I screwed up and my goldfish paid the price.

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MegE15

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I screwed up and feel horrible. I went on a week long vacation, I had someone coming in to feed my fish and take care of my other pets. However, I hadn't realized my two snails had died before I left (most likely of old age, they were over two years old). So, two snails were left to decay in the aquarium. Not only that, my filter died while I was away. When I came back home, one of my fantails, Twitch, was dead. The water quality was horrible. I'm shocked my other goldfish, Smudge, was still alive. After slowly getting the water back to a healthy level, I'm pretty sure Smudge is going to make it relatively unscathed. He's swimming around normally again and I've yet to see any signs of disease. But I just can't get over the guilt of losing Twitch. He was only two years old and it must have been a horrible way to go. I'm usually so careful when it comes to keeping the water clean and after 7 years of keeping fish, this is the first one I lost due to my mistake. I know people make mistakes, but it's just been hard dealing with the guilt.
I miss my beloved pet and I wish I could have done better.
 

Rocky998

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I screwed up and feel horrible. I went on a week long vacation, I had someone coming in to feed my fish and take care of my other pets. However, I hadn't realized my two snails had died before I left (most likely of old age, they were over two years old). So, two snails were left to decay in the aquarium. Not only that, my filter died while I was away. When I came back home, one of my fantails, Twitch, was dead. The water quality was horrible. I'm shocked my other goldfish, Smudge, was still alive. After slowly getting the water back to a healthy level, I'm pretty sure Smudge is going to make it relatively unscathed. He's swimming around normally again and I've yet to see any signs of disease. But I just can't get over the guilt of losing Twitch. He was only two years old and it must have been a horrible way to go. I'm usually so careful when it comes to keeping the water clean and after 7 years of keeping fish, this is the first one I lost due to my mistake. I know people make mistakes, but it's just been hard dealing with the guilt.
I miss my beloved pet and I wish I could have done better.
Hey, its a ok... We all make mistakes cause no ones perfect. I remember my first fish I got, he was a betta named comet. I did every bit of research, thought I searched every little cranny to get all the answers, but somehow missed cycling and my snail named, fast Freddy along with comet sadly passed. I know how it feels to have that guilt and it S.U.C.K.S but just remember, as I said earlier, that everyone males mistakes and their bound to happen...
 

Finn1231

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I screwed up and feel horrible. I went on a week long vacation, I had someone coming in to feed my fish and take care of my other pets. However, I hadn't realized my two snails had died before I left (most likely of old age, they were over two years old). So, two snails were left to decay in the aquarium. Not only that, my filter died while I was away. When I came back home, one of my fantails, Twitch, was dead. The water quality was horrible. I'm shocked my other goldfish, Smudge, was still alive. After slowly getting the water back to a healthy level, I'm pretty sure Smudge is going to make it relatively unscathed. He's swimming around normally again and I've yet to see any signs of disease. But I just can't get over the guilt of losing Twitch. He was only two years old and it must have been a horrible way to go. I'm usually so careful when it comes to keeping the water clean and after 7 years of keeping fish, this is the first one I lost due to my mistake. I know people make mistakes, but it's just been hard dealing with the guilt.
I miss my beloved pet and I wish I could have done better.
Im so sorry for your loss. The person who was taking care of your pets should have told you, i was dogsitting for someone in the past and when I saw the fish I cleaned the water and everything. Its not completely your fault, and I think smudge will appreciate you saving him at least.
 

Rocky998

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Im so sorry for your loss. The person who was taking care of your pets should have told you, i was dogsitting for someone in the past and when I saw the fish I cleaned the water and everything. Its not completely your fault, and I think smudge will appreciate you saving him at least.
Absolutely, they should have said something, and I bet if they told you right away you would've been able to help him/her to care for the fish while you were on vacation.
 

Ch4rlie

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This is one of the harder facets of this hobby, any mistakes made in our tanks, its usually the livestock that pays the ultimate price.

But you're not alone in this, a LOT of us have made mistakes and some we got away with it and others not so lucky, I've made a couple of mistakes in the past when was a relative newbie and lost a couple of my threadfin rainbowfish and I really felt bad about it.

The best thing you can do is to LEARN from this mistake and try not to let it occur again and pehaps advise others on this forum when they ask what is best for when the keeper is planning to go on holiday or having to leave their tanks for a week or two, this way we all learn a bit more so as what is best and to avoid mistakes made by others, this is what the forum is all about really.

Sorry for your loss by the way.
 

Rocky998

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So, while this thread is up... Lets turn it into a learning experience... What are good things to do if you are going on a vacation for, lets say 7 days and you have no one that you know who is experienced in fish keeping?
 

fishyfun&fans

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There are people that will come and look after your tank while your away for a cost(finding a good one can be difficult though)

Pet sitters uk
Mind a Home America

if not maybe you could train someone else in your family to do this for next time you go away

Very sorry for you loss rip

I spend a lot of time not at home and it is very difficult to keep fish if your not there for them that moment so I understand your guilt
 
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Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Ouch! :(

  • It ain't going to make you feel any better and that isn't my intention...to make you feel better...so learn from this and don't repeat it.
  • Fish can survive a week without being fed, especially if they've been fed well beforehand.
  • Don't ever put your animals in the care of someone less skilled and/or experienced that yourself.
  • Keep a closer eye on your tank and animals...regular testing would reveal any ammonia spikes and something as simple as a basic headcount can help you avoid all manner of 'issues'.
  • 'Smudge' now has a lot more space to swim in.
  • The degree of guilt and anguish will be a force to ensure, hopefully, that you won't repeat the experience. (Many express great apparent angst and trauma, with much wringing of hands..and then go and do something similar, followed by much anguish and wringing of hands, etc.).
 
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MegE15

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Thank you all for responses. This has definitely been a learning experience for me.

I don't blame the person who was watching my fish at all. The filter was still working when she last checked on the fish and there didn't appear to be anything wrong at the time. This isn't the first time she's watched them, and she's owned fish in the past. She always sends pictures and there was nothing I noticed in the last picture that indicated they were sick. I think the nitrites and nitrates spiked after she last went over.

In the future, I will definitely leave out water test strips so my fish sitter can check on the water quality. Just a quick and easy test to make sure everything is good. I will also make sure to do a quick head count of my fish and snails before heading out, especially the snails.

I hope others can learn from this experience, I know I have.
 

otterblue

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Sorry for your distress. You sound very conscientious and caring. I wouldn't even call it a "mistake", it's more like bad luck. I think most of us have much more than 1 fish's blood on his/her hands due to making a mistake.
 

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