There's also a drawing of a shark. Doesn't mean you can put those in there.
You're also killing your fish by feeding it. Fish food instructions say to feed the fish two to three times a day (the more you feed them, the more you have to buy). But doing so often leads to death by overfeeding. Aquariums only feed fish once a day or less. Fish always look hungry, but that means they're healthy, not that you have to feed them more.
Aquariums will usually offer a refund if your fish dies, provided that you give us a water sample we can test. Almost always, the customer's water sample is basically liquid ammonia, because it was thick with waste due to overfeeding.
Michael Zwahlen/EyeEm/Getty Images
If it looks and tastes like Coors Light, you're doing it wrong.
But sometimes, fish disasters go a little beyond benevolent ignorance. Let me introduce you to a little something called ...
A battle tank is (as the name suggests) a tank full of fish that fight amongst each other for the pet owner's amusement. We don't sell them as pre-made options or talk to buyers about the subject, so it's up to an individual sadist to buy a tank and then stock it with whatever combo leads to the craziest results. Popular choices in these tanks are large cichlids and catfish -- big, territorial fish with big mouths. The idea is that the fish in the tank are evenly matched in their capacity for destruction.
The alternative ends quickly.
Now, fish fight. That goes without saying. They're animals, and that's what animals do. And in any tank containing these larger territorial fish, there will be the odd dispute. But provided there's enough space in the tank, it'll be over soon. The weaker fish will almost always back down.
A normal cichlid fight goes something like this:
-- Cichlids square off
-- Cichlids flare their gills up and generally try to look big
-- Cichlids push each other around with their mouths for a while
-- Cichlid that is weakest swims off and sulks
If you like, keep the audio off and pretend they're fucking.
This is not what happens in a battle tank. In a battle tank, it's purposely so crowded that there's nowhere for the weaker fish to escape to. With this kind of tank, you inevitably end up with battered, cut-up fish. Cuts lead to infections. Infections lead to deaths. The people who set up these tanks don't necessarily want the fish to kill one another. They just want the tank to be chaotic as possible. But you don't throw people in the Thunderdome expecting it to end in snuggles.
Sure, I've killed a lot of fish in my time, for a number of reasons -- to put them out of their suffering, to save the company time and money, or simply because I was told to. But I'm glad that I drew the line at "because I like to watch them die."
Ryan Menezes is an editor and interviewer here at Cracked. Follow him on Twitter for stuff cut from articles and other things no one should see.
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