Setting up tanks that aren't your own and why it's kind of terrible

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Emily Caldwell, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. Emily Caldwell

    Emily CaldwellValued MemberMember

    So this is a bit of a rant/vent. I know that people here will understand. No one else in my life does!

    I started working at a law office in January. They expressed interest in setting up a tank for the reception area and I was obviously thrilled to do that. I came up with a few different options and rough budget estimates. They really wanted saltwater and I told them it would be very expensive and more difficult for me to maintain, plus since I don't have experience with it there was a decent chance I would screw it up and kill the fish. Luckily they gave up on that. Thank GOD!

    I tried to talk them into a fancy guppy tank. We're a kid-friendly office and I thought it would be fun to have a huge school of fancy guppies. They didn't want that. I tried to talk them into a divided betta tank because I have experience with bettas and they are fun, interactive fish. They didn't want that either. I suggested African Cichlids because they are colorful and fun to watch but easier than saltwater fish. However, I clearly showed that African Cichlids were a very expensive option and we would be looking at $600-$1200 set up costs depending on what kind of tank they chose. They said ok.

    I tried to talk them into buying a used setup on Craigslist. We could have gotten a nice 75 gallon with a canopy and all the equipment for $600. They said they didn't want to buy anything used and they were dead set on a bowfront tank. They chose an acrylic bowfront 46 gallon, 36 inch tank and a matching stand. Just the tank and stand alone were $450. They never asked for an exact budget, they never told me to run anything by them before I purchased it...they just gave me a company credit card and told me to turn in receipts. I turned in every receipt and assumed that meant they were ok with the charges.

    I should have told them that they could either have the African Cichlids OR they could have a 36 inch tank, NOT BOTH! But I didn't. I tried to make it work and that's what I get for not standing my ground. I asked everyone what was most important to them as far as fish selection and they said color. I told them we could do a species tank with a dwarf mbuna (pseudotropheus saulosi), but they said they didn't want to deal with the fry and that blue and yellow wasn't enough color variety. They wanted all male. Multiple people on cichlid-forum advised against doing all-male in a tank this small, but all the retailers I talked to said it would be fine. (Not just LFS, we're talking well-respected online retailers that specialize in cichlids.) So I ordered 20 fish based on the retailer's recommendation. (This is after I did a fishless cycle and dealt with them bugging me every day about why we didn't have the fish yet.)

    So they were super happy with the tank at first...and then fish started getting beat up, getting sick and dying. The stress levels are high, the fish are getting bloat and dying off. I went out and bought supplies for an isolation tank and set it up so I could start pulling the sick ones because THAT'S WHAT YOU DO WHEN FISH GET SICK!

    I got called into the office on Monday and confronted about why I had spent $1700 on the fish tank. Yes, that's a lot of money, but what they don't seem to remember is that they picked the most expensive option and I tried suggesting ways to do it cheaper but they weren't interested! One of my bosses said "We thought it was going to be a $600 fish tank." Oh really...you spend $450 on just the tank and stand and thought $150 would cover the rest?? You didn't look at the receipts I've been turning in for 3 months?? You've never estimated a budget for something and gone way over?? I know for a fact you have because I work here and I've seen you do it. By thousands of dollars!

    They took away my company credit card as well as everyone else's card who works at the firm. I have to get everything I buy from now on approved ahead of time, which is fine, but they won't approve anything else for the tank. The fish are sick and dying because the tank is stocked improperly, and a lot of the money I spent was on buying more rocks to try to compensate for the lack of tank footprint. I need medication for the fish and they don't want to buy it. People just think that fish are disposable and that it's no big deal when they suffer and die. I understand that fish do die in this hobby, but it shouldn't happen because of neglect or poor choices on the part of the fishkeeper.

    At this point I would just go buy the necessary meds out of pocket if I could, but I literally have $0 in my bank account because I'm in the process of moving.

    What we need to do is rehome all these males and restock with a saulosi species tank like I originally wanted to do. But they are mad at the very idea of that. I told them if it comes down to it and the fish keep dying off I will buy the saulosi out of my own pocket...but that's $200+ that I just don't have right now.

    I was so excited to set up this tank and even wanted to start a side business doing set up and maintenance because I enjoyed it so much. But now I see why people get frustrated and stop doing it. People want the pretty fish tank. They don't want to spend the money or the time necessary to care for the fish. They think of them as decor, not live animals with needs like any other pet.

    And that's why I would probably never do this again. I'll stick to my own tanks where at least I control my own destiny.

    /rant
     
  2. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    That is just horrible and I'm so sorry they blamed you after all that hard work you put in and them harassing you daily about what THEY wanted and when THEY would get fish in the tank. I do remember your previous thread about setting up that tank. Finally done and now they just wake up and realize how much it was and what it's going to continue to cost?

    I agree and it is unfortunate that people treat fish like decor. They are clueless about the upkeeps and maintenance it requires.

    So are they just going to let the fish die off? And then what?

    Either way, I'm sorry that you were put in that situation. I'm sure it's pretty stressful being there and awkward after that confrontation.
     
  3. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    You should start a collection and make each employee contribute to "save the fish" fund so you can buy medicine and other needs at least.
     




  4. CindiL

    CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    What an awful experience for you! i'd be so frustrated. I hope you stuck up for yourself.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Emily Caldwell

    Emily CaldwellValued MemberMember

    Yeah, I just want to cry. I feel so bad for the fish and they are right across from my desk so I keep looking at them all day and have trouble focusing on my work.

    I didn't stand up for myself at all. I just said I didn't mean to spend that much, but that these are live animals and therefore unpredictable. They said they will pay for maintenance but nothing else.

    I don't think they understand the situation but I'm definitely going to make them aware of what will happen if we don't at least TRY to do something to help the fish. And even if we do, we will probably still lose a lot of them due to stress.

    It's very very frustrating because I really want to tell it like it is but can't because they are my bosses. Thank you all for being supportive and listening.
     




  6. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    The old saying about "too many cooks spoils the pot" probably applies here. They wanted you to set the tank up, but also wanted to make most of the big decisions.

    They don't have the expertise to make any of those choices, yet wouldn't give you the autonomy to do things the way you wanted.

    This is always a recipe for disaster.

    Ask them if they would let a legal client of theirs dictate the big details of a job, but then blame their firm when things didn't go well on a case.

    I'm sorry things have gone this way. Bad communication was part of the problem. And being an employee, you didn't feel you were in a position to make the demands you should have been able to make.

    It's easy to look back and see where things went wrong. So you and the rest of us learn some good lessons from this, thanks to you sharing it with us all.

    Of course, none of that solves the immediate and upcoming ongoing problems. It sounds like there are a lot of different people somewhat involved. Everyone needs to get on the same page and decide how they want to proceed.

    I suspect various people involved think about it for a few minutes, then move on to other chores here and there. That leads to more chaos.

    They either need to delegate full authority for decisions and spending to you (within a budget everyone agrees upon) or they need to accept responsibility for doing it as a committee (including you as the expert advisor or doing it on their own without you).

    I'm sure they don't do their legal work in a manner like how they've handled the aquarium situation.

    Perhaps you should make a proposal for how you'd like to proceed, and present it to them all in a more formal manner. They might all be more familiar and comfortable with a process like this. You probably know how they run the firm's actual business, and how decisions are usually made. Maybe you could work through this in that same way.

    The main thing is to get everyone to agree to how it will be handled in the future so there are no surprises for anyone.

    One thing I always think of, when working for any "boss" or client, is that a big part of my job as an employee or contractor is to completely relieve my client/boss of needing to worry about or micromanage the project. After all, that's why they pay me. If they could do (or wanted to do) the work, they wouldn't need me.

    It's unfair for you to take the blame for things not working out, yet not have the authority to do things your way.

    If they hired an aquarium service to install, stock, and maintain the aquarium, the pros would not let the client dictate things to such a degree that it caused failure. But they'd also know ahead of time what the charges would be, and would quote this to the customer when the proposals were being made.

    That's where it's hard for you. Without extensive experience doing this and pricing it out, it's often hard to estimate the costs accurately.

    You could call an aquarium service and see if they could give you an estimate for a similar aquarium and for the ongoing maintenance contract. Then you can tell your bosses what that would cost, and that gives you all a basis for judging the cost of them having you do it versus having a service company do it.

    And that's another option. You could wash your hands of it, and just let an aquarium service do it all.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Emily Caldwell

    Emily CaldwellValued MemberMember

    Jsigmo you make some really excellent points and I so appreciate the time and thought you put into your reply.

    I did learn a lot from this, as I do from every tank I set up.

    My bosses are definitely Type A Micromanagers, and that is problematic in a variety of areas at our firm...the fish tank is but a small example.

    I know that it would have cost a lot more for a pro to do this set up. I also know that they don't have money in the budget to pay someone to take it over. I'm the one who is responsible for this and I will see it through no matter the outcome.

    To be fair, I probably could have pushed harder when they started asking for things that weren't realistic. I definitely took too much input from them.

    If I could do it all over, I would have asked for a budget, asked what they wanted in general, and then told them I would put something together that they would like and left it at that. Maybe I didn't have enough confidence in myself to do that? I don't know. I think I thought that if they had some say in it then they couldn't really blame me for their decisions...and obviously that did NOT work out well.

    They scheduled another impromptu "meeting" with me tomorrow, so I'm going to come prepared. One of the things they do that really sucks is that they schedule these meetings and don't tell you the topic. So it could be something as simple as "We're changing the way we do the scheduling" or it could be more complaining about the fish tank or something else...who knows? It's very stressful and gives me a lot of anxiety.

    I like your idea about the formal proposal. The thing is that they don't have the time to devote to making decisions about the fish tank, but they just can't let go and let one of the employees take control of literally ANYTHING! It will continue to be a problem that will have to be addressed at some point, but unfortunately they don't take constructive criticism well either. :-/
     
  8. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Well, that is, and will continue to be, a problem.

    As an employee, you don't have the power that you'd have as an outside contractor. You are subject to the whims and poor management style of the boses.

    As you say, this will be an ongoing problem for the firm in many ways, and this project is just one example of how their lack of ability to step back and delegate may ruin them or at least hinder the firm in the long run.

    It sounds like they need to take some management classes or read up on the subject. Calling meetings without providing an agenda and planning the meeting can be a big waste of time for everyone. It wastes resources and, as you point out, causes stress. But planning a meeting requires that the person calling the meeting organize their thoughts and set objectives for the meeting. And not being able to do that may be a root problem. ;)

    I'm not sure how to go about teaching them to delegate authority, but it's an essential "skill" for any manager.

    The way I feel as a contractor or employee is that I want and appreciate having the power I need to do a job right. In return, the client or boss is relieved of the work and worry about whatever the job or project is. My job is to make things run smoothly so they don't even have to think about my department or job at all.

    And as a client or boss, I appreciate an employee or contractor who I can just trust to get the job done without bugging me over the details. (I think of that episode of Seinfeld where he was trying to get his kitchen remodeled, and the contractor kept asking Jerry about every tiny detail. It was hilarious, but points out a real problem).

    It's a two-way street, and the best benefit and best efficiency happens when the client (boss) trusts the contractor (employee) completely in the field of expertise in question. So the boss needs to have that confidence in the employee and give the employee the opportunity to earn or prove that this trust is warranted.

    But if the boss (or worse, bosses) can't keep his or her (their) fingers out of the details, and especially if they do constant "hit and run" micromanagement of the project, then they might as well do it themselves. But, of course, we know they can't, because they don't have the expertise or time to do so.

    I've been fortunate over my career, to work for employers or clients who trusted me and were able to let me work on my own, for the most part. That has been rewarding for everyone. But often, new managers or business owners have a hard time letting go of authority. That's not good.

    Sometimes contractors have to "fire" bad clients. There are some people or companies that you just do not want to work for. They're more trouble than they're worth. They can even be dangerous.

    I'm not suggesting you quit. But it does sound like you've identified some serious problems that might spell real trouble in the future.

    I do think it would be good to get a quote from an aquarium service. It will put a solid, objectve, third-party value on the project so everyone can compare against a benchmark. It will also be good for them to get in the mindset of thinking of this project more in terms of how they'd interact with and treat an outside aquarium service.

    It would be great if they can be made to see and understand that they need to "hire you" to do this job and then stay out of things the same way they would if they hired an outside service.

    In return, they need to have a good, solid cost estimate. It does not do you any good to underestimate things. You need to overestimate, if anything.

    The problem we all face if we're anxious to get a project approved is that we tend to underestimate costs due to our enthusiasm for gaining that approval. But it's far better to come in under budget.

    But that gets back to them not allowing you to do it the way you wanted in the first place!

    The more you can get them to approach this as if you were an outside contractor, the better. If you can get them to admit that it's not working the way it is, and then get them to see that a lot of the problem is that you haven't been allowed to do things the way you wanted, then maybe they'll agree to giving you an unhindered shot at making things right.

    I hope the meeting goes well. Perhaps this whole episode can be a valuable learning experience for the principles in the company. A lesson in what goes bad when you cannot delegate authority or take the advice of an expert or consultant.

    I also understand some of their "affliction" in not being able to easily give up authority. I suffer from that myself. But I view that trait as a fault that I need to constantly work on and strive to overcome.

    Years ago, I worked with a guy who was a good technician and troubleshooter. But when we hired new people, he was also a fantastic teacher. And he did well at that in large part because he COULD let go, allow the new guy to make his own mistakes, and not be tempted to step in unless his assistance was requested. I have a hard time watching someone flounder, or seeing things being done "wrong". But that can stifle someone who is learning.

    So I learned a lot from seeing how that other guy worked with the new techs. His father was a math teacher, and I always wondered if he learned how to teach from his father, or if it was genetic or at least epigenetic in some way. In any case, he was a good example. And now, he is the boss of that whole department at that company, and I have to think he does a fantastic job at it in large part because he can delegate and trust. He'd be a good boss to work for!

    Your bosses need to take a page from my friend's book, and learn how to let go, trust, and relax. In the end, it's less stressful for everyone, and more prone to success. They need to focus on bigger issues with the firm, and not let unimportant details distract them from their real work.

    Tell them to quit playing aquarium, and get back to work! You'll handle the fishies. ;)
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Emily Caldwell

    Emily CaldwellValued MemberMember

    Well, the purpose of the meeting today was to give me an official write-up. They wrote me up for going over budget on the tank and then they tacked on a bunch of other nonsense that they would NEVER have written me up for had they not been angry about the fish tank. I know this because I had my quarterly review less than a month ago and it went very well...they had almost no areas for improvement, and now suddenly they are nitpicking little things and writing me up for them with no type of verbal warning.

    I brought up the fact that I had offered lower budget options and they rejected them. They said they had no problem with the $1100, it was the additional cost over that they had a problem with. But they seem to miss the point that the whole thing would have been much cheaper if they hadn't insisted on getting the tank they did. I told them that they never requested a final budget, never asked for updates, never told me to get approval before making purchases, and never questioned the receipts.

    They said it was common sense, I should have just known the budget and should have known to ask them to approve anything over that. And that it wasn't their job to keep track of how much I was spending on it.

    I told them I thought there was a lack of communication on my part and I take full responsibility for that. But that there was also a lack of communication on their part. They refused to accept or acknowledge that.

    I ended up sobbing (super professional) and having to leave the office (it's about lunchtime anyway.)

    I've decided that I will continue to do my best at this job, but I'm definitely going to work on my resume and seeing what else is out there. I can't see working for these people long-term when they have serious issues with how they manage people and aren't open to any type of constructive criticism. I can't work in this type of environment and I don't see them making any changes to how they manage people.

    Meanwhile, I added some epsom salt to the main tank hoping that it will help with bloat. I don't know if they will buy the meds or not. If they don't I will probably buy them myself since it's only $20. But I'm not going to buy any fish for them out of pocket because I don't plan on staying there longterm and don't want to set up fish and then abandon them to people who can't/won't care for them.

    What a bummer. Rough day all around. Two of my fish are on their way out and won't survive the weekend. Another one is questionable but probably won't make it either. There is nothing I can do for them at this point.

    I'm going to come in this weekend when no one is in the office and humanely euthanize the 2 fish that are dying of bloat. They shouldn't have to suffer like this.

    My heart is broken.
     
  10. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Wow, that's just... I can't believe they didn't even take some responsibility in this. Sure, of course it's easier for them to just write you up and leave you as the scapegoat for the situation and wipe their hands clean of it.

    At least you stood up for yourself. You're also better off leaving and working elsewhere. I hope you find something really soon.
     
  11. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Yep. Sometimes you have to "fire" a bad employer!

    I had to do that a while back when the people who had started the branch office where I had happily worked for over ten years left the company and the new management proved themselves to be untrustworthy, inconsistent, and disrespectful of their most valuable employees. They are also inept at customer service and have managed to take a company on its way up in the market and run it slowly into the ground.

    The HR person they hired was interesting. I told her (truthfully) that there were only a handful of key people who were NOT actively looking for another job. Her reaction was to tell me: "Oh, that's a terrible thing to say! "

    Not three weeks later, SHE quit, too. :)

    I'm extremely happy to no longer work there.

    I do advise you to lock in the new job before even hinting that you're looking for another job. And do give them the customary two weeks notice.

    Regardless of how you feel about it, don't spend a dime of your own money on the aquarium now. It may be hard, but they need to see the results of their decisions. The sad thing is, they probably won't care at all. Maybe other people in the office will want to contribute, but I wouldn't even encourage that. The bosses have made their choices. Nobody should bail them out or shield them from the consequences.

    Anything the aquarium needs must come out of their pockets, not yours!

    The place I left has called me a few times wanting my help, but the new management has proven itself to be litigious and untrustworthy. I wouldn't set myself up to be a consultant or contractor for them on a bet. The statute of limitations is too long for civil actions against contractors. Besides, they made their choices about how to treat me and other key personnel. If they had valued me when I was there, I'd still be there.

    Sorry for the rant.

    The whole story is sad, but your employer will likely never learn or change. Inability to accept responsibility for one's own mistakes is a characteristic of sociopathic tendencies. I read a good article about this, and how a lot of CEOs of big companies are sociopaths. They tend to rise in the ranks.

    They turn out not to be very successful in running the companies, but they achieve that position frequently. It was interesting.

    Don't feel bad. You tried, and were shot down. It might turn out for the best since you got to see their true colors and can make better plans. Life is too short to live with people like that. There are good employers out there.

    Meanwhile, do your best, and try not to stress about any of it. Stress is a killer. Let them stress, not you. :)
     
  12. Thunder_o_b

    Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    Sounds like you work for some rather lacking people I wish you the best. I never talk fish with people that are not into the hobby already unless they seem truly interested in the welfare of the fish.

    When it comes to giving two weeks notice I am reminded of one company that after two years of being cheated out of pay I walked out of. I told the terminal manager that I quit and here are here are the keys to the truck. As I walked through the room filled with drivers ready to start the shift he ran after me and said "what about the two weeks notice?" I stopped for a moment and gently replied "if an employee does not live up to the agreement of his employment you fire him, right? Do you give him two weeks notice? No? You have not lived up to our agreement of employment...You are fired" And amid the laughter of a room full of fed up drivers I walked out. I started my next job that coming Monday.

    I have given notice only twice since 1979. Once to a company I worked for 18 years and the other to a trucking company that I worked for for four years (was a very good company but a divorce and my custody of the kids meant I had to be home everyday)

    As you treat me, I treat you. Companies on the whole are untrustworthy, deceitful entities that view employees as expendable liabilities and not as valued assets. We owe them no more consideration than the honest execution of our agreed upon duties to the best of our abilities.

    What has been forgotten by the powers that be is:

    1. The age of servitude ended a while ago.
    2. Loyalty is a two way street.
    3. The old Scottish saying "Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
    4. The old biker saying "What goes around comes around."

    But as a warning to employees, remember "Do not let your mouth write checks that your butt can not cash"

    I will give notice to my current employer if the time ever comes. The terminal manager and I came up through the driving ranks together. He is a good man and I do not treat him as a driver but rather as my direct supervisor. Something my fellow drivers would be well advised to do. It is always entertaining to watch a new driver try to him not knowing that he was one of the best city drivers I have ever seen. First thing I tell a new driver that I am training is that the TM was a driver for years and one of the best. Don't him.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
  13. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Well, I agree with all of that.

    It's just that by giving the traditional notice, she may give herself a tactical advantage.

    However, I will say that it would be enormously satisfying to just walk out in some situations.

    And since my other advice is to land the next job before quitting this one, it may be a moot point. Except that it does look better, when seeking a new job, to still have your old one, and to tell the new prospective employer that you can't start immediately because you will need to give your current employer their two weeks notice. That way, they see you as being considerate and trustworthy... even if you'd really love to just walk out.

    I gave that last place two weeks notice even though they most certainly didn't deserve that courtesy. But I almost didn't.

    It's an interesting story, actually. But not for here and now. ;)
     
  14. Thunder_o_b

    Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    You are right. I sometimes forget that the things I can get away with as a seasoned semi driver others can not.

    I would like to here the story. Post it in the Miscellaneous room :)
     
  15. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    I might PM it to you. It's kind of a convoluted and bizarre tale.
     
  16. Thunder_o_b

    Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    Cool :)
     
  17. BDpups

    BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    To the OP. To put this nicely, or to try to, you work for a bunch of morons. Don't feel bad for others ineptitude.

    You were written up for this? I wish I could have been there for that. I've been a union steward for quite a few years. I could have argued your way out of the write up. This is management incompetence at its finest.

    I would keep hard copies of the write up and also document everything that happened that led to the write up. It may come in handy down the road. Especially if you can't find another job for awhile.

    Written up for a fish tank? I would have lost it. Good for you for keeping your cool.


    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Emily Caldwell

    Emily CaldwellValued MemberMember

    I don't know that I kept my cool...I sobbed uncontrollably for 2 hours...

    But yeah, the thing is, they are actually pretty smart women, they are just VERY BAD at managing people. It seems like so few people understand that you can be a great salesperson, you can be a great attorney, you can be great at your job...but that does NOT translate to being a good leader or boss. Their inability to delegate ANYTHING will be the death of their firm, or at the very least it will stall growth indefinitely.

    Technically, I was written up for "misuse of company funds." Apparently they were ok with the high start-up costs, but they think I should have submitted a request for approval before setting up the isolation tank when the fish started bullying each other and getting sick as a result. I take that to mean that they would have denied my request had I submitted it. Which means that they were ok with spending $1200 to set up an expensive tank because it looks pretty, but once there were issues requiring attention for the health of the fish, they were unwilling to spend more.

    Obviously everyone on this site knows that no matter how well you plan your tank setup, we're dealing with living creatures and so outcomes can be unpredictable. I don't think I've ever gone under my personal budget for a tank. Yes, I'm still new to this, but there is always something else needed. Meth blue and AQ salt for my betta's fin rot, a powerhead to create current for my Jack, Dempsey, a Nerite snail to help control algae and then plant fertilizer when the reduction in lighting to control algae results in aquatic plant problems. I would think it's common sense that there are unforeseen costs when it comes to keeping any animal.

    I do have a hard copy of the write-up as well as documentation of the events leading up to it. I feel like my glowing review from a month ago makes a pretty strong case for me, and I also have a hard copy of that.

    I'm old enough to know better than to quit a job before having something else lined up. I'm definitely looking.

    As far as giving notice I always do. Not necessarily because they "deserve" it but because I feel it is the right, ethical thing to do. I'm never going to choose to do something I feel is unethical just because someone has done me wrong. (Not that I would judge anyone else for doing that, and I have walked off jobs in the past. Every situation is different.) Also, although my bosses are bad, I love my coworkers. The other attorneys here rely on me to do their scheduling and admin tasks, and I'm not going to leave them hanging. They support me 100% by the way, and we've all agreed that this is happening because my bosses have made some very poor business decisions and spent a lot of money on very stupid marketing ideas and now they are lashing out at all of us because they're broke.

    As far as the fish go, I lost another one in the iso tank, and I'm pretty sure there is another dead one in the main tank although I have to pull out 90 lbs of rock to find the body. So that's a fun task on the list today!

    After all that nonsense and complaining about my overspending, they have agreed to let me rehome the males and restock the tank with pseudotropheus saulosi males and females which is a way better fit for our tank. They gave me a budget of $200. (They're clearly insane.)

    I told them we can't rehome anyone until we get the bloat under control because it's not ethical to give away fish that might have it and introduce it to the new owner's tank. We need to treat it! They are ignoring my requests for $10-$20 of medication, so I am going to purchase it myself on payday. I know I shouldn't spend my own money but the fact is that it's not about them. I care about the welfare and health of these fish, and I'm not going to let them all suffer and die one by one. I just can't do it.

    The only other issue is that I won't be here to care for the saulosi once I find a new job and I don't know what will happen to the fish when that happens. So that puts me in a tough spot because I don't want those fish to suffer either.

    I can't thank all of you enough for your input and support. You are truly appreciated. I will keep everyone updated on the status of the tank.
     






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