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I Visited My Local Pet Shop


Guest Musicmadmk

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Guest Musicmadmk

Hi

Today I went to the pet shop, and after looking around the fishy section, asked to speak to a shop assistant. Initially I wanted to ask about my goldfish's sickness, but after talking to the people there, I know there's not much hope for him now....poor thing is so ill and I completely blame myself for it. I did buy a pack of oxygen tablets to put in the water, and also the shop offers water testing which is quite good I thought, you can bring in a sample of tank water to be tested for all these additives that might be bad for fishies. (then you know what to treat the water with).

But my goldfish will not have died in vain this time, I am determined some good will come out of this. I have decided to have a clear out of my front room, and remove the rather rubbishy bookcase that is taking up so much room in the corner (I put the goldfish bowl on it, which didn't help). The next thing will to invest in a strong table, preferably a nice chunky one, as that will work out cheaper (I may even be able to get a second hand one for free). The table will have to strong and long enough toi support the weight of a fairly large fish tank full of water...the next thing to do will be to buy the tank, I hope to have lighting, gravel and real plants inside as well as a couple of fish ornaments. Also a filter of some kind and oxygen provider.

I looked at the various fish that were on offer at the shop, and I asked what happens when small tanks are bought for kids and they put goldfish in them. They said they just tell people to upgrade the tank when the fish get bigger. I then asked are there any fish that don't grow so big as goldfish that I could keep in a say, medium sized tank, and the assistant showed me some little minnows, and she told me they only grow up to about 5 cm long, so they would do well in a smaller tank. (I will of course calculate the fish capacity when I get the tank sorted, before introducing any fish. I don't intend to overcrowd, and I will allow for growth.)

I then asked about bettas as some of you have said they can be kept in small tanks, she had never heard of bettas but then I said they were called Siamese fighting fish and then she knew what I was on about. She showed me a couple of them in the tropical section, but she told me they are very hard to look after, as you need to have a tank prepared about 9 months in advance and contrary to what some of you said, they need large tanks. Pity because they are so beautiful to look at.

That is just the opinion of the shop though. It seems I am going to have to wait for my fish tank a long time - I can't see me setting it up before Christmas as I am short of money and need to save up for all the gear before hand.

Michelle

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I then asked about bettas as some of you have said they can be kept in small tanks, she had never heard of bettas but then I said they were called Siamese fighting fish and then she knew what I was on about. She showed me a couple of them in the tropical section, but she told me they are very hard to look after, as you need to have a tank prepared about 9 months in advance and contrary to what some of you said, they need large tanks. Pity because they are so beautiful to look at.

If she didn't know what a betta was, than I don't think she knows as much about the species as she claims :P

Also, I don't know where she got this 9 month number, did she tell you why? Maybe she says that's how long it takes to cycle a tank to scare people (it doesn't take near that long), I'm not sure. But I assure you, they can live in smaller tanks and are not extremely difficult to look after :)

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Many people would hesitate to go to a local pet shop for advice - we've all been burned by people in the shops who don't know that much. I, myself, don't keep Bettas, but it is my understanding that they do fine in a well set-up small tank (but not vases as I have often seen them in!) I hope during your research you can get some good information from people who keep Bettas here.

Mean time, on your poor little goldie - is it possible that you could get him out of the bowl and put him into a clean Rubbermaid container? Not elegant, but it could help with a lot of problems to have him in a larger amount of water. It really is less work, actually, in a larger tank. In a tiny amount of water, every little problem is magnified and waste builds up fast.

And don't be afraid to look at used tanks - sometimes you can get good deals on tanks with all the filters, etc., when a person tires of the hobby, or upgrades to an even larger tank.

Good luck, and I think it's great that you are reading up on the subject!

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I then asked about bettas as some of you have said they can be kept in small tanks, she had never heard of bettas but then I said they were called Siamese fighting fish and then she knew what I was on about. She showed me a couple of them in the tropical section, but she told me they are very hard to look after, as you need to have a tank prepared about 9 months in advance and contrary to what some of you said, they need large tanks. Pity because they are so beautiful to look at.

If she didn't know what a betta was, than I don't think she knows as much about the species as she claims :P

Also, I don't know where she got this 9 month number, did she tell you why? Maybe she says that's how long it takes to cycle a tank to scare people (it doesn't take near that long), I'm not sure. But I assure you, they can live in smaller tanks and are not extremely difficult to look after :)

The first time ever, I think, that I've heard about a shop assistant overstimating anything when it comes to the the needs of fish :o . Well better over than under, I'd say :D .

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To reply to lantern537...

I was also told by the same shop, but a different assistant, as I have had the fish for 7 years, let him stay where he is in the bowl (though he agreed, that generally fish his size need bigger tanks). He told me that as he is already so very poorly moving him to a new larger tank could stress him out so much he dies anyway.

I will get a bigger tank one day to house my next lot of fish.

As for the subject of bettas, I think UK pet shops don't call them bettas and they must be very rare over here anyway. Perhaps there is someone on the forum in the UK who keeps bettas and can advise me on the availabilty of them in this country?

Michelle

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Michelle, now you're getting to an interesting part of this hobby: the constant struggle between us and inept pet shop assistants :D

Ask anyone in this forum, and I think most will say that they eventually stopped listening to advice from shop assistants after a few weeks. Most shop assistants are, unfortunately, have little or no knowledge of fish. Only a very small handful that actually knows what they're talking about and even a smaller minority who actually gives correct advice.

As for the subjects of bettas, I think the pet shop you go to is a *very* dodgy if they say that bettas need 9 months to set-up for. Very dodgy indeed. Plus I'm certain that bettas are very widely available even in the UK, as it is in Australia, the US and practically almost any western countries in the world as it is one of the staple fish of the aquarium hobby.

Pls don't listen to that dodgy pet store again...and if you still got the receipt, return those oxygen tablets as they're not much use and you better of using the old method of air pump & airstone to provide water surface agitation, which is the normal way for oxygen to get into the water.

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Hi Michelle!

I'm gonna pop my nose is again LOL

I've been watching and D Golem has been giving you AWESOME advice over and over again. (You don't just get Helper status for nothing ya know! They are right up there with the mods!!!)

It's true this is the hard part.. Deciding who to believe. If you are anything like me, you've been to store after store and talked to person after person and it's FRUSTRATING!!! You hear one thing, then someone else tells you another, then another, and you are just like "COME ON!!! What do I do?!?!?".. I listened to pet stores, I listened to people at the pet stores that seemed like they really did know and care. But it was not until I just gave in and trusted the koko's members 100% that I saw improvments in my fish.. You can trust me when I say that if you are recieving advice from anyone that says HELPER or MODERATOR, they KNOW what they are doing!!!

Your fish is not to late to save, but a bowl is not going to do it.. It's very true.. Moving fish can be stressful. However, high ammonia is many many many many many (want me to keep saying it? lol) many many times more stressful.. A fish cannot survive the amount of ammonia that will surely be there in a bowl. I've been there and done this soo many times. Sick fish in bowls do not live. Sick fish in a LARGE volume of fresh dechlorinated temp matched water, MAY recover.. A rubbermaid is fabulous. It's only temporary, who cares what it looks like? Soo cheap too.. I know it's hard for you right now, to know who to listen to. But we seriously care on here, I promise you.. Your fish may still be too weak to recover, but he has a much better chance in a LARGE volume of water..

I am rather new here, and I came here exactly like you. Uncertain who to trust, and what to do.. Very quickly I learned how caring and helpful this board is, and I literally trust them 100% with my fish now. I don't even talk to pet store workers about care of my fish, even if they seem well meaning.

If I come off pushy, I don't mean to. I am just passionate about this board, and the great advice I have recieved here : )

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Your fish is not to late to save, but a bowl is not going to do it.. It's very true.. Moving fish can be stressful. However, high ammonia is many many many many many (want me to keep saying it? lol) many many times more stressful.. A fish cannot survive the amount of ammonia that will surely be there in a bowl. I've been there and done this soo many times. Sick fish in bowls do not live. Sick fish in a LARGE volume of fresh dechlorinated temp matched water, MAY recover.. A rubbermaid is fabulous. It's only temporary, who cares what it looks like? Soo cheap too.. I know it's hard for you right now, to know who to listen to. But we seriously care on here, I promise you.. Your fish may still be too weak to recover, but he has a much better chance in a LARGE volume of water..

:exactly I was going to say this earlier, but I haven't been on as much the past few days and didn't know all the background info, but I totally agree, at least make your fish's last days comfortable if anything. I mean, even a bucket would probably hold more water than a fish bowl, anything you have around that can hold a larger water volume would be better :)

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Michelle, I have 3 tanks set up in my home. One is a 30 gallon and houses my 2 large goldfish. One is a 10 gallon with some tropicals and a pink betta. The other one is a 5 gallon with Ali, my other betta. Of all the fish I have, the bettas are the easiest to care for. The 5 gallon tank cycled in 2 weeks with Ali in it and we had no trouble. Nine months to cycle a tank and stating that bettas are hard to care for is the most ludicrous thing I have heard in a while from an lfs employee. And I've heard some doozies, believe me we all have! :rolleyes:

The fact that the lfs employee didn't even know what a betta was except for its slang name says a whole lot. Stay away from that place.

You need to listen to what Country Lovah has told you. Your fish is not beyond help, but it will not survive in a bowl. Bowls are for cereal. Fish need room, air, light, plants, and more than anything else, they need pristine water and lots of it to survive.

Please take our word for it. You have been grossly misinformed.

Edited by vickielm
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Bettas..hard to take care of...and 9 months to cycle...this is news...and yeah coming from an lfs employee that bettas need a very big tank..thts really NEWS.. :)

Well I am not saying bettas are very easy..No...they need attention frequent cleaning...good water quality..and a tank of 5 gallon with a filter and heater is all a male betta needs...good food...and love...will keep your betta healthy and happy...

Thats all wrong suggestions Michelle...everyone here is right about housing a betta in a 5 gallon tank..I have one too...

As for your goldfish..get a big tank or a rubbermaid container (10 gallon minimum) and move him in there...sure without cycling it will be stressful for the fishy..but you can really try..I would say try your level best..you could save him...and trust me..its all worth the pain... :) ..good luck..

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SunshineGurl, I have never used a heater for any of my bettas. When you buy them they have been in those stupid little cups for lord knows how long without heaters. Its funny. Pinkie, my pink betta lives and thrives very well in the tropical tank. Mohammed Ali does very well in his 5 gallon with NO heater. I guess its just a preference or maybe what they get used to. If I'm wrong, I hope someone here will correct me, though. ;)

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Hi guys!!! The heater thing gets tricky for me.. I actually have my two bettas in 2.5 gallon tanks.. I make sure to do weekly 100% water changes, and they seem to do just fine in there! : ) I've always kept my bettas in those tanks, and always had success keeping them.

I only recently started looking into heaters. It's hard to find good reliable heaters for small tanks.. I will say this, my fish have always survived the colder temps of winter just fine, but they do seem to thrive in the summer when their tank water gets nice and toasty. They seem more active and alert.. I recently bought a small heater that says it will work for tanks between 2-10 gallons, and maintain the temperature at 77.. I put it in my 10 gallon to test it out.(Right now the water for the bettas stays just fine with room temperature).. So far it has done exactly that, keep the water precisely at 77..Never even a change at ALL! I will see how it works when I move it to a smaller tank. If it does well, I plan on using them for my bettas as the temperature gets colder.

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SunshineGurl, I have never used a heater for any of my bettas. When you buy them they have been in those stupid little cups for lord knows how long without heaters. Its funny. Pinkie, my pink betta lives and thrives very well in the tropical tank. Mohammed Ali does very well in his 5 gallon with NO heater. I guess its just a preference or maybe what they get used to. If I'm wrong, I hope someone here will correct me, though. ;)

Really??..thats awesome to know...as of now the heater I bought for my betta is still in its package..the thing is its still hot here...with his 5 gallon tank being covered all the time..the temperature in there is always 80...even at night it falls down to only 74...since I monitor it..I really don't find the heater useful at the moment..but I am not sure how the winters are going to be..thts why it is good to know tht you haven't any for Pinkie and Ali..I ll see how my Frosty behaves when it gets cold...hope he does not feel frosty in there.. ;) . LOL...

as for my goldies, a fan with the hood almost open and the air bubbler does the trick...not very high temperatures for them..always stays 72-73 during the day and night falls to 68...

Since we are at it...does keeping bettas in cold water or not exactly 80 and around, shorten their lives??..I have been told they wont live for 2-3 years if they dont live in heated waters...and that otherwise they can thrive for 4-5 years as well..Is that true???..This is my first betta...but since you and Sue have had betta for a long time...how old have they grown to be???

Edited by SunshineGurl
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Well, I have only had Ali for a few months, but Pinkie is 4 years old now. I do like Sue's idea of the little heater for the winter months if it keeps the water at 77. He doesn't need it now, but his tank is in my bedroom and it gets cold in there during the winter.

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Guest Musicmadmk

Hi

This afternoon I went out and bought some clove oil from a chemists shop and then went home, lit an incsense stick, laid a towel on the floor, put a goldfish bowl on the floor, put some water in it from the bowl Garfunkel was in, then mixed 10 drops of clove oil with some milk, stirred it round to mix it, put it in the bowl on the floor, then gently lifted Garfunkel out with a net, looked into his little fishy face and said goodbye to him, and made a vow never to keep any fish in a bowl again, and then put him in the mixture....he took a long time but his breathing slowed down and then I put him in a stronger mixture and he slipped away within minutes. I have buried him now in the garden next to a pretty lavender bush with some nice bulbs on top of him.

I actually feel that I have done the right thing. It wasn't fair to see him suffer...when I saw him struggle to get to his food this morning and fail to get any, I knew I had to do something.

Oh, and I've just thrown all my goldfish bowl stuff away.

Michelle

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RIP Garfunkel. You've been a loyal companion for many years.

Oh, and I've just thrown all my goldfish bowl stuff away.

That's great! However, you might not want to do that just yet. A goldfish bowl can be a very nice decoration in your house (without the goldfish in it, of course).

Will you from now on use caution when getting advice from pet shop assistants also?

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I love my goldfish bow. In my 75 gallon tank with a plant in it. lol Sorry you were given such bad advice from a pet shop person but that is the norm around here.

I never go to a pet shop to ask questions. I come here for fish and find breeders/owners for other things like dogs or parrots.

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Yep! I use my goldfish bowls still too, but I use them when I am doing 100% water changes on my betta tanks, and I put the bettas in them for about 30 minutes while cleaning the tank. The 3 gallon bowl I have I put PP in and clean things. (extra bucket?)

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I just wanted to say I think you did a very humaine thing Michelle, and it took strenght to do it, RIP little guy :(

As for the fish bowls....I keep 'lucky bamboo' in mine with riverstones...no fish of course :)

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Guest Musicmadmk

I had to throw my fish bowls out....they were too much of a bad reminder of goldfish prison.

If and when I do get some more fish, I shall probably get a bucket or maybe a slightly smaller tank just to put them in while cleaning out, using as a hospital tank etc etc.

No more bowls

Michelle

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Michelle,

I just want to say I feel for you. You learned a powerful lesson and a hard one, but one that will stay with you always. I would say the majority of us came to Koko's because we learned this same lesson in a very similiar way and care enough not to make the same mistake. There are many people that have the attitude that if your fish is doing poorly and it dies, you just empty the bowl, refill it and get another goldie. But you are one of the good folks out there (the same kind of good folks that this forum is filled with) that finds that unacceptable and does things right the next time around.

RIP loyal friend.

Amy

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