AIBU - Pets at Home Goldfish Fiasco

(99 Posts)
MoronsandNeurons Wed 27-Apr-16 13:27:20

Went to buy a replacement goldfish (DD's lasted 6 months) and I was refused by the most miserable assistant because I didn't have a filter in the tank. Bought an overpriced filter.
Went back today and they refused because it hadn't been switched on for a minimum of 3 days. Then they asked what size tank I had, I said a starter kit. They said for ONE goldfish I need to have a tank around the 60L mark as they can grow upto 30cm and that the (goldfish!!) starter kits weren't big enough. confused
AIBU to want to buy my daughter a goldfish without needing a degree in marine biology and a huge aquarium?! Fair enough for tropical fish but a humble goldfish? And does anyone know where I can buy one without a background check? grin

KitKatCustard Wed 27-Apr-16 13:29:29

6 months sounds not too bad for a goldfish! (Well one kept indoors anyway!)
Ours live outside in a wildlife pond and are busting with health. Dig a pond?

VimFuego101 Wed 27-Apr-16 13:30:44

Not sure about the exact size of tank needed but their advice sounds good to me. Goldfish aren't as easy as people think they are. What size tank do you have?

KoalaDownUnder Wed 27-Apr-16 13:33:24

What the hell kind of goldfish grows to be a foot long?! shock

(Disclaimer: have never had a goldfish)

Springdew Wed 27-Apr-16 13:33:35

I'd say good on them it's nice to hear of a pet shop being responsible. I've heard goldfish aren't as stupid as we used to think (20 second memory etc) and that they grow big if in correct size tank so if they are popped in a little one it's actually quite cruel. 60l isn't massive can you give your starter sized one back (or eBay) and upgrade?

MoronsandNeurons Wed 27-Apr-16 13:40:14

@kitkatCustard would love to, but garden size of postage stamp grin
@koaladownunder that's what I thought! Haven't seen many of them around, that's for sure hmm
@VimFuego101 @springdew I wouldn't mind, but they sell the starter kit, and filter and have about 30 fish in a tank the size of a shoebox when you go to buy them. I wouldn't want to be cruel by just sounds a bit OTT to me

ChemistryHunt Wed 27-Apr-16 13:45:52

I think that when they initially told you you needed to have a filter, they should have been clear regarding how long it should be set up before introducing the fish, so that is bad on them for not doing that.

However I think it is good they are following the recommendations for how goldfish should be kept. It is true that most people underestimate the volume of water that is needed and overlook things such as filters. Not much thought used to go into goldfish welfare, but now it is recognised that need more than a glass bowl to be healthy.

Pets at Home have in the past had pretty big failings when it comes to pet welfare, but I think they are trying to improve, which can only be a good thing.

I was picking up some bits and pieces for our pets last weekend and there were signs all over the fish area detailing how long tanks should be set up prior to the fish being introduced, for the different types of fish. They also now have big signs advising of the filter requirement.

I understand that these signs may not ave been at your store, and that the initial staff member should have been clearer about the requirements, but I think they are absolutely doing the right thing by having them in place.

Tippytappytoes Wed 27-Apr-16 13:47:03

What type of goldfish are you trying to buy? I have two standard goldfish in a 180 litre aquarium, with a pretty good filter and areator. I'm not happy with this set up and am currently saving to get a bigger aquarium. I test the water every couple of days, do weekly water changes and chemically treat the water to make sure it's suitable for them.

6 months isnt very long at all, I've had mine for 8-9 years and they are rescues. I wouldn't recommend standard goldfish as pets. They require a lot of maintenance and are so so messy. I never recommend them as pets unless you have a pond. Fancy goldfish are probably better, lion heads, fan tails etc. but they still require some care but not as much space.

Sweetpotatoaddict Wed 27-Apr-16 13:48:43

My grandparents had a goldfish that lived in an old shallow sink in the greenhouse, they thought it was roughly 40 yrs old when it died. It had been fished out a canal when my uncle was a child, lived happily in the sink occasionally being frozen inside a block of ice. I was considering getting another goldfish for the shallow sink, perhaps I shouldn't go to pets at home.......

HoneyDragon Wed 27-Apr-16 13:49:28

Goldfish are messy and not suited for tanks. They should live for ten years.

You have a small cold water tank you could get cherry shrimp or s couple of minnows if it's big enough.

Keeping fish is hard, way way harder than cats or dogs.

It's heartening to hear of PAH actually acting in an animals welfare for once

DementedUnicorn Wed 27-Apr-16 13:51:31

I shit you not but that is practically word for word what happened me about 5 years ago in there! That's almost spooked me how similar it is---- shock

KoalaDownUnder Wed 27-Apr-16 13:52:35

Goldfish are messy?!confused

Off to do some googling - been an eye-opener, thus thread!

KoalaDownUnder Wed 27-Apr-16 13:52:52

'This', you stupid phone.

YourLeftElbow Wed 27-Apr-16 13:53:18

They keep shitloads of fish in a tiny tank in Pets at Home.

toboldlygo Wed 27-Apr-16 13:55:57

An average goldfish should live for 10+ years and will grow over a foot long. They are pond fish, really, there are much more suitable fish available for small set-ups.

Pets at Home are still not doing a great job here (switching the filter on for three days does nothing, for example, I would hope they have a better understanding of the nitrogen cycle than that...) but at least they're inching towards giving the right advice.

Before purchasing any more fish I'd strongly recommend browsing the starter sections over at Practical Fishkeeping or going to a good independent shop (Maidenhead Aquatics etc.) for help on how to correctly cycle a tank and with choosing some more suitable small inhabitants.

Chattymummyhere Wed 27-Apr-16 13:56:04

I think it's good they are finally asking these questions. I get quizzed on the rare time I buy a p@h fish (not very often as our local one is forever having to shut its tanks due to Infection.) nobody should be able to buy a pet without knowing the requirements, although they really need to stop selling pet starter sets that are not fit for the animal and it's not just fish they sell the wrong sized starter sets for.

MoronsandNeurons Wed 27-Apr-16 13:56:09

ChemistryHunt I agree it's good in theory, just sounds a little extreme to me, especially as they don't seem to abide by their own guidelines. I missed the signs, maybe they were there and i just didn't see them.
TippyTappyToes That sounds an impressive set up. It was a fantail we had last time, I was hoping to just replace it.
SweetPotatoAddict Great story! Hope you're allowed to buy another one! smile

Chattymummyhere Wed 27-Apr-16 13:57:51

I second Maidenhead aquatics they have some amazing fish and will give correct advice. Filters need much longer than 3days so glad they don't deal with marine fish.

MoronsandNeurons Wed 27-Apr-16 13:59:51

DementedUnicorn so frustrating isn't it? What did you do in the end?
YourLeftElbow ikr!!
Chattymummyhere I think that's what I find more frustrating - the fact that what they sell isn't suitable. For example their 'gecko' starter kit includes sand, which causes sand impaction and gradual death.

maz210 Wed 27-Apr-16 14:00:49

Sorry but YABU, only through lack of knowledge though.

Standard single tail goldfish need so much space that most people wouldn't be able to fit a large enough tank in their house. They're really only suited to live in ponds although pet shops continue to sell them as children's pets. They will live 20-30 years with good conditions, your daughter's one only lasted six months because the tank was too small and it's waste will have built up and effectively poisoned it.

Fancy goldfish (twin tailed ones) can be kept in tanks but need a minimum of 100 litres, so about a 3 foot tank. A 60 litre tank is usually about 2 foot by 1 foot so not big at all, you could put one or two fancy goldfish in there with a good filter but it would need upgrading very soon. My tank was about 300 litres and I kept 5 fancy goldfish in there, they all reached six inches within about two years and were still growing.

However, having said all that, most people are willing to just keep buying goldfish every six months and until there's legislation to stop pet shops selling people unsuitable pets this won't ever change.

BarbaraofSeville Wed 27-Apr-16 14:03:27

So Pets at Home will let you buy a tank that is too small for the fish that you want to buy but don't tell you this and just let you waste time going backwards and forwards trying to set the thing up?

NeedACleverNN Wed 27-Apr-16 14:04:04

Yes it's good that PAH are finally changing their ethics so that fish are thriving and not just surviving.

I have goldfish. They have been going for 2 years now and are still going strong.

Pump, filter and aeration system. Happy fish.

Yy to goldfish being messy. They cannot stop pooing!

InternalMonologue Wed 27-Apr-16 14:05:01

Rescue goldfish?! Rescue? Goldfish? Every day is, indeed, a school day.

RattieOfCatan Wed 27-Apr-16 14:09:27

I'm impressed that P@H are looking out for the creatures welfare! You really should look into why they are saying no and what changes you should make to improve the quality of life of the fish before you get another one.

CrownofStars Wed 27-Apr-16 14:11:02

Just to address the point made earlier that P@H has lots fish in tiny tanks. You should realise that they have a huge filtration system behind all those tiny tanks and so it really works as though they have a gigantic tank separated into cubicles.

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