To pour boiling water on the fish

(172 Posts)
Sokmonsta Wed 12-Dec-12 09:30:19

We have a plastic tub with goldfish in the garden. Not mine, we were looking after them for a friend while he moved house. Now he's moved, not collected them and the sodding tub is nearly frozen solid. Have sent him a terse message saying sort the fucking fish (we've had them months). But the only way I can see to help them out is to put hot water in the good 6 inches of ice on top. And it's icky because there are also dead fish frozen in there.

Am seriously wishing I'd just put them in my parents pond when they were on holiday in September!

Softlysoftly Wed 12-Dec-12 09:31:46

How big is the tub can't it come inside for a bit?

Why are they outside?

nipersvest Wed 12-Dec-12 09:33:47

i know you're a bit miffed about being left with the fish, but poor fish!

have they seriously been left outside to freeze?

D0oinMeCleanin Wed 12-Dec-12 09:33:51

Why have you let the fish freeze to death?

HousewifefromBethlehem Wed 12-Dec-12 09:35:33

Why'd you leave them outside??? That's fish abuse!!!

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Wed 12-Dec-12 09:35:55

Tis a bit late now, though.

<not helpful>

Poor fish sad

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 12-Dec-12 09:36:54

Bring them inside. Fill a bucket with cold water put the ice and fish in the cold water the ice will then melt. Scoop out any dead fish. Clean the tub and then fill it with cold water and transfer the goldfish to it and seriously hope for the best.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 12-Dec-12 09:37:41

Don't put them back outside under any circumstances.

lemonsherbet Wed 12-Dec-12 09:37:42

If they are still alive try and break up the ice and put a ball that floats in there to allow air to get to the water below-remember that from blue peter.

Is there no way they can come and live inside?

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Wed 12-Dec-12 09:37:51

Polystyrene stops it freezing not boiling water :0( poor fishies

BigShinyBaubles Wed 12-Dec-12 09:39:00

That's gross. Even though they aren't yours you should still look after them properly..Goldfish aren't exactly hard to look after.

MrsReiver Wed 12-Dec-12 09:39:09

Poor fish sad I have no real idea but I have a vague recollection of Chris Packham saying not to defrost ponds and just to let nature take care of it, but that doesn't seem great if the top of the pond is completely frozen over.

HaudYerWheeshtFannyBaws Wed 12-Dec-12 09:39:16

Why would you leave them outside? shock

whattodoo Wed 12-Dec-12 09:39:22

I seriously doubt they're still alive. Poor fish.
He's a sod, but you have mis-treated the fish by the sounds of it.
Poor fish

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 12-Dec-12 09:40:56

I think a pond is different to a tub. In a pond only the top layer is frozen so the fish still have water underneath. In a tub it will mostly / totally freeze.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Wed 12-Dec-12 09:41:00

MrsReiver, that is usually good advice for a pond that is dug down in the ground, as the ground is rarely frozen far below the surface. In those cases the frozen ice on the top keeps the pond warmer.

<pond owner>

Lilithmoon Wed 12-Dec-12 09:41:01

Wow you should be disgusted with yourself for treating animals so badly. I would report you to the RSPCA is I knew you.

nipersvest Wed 12-Dec-12 09:42:51

i'm guessing this thread is not going to go the way the op expected

MrsWolowitz Wed 12-Dec-12 09:44:21

Why did you let it freeze? Why didn't you bring it inside?

Poor fish sad

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Wed 12-Dec-12 09:45:10

Does the owner know he has a tub of frozen fish in your garden?

MrsReiver Wed 12-Dec-12 09:46:14

See - said I hadn't got a clue grin

But you don't need to know about ponds or fish to realise that the poor fish have been mistreated, Lilithmoon - I totally agree, if this was someone I knew IRL I'd be on the phone to SSPCA or RSPCA sharpish.

complexnumber Wed 12-Dec-12 09:48:15

Wow you should be disgusted with yourself for treating animals so badly. I would report you to the RSPCA is I knew you.

That is a joke, right?

rockinaroundthebadtasteflump Wed 12-Dec-12 09:48:26

This thread has made me feel queasy sad

catsmother Wed 12-Dec-12 09:49:01

I think Ghoul's suggestion is best - but why the hell have you let it get this far ? I'd be very surprised if any at all were still alive and what you've done is totally neglectful when you consider how little effort it would have taken to bring the tub inside.

SoleSource Wed 12-Dec-12 09:49:19


Lilithmoon Wed 12-Dec-12 09:49:50

complex, not at all. It is not on to treat animals in such a cruel way.

Grumpla Wed 12-Dec-12 09:52:45

I sincerely hope this is a windup.

Otherwise you should be fucking ashamed of yourself.

complexnumber Wed 12-Dec-12 09:52:47

I simply would not have room for a tub of frozen fish in my place.

Maybe my idea of the size of tub is different to what others are thinking (surely we are not talking ice cream tub)

MrsReiver Wed 12-Dec-12 09:54:07

If there wasn't space inside, the fish should have been found another temporary home in the meantime, the OP has said her parents have a pond. They'd have been much safer in there.

vintageviolets Wed 12-Dec-12 09:54:08




am I dreaming this

Sokmonsta Wed 12-Dec-12 09:54:40

They are pond goldfish. Too big for our little fish tank. The tub is a good 3 feet high by at least a couple of feet across so I can't bring it in either. I've been feeding them, making sure the water is oxygenated with a little battery pump (far from ideal) and fishing out the dead ones as and when I see them so this has been overnight. I've been out every day, broken the ice and taken the lumps out but the last couple of days have been even colder and they really need to be in a proper pond. As said, the pond being dug into the ground doesn't freeze the same.

I know it seems like I've mistreated them but I really have tried to keep them alive for him.

I hadn't thought of polystyrene but that's a great idea. I binned some the other day so shall retrieve it and float it on top.

BerthaKitt Wed 12-Dec-12 09:54:46

Many types of goldfish can survive all year round in ponds. But this is partly because there is enough water to provide oxygen even when the surface of the pond is frozen. You can't leave fish outside in a small tub.

You have allowed the fish to suffocate to death.

MadSleighLady Wed 12-Dec-12 09:55:10

You're slowly freezing a tub of fish to death and sending terse texts to your friend about it? confused

How have you been feeding them the last few weeks if the surface is frozen? Or am I not going to like the answer to that?

GrimmaTheNome Wed 12-Dec-12 09:55:20

>how little effort it would have taken to bring the tub inside.

I'm assuming its a reasonable size tub, not a bucket...try lifting one full of water before being quite so scathing.

>Does the owner know he has a tub of frozen fish in your garden?
the OP said she's texted him and presumaby he knows he left them there and what the weather is like. I'd primarily blame their owner for this situation.

Ghoul's suggestion sounds about right.

D0oinMeCleanin Wed 12-Dec-12 09:56:01

Lillith a lot of people don't class fish as animals. They don't realise that fish can feel discomfort and pain.

A famous dog trainer once trained a goldfish to push a ball though a hoop. While she was training she made a mistake and took training too quickly. The fish turned green and sank to the bottom of the tank in disappointment. They're not as stupid as people like to think, they do have some level of cognition.

Those fish will have been aware that they were slowly freezing to death sad

TwistedTinsel Wed 12-Dec-12 09:57:23

You left them out there and practically watched them die off and freeze.? WTAF?
[ANGRY][ANGRY][ANGRY]Do you have children who witnessed this delightful behaviour? What a lovely role model you are. Do you look after your own pets or is it just other peoples that you neglect.

MadSleighLady Wed 12-Dec-12 09:57:45

X-post. Is there a shed or porch the tub could go in?

BerthaKitt Wed 12-Dec-12 09:58:00

X-post, that's not what I would have called a tub. But they still can't survive outside all winter not in a pond.

RarelyUnreasonable Wed 12-Dec-12 09:58:16

I thought this thread would be about defrosting fish from the freezer for dinner, not live fish.

sad and I don't even like fish.

AgathaHoHoHo Wed 12-Dec-12 09:58:36

Bubble wrap around the outside too - lots of it.

nipersvest Wed 12-Dec-12 09:59:20

sokmonsta, from what you can see, are any under the ice still alive?

i wouldn't pour boiling water in, i'd worry the vast changes in water temperature would do more harm than good. i'd lift out as much ice as you can.

anyone with a pond, would it help to wrap something like a big old blanket or towels around the container to insulate it?

if i were you, i'd find a pond quick and transfer any that are alive.

AgathaHoHoHo Wed 12-Dec-12 09:59:30

Seriously can't believe you and you friend have allowed this to happen between you.

EuroShagmore Wed 12-Dec-12 09:59:54

Fish can be left outside all year round, but not in a tub.

Float a couple of balls on the top of the water and remove them each morning so they get some oxygen. If they are already all dead, this might save the remaining ones.

I am frankly astonished that you have left them like this. Poor fish.

AgathaHoHoHo Wed 12-Dec-12 10:00:14

Where do you live? There might be some MNers who could take the live ones from you and put them in a pond.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 12-Dec-12 10:00:15

Can you call a vet or pet shop to get some advice if the tub is too big to bring inside?

D0oinMeCleanin Wed 12-Dec-12 10:01:25

'I'm assuming its a reasonable size tub, not a bucket...try lifting one full of water before being quite so scathing.' How hard would it have been to say to a partner/older child/neighbour/delivery man "Can you give me a hand with this tub, it's too cold out here for the fish"?

I'm guessing it is like one of those huge mixing buckets builders use? I've lifted one of those full of wet cement with help. It's not impossible.

OP has just stated that she has been fishing out dead fish for days, so this hasn't come as an overnight surprise. Please don't float polystyrene on the surface, the fish will eat it and then die. The poster who suggested that probably meant to put the polystyrene around the bucket not in it.

TwistedTinsel Wed 12-Dec-12 10:01:45

Apologies to op for most of that rant i missed your update but i am still shock. I don't know much about keeping fish but would it be possible to insulate the tank somehow? I'm guessing moving them to a more sheltered spot wouldn't be possible

ZeldaUpNorth Wed 12-Dec-12 10:03:13

Where are you? maybe a mn'er is near by with a pond? Long shot i know, but i love fish and feel so so sorry and sad for those poor little things sad

FloatyBeatie Wed 12-Dec-12 10:03:40

If the tub is that big, presumably it won't have frozen more than a few ice-inches deep and the ice won't be much more of a problem than it would have been in their pond? So perhaps there is another cause for the deaths?

I don't really think the OP needs to be flamed -- she's been feeding, oxygenating, breaking the ice, and the flippant tone of her post doesn't necessarily mean her care of the pets has been callous! Bringing them inside might not help if they are outdoor fish.

Agree that boiling water would be wrong -- better to warm the tub with buckets of cold water.

Grumpla Wed 12-Dec-12 10:04:36

Ok. It's not a small tub but nor is it big enough for the fish to survive in. It doesn't sound as if it is filtered. Have you been carrying out regular water massive changes with dechlorinated water? If not the fishes are already suffering as they will be being slowly poisoned by their own waste products.

If I were you I would issue a time limit to your friend, keep the water as warm as possible until then (wrap tub in insulation of some sort? Old blankets and a tarp? And add bottles of hot water before you go to bed to try and keep the temp up?)

If your friend does not appear to rehome the fish then please kill them humanely. Slowly freezing to death is just awful. If they are biggish fish a bonk on the head would do it. For smaller fish you can euthanise with clove oil (or just cut their heads off, I know it sounds awful but is pretty much instantaneous.)

Please don't be tempted to release them into the wild, goldfish can have a fairly significant impact on the native ecosystem in rivers and ponds. They need to be in a large well-filtered fish pond. Otherwise they probably would just be better off dead.

OwlLady Wed 12-Dec-12 10:08:17

can you move the tub into the sun or is it too heavy? once melted you need to take the fish that are alive and put them in your parents pond regardless of what has happened now.

Sokmonsta Wed 12-Dec-12 10:08:30

Actually I said 'as and when I see them' so not days. The last real problem period was when we had the hot spell in September. They were shaded and the water part changed daily. I've not been able to keep that up with my own family to look after so until recently it was every few days.

I fully appreciate that pond fish need as much care as any other pet and this was supposed to be a short term stay.

It's only the last few days here where it's been cold enough to freeze properly. Up until now its been a very thin surface ice which is easily broken up. Although i know realise this stupidly hasn't helped as I guess not taking all the ice out, the water hasn't then defrosted as well and has exacerbated the tub situation.

However I do appreciate all your comments and as I've had no response this morning, nor has he answered his phone when I have tried ringing, I shall be taking them to my parents pond tomorrow. At least I won't be worrying about a tub full of frozen fish and hopefully neither will any of you.

Purple2012 Wed 12-Dec-12 10:08:52

It's not the OPs fault. The tub is too big to bring into the house. She has been trying. The person who actually owns the fish should have sorted this out ages ago.

TheSecondComing Wed 12-Dec-12 10:09:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OwlLady Wed 12-Dec-12 10:10:36

there was an ill cat thread as well which was so shocking i couldn't post on it confused

GrimmaTheNome Wed 12-Dec-12 10:11:28

A tubful of water 3ft deep diameter 2ft would weigh about .8 tonnes.

LoopsInHoops Wed 12-Dec-12 10:11:41

Get a smaller tub for crying out loud and bring them inside. What the fucking hell are you thinking? angry

Grumpla Wed 12-Dec-12 10:12:00

That sounds like the best solution.

I apologise for the tone of my first post. From your OP it was not clear that you have been doing your best to take care of the fish, you obviously haven't just abandoned them.

Try and wrap the tub up tonight, the fish won't mind being in the dark for a while.

OwlLady Wed 12-Dec-12 10:12:20

yes grimma, i did wonder blush

Fish have the ability to slow their metabolism drastically in freezing conditions. As long as there's some liquid water they'll be fine.

They drop their heartbeat to a beat a minute and enter a sort of stasis.

Warming them up too quickly is far more likely to kill them than the ice.

GreenyEyes Wed 12-Dec-12 10:13:12

Look the OP just didn't realise the scale of the problem. It's a sorry tail. I bet OP is feeling green around the gills now. sad

That's all I have to say about it. Fin.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 12-Dec-12 10:14:19

>They drop their heartbeat to a beat a minute and enter a sort of stasis

so next question how does the OP tell whether a fish is dead or in stasis when sorting them out?

D0oinMeCleanin Wed 12-Dec-12 10:14:23

And a jug full of water would weigh far less Grimma, some water could have been removed and then replaced with clean, dechlorinated water after the tub had been moved. Regular water changes should have been being done anyway since the tub has no filtration.

I've never kept fish and even I know that.

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Wed 12-Dec-12 10:14:39

You have been oxygenating, feeding and removing dead frozen fish apparently for days. Why did you not do something sooner? It's not like we all got up this morning and its suddenly turned cold is it? It's been freezing for days! I'm sorry, but this is wrong. You might just be ignorant about fish care but that's no excuse. If the fish have been dying then something is wrong. There are plenty of people you could have called for advice or help. Pet shops, aquatics centres, vets, RSPCA, animal rescues, friends with ponds... FFS, you could even have transported them to your bathtub! The fact that these fish are dead is your fault. I'm disgusted.

Yes do move them to a pond they will be much happier. In the mean time get an empty can sit it on top of the ice and put boiling water in it it will melt through slowly to make an air hole.
To the pp who asked about feeding them you don't feed pond fish in freezing temps they can't digest properly in those temperatures and undigested food sitting in them for to long will kill them.

TwistedTinsel Wed 12-Dec-12 10:16:01

Sounds like the best course of action op. Again apologies for ranting at you when it does sound like you've been trying. I'm sure they'll be happier and healthier in a proper pond and if your 'friend' complains well tough if he had given a shit he wouldn't have left them with you for months.

some good tips here

Don't panic, chances are they'll be fine. Carp are hardy fish, ice would be a problem if you were dealing with tropical species but with goldfish there's not too much to worry about.

i'm surpirsed so few people know this... I learned about fish and icey ponds in primary school (in germany in y1 equivalent and in ireland a few years later so not an isolated lesson)

Oh and stop taking out 'dead' fish. Chances are they're not dead! If they settle near the bottom they've just reduced they're metabolism due to the cold, they'll reanimate when it warms up smile

OwlLady Wed 12-Dec-12 10:24:56

could you melt it off with a hairdryer I wonder?

CremeEggThief Wed 12-Dec-12 10:28:00

It's awful how some people treat animals. Really and truly awful.

All living creatures deserve to be treated with respect.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Wed 12-Dec-12 10:32:50

Our pond fish stay still at the bottom of our pond when it is really cold.
Our biggest problem is heron. In winter when the algae die down (not that there is a massive problem anyway) and the water is totally clear, the fish are stationary at the bottom and can easily fall prey to heron. The pond is over a meter deep though, but the largest fish is easy 50cm long (Koi)

Fish husbandry or pond maintenance take a while to learn. You really need to be "in tune" with your pond, your fish and the weather.

OP has been trying to deal with a temporary solution with literally "fish in a bucket" for months. The real culprit is the owners who just abandoned the fish with the op.

I haven't read the whole thread but DO NOT FEED THE FISH! At temperatures below about 4 degrees, fish stop digesting food. It will sit in their stomach and rot.
Be very careful when breaking the ice, the shock of ice being broken above them can kill them, don't put boiling water on them either, the temperature change would be too much.
What I would do is put them in a plastic bag with their own water in it. Change / clean the water correctly (using stress coat liquid, it will neutralise the bad heavy metals in the water and hopefully stop them from dying through stress by putting a layer of mucus over them). Then put the bags in the water for a few hours, the water in the tank will get colder but you mustn't put them straight in as again, the temperature change isn't good. Then put a ball in like someone suggested.
Is there no where warmer to put them, a garage??
Don't worry too much, goldfish are coldwater fish so can survive in this weather.

Sokmonsta Wed 12-Dec-12 10:41:29

Thanks again for all your comments. Believe me I really so wish I hadn't left things to get to this point. I could give reasons but they would only sound like excuses and even I don't want to admit to some things as that would include my feelings of failure as a parent.

Just to quickly update you. I have now had a message from friend. He is "ill so will sort them when [he] can".

He has been told this is not acceptable and that they are being rehomed tomorrow.

This way he either drags himself out of bed and sorts them today or the fish have a happy pond life as of tomorrow.

BerryChristmas Wed 12-Dec-12 10:45:27

Take them to your parents, Sok. If he wants them that badly he can come and fish them out in the Spring.

Do NOT feed fish until the water is at least 10 deg or you will kill them.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 12-Dec-12 10:48:23

Can you make a hole safely by putting a container of warm water on top of the ice and letting that gradually melt through?

Jins Wed 12-Dec-12 10:52:01

I'm glad to read your latest post OP. I think rehoming is the way forward and I'd do it as soon as you can

Those poor fish sad

Lancelottie Wed 12-Dec-12 10:55:04

Do any neighbours have a pond?

complexnumber Wed 12-Dec-12 16:01:02

Sokmonsta I think you have made a very determined effort to do the best for these fish without letting it take over.

I really don't understand why some people are giving you such a flaming. So many people telling you to bring the tub inside before determining just how practical that might be. Many ill-informed and (to me) hysterical posts about calling RSPCA and 'disgust'.

I think you have been very restrained in your responses.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Wed 12-Dec-12 16:49:22

Why did you let the water freeze? Surely the poor fish shouldn't have to pay for your "friend's" unwillingness to pick them up??

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Wed 12-Dec-12 16:50:13

Rejoining is a great idea OP.

InExitCelsisDeo Wed 12-Dec-12 16:56:26

This reminds me of Catcher in the Rye.

healstorturepeople Wed 12-Dec-12 16:56:28

I can't believe people would leave animals like this. Simple enough to get a smaller tub once you noticed the temperature drop. Put the smaller tub indoors. Absolutely disgusted.

Poor fish.

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Wed 12-Dec-12 16:57:41

I don't blame Sokmonsta, sounds like she's done the best she can.

The fishes' owner, however, has a lot to answer for.

Those poor fish.

Good luck with the rehoming.

Selks Wed 12-Dec-12 16:58:49

Can I ask how many of you on here that are horrified at the OP eat fish as part of your diet? You do know that commercially caught fish slowly (and presumably painfully) suffocate to death once caught right? Just sayin'.

midori1999 Wed 12-Dec-12 17:04:32

It does sound like the OP is now doing what is best for the fish. I just can't believe that anyone would not think it unreasonable to leave animals to suffer and freeze to death though, there is no excuse. I suspect people would feel differently if it were rabbits left to freeze to death s their hutch was too big/heavy to move inside. The RSPCA are useless at times, but yes, they would be very interested in any animal, including fish, left to die a slow and possibly painful death. sad

DogEgg Wed 12-Dec-12 17:06:15

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

OwlLady Wed 12-Dec-12 17:10:49

The OP said she was going to take the fish her parents house in september so i imagine even by then it was a long outstayed welcome of having to care for the fish, yet she has carried on looking after them, cleaning the out and feeding them obviously as a very inexperienced owner of fish. Although i am a bit perturbed they have been left to freeze last night in a tub and she wanted to pour boiling water to defreeze them confused I don't think this is her fault either. I think she started the thread because she needs help on what to do and the owner has basically dumped those 'pets' with her long term even though she doesn't have the capacity to cope with them. It's actually really sad and not uncommon from what i am seeing and have heard, people cannot cope or afford their pets and doing stuff like this all over ths hop, dumping their pets on hapless friends and relatives (not that I am saying the OP is hapless) and it isn't fair.

DoingitOnTheRoofTopWithSanta Wed 12-Dec-12 17:10:55

The OP should have given them away to someone who would take care properly not allowed them to die. If your friends couldn't be bothered then you give them to who can be bothered and tell him to fuck off.

OwlLady Wed 12-Dec-12 17:13:55

she wanted to take them to her parents though and i am assuming friend said no, and yes it shouldn't have got to december until the realisation is they should be at parents. i do realise that

FloatyBeatie Wed 12-Dec-12 17:14:09

Unless the tub is frozen solid (which it isn't), the fish won't have frozen to death: they would have died from other causes and then floated to the surface, where they would then get frozen in the ice when it formed.

The OP has been doing what she can to keep the tub in a healthy state for the fish, but it hasn't worked.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 12-Dec-12 17:17:14


goldfish outside in a tub at this time of year and sharing it with dead fish. why would you do that?

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Wed 12-Dec-12 17:19:24

DogEgg - try reading what the sockmonsta has posted & get your facts right before hurling abuse at someone.

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Wed 12-Dec-12 17:19:44

Or just do us all a favour and FUCK OFF.

DogEgg Wed 12-Dec-12 17:22:48

I did. She neglected the fish. I'll fuck off now then.

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Wed 12-Dec-12 17:23:51

SantaIsSoFuckingRock - they aren't little goldfish like you'd keep indoors, they're the big buggers & they do live outside all year - but in ponds or regulated 'tubs'. The OP has let it go on too long, but it does sound like she has tried her best even though her personal situation is very stressful. She's taking them to her parents tomorrow, so hopefully not too much harm done.

Sadly, her feeding them will have done more harm than the ice which, until today, has only been a thin layer and wont have done any harm as she was breaking it up for them.

uptheamp Wed 12-Dec-12 17:24:52

blardy hell what a thread!

MissCellania Wed 12-Dec-12 17:25:41

A famous dog trainer once trained a goldfish to push a ball though a hoop. While she was training she made a mistake and took training too quickly. The fish turned green and sank to the bottom of the tank in disappointment. They're not as stupid as people like to think, they do have some level of cognition.

You seriously think a goldfish died from disappointment ? Or did I miss a punchline? confused

OP, you've done your best with fish that were abandoned with you, don't let the comments get you down.

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Wed 12-Dec-12 17:27:13

Do that then.

She hasn't neglected them. She has done her best to care for the fish that were dumped on her. She has been out there breaking up the ice for them - this type of fish live outside.

She has already remedied the situation.

There is no barrel.

She has enough stress in her life without people like you wading in and being nasty, on a thread where she was asking for advice

Sparklingbrook Wed 12-Dec-12 17:27:32

If this wasn't in AIBU Sokmonsta wouldn't be getting all this grief. sad

They asked for advice that's all.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 12-Dec-12 17:28:02

you could have had them in your parent's pond all this time?

i just dont know what to say. those poor fish suffering needlessly all this time.

when you found the first dead one did you not think it was time to improve their living conditions?

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Wed 12-Dec-12 17:30:04

When you found the first dead one did you not think it was time to improve their living conditions?

That is a fair point, but it sounds like the OP has been coping with a lot of personal stress - so I guess it's a bit of a case of 'not throwing stones'.

Sparklingbrook Wed 12-Dec-12 17:30:45

You could try asking in the 'Fishnet' topic in the Pets section Sokmonsta.

FivesGoldNorks Wed 12-Dec-12 17:31:11

hmm I was thinking the same ChippingIn smile

FloatyBeatie Wed 12-Dec-12 17:32:26

Sorry that you've had this undeserved flaming, Sokmonsta. Don't let it get you down.thanks

DogEgg Wed 12-Dec-12 17:32:28

They might live ouside, but not in a barrel tub that is small enough to freeze.

If doing your best means you let animals freeze to death, then it isn't a very good best I think, and that's why I'm struggling to fuck off.

Sparklingbrook Wed 12-Dec-12 17:33:26

Just stop posting then DogEgg.

FloatyBeatie Wed 12-Dec-12 17:33:58

It hasn't frozen all the way down! -- just like a pond it has ice on top and water below. Facts before flaming, please.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 12-Dec-12 17:34:32

i know they are big pond fish but a pond is different than a tub above ground level.

foreverunning Wed 12-Dec-12 17:38:45

Jesus I can't believe this thread and how the OP has got such a pasting when she came on here with the best will.

How many of you hysterical people are experienced in keeping fish?!! I have had pond fish for many many years - a pond and not a tub admittedly but it's really quite shallow and, particularly in the last two hard winters it has frozen SOLID, trapping the fish within the ice. They go into a state of immobile hibernation and, come the warmer weather they unthaw and have come to absolutely no harm whatsoever.

Give Sokmonsta a break - and good luck with them OP

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 12-Dec-12 17:38:56

dont get me wrong. the owner is the complete bastard in this situation but i'm just shocked that it didn't enter OP's head that outdoors in a tub might be harmful to them. all animals need their habitat adjusted according to the seasons. it just amazes me that it didn't occur to OP or the owner that the fish would need protected. fair enough if OP didn't know (i'm thinking she might have asked the owner or her parent's though as they have a pond and might know) and as i said the owner doesn't deserve to have them after the way he has left them.

just so sad for the fish. it didn't need to happen.

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Wed 12-Dec-12 17:41:17

I don't think they have frozen to death - they haven't lacked oxygen. If anything they have probably died due to being fed when it was too cold.

Call it a barrel/call it a tub - whatever, it's 3ft high - it's not going to be able to be put into the car frozen and taken to her parents to put in the pond to be defrosted as you suggested is it??

nipersvest Wed 12-Dec-12 17:43:14

foreverunning, the op got a pasting firstly down to the 'daily mail' shock factor type thread title, and secondly the first post didn't really explain what she had been doing to care for the fish long term.

it's only in subsequent posts the full picture became clearer.

DingDongKethryverilyonHigh Wed 12-Dec-12 17:44:45

we had a goldfish live in our 3ft deep pond that was 3x2 wide for years.. but he did have quite a lot of pond weed in there for oxygen.. and it froze regularly for weeks.

the issue here is not the depth of the water or of the ice, its the oxygen or lack of!

Sparklingbrook Wed 12-Dec-12 17:44:48

Why do people feel the need to give an OP a pasting? What does it achieve?

complexnumber Wed 12-Dec-12 17:54:12

Then I'd recommend you get in the barrel, fill it with water and stand in it outside until you freeze solid and go all "icky". Idiot!

'When mumsnetters go mad'

FierySmaug Wed 12-Dec-12 17:57:58

I'm staggered at the abuse the op is getting over this!
Surely the one to blame would be the owner who dumped these fish on her and seemingly forgot about them? She's clearly done her best to care for them, but perhaps she has more pressing things to see to like, oh I don't know, her children?
The most baffling/amusing thing, is the number of posters saying they would report her to the RSPCA and that she is 'disgusting'. Have I entered a lunatic, parallel universe? I don't condone animal cruelty but let's get a grip here. I assume every single poster condemning the op never eats fish hmm

Lilithmoon Wed 12-Dec-12 18:01:43

Actually Fiery no I don't ever eat fish and the OPs suggestion of pouring boiling water on the tub was disgusting and potentially cruel as was the state she had allowed the fish to get into.

FloatyBeatie Wed 12-Dec-12 18:04:45

There's something about animal threads that brings out the most extreme kind of self-righteous cant in some posters. Any gap in the stated facts is interpreted in whatever way is necessary to allow maximum imputation of cruelty and make space for maximum expressions of superior concern.

It's like the whole internet, but more so.

OwlLady Wed 12-Dec-12 18:05:40

she didn't know what to do, even i can see that and i have only kept fish indoors, years ago

FierySmaug Wed 12-Dec-12 18:09:02

But perhaps she thought pouring boiling water on them would help them to warm up and thus stop them from freezing to death?
I wouldn't know how to properly care for outdoor fish if a friend dumped them on me and left them for months on end into the winter. They should have been collected by their owner sooner, and the op would never have been put in this position. Is it not good that she has come onto MN to ask for advice out of concern for the fish?

WelshMaenad Wed 12-Dec-12 18:17:21

I wouldn't have a fucking clue what to do with pond fish. Poor op has had a right pasting when she was just trying to help a friend. Owner is to blame for the situation.

I hope the fish are happy in their new home!

complexnumber Wed 12-Dec-12 18:20:20

There's something about animal threads that brings out the most extreme kind of self-righteous cant in some posters. Any gap in the stated facts is interpreted in whatever way is necessary to allow maximum imputation of cruelty and make space for maximum expressions of superior concern.

That's so true Floatie-B

DogEgg Wed 12-Dec-12 18:56:35

OP I am sorry. My mother died a few days ago and I over reacted to your original post. My situation made me react out of character and I regret that.
I see now that you have problems of your own and I didn't mean to make things worse. I wish you well and hope things soon get better for you.

I'm very glad you have the fish sorted - that'll be one weight off your mind.

OwlLady Wed 12-Dec-12 19:00:13

dogegg, if your mum died a few days ago aibu is the last place you need to be sad please go and drink baileys, unless you are an alcoholic, and look after yourself xxx

FivesGoldNorks Wed 12-Dec-12 19:07:01

Dog so sorry to hear that

FloatyBeatie Wed 12-Dec-12 19:18:02

Really sorry to hear about your mum, Dog.thanks

NatashaBee Wed 12-Dec-12 19:28:08

Poor fish. Your friend is a twat. If you don't manage to get them to your parents for any reason, maybe you could try sticking an ad on your local facebook page, craigslist or freecycle to see if anyone can take them and put them in their pond. Really freecycle is not meant for animals, but it sounds like they really need somewhere else to live.

Greensleeves Wed 12-Dec-12 19:31:58


When we moved into this house there were two fuck-off massive concrete raised fishponds in the garde with loads of fish in them. This wasn't a garden pond, it was a bloody fish farm. I didn't have a clue what to do with them. DH muttered darkly about flushing them down the toilet in batches until they were all gone shock but I didn't have the heart for it. I found these amiably barking FishRescue people and gave them a ring. A man called Gerald turned up in a van with tanks and took them all away

justmyview Wed 12-Dec-12 19:38:43

DogEgg - that's very sad. Poor you

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Wed 12-Dec-12 20:03:29

I suspect part of the reason the OP has got a flaming is posting this with an inflammatory title on AIBU. Which has made it sound like she's posting for kicks, and which may really not be the case.

whois Wed 12-Dec-12 22:54:19

I was going to type a post but this one sums it up:

*I'm staggered at the abuse the op is getting over this!
Surely the one to blame would be the owner who dumped these fish on her and seemingly forgot about them? She's clearly done her best to care for them, but perhaps she has more pressing things to see to like, oh I don't know, her children?
The most baffling/amusing thing, is the number of posters saying they would report her to the RSPCA and that she is 'disgusting'. Have I entered a lunatic, parallel universe? I don't condone animal cruelty but let's get a grip here*

Also, all you righteous as fuck "report you to the RSPCA" idiots - do you think freezing to death is any worse than being snared in a huge trawler net, dragged out of the water and then suffocated? Like all the fish you eat?

Seriously. OP tried to care for fish which weren't even hers and did her best.

abbierhodes Wed 12-Dec-12 23:19:30

Firstly, dogegg, deepest sympathy about your mum.
Is it insensitive to admit that I snorted my tea at owlady's comment, 'go and drink baileys, unless you are an alcoholic'???

As for the OP- give her a feckin break, people! All the people on this thread who actually have outdoor fish are all like, 'yeah, they'll be grand, fish like the cold' and the rest of you are absolutely hysterical. She didn't set out to kill them. She's had them dumped on her. They're fish. They live in ponds, you don't bring them in.

Other comments that have made me PMSL- 'when mumsnetter's go mad' and 'it's like the whole internet, only more so'.

Thank you all, you've cheered me right up.

dayshiftdoris Thu 13-Dec-12 00:16:58

They are FISH! What to you think fish in ponds do? Regardless of being in the ground ponds are freezing - one near me has 2 inches of ice on the top!

I come from a family of fishermen and my uncle keeps outdoor fish in a pond... I have always been taught that you just leave fish a lone in the winter as only they will just go into 'suspended animation' in winter and can survive a completely frozen pond. In fact my uncle says its people meddling that kills fish not the cold.

Having seen fish survive after leaping out of tanks at home and being on the carpet for quite some time never mind one which was found buried in soil for atleast a whole morning and then swam off once in the pond I am inclined to believe the theory. My uncle says he loses one or two in the winter but reasoned they were weaker anyway.

Rehome his bloody fish - doesnt sound like he is very concerned about them - unlike you.

higgyjig Thu 13-Dec-12 00:26:35

Hands up on this thread if you eat fish.

Fish are quite hardy, even the weaker ones. We once got a tank off a friend who took his fish out, emptied the tank and transported it to our house after about a week. When we filled it back up, we found a tiny harlequin in it that was in a fairly bad shape (obviously the original owner hadn't expected to leave him in there) but the little bugger lasted ages!

FloatyBeatie Thu 13-Dec-12 09:03:03

Plucky little critter. One of our pond fish is a survivor of The Great Cormorant Massacre. He was a bit too big for the bird's beak so got spat out and left by the pondside, with a beak-gash along his flank, until we spotted him later and put him back in the water. He is fine now.

The smaller fish weren't so lucky. We lost loads that day, and now we just have two big monsters.

FivesGoldNorks Thu 13-Dec-12 09:05:41

<hands down>

Greensleeves Thu 13-Dec-12 09:09:16

it was FishOrphans, not FishRescue. Seriously. Ring Gerald.

<stifles giggle>

FloatyBeatie Thu 13-Dec-12 09:11:39

FishOrphans is even better. I am in love with Gerald, really. Do you think he will come and rescue me, if I promised to live in a tank?

MooncupsAndSaucers Thu 13-Dec-12 09:11:49

Can't you put them in the bath until the weather improves?

FivesGoldNorks Thu 13-Dec-12 09:16:09

Mooncups, that surely is not a serious suggestion?

A famous dog trainer once trained a goldfish to push a ball though a hoop. While she was training she made a mistake and took training too quickly. The fish turned green and sank to the bottom of the tank in disappointment.

This is the funniest thing I've read on MN. grin grin

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 13-Dec-12 09:45:34

It's true Pumpkin, some of it is on YouTube, although I don't think the bit were she moved the training too fast is on, but the fish putting the ball through a hoop is on. She used some variety of clicker training to do it.

She wanted the fish to get the ball through the hoop twice for a treat, but the fish had been used to getting a treat after each time, so got very upset when he performed and his treat didn't appear grin

I had absolutely no idea that fish could live in suspended animation. I assume they'd still need clean water and oxygen?

MissCellania Thu 13-Dec-12 10:02:22

Yes you can train goldfish to do very basic "tricks", but its just operant conditioning. The fish don't get upset and they certainly don't die of disappointment when they don't achieve!

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 13-Dec-12 10:14:40

The fish didn't die. It just sank.

FloatyBeatie Thu 13-Dec-12 10:16:34

Its heart sank, and the rest of it followed.

MissCellania Thu 13-Dec-12 10:36:42

That makes even less sense.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 13-Dec-12 10:45:20

Well it happened. Footage of it was used in a seminar by Karen Pryor (I think) to show what effect suddenly switching from a continuous reinforcement schedule to a varied reinforcement schedule would have on dogs. The thinking being if that is how it effects a fish imagine what effect it would have on a dog.

I don't understand why you are so keen to argue this point with me?

It was covered in a lecture I had recently on reinforcement schedules. If you really need me to look up the references for you I suppose I could. I have an hour to kill before work.

The fish didn't die. It just sank.

I'm at work, and trying to die of laughter in an inconspicuous way.

FloatyBeatie Thu 13-Dec-12 10:57:18

shock You are laughing at a fish's disappointment?! <calls RSPCA>

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 13-Dec-12 11:01:36 The attachment at the bottom. It was an Oscar not a goldfish so nur [grown up]


FivesGoldNorks Thu 13-Dec-12 11:04:01

No one else find the thought of the op having a bath full of carp until spring amusing? Sorry kids, no bath this season!

* You are laughing at a fish's disappointment?! <calls RSPCA>*

I am laughing with Oscar, not at him.

Can't open link on my ipad. sad

FloatyBeatie Thu 13-Dec-12 11:21:48

I've added a pic to my profile showing our fish in the bath. They had a little stay there once when we were mending the pond. Just a few hours, so the dc didn't have to share with them (much as they would have liked to).

FivesGoldNorks Thu 13-Dec-12 11:23:00

But the suggestion was until the weather got warmer...that could be may

FloatyBeatie Thu 13-Dec-12 11:27:04

I know: I wasn't suggesting it as a solution to the OP's fish issue!

SoleSource Thu 13-Dec-12 11:41:49

Floaty your fish are beautiful smile

complexnumber Thu 13-Dec-12 12:02:35

I think it is important to not build up any sense of anticipation in a fish as this may well lead to disappointment.

And we all know what happens to a disappointed fish.

I was quite suprised to read this headline: 'Fishing leaders 'disappointed' after mackerel talks', what did they want? A song and dance act as well!
fishing leaders disappointed

SoleSource Thu 13-Dec-12 12:05:32

grin complex.

Greensleeves Thu 13-Dec-12 12:05:45
FloatyBeatie Thu 13-Dec-12 12:21:00

Thanks Sole. I will pass that on to them. Especially the grey one, who is in a permanent state of near-fatal disappointment at not having pretty orange and black splodges.

SoleSource Thu 13-Dec-12 12:52:08

He isn't grey, he is silver. You've done it now. sad

FloatyBeatie Thu 13-Dec-12 12:59:57

Oh bollocks.

What's the legal penalty for demoralising a fish? <calls lawyer>

Floaty, my birdies seem suitably impressed by your very handsome fish. They are licking their little beaks and scratching their claws.

Do you think would like the fish like a friend?

Fuchzia Thu 13-Dec-12 13:09:34

I have a fish in a half barrel pond, so above ground and it's been fine there in successive winters. I wrap bubble wrap round the outside and float a ball on the top. The ice never gets very thick.

I never feed in winter. Fish go into semi-hibernation in cold weather, and feeding may make them too active and less able to withstand the cold.

Sokmonsta Thu 13-Dec-12 19:08:33

Right. Just to update:

The fish have been re-homed

As far as friend is concerned, when he bothers to get in touch with us about them he will be told the tub froze and they died. It would be far too complicated to have to try and work out which fish were his and then retrieve them.

dogegg I'm sorry to hear your sad news. My sincere condolences.

Apologies to all for the tone of title and post. I'd simply reached the absolute limit of my patience yesterday and the fish being stuck in a rapidly freezing solid tub of water was the straw which broke the camel's back. I was shocked how much ice came out of the tub when I emptied it.

Thank you to those of you who have been supportive/defended me. I am grateful you saw through aforementioned tone to realise I was actually concerned for their welfare.

Just to outline had I realised they would have been with us so long I genuinely would have put them in the pond much sooner.

And thanks to the later comments which followed. They gave me a wry chuckle in an otherwise awful situation.

Sparklingbrook Thu 13-Dec-12 19:42:19

Yay! Well done Sokmonsta. i hope the fish will be very happy in their new home and you are very relieved. wine

As far as friend is concerned, when he bothers to get in touch with us about them he will be told the tub froze and they died.

Definitely the best outcome. He doesn't deserve them. smile

nipersvest Fri 14-Dec-12 01:17:06

glad it's all sorted sokmonsta smile

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Fri 14-Dec-12 01:55:12

Sokmonsta - I'm glad you have this sorted out now, very pleased for them and as much so for you. It sounds like you have more than enough to worry about, without the fish. Good idea to tell him they died <-fuckwit deserves no more. I hope you can sort some other stuff out too and that 2013 isn't as stressful for you.

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