I'm tired of fish being used as decorations

I don’t care how rustic it makes your kitchen look. Betta fish don’t belong in mason jars.

I don’t care how elegant it makes your coffee table look. Goldfish don’t belong in vases.

I don’t care how relaxed it makes your living room look. Koi fish don’t belong in small tanks.

I don’t care how cute it makes your kids room look. Guppies don’t belong in modified mini gumball machines.

Fish need space. Fish need filters. Fish need heaters. Fish need specific amounts of sunlight. Fish need you to open your fucking eyes and realize that they are living creatures. Not decorations.

The moment a fish is taken from nature and put into captivity to breed and sell, is the moment that you need to step up and take responsibility for giving those fish a comfortable life.

If you buy it, you should care for it. The RIGHT way.

Warning: graphic pictures

These are incredibly difficult to look at, but I feel like it’s important to post given the discourse here over the last few weeks about proper care for goldfish.

I’m a mod on a goldfish forum, and yesterday these pictures were posted in our illness section by the owner who was concerned about the fish’s inability to swim. He explained that the fish was 10 years old and living in a 20 liter (about 5 gallon) tank. The fish was laying on its side, had a milky film on its face, and was refusing to eat.

It had been in this state, barely moving, not eating, for a week and a half.

The pictures posted were of one of the most stunted, sickly fish I’ve ever seen. I had to go put my laptop away and close my eyes for a while after seeing them the first time and even now they turn my stomach. I can’t imagine the amount of pain this poor thing has gone through.

Emaciated, crooked spine, bulging eyes, pale color, deformed mouth, shortened head, uneven scales, and horrifically small for its age.

And this guy had no idea that there was anything wrong. He waited a week and a half before seeking help for an animal in this condition. He seemed to honestly care about his fish, based on the way he spoke, but he still allowed it to get to this point because he thought this is just how people treat goldfish.

Unfortunately it’s all too common to keep fish in these conditions both due to lack of information and societal acceptance of their neglect. Could you imagine what it would have been like if it were a dog or a cat in this condition?

5 gallons isn’t even the worst size really, most fish bowls are more like 1 gallon, and goldfish are often kept in those for years at a time. Just because not every fish in a bowl stunts this dramatically doesn’t mean that they don’t have the potential to suffer just as badly.

We recommended euthanasia with clove oil. We had to. It would be unspeakably cruel to even try to treat this fish and prolong its suffering. Thankfully the owner agreed to put it to sleep. I can only hope he’ll go through with it as soon as possible.

For comparison, here was one of my boys at 10 months. Fat and round, deep color, alert and active, and already larger than the fish above. He was living in a 50 gallon tank when this picture was taken.

This is what a goldfish looks like when kept in a proper sized tank, with regular water changes, and a healthy diet.

This is what all goldfish should look like. This is why goldfish need just as much space, work, and money put into them as any other pet.

Goldfish brew booze to stay alive in freezing winter water

  • Scientists just announced the first known group of animals that can survive on fermentation alone for long periods of time in an article published in Scientific Reports.
  • It’s the humble goldfish and its wild relatives, certain species of carp.
  • The fish in this genus — called Carassius — that haven’t managed to score a comfortable life indoors have it pretty rough.
  • They spend their lives in lakes in Europe and Asia — but those lakes tend to freeze over in the winter. That leaves crucian carp and goldfish to spend four or five months in water with little or no oxygen.
  • Scientists had already figured out that the fish were creating ethanol and essentially breathing it out through their gills into the water around them. But the researchers on the new study wanted to pin down exactly what cellular machinery the fish had to accomplish the feat. Read more (8/11/17)

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