Under 18 Fishkeeping

Seahorse man

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Hi everyone! I recently got into this hobby and found a passion for it, but there's one downside. I'm a minor and i come across many difficulties because of this. Mainly that I have to travel an hour and a half to a store that will sell me fish (there's a store 20 miniutes from me but their ridiculously expensive and won't sell fish to minors). And I go to school every day and am a tri-sport athlete. And I just flat aren't allowed to keep as many tanks as I would like to. I was just curious if there are other people like me that have problems with this hobby because they are underage. I would love to hear all about your problems, and any tips would be greatly appreciated!
 

alauruin

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I'm confused by this idea of not selling fish to minors. Do they actually ID you when you try to buy fish? I got into the hobby as a minor and I never encountered anything like that!
 
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Seahorse man

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I'm confused by this idea of not selling fish to minors. Do they actually ID you when you try to buy fish? I got into the hobby as a minor and I never encountered anything like that!
Yeah! I've showed up there with pictures of all my tanks, (4 freshwater and 3 saltwater) and they still won't. They told me that they won't sell fish to me unless I have a parent with me. I could have my parents go with me, but now it's a matter of pride and I just stopped going there, they are way more expensive anyway.
 

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I see heaps of 12-18 year olds come onto this forum with questions or asking for help, so it also surprises me that your LFS won't sell to minor without a parent

...maybe they don't sell to minors on the basis that most don't understand the nitrogen cycle? who knows...

anyway, it's lovely to hear that someone your age has so many tanks and knows about both fresh and salt water! most i've seen are like 16 and got their first betta tank or something. that's really impressive
 

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I’ve never heard of a fish store not selling fish to minors. It’s not like it’s alcohol.

If it’s that far to get fish, try online. Aquabid has some dealers with fair prices.

If you want to set up more tanks, be extremely nice to your parents.

Then, sneak a tank into your house and set it up without your parents knowing. They shouldn’t be too mad if you were nice to them.
 

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I would check if theyre legally allowed to refuse you a sale because your underage. I wouldnt think that they are allowed.
 
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Seahorse man

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I see heaps of 12-18 year olds come onto this forum with questions or asking for help, so it also surprises me that your LFS won't sell to minor without a parent

...maybe they don't sell to minors on the basis that most don't understand the nitrogen cycle? who knows...

anyway, it's lovely to hear that someone your age has so many tanks and knows about both fresh and salt water! most i've seen are like 16 and got their first betta tank or something. that's really impressive
Thanks! I'm turning my 55 gallon fish only saltwater tank into a reef tank for a school project. I'm super excited, but my parents think I'm weird. Haha
 

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I have found many pet stores refuse to sell animals to anyone under 18 in the US without permission of a parent or guardian. The risk of abuse is higher, as is the risk of returns because of ticked off parents. The major chain stores have started following the same policies as animal shelters for safety. They usually have a blanket policy for anything living, including fish.
 

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I see heaps of 12-18 year olds come onto this forum with questions or asking for help, so it also surprises me that your LFS won't sell to minor without a parent

...maybe they don't sell to minors on the basis that most don't understand the nitrogen cycle? who knows...

anyway, it's lovely to hear that someone your age has so many tanks and knows about both fresh and salt water! most i've seen are like 16 and got their first betta tank or something. that's really impressive
I had my first saltwater with a pair of successful helmet picassos when I was 12! I always got the "you have to be at least 18 to buy a fish." So much that I had to order my fish and coral online.
 

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I had my first saltwater with a pair of successful helmet picassos when I was 12! I always got the "you have to be at least 18 to buy a fish." So much that I had to order my fish and coral online.
wow! that's so awesome! my youngest step daughter is 12. she spent a few weeks deciding on a fish tank or "something else" for her 12th birthday. if she went with fish, she was deciding between a blackmoor tank and a betta tank. in the end, she decided that we already have 2 tanks and she'd see what "something else" was. lolz. i tried, though!
 

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The world has gotten so uptight. I can understand not letting you buy a puppy, but fish? Wow. When I was a teen, we didn't have to wear seatbelts, the drinking age was 18 (so we drank at 16), and I walked into the humane society and got my friend a puppy because she needed one more than a boyfriend. Sigh. So of course, I became the mom who surprised her 5-year-old with a puppy one day after school (because she needed her own dog) and put a Betta in her room as well as a 29-gallon. Consequently, she is now 16 and has no interest in dogs or fish anymore. It all came too easily for her. You, on the other hand, will always appreciate your animals because of what you're having to go through to get them
 

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I'm a minor too. My aquarium hobby only extends as far as my parents will allow it, and so far I haven't found a store that will sell me fish without a parent there. I believe they're acting off a general rule of not selling any living animal to a minor, otherwise you'd have eight-year-olds buying hamsters and that wouldn't go down very well. It's frustrating, though, especially because few people take me seriously and LFS employees try to sell me pink plastic .5 gallon betta tanks, and I've had people refuse to sell me saltwater fish, like I might have put a teaspoon of table salt in a five gallon tank and called it done. I stick mainly to freshwater because I simply can't afford a full-time saltwater tank. I also can't afford the shipping prices of buying fish online.
 
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Seahorse man

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I'm a minor too. My aquarium hobby only extends as far as my parents will allow it, and so far I haven't found a store that will sell me fish without a parent there. I believe they're acting off a general rule of not selling any living animal to a minor, otherwise you'd have eight-year-olds buying hamsters and that wouldn't go down very well. It's frustrating, though, especially because few people take me seriously and LFS employees try to sell me pink plastic .5 gallon betta tanks, and I've had people refuse to sell me saltwater fish, like I might have put a teaspoon of table salt in a five gallon tank and called it done. I stick mainly to freshwater because I simply can't afford a full-time saltwater tank. I also can't afford the shipping prices of buying fish online.
I completly agree with not letting kids buy animals most of the time, but I've been in this store like 6 times, bought dry goods, and had a long talk with the owner about seahorses, showed them pics of all my tanks, and they still won't let me! I just gave up on them. I'd rather go somewhere else than be treated as though I don't have any business being there.
 

AxolotlAquarist

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I'm confused by this idea of not selling fish to minors. Do they actually ID you when you try to buy fish? I got into the hobby as a minor and I never encountered anything like that!
I adore the horse in your profile picture! Are you a rider? Either way, he/she looks so sweet! Fish aside, I'm definitely a horse person.
 
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Seahorse man

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I'm confused by this idea of not selling fish to minors. Do they actually ID you when you try to buy fish? I got into the hobby as a minor and I never encountered anything like that!
Yep, you have to park in front of their store, so they see you can drive, and they always ask for an ID before netting anything. I cracked my parents up when I said I needed a fake ID for buying fish.
 

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I have a plan.

If you tell us the name of the store, we will go and rate it 1 star on google reviews.

Then, the store’s rating will drop and less people will go there. We will then all laugh maniacally while people stare at us strangely.
 

FishLoverEmma0

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I have a plan.

If you tell us the name of the store, we will go and rate it 1 star on google reviews.

Then, the store’s rating will drop and less people will go there. We will then all laugh maniacally while people stare at us strangely.
Great plan! We should all go there, stand outside the store, hold hands, and protest. Everyone on fish lore lol
 

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I have a plan.

If you tell us the name of the store, we will go and rate it 1 star on google reviews.

Then, the store’s rating will drop and less people will go there. We will then all laugh maniacally while people stare at us strangely.
Great plan! We should all go there, stand outside the store, hold hands, and protest. Everyone on fish lore lol
Do you actually believe that a fish store working on razor-thin margins loves to refuse to sell to minors because they're, what, evil? Because they hate children? So they need to be shamed and boycotted?

Could you consider a reason that actually makes sense?

I'll bet these places are simply sick of minors buying stuff and having the parents storm into the store demanding their money back because Darling Little Johnny bought a bunch of fish, dumped them into a tank, watched them for an hour, got bored, went to a friend's house to hang, and the fish died and stunk, and it's the evil store's fault.
 

FreshestFreshwater

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Lol petco has the same dumb policy and it’s so frustrating when they don’t trust minors with fish. Meanwhile their employees are “too busy” to remove the the 2 inch substrate of dead of fish at the bottom of every tank.
 

FishLoverEmma0

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Lol petco has the same dumb policy and it’s so frustrating when they don’t trust minors with fish. Meanwhile their employees are “too busy” to remove the the 2 inch substrate of dead of fish at the bottom of every tank.
I know right? When their feeders die, they don't even bother to get them out of the tank. Its disgusting.
 
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