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When fish die

lurcher

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6 Apr 2018
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94
Location
Lincolnshire
Hi,i have three community tanks and try to keep my tanks in excellent conditions for fish and plants,they can be hard work but the rewards can be great.at times ,rarely i hope ,i have a fish die. This is not good because i feel that i have failed in some way.all fish have a lifespan ,but i would hope that mine dont die through neglect.it is easy to just throw it away and go buy another,and i have had comments such as “its only a f******g fish” or “plenty more where that came from”,but we buy them we should give them the best that we can.what do you think,am i in the minority or do most aquarists do the best for their fish?
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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2,073
We definitely have a duty of care and we should plan to keep fish their whole lives rather than consider them part of the decor.

When I was in the shop we had customers who excitedly came in because they had "room" for a new fish now that one had died and these types of customers really tried your patience. Thankfully they were less common than those that really cared for their fish and would take every step to keep them healthy and these tend to be the ones who stick with the hobby rather than move on to the latest craze.

You do need to remember that fish can and do just die, some species invent ways to kill themselves, others are genetically weak or its just natural. It means it's sad but often part of the hobby we have to live with.
 
Joined
20 Dec 2019
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537
Location
South Carolina
You do need to remember that fish can and do just die, some species invent ways to kill themselves, others are genetically weak or its just natural. It means it's sad but often part of the hobby we have to live with.
I think most aquarists do have their best intentions on keeping fish healthy and providing a good environment. But, as stated, there are things out of your control, like how the fish were treated before you got them. Other times, genetics play a role that we just can’t do anything to rectify.
But even though most of us care, there is the human side of it. We are not perfect and we make errors that can be costly, which make forums like this integral to the hobby. New (and old) aquarists can get the best information possible from experienced keepers who have already made the majority of mistakes for you.

I think the day you find your pets to be replaceable without remorse or genuine curiosity as to how to prevent their demise in the future, you need a new hobby.
 

dean

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6 Apr 2012
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1,491
Location
Warrington, Cheshire
It’s my experience that fish are still seen a disposable pets
Maybe because of the low prices but personally I blame the fairgrounds who for decades gave goldfish away as prizes, I believe this still goes on today This is how many millions of people first enter the hobby, I certainly got my first pet fish this way.

So generations of people have bad information and care regimes ingrained into them Plus loads of miss information becomes common “knowledge” such as
fish only grow to the size of the tank,
goldfish only live for a couple of years if you are lucky
How many sad children were told “don’t worry it’s gone to fishy heaven we will get you another one” or “ it’s only a fish they don’t live long”

Until these myths completely disappear and peoples general attitude towards fish changes I can’t see any improvement in people’s attitudes towards fish

Also lots of anglers are told and believe fish don’t feel pain !

If you watch tv you will see fish landed on a trawler or any fishing vessel, you see them laying on deck gasping before they are shoved into a freezer to die, this wouldn’t be accepted if someone did it to a lorry load of lambs

So most humans do not see fish as anything other than protein or disposable pets

I hate loosing a single fish
I agree we definitely have a duty of care
Only today I was asked to rescue about 20 goldfish that have been left in a pond on a empty rental property, if these were any other animal animal rescues and charities would be rushing to help

luckily in my opinion the fish are not in any immediate danger as it’s a very large pond and the fish are active even in the heat we’ve had ok the water is green hence the concern


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dean

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6 Apr 2012
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Warrington, Cheshire
Don’t get me started on people buying juvenile monster fish, these people who say we will buy a bigger tank as it grows ! Hardly ever happens


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Driftless

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4 Jul 2020
Messages
256
Location
Chicago-area
Hi all,

I completely agree with you and I feel very strongly that we have a <"duty of care"> for our fish.

cheers Darrel
Totally agree. It is also respect and understanding of the ecosystem which is the same thing as the duty of care. All of my tanks are in my office and if I am not going to be in the office that day I ask my key employee as soon as he is in the office how do the tanks look? Is anyone dead? Thankfully only one dead Cory in the last several months.
 
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lurcher

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Thread starter
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6 Apr 2018
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94
Location
Lincolnshire
Thanks all for the replies and for caring.Paraguay i was in that exact situation recently same fish,same situation,it was under a bright light in a tiny tank trying to hide away in a corner.i bought it to get it out of there, and put it in a 60 gallon until i found it a good home.but you cant save them all.To a lot of pet stores they are just a means of a quick profit,that particular shop will never see me again!
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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2,073
I will stick up for shops a little with some monster or unsuitable fish. I had a few fish left outside the shop in buckets or boxes a couple of times with fish I'd never have excepted if someone asked. We also had a few people phone up needing to rehome stuff and when it turned up it wasn't as described, one was apparently a 6" plec and it turned out to be a 9" red tailed catfish. They obviously knew what they were doing or at least trying to do.

If shops are repeatedly doing it then that's a different story. It also worrying that most people don't seem to know what they are getting into with some fish species. We know koi can live a very long life but I don't think most consider a 25-30 year lifespan of clown loaches or potentially longer for catfish. I've mentioned it before but I have several clown loaches nearing 30 years old (inherited caring after them from my parents), plus a silver shark and other rescues near that age, a couple of silver dollars (they cost 80p each when I bought them) the same age and various catfish including a striped Dora that is my oldest fish. I looked up the average age about ten years ago when I though mine was old at over 20 but I found one alive in Germany that was 47. I've also got a striped candy loach that was bought by my brother in 1997 and I'm amazed they live anything like that. Your average tetra might not seem like a long commitment but fish definitely can be a long term tie.
 

Wolf6

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18 Dec 2014
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953
Location
Netherlands
I wholeheartedly agree, but I do have a follow-up question related to this. Say you have a scape and buy a group of 20 to go with that. 5 years down the line, you have 4 left, the rest died of old age. What do you do with those leftover 4? They are happier in larger groups, but I feel attached to them at the same time. Do you let them live out their lives in your tanks or do you take them to a shop in the hopes they will find a new life? But the next owner, unsuspecting, might end up with some fish that wont live very long anymore...
In my case, I have 4 fish aged about 8 now (simulans tetra) and the tank they are in is going away. If I was to take them to a store, now would be the time, but I'm undecided. I dont intend to get a larger group of tetras anymore as I want something different for a change.
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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2,073
I let them stay in the tank. I'm not someone who can just get rid of the fish because I want something else. I consider that buying is a commitment meaning I will care for them for their life. It does mean you sometimes end up with odds and ends but that life I guess.

As to the ever decreasing group size, I think ideally you'd maintain the group but I don't know anyone that would just perpetually want to keep exactly the same stock without any variation. If the group gradually decreases I think the fish get used to it and although it's not optimal I doubt the average fish is that bothered by it beyond perhaps becoming more shy.
 

Wolf6

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18 Dec 2014
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953
Location
Netherlands
I let them stay in the tank. I'm not someone who can just get rid of the fish because I want something else. I consider that buying is a commitment meaning I will care for them for their life. It does mean you sometimes end up with odds and ends but that life I guess.

As to the ever decreasing group size, I think ideally you'd maintain the group but I don't know anyone that would just perpetually want to keep exactly the same stock without any variation. If the group gradually decreases I think the fish get used to it and although it's not optimal I doubt the average fish is that bothered by it beyond perhaps becoming more shy.
Yeah this is what causes my doubt: I know I'm not keeping them in a situation that is optimal for them anymore (e.g. large group with many more of their species) and they for one don't get attached to their owners. If I knew someone who had this type of fish, I'd ask them if they wanted any. But bringing them to the store and not knowing where they'd end up feels wrong somehow, so instead I just keep them untill they die of old age. But is that objectively better for the fish? Thats a question I have no answer to. Just what feels better to me...
 

Tim Harrison

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i have had comments such as “its only a f******g fish” or “plenty more where that came from”
It's curious how folk perceive nature. Many folk still consider some animals to be worthier than others. Anthropomorphism plays a large role. Take my beach holiday for instance. The beach was invaded by a swarm of jellyfish. Whilst I was busy scooping them up in a bucket and taking them back out to sea, many others were fishing them out with spades etc and burying them in the sand.


And there is this too

 

LondonDragon

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Was just watching a Documentary yesterday about the hobby of fish "The Dark Hobby", more related to the marine fish and was quite depressing to watch!
Like they say most fish are seen as commodity and easy replaceable, also that majority of fish die with the fish couple of months and 99.9% within a year!

I like to keep my fish long term, hence I don't usually rescape and just evolve the aquascape from one to the next without ripping it out, I have no plan in rehoming my barbs, I will keep the scape for them for the foreseeable future as I quite enjoy their behaviour and got quite attached to them now. Also I don't like mixing too many species (3 species of barbs and some Ottos in my tank).

I also have colonies of shrimp and snails going back to 2010!! lol those tanks have hardly had any changes to them other than maybe a plant change here and there, and it's great to see how they thrive long term :)
 

MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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Minnesota, USA
Was just watching a Documentary yesterday about the hobby of fish "The Dark Hobby", more related to the marine fish and was quite depressing to watch!
Like they say most fish are seen as commodity and easy replaceable, also that majority of fish die with the fish couple of months and 99.9% within a year!
Very depressing.

Here is a study on the effects of the freshwater aquarium fish trade, which is a trade that is obviously not without faults either.
 
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jaypeecee

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21 Jan 2015
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Location
Bracknell
Hi Folks,

The following site (and its links) is/are well worth a read:


JPC
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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I've not watched the dark hobby documentary but if it's the same as the description then I'm afraid it's very dubious in terms of scientific data based on the people trying to get the hawaiian collection banned. This has gone on for many years before the ban occurred and it's happened in probably the best researched fishery in the world. It was started by a loon called snorkel Bob who owns a scuba diving company and jumped on by the likes of PETA and local politicians looking for votes. I've followed it for probably a decade or more and one of the fish affected was achilles tangs, it was claimed that the fish industry had decimated stocks when the truth is it was actually native people who didn't have bag limits who have done the damage.
The scientists actually found that the population of many species has actually increased thanks to no catch areas, quotas and size limits. The issue is that it's an emotive issue for the local population and in truth the aquarium industry had a pretty negligible impact on the environment whereas the food industry isn't anywhere near as controlled. I'm not against fish collection banning but it should be based on science not politics.
That 99.99% dead with in a year is complete tosh, the industry wouldn't survive if it was anywhere near that. The fishery is very good at transportation and would be stopped with more than a small percentage of losses. It's just a number that no one can disprove.

It's quite an emotive issue but it's similar to the recent covid arguments about vaccines. You either follow the science, which shows fish collection does no harm to stocks, or you believe the people who are spouting stuff which seems equivolent to vaccines have microchips in them or 5g spreads the disease, you can simply make stuff up without the burden of proof.
 
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