Mr Fish: the prison escape...

PigglePuggle

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Well I dont know if any of you long time forum people remember my fishy tale about 20 months ago, where my old Mum was in hospital a while and I was determined to upgrade her poor fish from a tea cup size home of neglect... I got lots of great advice here, especially from @alpacasqueak , got the fishies a new tank, water treatment stuff, plants... only for Mum to put them back in the tea cup size prison as soon as she came out of hospital and look like she was going to cry if I suggested they werent happy :(
Well Mum has been in hospital a lot lately, she was there a month then home for 2 weeks then back in and she might be moving into a care home soon...
So today Mr Fish (his friend died a while ago) broke out of prison! He didnt like the car trip and I didnt want to shock him with massive changes and too much new water and new things, but he now has double the space he had (which still doesnt meet minimum fish welfare standards I dont think :( ) and I'm going to slowly move him up tank sizes a bit at a time every couple of weeks, and also slowly replace his nasty kitsch aquarium ornaments with appropriate things like plants and things he can actually hide under. Assuming he doesnt die of stress after his relocation, fish can be tricky buggers like that arent they?
But anyway, Mr Fish is not going back to fishy prison this time, no amount of emotional blackmail will return him to his teacup tank of sadness! He now lives in my home office... if he survives the move and settles in I'll post a fishy pic in a few days :)
 

Piggies&buns

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That’s lovely to hear! I’m glad Mr Fish has a lovely new home! Looking forward to seeing the pics!

Yes, fish can be tricky. My two aquariums put me through periods of more stress than enjoyment and I wonder why I do it but then I sit here and watch them and distress after a hectic day and I suddenly remember ‘that’s why!’
 

PigglePuggle

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I have to say that although I was obsesswd with pet fish as a child I didnt really want a fish right now... but its not Mr Fish's fault so I will do my best for him, if he makes it until Christmas coping with minor upgrades every couple of weeks I will get him a permanent proper tank and a new friend over the holidays!
 

alpacasqueak

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Aw that’s lovely to hear :)
Might be a bit stressful moving into different tanks but as long as the same filter/sponges etc and as much tank water as you can you can use, some can be such sturdy beasties!
If you weren’t so far away I’d offer to rehome him, Arnie’s tank is a snail mansion and rather empty at the mo!
 

PigglePuggle

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Its very sad he was in only 5 litres of water which is pretty horrible, like when you'd win a fish at the fair 30 years ago :(
I measured out the same amount to match it with fresh treated water without shocking him with too much new stuff, I'm going to keep adding in more water every week, I can get to 20 litres in the tank he's in now then go to 30 litres in the biggest snail tank I have, then if he makes in that far he deserves a proper home...!
Its one of those awful things that I just couldnt fix, every time I saw his tiny tank I wanted to cry, but if I said anything Mum would want to cry and start asking me if he was happy... sorry Mum but no he bloody wasnt, I used to tell him when she wasnt listening that I'd help him as soon as I could!
 

Claire W

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I’m sorry to hear about your mum but that’s lovely to hear about mr fish and I hope he enjoys his new home and new friend.

What about Mr Alice the hamster? Is he coming to live with you too?
 

alpacasqueak

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Its very sad he was in only 5 litres of water which is pretty horrible, like when you'd win a fish at the fair 30 years ago :(
I measured out the same amount to match it with fresh treated water without shocking him with too much new stuff, I'm going to keep adding in more water every week, I can get to 20 litres in the tank he's in now then go to 30 litres in the biggest snail tank I have, then if he makes in that far he deserves a proper home...!
Its one of those awful things that I just couldnt fix, every time I saw his tiny tank I wanted to cry, but if I said anything Mum would want to cry and start asking me if he was happy... sorry Mum but no he bloody wasnt, I used to tell him when she wasnt listening that I'd help him as soon as I could!
Definitely not your fault though! That size isnt big enough for any fish to live in, they shouldn’t still be selling those pathetic sized ‘tanks’! I do weekly water changes of 25l in my big tank and that amount I couldn’t keep a fish in! Hope Mr Fish has a much better life out of there!
You might be better adding a small amount each day rather than weekly, a couple of litres etc so not as much of a shock to his system then you can keep an eye on how he’s doing and stop the next day etc to let him adjust.
 

PigglePuggle

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I’m sorry to hear about your mum but that’s lovely to hear about mr fish and I hope he enjoys his new home and new friend.

What about Mr Alice the hamster? Is he coming to live with you too?
Mr Alice has gone to live with elderly Uncle John, under the supervision of piggy daddy who goes round once a week to help out with some shopping and cleaning, piggy daddy does the cage cleans and brings the hamster food, Uncle John has just turned 79 and lives alone so he was a bit lonely under the covid restrictions and he's quite taken with Mr Alice and his late night hamster antics, they are quite well matched as a pair of elderly bachelors :)
 

alpacasqueak

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Or actually, if he’s in such a small tank I’d just fill it up the more I think about it! The nitrates must be very high (as well as ammonia etc) so with that small amount of water I wouldn’t worry!
 

Bill & Ted

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Aw, hope your Mum settles well in her new home. Looks like Mr Alice and Mr Fish are all sorted for their new life x
 

PigglePuggle

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Definitely not your fault though! That size isnt big enough for any fish to live in, they shouldn’t still be selling those pathetic sized ‘tanks’! I do weekly water changes of 25l in my big tank and that amount I couldn’t keep a fish in! Hope Mr Fish has a much better life out of there!
You might be better adding a small amount each day rather than weekly, a couple of litres etc so not as much of a shock to his system then you can keep an eye on how he’s doing and stop the next day etc to let him adjust.
What is the minimum tank size for a small goldfish/who might get a friend? I would imagine its at least 50 litres... yes its pretty awful for Mr Fish, he really was in a tea cup prison... its always been embarassing/stressful my old Mum's 1980's ideas about pet care, but she'd get really sad/defensive and you just cant tell a terminally ill old lady straight out "you're a crap pet owner just plain cruel I'm taking your pets away" :(
We've gone from 5 litres to 10 litres today and I can keep adding like I say up to about 30 litres when I thought I could add in a filter to get it colonised by the good bacteria before we buy a proper permanent tank...
Do you have any tank and filter recommendations @alpacasqueak for a small set up? I am limited by space but I want Mr Fish to meet the minimum welfare requirements of course and be happy... I just want to take it slow, not suddenly shock him with gallons of new water and a scary open space after an unexpected car trip!
 

Piggies&buns

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Goldfish need a big tank - they can get big but they tend to produce more waste than tropicals. I have two 60 litre tanks with tropical fish and I personally wouldn’t put a goldfish in a 60 litre
I’m sure you know, but cycling filter media takes weeks so I would go some in there ASAP and get the process started. In a small amount of water with dirty fish like goldfish, ammonia will be through the roof within short amount of time So changing the water often will be needed. I’d recommend you get an API master test kit so you can keep an eye on ammonia and nitrite levels most importantly p.
Both of my tanks are run on Superfish internal filters which work well.
 

alpacasqueak

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What is the minimum tank size for a small goldfish/who might get a friend? I would imagine its at least 50 litres... yes its pretty awful for Mr Fish, he really was in a tea cup prison... its always been embarassing/stressful my old Mum's 1980's ideas about pet care, but she'd get really sad/defensive and you just cant tell a terminally ill old lady straight out "you're a crap pet owner just plain cruel I'm taking your pets away" :(
We've gone from 5 litres to 10 litres today and I can keep adding like I say up to about 30 litres when I thought I could add in a filter to get it colonised by the good bacteria before we buy a proper permanent tank...
Do you have any tank and filter recommendations @alpacasqueak for a small set up? I am limited by space but I want Mr Fish to meet the minimum welfare requirements of course and be happy... I just want to take it slow, not suddenly shock him with gallons of new water and a scary open space after an unexpected car trip!
Well Arnie was in a 100l and that’s too small for a ‘normal’ goldfish but just because she was obv stunted. I didn’t add a friend with her because it would’ve been too small for a pair. Common goldfish really do better in ponds tbh! :doh:
I’ve got Juwel tanks which are great but have internal filters built in, I upgrade to better pumps, but I’m not too great with other filters tbh!
Def agree with @Piggies&buns , it takes a while for beneficial bacteria to grow etc, why it takes weeks to get a new tank cycled properly, you can have big ammonia spikes etc otherwise. But sure Mr Fish (like Arnie) has a lot of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in the water anyway! Definitely a trooper to still be alive!
 

PigglePuggle

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I bought a test kit, and a dechlorinating/heavy metal removing/ammonia neutralising water treatment liquid, and some fishy probiotic capsule things that are supposed to dissolve in the water to encourage the proper denitrifying bacteria to grow for a filter... I had all this planned 20 months ago and I thought Mum would be pleased with a reasonable compromise upgrade... but then suddenly the 50 litre as apposed to 5 litre tank got thrown out and they were back in the teacup :(
I'll try my best for Mr Fish, he's a resilient little thing, I dont know if anyone knows how/where to rehome fish? They're a bit complicated compared to guinea pigs I think, I want him to be a happy fish but I'm not really prepared for fish! I used to long for giant fancy fish tanks as a kid but obviously my fishy dreams were always curtailed by Mum's ideas of what would fit in top of the fridge... its all very stressful but Mr Fish has twice as much room as he had earlier even if it isnt nearly enough yet, so I think he's ok with that for today, we can work our way up unless anyone knows how to rehome him...
 

alpacasqueak

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There sadly aren’t really any rescues for fishies :( One of those animals that really aren’t thought about much when it comes to welfare etc :(😡Sounds like you’ve done loads already for the little chap, at least you’re looking out for him!
Haha well @PigglePuggle, you’ve got me looking at trains to Liverpool! :doh:Yup we know I’m blinking mad! :))
 
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