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Old 04-13-2013, 07:18 PM   #1
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Did This Ever Cross Your Mind When Just Looking at Your Tank?

Sometimes I just sit and watch my goldfish -- well, every day I do this, several times a day! -- and feel bad that they only have "so much" room in their tank to swim and explore...like, I know it would be impossible to install a 6,000 gallon reef, lagoon or holding tank in my house like you'd find at Sea World, but I truly feel so bad for my guys when I see them wiggle and swim from one end of the tank to the other, restrained by glass walls so they can't go any farther, and wish they had so much more room to swim and explore...I almost feel guilty and that I'm doing something cruel to them because they're "only" in a "mere" 60 gallon (in my case)...

I feel like sometimes they just get "bored"...like as if they're thinking, okay, I've picked at the plants, swam through the bridge, picked at some gravel....now what? LOL...I know this sounds a bit cuckoo, but does anyone else feel this way about their beloved fish friends?
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:36 PM   #2
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sometimes, but you could always build a pond in the backyard for your goldfish
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:41 PM   #3
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Yes, but that's not gonna happen...

Regardless, are we being "cruel" to our fish when they're "stuck" in tanks we keep them in? I don't mean people that stuff 20 medium to large size species, or goldfish, into 10 gallon aquariums or anything overtly drastic or extreme like that...I mean with regard to somewhat "larger" tanks like 55 gallons and up...is it "cruel" to the fish to keep them in containers like this (assuming they're not massive like Oscars, Arowanas, etc.)?

Are they feeling depressed and bored when we notice them kind of just pecking around, looking as if "well, I already went under THAT bridge..." ?
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:42 PM   #4
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That's one reason I'm moving my ryukins out to the pond when it's finished. Of course, your tank is larger than mine.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:11 PM   #5
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That's one reason I'm moving my ryukins out to the pond when it's finished. Of course, your tank is larger than mine.
Indeed...

I just feel so bad for them that they just kinda go back and forth and are like "well...now what?" and can't swim past the glass edges, you know?

But I suppose this would happen with any sized tank; the downfalls of keeping them in captivity...if you put them in a 100-plus-gallon, they would get used to that room, and we'd be saying "they are looking to swim further!"

Does anyone else feel this way? Doesn't have to be with regard to fancy goldfish, at all...
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:35 PM   #6
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The fish that have been bred for use in an aquarium are used to being in there, this is why I really dislike buying wild caught fish, makes me think about how nemo got taken from the ocean and put in a tiny tank(I know they aren't like nemo but still). Though I did read at one time that goldfish have like a 13 second short term memory span, so I highly doubt that yours are bored. I know that most of my fish would have died in the hands of a petsmart employee, I give them more than the minimum recommended tank size, and I meet or exceed all of their needs, so I don't feel bad for having them.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:59 PM   #7
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I do sometimes feel that way- but I change the landscapes regularly to create some interest.

I do think its cruel to imprison an animal of any kind that has been born and raised in the wild.

PETA would say that we are all cruel in keeping fish as pets because we drive an industry that seems to have no code if ethics and causes all manner of suffering. Same with all pets.

I can't change the world, and I can't offer my pets perfection, but I can make their environment a pleasant and safe place to be. The wilds are not a safe, and not always pleasant place to be.

Goldfish somehow trigger this guilt complex more than most other fish- on the other hand, bristlenose are always busy munching algae off everything, and get excited by any new food or piece of driftwood that they're more likely to make you laugh than feel bad.

My goldfish always make me feel like i'm starving them. I sometimes wonder if goldfish are even capable of being content with their lot- no matter how good they've got it! lol
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:08 AM   #8
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Lol. I agree, goldies have that "way" of making you feel bad for them. My ryukin gives me that look all the time, and my heart breaks for him more than any other fish I have.....but he is well fed, well kept, and has a plenty big tank with lots to entertain him. I mostly think if he was out in the wild, he would have been gobbled up long ago by a much smarter fish than him, haha. Gotta love tht goldie stare.........
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:10 AM   #9
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Yes, but that's not gonna happen...

Regardless, are we being "cruel" to our fish when they're "stuck" in tanks we keep them in? I don't mean people that stuff 20 medium to large size species, or goldfish, into 10 gallon aquariums or anything overtly drastic or extreme like that...I mean with regard to somewhat "larger" tanks like 55 gallons and up...is it "cruel" to the fish to keep them in containers like this (assuming they're not massive like Oscars, Arowanas, etc.)?

Are they feeling depressed and bored when we notice them kind of just pecking around, looking as if "well, I already went under THAT bridge..." ?
My black moor
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:27 AM   #10
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Thank you, everyone, for your input in this thread...indeed, I TOTALLY agree regarding goldies and the way they make you "feel bad" for them, as if they're always starving...my four guys do this every time I pass the room...

And, Loach, I am severely upset and saddened by the loss of your Moor...I feel your pain, having lost many, many fish over the years in the past and then losing the last batch of fancies I had from a bacterial infection...plus, the loss of our beloved Black Lab/Aussie Shepherd dog a few months ago...
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:28 AM   #11
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Please continue contributing your experiences, thoughs or feelings on the matter of feeling a bit guilty for keeping our finned friends in glass containers...
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:41 AM   #12
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Please continue contributing your experiences, thoughs or feelings on the matter of feeling a bit guilty for keeping our finned friends in glass containers...
I love that you posted this thought and some great replies above that have helped with my own 'parental' guilt.
My 'oldest' goldy (3years) has cloudy eyes and sometimes he just comes over and stares at me and I wonder if he's saying 'Hey, don't you see I'm not happy... What are you gonna do about it?'
Then again maybe he's just coming over to say 'Hey, when's lunch?'
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:45 AM   #13
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Thank you, everyone, for your input in this thread...indeed, I TOTALLY agree regarding goldies and the way they make you "feel bad" for them, as if they're always starving...my four guys do this every time I pass the room...

And, Loach, I am severely upset and saddened by the loss of your Moor...I feel your pain, having lost many, many fish over the years in the past and then losing the last batch of fancies I had from a bacterial infection...plus, the loss of our beloved Black Lab/Aussie Shepherd dog a few months ago...
Yes, it's always horrible to loose a beloved member of your family
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:03 AM   #14
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I love that you posted this thought and some great replies above that have helped with my own 'parental' guilt.
My 'oldest' goldy (3years) has cloudy eyes and sometimes he just comes over and stares at me and I wonder if he's saying 'Hey, don't you see I'm not happy... What are you gonna do about it?'
Then again maybe he's just coming over to say 'Hey, when's lunch?'
Hahahahahaha I know EXACTLY what you mean, Fruit...
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:26 AM   #15
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Wow. Deep. Haha. This is a fun one. I don't think it is that bad, but I don't have goldfish! My fish live in a clean, enemy free little world. They are fish, there brains don't get "bored" or "happy" they are instinctual creatures. Food is the number 1 reason for life. They see us feed them and relate us with food so we think they "know" us. Lets not over think this one TOO much haha. We have much more complex brains then fish, they just live to stay alive.
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:31 AM   #16
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Wow. Deep. Haha. This is a fun one. I don't think it is that bad, but I don't have goldfish! My fish live in a clean, enemy free little world. They are fish, there brains don't get "bored" or "happy" they are instinctual creatures. Food is the number 1 reason for life. They see us feed them and relate us with food so we think they "know" us. Lets not over think this one TOO much haha. We have much more complex brains then fish, they just live to stay alive.
Oh my, are you suggesting that we are...... Anthropomorphising??!! Lol
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:33 AM   #17
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Thank you, once again, everyone for contributing your thoughts to this thread; I am going to log off for the evening, but will return tomorrow to answer some of your replies about the fish individually...

Wishing you all a good night, wherever you may be...
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:35 AM   #18
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Wow. Deep. Haha. This is a fun one. I don't think it is that bad, but I don't have goldfish! My fish live in a clean, enemy free little world. They are fish, there brains don't get "bored" or "happy" they are instinctual creatures. Food is the number 1 reason for life. They see us feed them and relate us with food so we think they "know" us. Lets not over think this one TOO much haha. We have much more complex brains then fish, they just live to stay alive.
I'm not quite sure I...well...agree with this assesment 100-percent for various reasons; many of which are just too deep to get into right now...

I do feel they're a bit more "capable" and "aware" than what's being suggested here, though, in a nutshell...
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:30 AM   #19
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:42 PM   #20
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I understand how you feel. We have three tanks, including one in our girl's bedroom that has goldies. We have 3 juvenile goldies in that 15 gallon and we know we'll have to upgrade that tank at some point...
When we take this on, with whatever fish, we take on a huge responsibility, right? Every single decision we make affects the well being of our fish. How should we filter? How are our parameters? Should we add this fish or that one? We make decisions constantly that affect how THEY live. Are they thriving or just surviving? They trust us to take care of them because what other choice do they have? And, yes, CAN they truly thrive in captivity? We have to be mindful about how we get our fish and how we treat them.
I have been thinking about this a lot as we contemplate a marine tank, actually. I have googled "marine tanks ethically" several times. I believe there is a way to stock our tanks, whatever they are, ethically. I won't get too much into this here aside from saying we have to do our research and ask lots of questions about how to best keep our fish, whatever they are.
I saw a post today on another site, and it was an old post, where the guy had a 29 gallon tank with, he said, over 20 goldies, several gourami, a ton of guppies... the list went on and on. Now, he had it way over filtered. WAY over filtered. But I had some real problems looking at how we was stocking. I was pretty amazed.
That's a long way to get to here... the one little fish who looks at us with *something* in his eyes. I'm not sure fish get bored per se. But possibly are more aware of their lot than we believe them to be. Maybe what we're seeing is their longing to "take flight" if you will. I guess the best we can do is just give them the best life we can as they become our aquaria companions...
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