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Old 04-04-2014, 06:21 PM   #1
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People can be stupid...

This is my experience with my "friend".

He tells me has a "huge" 200 gallon tank, he interests me. He shows me, and I almost have a heart attack.

About 40 gallon tank...

30 gallon internal filter

8 goldfish. EIGHT,

Brown algae EVERYWHERE...

I ask him, "How many times do you do water changes a month?"

He looks at me like I'm crazy, and replies...

"Once every 3 months."

I flip out, run home, get my bucket, siphon, and water conditioner and sprint back as fast as I can (Not easy, considering there was a 5 gal bucket and ipad in my hands." I come back, and he says to me "I have to ask my dad, he'll be home in an hour."

WHAT!? You couldn't have told me before I got my stuff? I remain calm and tell him (Like before) I'm just trying to show you how to do a water change, your fish are in horrible condition, as your tank. I then spend 20 minutes explaining, and his grandma agrees I know what I'm talking about. "No man, you're gonna break our tank." ...

ARGGGHHHHHHHHH I promptly stormed out, disgusted. I have wasted 1 hour of my life trying to teach this "friend" of mine some basic knowledge about fish! I almost gave him some FREE: plants, fish food, bucket, water conditioner, pre filter, and more!

People these days...

Post your infuriating stories below!



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Old 04-04-2014, 07:41 PM   #2
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You are going to run to plenty of people like that in life. He doesn't know any better & if he has to ask his dad, that may very well be the problem. Your 1hr of trying to teach him wont stink in fast cause of how long they have been doing it & so far (knock on wood) there hasnt been any major problem that you know of.

Don't give up! Keep teaching him & showing him. Maybe sooner he will be able to understand it all and do it right. If not, you did what you could.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:00 PM   #3
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I have a coworker that claims to not have done anything but feed his fish and top off the tank when it evaporates for over a year. He claims his tank is now "balanced" and he doesn't need to change water. It is a 50g with two oscars. He didn't have an answer when I asked where all the waste went.

Then again, I made one of my other coworkers day when I showed him a python water changer. His wife has been using buckets to change the water in their turtle tank.

You win some and you loose some. Don't let it get under your skin too much.


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Old 04-05-2014, 01:16 AM   #4
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Thanks guys, lol I walked home slowly, my eyes melted a tree or two! I'll try my best to help him, as long as he doesn't keep the mindset that his tank is still "perfect" and I'll mess it up.


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Old 04-05-2014, 06:36 PM   #5
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I have a co-worker that has a large tank, maybe 100 gal. She keeps it stocked with feeder gold fish and they get huge. She rarely does a water change and when I tried (several times) to explain the importance of water changes she didn't even listen to me. A few months ago I convinced her to bring me a water sample and I tested it. The amonia was so high it was off the charts, When I tested it it was black. The sad part is she isn't interested in learning how to care for the fish. When she finally does a water change she empties the whole tank and then refills it with a garden hose and cold water.
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Old 04-05-2014, 06:47 PM   #6
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Mostly anyone in pet stores.. you know how that goes.
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Old 04-06-2014, 02:47 AM   #7
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People can be stupid...

The reality you have to face is that some people don't care that much and aren't going to listen to the right answer and are going to do just what they want. I work at petsmart and I see this the majority of the time. You can't really do anything about it is the reality as sad as that is.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:28 AM   #8
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Yes, people can be stupid and there's nothing you can do about it !!😂😂. Fortunately, all my fellow aquarists have excellent skills and ethics when it comes to husbandry of fish.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:15 PM   #9
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I tend to not think of people as stupid but as uneducated which causes them to sometimes do stupid things. That all can be changed.......with time.
I think you are seeing a failure, on multiple levels, to educate a "new" hobbyist in the art of fish keeping. It may have started with the store they bought the tank from or the hobbyist themselves if they bought the tank from someone and they never learned the "proper" methods of keeping aquarium fish. I put the word PROPER in quotations for a reason. There are many different proper ways of keeping fish and it's all dependent on the fish themselves. There is no "One size fits all" for fish. I've read in the other post here of things that MAY have appeared wrong but in actuality may not be wrong, per say. It's possible your friend was told his tank was a 200 LITER tank and he misspoke when he said 200 gallons? That's about a 50 gallon tank which still means that the 30 gallon filter was the wrong thing to buy but that may not have been their fault but the fault of the salesperson guiding them on their purchase. Just as the person above stated that the ammonia level in the water they tested was so high, they failed to mention the PH value which would make the ammonia level not really serious if it in the lower ranges. While not an ideal situation, it's not toxic ammonia so the repercussions of it aren't as bad as they could be. Filling a tank straight from the hose? I do that too. I can because I am on well water so there are no chemicals I need to worry about. I tested the water before I did that the first time. ( I couldn't do that when I lived in the city however. There were tons of chemicals in that water!) Your friend not being willing to do any maintenance on the tank without the Father's knowledge was the right call ( Don't be mad .) What if there were certain circumstances that you 2 were not aware of that doing a water change would mess up? Maybe the fish were being medicated? Maybe they were being changed to a different type of water? Maybe the levels were slowly being adjusted? So many variables that you COULD have screwed up if you just changed the water.

I worked in retail pet stores for a long time and put in over 40 years in the pet industry so I think I have heard just about every bad idea when it comes to fish keeping there is. LOL From using 10 gal filters on 100 gallon tanks (" I'll just clean it 10 times more frequently!") to "Can I have that large KOI for my 20 gal long tank? He won't need to swim too much to find his food that way." I have heard a lot of stupid things for sure. My goal was to help them understand why what they wanted to do was not the right way of doing things and how it would poorly effect the fish, not make them feel stupid for thinking in those terms.

So you have 2 opportunities in front of you. You can be one of the ones who stands by idly and just "B" & moan about it or you can be one of the ones who helps correct this situation. For number one, type away. I'm sure there are plenty on this site who will agree with you ( and that's part of the problem with the hobby today IMO ). For the second choice, I suggest tact. Try having a discussion with the Dad about the tank. Bring up the issues you were concerned about and hear his side. It may be he just doesn't know or a specific reason YOU don't know about (as earlier explained.) You might want to lend them your books about fish keeping so they can read up on what you know that they might not know. WHAT!!!!? You don't have books, you rely only on the internet??? There's a lot of bad information out there on the internet ya know . Maybe suggest a trip to the book store together and look at what's out there on fish keeping. If you don't have a good book store nearby and you know of some good websites with valuable information, you might want to jot down the URLs to them and give them to your buddy and his Dad. As I said, use TACT. Don't say " HERE!!! Go to these sites and learn something!!!!!! Say something to the effect of " here are some sites I use and I know have some valuable information. You might find them helpful as well"

Bottom line, you can be part of the solution or part of the problem. You may not get through to them immediately and they may kill some fish before you get there with them. That's what happens some times. But I can say, that some of the best aquarists I know all killed a few fish along the way so don't be that " I TOLD YOU SO!!!!" person. It doesn't really help

Good luck to ya and I hope this helps
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhsoto94 View Post
The reality you have to face is that some people don't care that much and aren't going to listen to the right answer and are going to do just what they want. I work at petsmart and I see this the majority of the time. You can't really do anything about it is the reality as sad as that is.
That's were we differ I guess. As a former retailer in the pet trade myself, it's your job (IMO) to show them a better way to achieve their goal. I've had people come to the store looking to put up a poorly set up 100 gallon tanks and walked out with a properly set up 40 gal tank because that's all their budget would allow for. They became longtime customers because I wouldn't give them what they wanted but instead, looked out for their long term interest ( keeping fish alive in a tank.) There's a difference between making a fast buck and making a good customer. I'm sure Petsmart would prefer having good customers, don't you think?
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