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to buy my friend's fish a tank?

(161 Posts)
AbyIsl Sun 02-Oct-11 12:32:57

My friend won a goldfish at the fair a couple of weeks ago. I REALLY don't like the whole fish as prizes thing, but that's besides the point.

On Thurs I went over and saw the fish for the first time. He (she?) is being kept in a small mixing bowl and doesn't have enough space. He's jumped out (a sign of needing more oxygen - too little water surface) and was gasping and sitting on the bottom of the bowl. He's also lost a lot of scales. They said they'd get a tank etc. Today they still hadn't bought one (we have a big Pets at Home near us). In fact they'd walked past two at a car boot sale this morning and still didn't buy one. They thought they might have one spare in a house they rented out, but still hadn't called the tenant to check and hadn't done anything about collecting it.

I've been worried about the fish. He's clearly not going to survive for much longer.

So, was I unreasonable to go to Pets at Home and buy a starter tank (with a bit of gravel and a small ornament thing? It's just a basic, 19 litre tank?

My friend was annoyed when I turned up with it and said her DH would be offended. I said it was just a gift and that there was nothing to be any annoyed about.

Was I unreasonable and rude?

Imnotaslimjim Sun 02-Oct-11 12:34:35

I don't think you we're unreasonable, but I do think you're too late. Its well known that funfair goldfish don't last very long. Hope you haven't wasted your money

ButWhyIsTheGinGone Sun 02-Oct-11 12:37:29

You weren't being unreasonable, IMO. It's never nice to see any animal suffering needlessly due to lack of proper equipment. I think that was really generous of you. Agree with Imnotaslimjim though - fair fish are often sickly and die pretty quickly.
If your friend doesn't want it - give it to someone who would be grateful!

AbyIsl Sun 02-Oct-11 12:37:54

Thanks for that. Yes, I know they don't tend to last long, but I thought it could give him a bit of a chance. sad

They're nice people and I feel all shakey after thinking I've offended them. I just can't understand why they haven't taken responsibility for the fish. It's not difficult to look after a goldfish!

WorzselMummage Sun 02-Oct-11 12:40:10

I'd have forced them to hand over the fish and taken it home to be nurtured.

Who thinks its ok to keep a fish in a mixing bowl? confused

AbyIsl Sun 02-Oct-11 12:43:41

Thanks all. Yes, I was amazed that they thought it was ok to keep the fish in a small bowl. They clearly don't want the fish, but don't want to admit to it. I wish they'd said and I've have found him a home.

Like so many people, they probably think "it's only a fish". That's why I don't like giving fish as prizes. It's on a whim and it's just irresponsible.

I hope they use the tank soon.

Fatshionista Sun 02-Oct-11 12:44:15

Bot unreasonable. Offended? They should be looking at themselves.

LineRunner Sun 02-Oct-11 12:44:19

The immediate problem is more likely to be their using untreated tap water. You need to get them some 'water safe' drops as well, but as slimjim says, it's probably too late.

Bloody disgusting that fairgrounds are still doing this, for precisely this reason.

I think the tank might have been a bit OTT. A £3 glass bowl would have done, as long as you gave them the tapwater drops too.

AbyIsl Sun 02-Oct-11 12:45:59

I didn't realise about the tap water drops! Eeek.I asked in the shop about what was needed, but they didn't mention them.

The tank was £20 and was the cheapest they had. I purposefully went for the cheapest option to limit the risk of offending them.

AbyIsl Sun 02-Oct-11 12:46:55

For that reason and the fact that I have very little money! grin

IloveJudgeJudy Sun 02-Oct-11 12:57:28

You don't need tapwater drops. You just need to run a bucket of tap water and keep stirring it around now and then for about 45 mins.

LineRunner Sun 02-Oct-11 13:00:19

I think this particular fish is in urgent need!

Or, you can let it stand for 24 hours or do the stirry thing. The point is that the chlorine added to tap water - miniscule and harmless to humans - will gradually kill a goldfish.

AbyIsl Sun 02-Oct-11 13:02:57

Thanks. I'll text them with that info. It'll probably make the social situation worse, but if it helps the little fish, that's fine with me!

GingerWrath Sun 02-Oct-11 13:07:43

My goldfish, Bob, was won at a fair 4 years ago and he is still going strong. He is in a small plastic tank with a filter.

Thumbwitch Sun 02-Oct-11 13:11:27

I think it was a good thing to do but probably embarrassed them because they'd been too lazy to do it themselves - in the end though, the fish's welfare is more important than their silly pride, even though it may still die. If cared for, it might not - we managed to keep a few alive when we were kids but most of them had fungus, to be honest.

I think I'd offer to take it off their hands if they don't want to look after it - I know it's "only a fish" but it's still a living creature that needs care, ffs.

heggertyhaggerty Sun 02-Oct-11 13:12:19

It doesn't sound like the will care anyway tbh whatever you text them.

Poor fish.

You had no choice, it was an animal welfare situation. I don't know what I would have done. You might lose their friendship but I wouldn't want friends who didn't care about their fish.

NineteenForever Sun 02-Oct-11 16:36:02

i too get annoyed that everyone thinks they can just get a goldfish and stick it in untreated water. Tapwater contains chorine and Choramine and both are deadly. You need treatment for that, space for a goldfish (all that rot about them growing to the size of the tank is rot because their natural size is about 12 inches), AND a filter as goldfish poop an awful lot. Where do these people think the poop goes? Thin air?? Fish need a proper environment. you wouldnt keep a great dane in a small kennel and not walk it nor provide it with proper food. Maybe someone will tell a story about goldfish being kept in tap water forever. Living is not the same as thriving and tap water may well have had less chemicals in it 40 yrs ago. Sorry, rant over!

It was nice of you, OP to buy them a tank.

NadiaWadia Sun 02-Oct-11 16:49:56

They're not really that nice, IMO, if they can treat a living creature like that.

Too many people seem to think a pet is a kind of toy. Doesn't matter whether it's 'only' a goldfish, or whatever, if you have chosen to have that pet then it is your responsibility to give it the best care you can. It is a living creature that can suffer.

Apparently the fish tanks sold in most pet shops are far too small for the number of fishes that those shops recommend you can keep in them. And why should the shops care - if the fish get sick and die then they can sell you fish medication and then replacement fish - all good for profits.

Same thing with cages/hutches for rabbits/guinea pigs. This is one area where some government interference/legislation would be a good thing.

OP you did the right thing, and I hope its not too late for that fish. If your friends feel embarrased - well they should be!

CheshireDing Sun 02-Oct-11 18:45:29

I wouldn't care that they were offended either OP, why do people think that because its a fish it's okay for it to suffer?

I am very surprised you can still get fish at fairs, I really didn't think you could. I would report the fair to the RSPCA.

Poor fish, I hope it's okay, is it worth offering to take the fish off their hands and have it yourself?

madonnawhore Sun 02-Oct-11 18:47:29

I won a fish at the fair when I was a kid and it lasted for years.


AbyIsl Sun 02-Oct-11 19:53:13

Thanks all. I bought some tap water drops and left them in their porch. They didn't answer when I knocked.

Unfortunately it isn't illegal to have fish as prizes at fairs. It's not covered in the Animal Welfare Act. I checked because we have a fair which regular stops around here and has fish in plastic bags hanging up in the full glare of the sun.

Thanks again, everyone, for your supportive messages.

I'll lay it by ear re. the friendship. As DH text to me (he's at work today) "If they think it's ok to win a fish at a fairground and not even buy a tank, they not OUR sort of people anyway! ;-) "

GetAwayFromHerYouBitch Sun 02-Oct-11 19:56:36

It;s terrible they are still giving fish as prizes. It upsets me (I keep tropical fish). Goldfish are very "dirty" and need a big tank with a filter

AbyIsl Sun 02-Oct-11 19:57:11

Sorry "Play" it by ear!

lucertola28 Sun 02-Oct-11 20:41:43

yanbu goldfish should have a 20gallon tank and 10g per extra goldfish.

It is cruel to keep them in a tiny bowl.

They should not give them as prizes, all pets should be chosen after carefully thinking and reading about what the pet needs and what care is involved.

AbyIsl Sun 02-Oct-11 20:52:55

Oh no! I bought a 19 litre tank, so that's only about 4.5 gallons! According to Pets at Home, that's a tank for two goldfish - they are USELESS!

AS NadiaWadia said, they don't care about the welfare of the animals. I was appalled at the size of the small animals' cages. Tiny little boxes for hamsters and awful toys like brightly coloured dragster cars to push them around in, turning the animal into a toy. Awful stuff.

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