Urgent Help Pls My School Is Keeping Fish Abusively?

apoorlydrawnape

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I am in a class in school that currently has 10 gallon tanks about half way full. There is 2 plastic tubs fastened to the top of each tank, about 3 inches across, 3 inches tall, and 6 inches long. The bottom of each has 2 holes and is covered by cotton balls. Upon the cotton balls is clay pellets with seeds growing in them. There is a pump (not a filter) which pumps water into these tubs.

In each of these tanks there was about 6 comet goldfish. 6 goldfish in about 5 gallons of water!! When they are fed every day, a bunch of tropical flakes are carelessly dumped in there. The water is disgusting because there is no filter and the pump is very weak. There is no water changes. During spring break, these fish got fed absolutely nothing. 9 days with no food.

I've tried to say something about it to my group of 5 people who "cares for" one of the tanks. I am disliked by them for refusing to do any work on this project (I don't want to care about these fish because I know I can't help, so I just try to avoid them), so they won't listen to what I say. They have been in these tanks for about a month now and many of them have died. At the end of the school year (May 20th, 40 days from this post), one person in each group/tank owners will get to take the fish and tank.

Is there anything I can do? I don't want to let them be taken by someone who is going to condemn them to a miserable life in a 10 gallon, uncleaned, unfiltered tank.
 

bizaliz3

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That's so sad :-(
And what is their purpose for having them? Are they being used for educational purposes or something? Or just class pets?
 

KimberlyG

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I think we are all familiar with that eco system model. I don't know what teacher set it up with 6 comets when 1 of those poopers would have been more than enough. So sorry. Welcome to science gone wrong.
 

Jessy

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Raise the issue to the deputy, if this fails go to the principle you could ask around people who are interested in rescuing them to a suitable home. Depending on where you live you can contact the rspca etc
Hope this helps
 

Diesmali

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I'm a teacher and we have similar problems in our school. There are two of us who are serious about it, me being really new the other way more experienced. She keeps a really solid tank with a few angels and is diligent about upkeep and teaching proper care. It's a really cool educational experience when done right.

The issue being bettas in bowls, cups and thimbles of water. Seems to be a bit of a trend around school. We complain about to the point of probably being annoying. Leave care sheets(from here) lying near the fish...Some people just won't learn. Maybe that's the unintended life lesson.

Keep trying though.
 

Absolem420

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SPCA or Peta if it's that bad I'd say. SPCA stands for something. Preventing cruelty to animals or some such.... Dunno if they could do something.
 

Bettanewb

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Try providing solid research to the principal first and see if that will get anywhere.
 

cheapcouches

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Do the 5 people in your group have any fish keeping experience at all? Do they not have a heater/filter for financial purposes? Is the teacher (assuming the teacher supervises the activity if maintaining fish) not letting the group of students get a filter/heater?

If the group of students won't listen to you, I'd personally print out a paper from a website explaining on how to properly care for fish and hand it to them (anonymously, if it needs to be), or if the teacher has any experience fish keeping, have the teacher lend a hand every now and then.
 

FishWhishes

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Okay so a couple ideas. If it is the teacher who won't listen to you, you could go to another teacher that teaches the same course maybe (Ex: if it is a bio class go to another bio teacher). If your school has an ag department and those teachers aren't the problem, talk to one of them.
At my school we have lunch room monitors, they're usually one of the vice principals. You could try talking to them. Lastly, guidance councilors are really great at listening to students so your guidance councilor could maybe help. I'm not sure.
 

Alhana

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To echo what others asked, what is the purpose? Are they trying to grow plants hydroponically? I think the first course of action would be to bring up your concerns with the teacher(s) who run the class. Maybe you could test the water and come at the problem scientifically. Show them why you are concerned and that its not just a personal thing. If the teachers don't seem to be receptive, I would probably look at going to higher ups in your school.
 

purslanegarden

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I understand the need to educate people on the proper way to help animals and pets, but sometimes a wrong way is still a good way to get someone interested in properly handling the animal or taking care of it, especially for the people who will be interested in doing their best to give the animal a good environment. As a result, that will be one more person that can help pass along the good information. (As an example, there are plenty of people on this message board that admit to not understanding what they were getting into, and even killing off fish unexpectedly, but are now better fish keepers after their concern and interest made them look into how to care for the fish better).

I think you can do the project with your best effort, and still educate your classmates and teachers about good living conditions for the fish.
 

Diesmali

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We won one this weekend. One of our betta keepers has bought a 5 gallon kit and even safe start. Heater, filter and decorations even.

I said the fish would be happier even with it cycling than in a bowl. Is that right?
 

Tiny_Tanganyikans

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This similar experiment is in so many biology classes around the world. Unfortunately too many people see fish as disposable pets.

I've seen some of these experiments where they don't even feed the fish. Supposedly food is supposed to fall from the terrestrial layer. It's a really bad experiment that does nothing but grow some plants hydroponically. Instead of building the model they should just provide a visual representation
 

Alhana

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We won one this weekend. One of our betta keepers has bought a 5 gallon kit and even safe start. Heater, filter and decorations even.

I said the fish would be happier even with it cycling than in a bowl. Is that right?
Yeah especially considering where they came from it would probably be best to get them into the 5 gal environment and try to do a fish in cycle than to let them stay in the bad conditions.

This similar experiment is in so many biology classes around the world. Unfortunately too many people see fish as disposable pets.

I've seen some of these experiments where they don't even feed the fish. Supposedly food is supposed to fall from the terrestrial layer. It's a really bad experiment that does nothing but grow some plants hydroponically. Instead of building the model they should just provide a visual representation
Sadly that happens quite a lot. I get a lot of people who come in asking for the fish they can put in a two liter bottle. I usually try to ask what they are trying to do and many times the parents go home with questions for the teachers instead of a fish.
 
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apoorlydrawnape

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The purpose really isn't clear and I haven't pay much attention. It's mostly to learn about the nitrogen cycle and it's a competition for which group can grow the plants the most and have the most alive fish, I think.

I talked to the teacher and he agreed to take them to fish store after we finish. Some more may die but at least they may not be taken to a home where no one cares and puts them in a fish bowl.

Attempting to explain it to classmates isn't really an option. I'm not the most likable person and what I say means nothing to them.

I said the fish would be happier even with it cycling than in a bowl. Is that right?
Yes. 5 gallons works for a betta. You would need to change the water more often for a while, though.
 

AWheeler

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Are you not part of a group of students that is doing this experiment as well....why not just simply apply what you know and do this aquaponics experiment with the right type of care for the fish. If you are going to use 6 comets you are going to need a TON of plants to suck up all the nutrients (you don't have enough room for that many plants unless you put a pump in, and a large garden flat on top of it or something.)
If you were able to at least explain it to your team mates, that would be the better option.
 
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apoorlydrawnape

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Are you not part of a group of students that is doing this experiment as well....why not just simply apply what you know and do this aquaponics experiment with the right type of care for the fish. If you are going to use 6 comets you are going to need a TON of plants to suck up all the nutrients (you don't have enough room for that many plants unless you put a pump in, and a large garden flat on top of it or something.)
Everyone dislikes me. What I say means nothing to them.
 

oOBlueOo

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Everyone dislikes me. What I say means nothing to them.
MAKE it mean something. This could be a learning experience for you, also.

See if you can get permission to turn this into your observation project, then test the water every school day and record it. Prove that their experiment is failing and they need better methods.

They may dislike you, but their opinion doesn't matter. This is (forgive me for saying this) an opportunity to question their intelligence.
 
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