, grab 10 goldfish, plunk them in their 10g tank, and be done with it! One of the hardest things to explain to someone is that even that tiny little "feeder goldfish" can grow up to a foot long!

    (He won't listen to the "their internal organs keep growing even when they stop"...ouch)
  12. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    He really sounds like he just doesn't care. bleh.
  13. Amanda Fishlore VIP Member

    Makes me worry for the dog if he doesn't care about the fish. There's no difference IMO, if you can't care for one living thing, you sure as heck shouldn't be responsible for any. He sounds very immature.
  14. Jaysee Fishlore Legend Member

    I can't take care of plants (aquatic or not), but take excellent care of my dogs and fish.

    We must remember that even though a vast majority of people here on fish forums take fishkeeping seriously and care about the well being of their aquatic pets, this is not true out in the world. Incramentalism is how we can make change. Start small and maintain momentum. Telling someone they have to give up the fish they've had for years is not a fruitful plan, and is likely to be counter productive.
  15. Elodea Well Known Member Member

    Thanks for the advice, I'm going to try to change him (or at least get the fish away from him) ASAP.
  16. crazedACD Member Member

    Visited my aunt's house over Christmas, bare bottomed 5g non filtered/aerated tank with two common goldfish. Ack, ack, ack. The one is huge, getting close to the length of the tank, and they both spend their days at an angle with their heads at the surface of the water...poor things don't have enough oxygen :(. People are so cruel.
  17. gremlin Well Known Member Member

    You could always show him this pic . . .

    Attached Files:

  18. Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    I have a mate that has an overstocked tank. 4x1.5x1.5ft tank contains 2 x Texas cichlid, 1 x Green Terror, 2 x Kribensis, 5 x Firemouths, 1 x Keyhole, 2 x Bristlenose, 1 x CAE, 2 x Corys, 1x Yellow Lab, 1 x Pictus, 1 x RTS, 1 x Beunos Aeries Tetra, 2 x Congo Tetra, 1 x Chequered Rainbow. Not only is it overstocked. Nearly every fish in there is incompatable with the next & he is poking around redisigning the planting layout every single day. He changes his water parameters weekly. No matter what he won't listen to me. I feel like stealing all his fish. At least I can provide proper homes for them all.
  19. Katrina Initiate Member

    The overstocking of goldfish--please allow me to climb on my little soapbox for a moment, :), because this is a particularly touchy subject for me. I learned the hard way as a kid with my first 20 gallon tank that goldfish need a lot of room. Someone gave me a 7 inch comet goldfish. He was gorgeous and healthy when I got him. Needless to say, he died a horrible, slow death of congestive heart failure from cramped living space, and probably overfeeding looking back. If you've never seen a fish die of congestive heart failure, let me tell you it's awful. I personally feel that a goldfish needs a MINIMUM of 35 gallons of water. I never kept more than two in my 75 gallon. I guess my best argument would be that a goldfish in a large pond can live for 20 years and will get HUGE! And that's just a common "feeder" goldfish. The two I kept in my 75 gallon lived about 11-12 years. I never got anymore because I knew that even living that long their lifespans had been shortened, and I felt bad about it. So I will climb off my soapbox now and lay my hackles down....
  20. Elodea Well Known Member Member

    I'm still trying to convince him....unsuccessfully.