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AIBU for hating this lady for making me feel...

(160 Posts)
JeffreyNeedsAHobby Sun 14-Aug-16 02:53:30

like an irresponsible pet owner?
Today we went to find a second goldfish as DC had decided our solo effort was getting lonely. We bought a 30lt tank from Pets at Home with a pump/castle/seaweed/gravel etc from them when we got him 3 months ago. At the time the salesman said we could have appx 4 fish of that size in this tank.
So FFWD 3 months and we go merrily into the store to purchase fist No2. However catsbum face lady cleaning the tank looks down sourly at us and explains that they will not be selling me a goldfish as the tank size is too small for 2 goldfish. Apparently they can grow to the size of COY CARP?!
So at this point I realise my mouth is hanging open and manage to pull myself together enough to say "Are you joking? How many fish do you have right there in that tank you are cleaning?" . This, she explains, this is different. This is a Holding Tank. She went on to suggest that I dig a large whole in the garden and create a pond, for my two sodding tiny goldfish.

Of course smallest DC starts to cry (thought she was 'rescuing' a fish tbf) and this woman literally doesn't flinch and turns back to her cleaning.

I was ridiculously furious and marched out saying the same. Called a vet friend who has seen the tank and she said she would probably be happy to see 4 in there, pond, in her mind, was worse as we have seagulls in our town and houses on every side have cats, plus you need a shady spot or the fish fry apparently. Nice.

So AIBU? I want to right a stinking complaints letter.

TheRealAdaLovelace Sun 14-Aug-16 03:07:53

Pets at Home are not great, that is why they keep changing their business name. Have a google.

CoolioAndTheGang Sun 14-Aug-16 03:09:13

Just go to another pet shop. It's really not worth getting so cross about it.

Doinmummy Sun 14-Aug-16 03:10:34

What is it with Pets at Home ?? We had the same thing . Just wanted another goldfish to go with Barbie (blush) . You'd have thought we were trying to buy a bloody crocodile with all the questions ! They refused to sell us one in the end.

BengalCatMum Sun 14-Aug-16 03:22:09

Haha no way!
As if its so hard to buy a goldfish shock

Treeroot Sun 14-Aug-16 03:23:32

Putting 4 goldfish in a 30 litre tank is an awful idea, they grow to about 10 inches long! Something over 200 litres would be more like it.

You should write a letter of complaint about the member of staff that told you that size tank was adequate, but they did right not to sell you another fish.

Doinmummy Sun 14-Aug-16 03:24:59

Seriously ! We were asked about the chemical levels in the water Barbie was in confused which apparently wouldn't be compatible with a new goldfish.

JeffreyNeedsAHobby Sun 14-Aug-16 03:27:30

We ended up driving out of town as the smaller pet shop was awaiting stock (he laughed and said they -PAH- were rubbish). So we ended up in a far nicer pet shop having spent a bit on diesel and polluted the atmosphere that little bit more but finally got a very nice and rather fancy looking goldfish friend. Guy in there was lovely and confirmed he'd be happy with 4 in a 30lt tank too.

My main thing was being made to feel like I was being somehow cruel. That and dd crying just made me very cross. The idea of digging up my garden and chucking in two house goldfish...seemed bonkers.

steff13 Sun 14-Aug-16 03:27:58

Goldfish can get huge. We won one at a fair when I was little that lived for years and years and got to be about 8" long.

JeffreyNeedsAHobby Sun 14-Aug-16 03:29:52

Treeroot, ours are not the fancy variety with the split tail. I am aware they grow to 6inches.

JeffreyNeedsAHobby Sun 14-Aug-16 03:31:58

OK, so, assuming they grow in years to come I would see this and buy (drumroll) a bigger tank! At the moment they are about 5cm long inc tail!

Doinmummy Sun 14-Aug-16 03:33:45

I thought they grow according to the size of tank.

They were right. That is too small for two goldfish and sucky for one.

Goldfish are meant to grow big. They are meant to live for many years. The reason they tend not to live long is because they are put in small tanks. They are really pond fish!

If your vet friend said what you claim, he or she is an idiot.

PurpleDaisies Sun 14-Aug-16 03:36:33

I thought they grow according to the size of tank.

Me too.

Op if you're unhappy with the service you got at pets at home, complain to the manager in a calm, factual way with evidence that the information you were given was incorrect. I think "hating this woman" is a bit ott.

JeffreyNeedsAHobby Sun 14-Aug-16 03:39:39

So why on earth do they sell 15lt fish tanks?
Sounds as though people think I should be more annoyed at the first guy who said the tank (biggest they had in our shop) was fine for 4.
You think I should dig a pond into the garden then? I have no shade...

Treeroot Sun 14-Aug-16 03:43:01

Goldfish don't grow to the size of the tank. If a tank is too small, the exterior of the fish stops growing, but their internal organs and spine don't, so they become unhealthy and eventually die.

Because there are more types of fish in the world than goldfish...

Goldfish can grow to 12 inches and more. They don't grow to the size of the tank!

PurpleDaisies Sun 14-Aug-16 03:44:07

You think I should dig a pond into the garden then? I have no shade...

I don't know anything about fish, but if you aren't able to provide the right conditions for your pet you just don't get one.

Hopefully someone can link to some proper guidelines for keeping goldfish. I know they've really tightened up on who can buy them now (my mum had trouble buying one recently).

PurpleDaisies Sun 14-Aug-16 03:44:46

That's really interesting-thanks treeroot.

JeffreyNeedsAHobby Sun 14-Aug-16 03:45:38

Right, so my main aim is not to kill the fish - I want them to be happy. I thought she was being rude needlessly, but if she has a point... How big does the pond need to be? What do I do when it freezes in winter? How do I keep the cats away? How can I check the water isn't being contaminated/clean them out? I literally know nothing about ponds.

JeffreyNeedsAHobby Sun 14-Aug-16 03:47:15

If someone had told me when I bought the sodding fish that the tank that they were also selling me wasn't fit for one let alone two to four I wouldn't have Daisy. I am fairly sure people up and down the country who have far smaller tanks than mine were not told they would have to dig up a chunk of their garden when they spent money on them...

MirriVan Sun 14-Aug-16 03:48:37

A quick Google would sort you out on pond management OP.
Would also have worked to show you that the lady in the shop was correct.

A lot of people don't care or think goldfish don't live very long Jeffrey hence why you do get people keeping them in tiny tanks until they die prematurely or they give them away

JeffreyNeedsAHobby Sun 14-Aug-16 03:53:49

I get that now, yes I have googled.
I was told something in a large shop by someone I thought was qualified. He sold me many things that day to go with the fish. As I said, I also have a friend who is a vet who has seen the tank and thought it was fine. Maybe she doesn't specialise in goldfish, I don't know. I simply didn't think I needed to google this.
Now I see I was annoyed at the wrong person. Which is fine. I am however unsure what the best thing to do for my fish is.
Should I just give them to the RSPCA? I don't want them to die of frost in my garden or be fried or anything else. I am asking for advice, as this is what I thought MN was for. This looks as though it will get very expensive very quickly.

Doinmummy Sun 14-Aug-16 03:54:18

I don't get why they sell those starter kits then- you get a small round bowl, stones, food etc . Why sell them if they're unfit for purpose ?

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