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erk39

Venting Over Fish Problems

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Sorry, this is a bit of a rant and venting but I need to get it off my chest.

I've just posted a 911 forum for my Dorothy, who I am afraid is on Death's door. I can't believe it- up until recently she was always the healthiest of the bunch the only one who never had a problem. She even survived being in an unconditioned, poorly maintaned 2.5 gallon tank with another gf Joe for over a month when I first got her in December (Joe didn't make it). Actually all the fish are my son's, but he is only 3, so I do all the actual caretaking. For the purpose of writing it's easier to call them my fish.

After Joe died and the tank water was constantly yellow I did the research and got an appropriately sized tank (29G) and over the next two months added friend and blue.

I am so frustrated at all the goldfish problems we are having. We got goldfish because they were supposed to be hearty, easily maintained fish. So much for that theory. Joe died within a month. Blue has major swim bladder issues, Friend had a bout with some white spots on his tail a few months ago and now Dorothy appears to be dying. For all I know she is already dead- she was in pretty bad shape an hour ago and I am afraid to look at the tank.

I do everything by the book, too. 10G per fish, roughly 10x tank volume per hour filtration. Aerator in the tank. Weekly 20% water change with gravel vac. New water conditioned with prime and checked for correct temperature. pH rarely fluctuates, ammonia and nitrite always at 0. Nitrate never above 40 and usually around 20. Don't overfeed. Fast one day a week. Occasional peas and oranges.

And these fish are still getting sick and dying on me! And as if that weren't bad enough, I'm getting no support here! Getting a goldfish for my son was NOT my idea, although I didn't object. But somehow responsibility for cleaning, feeding, etc. automatically fell to me. Actually it wasn't somehow. Basically my wife was oblivious to the fact (or didn't care) that the fish were getting sick and the water was nasty- and when I mentioned it she didn't seem to think that the conditions were that much of a problem, so it left me to do the research and get the fish taken care of. And of course this meant buying a tank and new equipment, so suddenly its as if it was my project all along and I now officially have full responsibility for anything to do with the fish.

Now I have already had a fish die on me and awhile back we thought blue might die and I said "that's it, if he dies I'm done. I will still take care of the other goldfish for as long as they live but I can't stand to keep replacing dead fish." As their caretaker, I have become attached and it's traumatic for me when they die. And of course I'm left with the job of disposing of the dead fish. My wife actually got annoyed at me for saying that on the basis that I had spent "so much money" on the tank and equipment.

Never mind the fact that I was only buying the basic equipment for what the fish THAT WERE NOT MY IDEA needed. Never mind that I bought the tank, stand and filter all secondhand, and bought only the cheapest siphon, net, etc. I could find. Never mind the fact that the tank is, if anything, in better shape now than when I bought it, and I could probably get most of my money back selling it.

So that was a few months ago and blue got better and I thought I was over the whole thing, but now Dorothy is dying and my wife who is not happy about, but not all that torn up either, goes up the stairs saying if Dorothy dies she gets to pick the next fish. How insensitive can you get. I just wanted to scream at her. Here I am, watching the fish I have taken care of for the last 8 months die, and my wife is worried about getting dibs on picking the replacement?!?!

So here I am, at nearly two in the morning, venting this all on the computer when I should be asleep. This couldn't have happened on a worse night either. I am exhausted because we just got back from vacation, and already torn up b/c tomorrow my two sons, who I have stayed home with for the past year, are starting preschool and daycare and I am so worried sick about how they will handle it, and for that matter how I will handle it. And frustrated and scared because I was supposed to have a new job before the kids started daycare and despite all my efforts, I haven't found one yet. If I can't get a decent paying job by the end of September, we will have officially spent the last of our savings and be broke, and between rent, food, daycare and other costs we will be spending about a billion dollars a month more than my wife makes.

I really, really need to go to sleep now. For anybody who actually took the time to read this thanks, and I'm sorry it was so long. Just needed to get it off my chest.

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Im really sorry about all the problems youre having right now!! Sometimes it seems like it'll never end doesnt it??

As far as the fish go, starting up the hobby Ive found out if the hardest. Ive lost a lot of fish. Most of them within a few months of starting out. Even though I had appropriate tanks for them, something happened. I almost gave up. Now, I am so glad I didnt.

Finding a job isnt easy either. At least youre trying.

Dont give up just yet, things will get better eventually. Sometimes things have to get worse to get there.

:heart

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Thanks for the kind words. Dorothy died over night. I still don't know why. Not sure whether we will get another fish soon or not. My wife is going to want to, but I'm not sure how much more of this I can take.

As for the job it's probably not as bad as I made it sound. I'm still waiting to hear back on two jobs I interviewed for recently, and I got a call from a company a few days ago that's supposed to call me back to set up an interview. It's just a really stressful and slow-going process, and I am soooooo ready for it to be over with.

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Do you know, i started out pretty much the same way you did only I was given a tank by a friend and it was expected that I set it up and be so grateful. Well I did set it up and the filter I got was so inadequate, plus I purchased too many fish for the tank size and had no clue about cycling. I don't think I slept those first few months because like any animal, it only took me 2 seconds to love these little guys now in my care and as such I spent endless hours researching. I thought I finally had it to a point where they would be easy to maintain - the water was excellent, filtration was on the way to becoming what was needed and my fish still got ill. In the first 7 months of owning fish, I battled about 7 bacterial infections, ich, lice and other parasites that came along with stressed fish and that's when i felt i was in over my head. I didn't give up though and it's still amazing how much you learn when you want to try and save them but the saddest part about it is, it's impossible to save them all - even when we try our hardest. It doesn't make it any easier though :(

I hope you find a wonderful job soon because it will make things look more positive - and as for caring for your fish, it sounds like you're all they have and the fact you care for them is the biggest positive. That's more than half the battle to good fishkeeping. You're trying your best and that's all any of us can do.

I'm so sorry Dorothy didn't make it :cry1

I hope things look up soon and don't forget, there's a board full of people here ready to offer their support and friendship and if your post isn't answered straight away (time differences etc..) it will be answered as soon as humanely possible :)

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Theres a lot of stressfull stuff going on for you now and it really sucks :( . It always seems to happen in big lumps like that- stress and trouble. Actually I feel sure it is all going to get much better for you now. Your kids will get off to a good start at preschool and the job situation sounds a little hopeful at least..I hope so.

As for the fish, I really think you tried hard and did what you possibly could for them. It is so horrible losing fish. We have all been there. So many fish that come to us are not in a good condition to start, many are carrying parasites and so on..it is often hard to tell. The first fish we get always suffer as we learn too the whole cycle business and care routine. Think positive, you now have all the gear and a whole lot of experience. You could- if you choose- do much better next time you get fish.

I wish you all the best with everything, please vent again if you need to. Most of us here can relate to it all :heart Bless you for caring.

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I'm sorry about your fish. I think alot of us go threw loosing fish. I had kept them for years and never had a problem untill this last year. This is how I found Koko's... Don't give up. It sounds like you care about them. and they can be such a joy to have. Good luck on the job search. all will go well in the end...

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I am sorry that things are so hard for you. You are in my prayers. I TOTALLY understand your frustrations with fish. I have cut back on the number of tanks I had because it was getting to be very unenjoyable to have that many. I have also battled endless deaths and diseases (costs a lot to buy stuff too) and am also starting to get very tired of water changes and cleaning the tanks. I think, eventually, I will not have fish. I like it now (only have 2 tanks) but I can see myself giving it up in a few years or only keeping one male betta in a small tank.

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Thanks all for your replies. I'm still in kind of a sucky place right now, but it helps to know that people have had similar problems in the past with their fish. I appreciate you all sharing your thoughts on the subject. It does make me feel a little better about everything.

At least I (hopefully) have nowhere to go but up from here!

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You know what? I don't know you at all, but I think you need a hug. :bighug There, I gave you the extra big one too. :D

You sound like you have a lot on your plate right now, and I agree, it's totally overwhelming. My son just started Kindergarten, and I was a nervous wreck. I have a lot to deal with in life (school, 3 cats, a dog, ferrets, rabbits, and a bazillion fish) There's days where I feel like I'm going to break down into an unconsolable mess, but I do what I do because it needs to be done for the well-being of all the "critters" (human or not) that live in my family. All of my pets have been dumped by someone, so I try my hardest to make sure they're happy. When it comes to fish, I think that they deserve the same amount of respect and dignity as a cat or a dog. Life, in whatever form, should be treated just as importantly as any other. I don't agree with your wife's "view" on the fish as being a disposable pet, but sadly, many people feel this way because they're not fluffy, chew up your slippers, or lick your face. Have you explained to her that you disagree with how she feels about the fish?

If you DO decide to continue, try getting some fish from a different store (if yours all came from the same place). You could just be dealing with a cruddy supplier. Make sure that new fish are always quarantined from your old fish for awhile to make sure that they aren't introducing a parasite or something of the like that is opening your fish up to bacterial infections and such. Also, make sure you add fish one at a time so that you don't overwhelm the nitrogen cycle with too much load at once.

Chin up, mate, your "uphill" is on it's way. ;)

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