Keeping fish is a responsibility, not a right

by Owen James

Searching the web for the latest tropical fish news this morning, I read a letter in The Star (a UK newspaper) where the writer complained about being told he had to set-up an aquarium before buying any fish:

[The shop said] “I can’t sell you the fish today unless you have the tank and filter etc. and get it settled for a week.”

My wife and I looked at each other with disbelief … it’s a bl**dy fish, we said to each other in the car.

Yes, it is a bl**dy fish, which is exactly why it needs proper care and attention. It’s a living thing. Even goldfish need proper aquariums, not goldfish bowls. (Why am I not surprised the writer got his first fish from a fairground?)

I’ll freely admit that at the deep end of the hobby we can get pretty fanatical, spending more on a reef tank or a planted aquarium then we’d spend on a wedding. But at the Joe Public entry-level end, people have a slapdash attitude to fish that they would never have with a puppy or a kitten.

Fish are even more vulnerable, when you think about it, because they are totally reliant on us keeping their environment in a state where it can sustain life. At least a badly-cared for dog isn’t going to get poisoned by the air it breathes.

Full marks for the fish retailer, though. Too often they sell anything to anyone. The writer doesn’t realize how lucky he was to find a decent retailer who cared for its animals.

Check out Katy's Tropical Fish Guide for more aquarium info.

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