We even have babies. Lots and lots of them. Some of the babies have even grown so much that they're now adult fish - males and females alike.
It's not often that we've lost fish. In fact, we've only lost a handful since we set the tank up, two of those we lost to suicide. (There's a gap at the top of the glass they can jump through - it's now blocked!)
Recently however, we bought a new fish. Well, Ross's friend, Charles bought a new fish. A beautiful blue male fighter that was fan tailed and glorious. It was honestly, the prettiest fish I had seen.
Charles purchased this fish from a place called Timmermans Garden Centre. We haven't bought anything from here before, in fact I'd never heard of it. The fish however, was amazing. We all loved it!
Sadly, two days after we put him in the tank, he died. I noticed he was acting weird. He was lying on the bottom of the tank leaning against the plants. He was also losing his colour. His once electric blue scales were turning grey. I'd never seen anything like it. White marks also started appearing on his body. A few hours after that, we found him dead lying behind a plant.
We were a bit gutted, anyone would be. Not only was he a lovely looking fish, but fighter fish don't come cheap either.
The day after that, another fish died.
It was weird. We hadn't lost a fish in months.
Once again, this fish had lost a bit of it's colour and was acting strange.
After that, we began losing 2-3 fish a day. Some of these fish we'd had since we'd set the tank up from scratch so Ross was actually really gutted.
I began to Google the symptoms the fish had before they died. All sorts of diseases began to show up, but there was no concrete solution that could fix the problem. The only thing I could find to do, was to increase the temperature of the water which would hopefully kill any infection.
Since we've done that, we have lost one fish. That fish was already ill so I don't think anything would have made a difference.
Nothing had changed in our tank recently to cause this to happen. We have tens of baby fish of all different breeds, and around 15 different breeds in the tank. Nothing had changed, except for adding the fighter fish.
I called Timmermans Garden Centre, mainly as a warning. If his fighter fish tank had an infection, they needed to know before they sold any more. I also wanted them to know that their one fish, had killed over fifteen of mine. Unfortunately, they didn't care. Instead of asking any questions at all, they told me "Well, we'll need a water sample from your tank."
I'm sorry.. from MY tank? The fish in MY tank were fine until your fish was put in.
I explained to the man on the phone that if one of his fish had bought an infection into the tank, then what was the point testing the water now the infection was clearly rife? Of course it would show up after I'd put the fish in.
I agreed anyway and Ross and Charles took the water sample down to the garden centre. They were told to 'take a walk' whilst the water was 'tested'.
Before I continue, I must add that the water had previously been tested by Pets At Home and was deemed absolutely fine. And like I said.. we hadn't lost any fish previously.
This water test was taken by pouring our sample into different containers and then had the 'test drop's put in. I will also add, whilst 'taking a walk' as suggested by the staff at Timmermans, it was pointed out that there were two dead fish in the tank where this fighter was purchased.
Apparently this was deemed as a 'coincidence'.
I bet it was.
Timmermans came back and announced these fish had died because of the ammonia levels in OUR tank.
Anyone who owns an aquarium knows that ammonia levels in a tank can only be treated by using chemicals.
Our fish stopped dying the moment we turned the heat up to kill any infections. Ross tried to explain this to the sales assistant but he was told there was just nothing more they could do. They didn't even advise of any treatments to help with the 'ammonia levels' - funny that. They left.
I didn't expect anything different. Like I'd said before, there is no point testing the water in an aquarium after you've already put in an infected fish. As for the ammonia levels being high, we know that's a lie as Brookfields Garden Centre have also tested it as perfect.
Thankfully, the fish have stopped dying. We plan on doing a water change in a few days as per the instructions I found online.
I'm not usually a petty person, and I'm definitely not one for naming and shaming or confrontation, but I feel like if someone is planning on purchasing fish or aquarium products from this store, to strongly rethink. I wish that we had read somewhere about their fish before purchasing them.
Even though I know that we will receive nothing in return from Timmermans, despite us losing over £50 worth of fish in the space of a week, I hope they know how disappointed we are. We most definitely will not be visiting there again and neither will any of our family or friends. We'd rather our fish and plants didn't die, thank you very much.