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Buying A Fish Because Of Pity


number20121

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But I was close to.

Yesterday at Pet$mart I saw them having a sick goldfish for the first time ever (aside from the occasional dead feeder fish).

It was a calico Ryukin, who was quite floaty. He was hanging at the surface, in a normal position but he could not get lower. When he tried, he made it like three inches down, then floated back up. He looked so sad, and his dorsal already seemed a bit bent.

My husband was getting upset over it and had to walk away, I think he was close to crying.

The fish itself seemed to be fine other than the floatyness. Being a n00b to this I have no clue what caused his problem but for a minute I was seriously thinking about getting him, putting him in my leftover 10g tank as hospital and ask you guys on how to help him.

But my main problem was that even if I get him fixed, I wouldn't know where to put him afterward. I'm already overstocked with six fish in 55gallons and it will take a little bit until I get a larger tank considering I don't want to just upgrade to 75 gallons but triple the 55g.

This fish was SO beautiful. Mainly white/silver/whateveryoucallit with slight blueish tint and some orange and black speckles, beautiful long tail. About four inches length at least, he was in the $ 14 range. I feel so bad just thinking about him :(

Any of you ever felt like that or even actually bought a fish for a similar reason?

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang
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You're a smarter person than me Oerba. I have gotten two fish in the past out of pity. One was an eyeless oranda that lived a surprisingly health life and one fantail that was giving to me by a local shop because they didn't know how to treat swim bladder disease. Now I'm in the same position as you and no longer have room to take in the unwanted. My husband has resorted to covering my eyes if he spots in injured goldie before I do or he risks having yet another tank set up in our small home ;-)

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He's a calico ryukin. The thing with rescuing is you have to make a checklist. This helps me not to make the decision.

1. Is he beyond saving?

2. Is he worth the time and money to save?

3. (Most important) Do I know what the real problem is and how will I treat it? What if I treat with the wrong medications.

4. What if he infects my other fish or is carrying a disease.

5. Do I have room?

I feel bad about not rescuing but sometimes I just have to let go.

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Aww. :( Yeah, I've definitely felt a strong urge to rescue certain goldfish because they just look so miserable :( I remember seeing a big beautiful blue ryukin at my PS who was headstanding and couldn't right itself up. It just had that sad look of wanting to live, but is struggling. I almost bought it. There's also the sad little babies gulping at the top, twitching, or just floating listlessly.

I have to get into "logic mode" and tell myself that I don't have the experience, courage, or the setup to help them. One day, though, I would like to rescue one. :)

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I've been there too. But I also wouldn't have the space to keep him/her when better and I wouldn't feel safe giving them to someone that might make the whole situation happen again.

I had a really floaty Ryukin that would float on his back after every meal. He began to refuse food and there was nothing I could do for him. He was given to a school to hand out at a fair by this petstore that ALWAYS has bad husbandry. Whenever I go in there I want to rescue 1 or 6.

I can't wait for my 200 gallon goldie tank (Looks into the way distant future lol)

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Any of you ever felt like that or even actually bought a fish for a similar reason?

I went at 10pm to a strangers house to get her "Free to good home" goldfish without a tank, medication, equipment, or food, or enough room at home to house them all properly as adults. We still have a 2 hour drive to make through on thursday. then they'll be ok for a little while. There was a lionhead at the LFS without an eye and with body rot. most of them had finrot and some scales missing, I had to pass them up. I felt really bad, but I already took on a huge bite with the other three!

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I'm tempted every time, but I just don't know enough about fish yet AND I don't have the room. I have the same problem with other pets though. Just have to take in the problem cases. That's how I got my bunny who had epileptic seizures and a bunny with 5 toes missing... My husband keeps reminding me that we're not Noah's Ark.. Maybe one day when I know enough about fish...

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If I have the space, definitely. That's how I ended up with my 2 black teles from WM. Actually, right now all of my goldies are kind of rescues: Atty came from a friend who's room mate had him in a bowl, Lilly and Penny came from a feeder tank (Lilly was missing part of her tail and had a flat head) and Constantine and Philomena were half dead in WM.

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It's really hard to walk away from a goldfish in need, especially when it's one of your favorite types. I try to remind myself that giving the store money for sick fish just perpetuates the cycle -- it's kind of like the aquatic version of puppy mills, you know? Even if you air your grievances with the store manager, at a big-box pet store, it probably doesn't go any further up the ladder. The only feedback the store gets when you buy a sick fish is, "Hey, those goldfish are sellin', let's order some more."

If the store had to either return or ask for refunds from corporate because of sick, dying, or dead fish, perhaps (just maybe) the breeder, the middleman, etc. would have to improve the conditions under which the goldies are bred and kept.

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It's really hard to walk away from a goldfish in need, especially when it's one of your favorite types. I try to remind myself that giving the store money for sick fish just perpetuates the cycle -- it's kind of like the aquatic version of puppy mills, you know? Even if you air your grievances with the store manager, at a big-box pet store, it probably doesn't go any further up the ladder. The only feedback the store gets when you buy a sick fish is, "Hey, those goldfish are sellin', let's order some more."

If the store had to either return or ask for refunds from corporate because of sick, dying, or dead fish, perhaps (just maybe) the breeder, the middleman, etc. would have to improve the conditions under which the goldies are bred and kept.

I guess that makes sence. Never thought of it that way... :undecided:

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It's really hard to walk away from a goldfish in need, especially when it's one of your favorite types. I try to remind myself that giving the store money for sick fish just perpetuates the cycle -- it's kind of like the aquatic version of puppy mills, you know? Even if you air your grievances with the store manager, at a big-box pet store, it probably doesn't go any further up the ladder. The only feedback the store gets when you buy a sick fish is, "Hey, those goldfish are sellin', let's order some more."

If the store had to either return or ask for refunds from corporate because of sick, dying, or dead fish, perhaps (just maybe) the breeder, the middleman, etc. would have to improve the conditions under which the goldies are bred and kept.

I definitely see your point and it makes perfect sense. In my case it is though that this Pet$mart never had sick fish. I really never saw any there, except for this one Ryukin. I wish SO MUCH I could take it in. Ah, this bothers me. It's the same when I visit their up to adoption cats. :(

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I agree 100% that it encourages them to restock, and I usually do avoid those types of shops b/c of it. My 2 were a little different b/c they don't restock at the end of the season and they don't take very good care of the few remaining fish, they want to shut down the tanks until close to Christmas anyway.

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It's really hard to walk away from a goldfish in need, especially when it's one of your favorite types. I try to remind myself that giving the store money for sick fish just perpetuates the cycle -- it's kind of like the aquatic version of puppy mills, you know? Even if you air your grievances with the store manager, at a big-box pet store, it probably doesn't go any further up the ladder. The only feedback the store gets when you buy a sick fish is, "Hey, those goldfish are sellin', let's order some more."

If the store had to either return or ask for refunds from corporate because of sick, dying, or dead fish, perhaps (just maybe) the breeder, the middleman, etc. would have to improve the conditions under which the goldies are bred and kept.

I definitely see your point and it makes perfect sense. In my case it is though that this Pet$mart never had sick fish. I really never saw any there, except for this one Ryukin. I wish SO MUCH I could take it in. Ah, this bothers me. It's the same when I visit their up to adoption cats. :(

Trust me, the fish will be sick more often than not. Every fish I've gotten from there (3 in my tank, Red, Soochi, and Romano) have had something wrong with them underlying. Such as parasite infections, ich, and anchor worm, and flukes on top of that. However they did end up good but cost a lot of money in the process. I have made a vow to only order from Ken now :( Those fish in pet*smart do not deserve to be treated that way and I agree, if we stop buying and supporting them they'll stop selling them.

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I bought a large oranda, Summers out of pity for his finrot and red streaks around. His sibling died in the store a few days later and it had floaty issues. I wish I bought the other too. It'd cost me a grand to get two of them but I opted to get Summers instead because I wasn't sure the other one had a chance. It was having a near death experience.:( Turns out Summers had a mixed infestation of anchorworms, fish lice and even flukes. All were killed when I unleashed a treatment of salt and neguvon for Summers. I kept wondering why he keeps getting those unusual wounds. Zoomed in my pics of him and saw some round discs resembling that of fish lice. That was very frustrating but Summers was very patient with me trying to nurse him back to health. His fins were extremely damaged but I was surprised to see his fins recover quickly after a few weeks.

Edited by Lupin
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I agree 100% that it encourages them to restock, and I usually do avoid those types of shops b/c of it. My 2 were a little different b/c they don't restock at the end of the season and they don't take very good care of the few remaining fish, they want to shut down the tanks until close to Christmas anyway.

TOTALLY. I would qualify that as a 100% legit rescue, no question.

Guys, please don't think I'm super-judgmental about buying sick fish -- I'm not. It's just that I work in animal welfare education, so I'm forced to look at the "big picture" more than most folks.

My main reason for buying healthy fish myself isn't political -- it's mainly because losing fish breaks my heart. But I do admire those of you who try to nurse them back to health!

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I completely agree with RD and Tay on this.

I find it so hard to go to fish stores and not buy the sick fish. This always happened when I went to that store in france where Sir L and Sir A are from. Then I thought, wait, why am I even going there in the first place? Not only does it upset me to see the poor fish, BUT I STILL buy products from there? So I wrote a letter to the general administration and just don't go there anymore. Those people don't deserve my business.

In switzerland this is way harder to find BUT yesterday I went to a PetStore about an hour from my house as I needed some things for my turts. It is one of the only stores in CH which is also a 'zoo' store, they sell everything except cats and dogs basically. They have an old man in the aquatics section who is very knowledgable about the fish and reptiles. He is the one who sold me my first goldie in a 20gal tank :DBut yesterday he wasn't there :doh11: turns out his is on vaca for a month.... FOR THE FIRST TIME I saw:

- dead goldies and sick goldies in the goldie tank. the dead ones were being eaten by the sick ones..... :ignore

- DIRTY DIRTY DIRTY turt tanks with disintegrating food.

Just a real unpleasant environment. I will let the man know as soon as he is back that clearly his staff is a bunch of lazy idiots.

Relating the buying out of pity I just got a baby stinkpot turtle this way. I had been eyeing him since the beginning of summer at the nice store I always go to (the one where my goldie friend works). Anyways, all his siblings had been sold except for him (this was in the end of august). Then they put him with fish etc. I always checked up on him. Then 2 weeks ago I told him I would just take him, but that they shouldn't sell turts here so people are encouraged to go to breeders, and we stop the mass turtle breeding that happens. He agreed also because now in Switzerland they need a license to sell turts - which they don't have. :) So I am happy about that. They will just be selling fish now - and all their fish are in excellent conditions ( I have a baby fantail on hold for me :D )

My little guy is the CUTEST thing - less than an inch. :heart We named him Alfred Hitchcock because he likes to hide and be mysterious. We went to the vet and he is in perfect health. After a few days he was already swimming into my hand and eating from my fingers. :heart So it was a win win :)

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Almost did it today. There was this comet, I think it was a sarassa. Anyway he was perfectly fine, but only had one eye. Looked like a birthdefect or something. i soooo wanted to take him home, but then I had to keep telling myself: I don't have the room...I don't have the room. :(

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