6 Gruesome Things You See Working In An Aquarium

Fish tanks are real-world screen savers found in restaurants and waiting rooms everywhere. But before fish become your barely-animated adornment, they spend their lives in pet stores or aquaria, twiddling their fins and waiting to be sold. We talked to George, who’s ran in a couple of aquaria in the UK. He showed off a surprising collection of emotional and physical scars resulting from the domestic fish trade …

# 6. We Kill Fish Brutally, Quickly, And Often

When one fish in a tank get sick, the aquarium has two alternatives. One: Dose the entire tank with medication, set it under quarantine, and don’t sell any ’til the problem clears up. Two: Simply remove the problem with a little targeted fish slaying. I know they’re not puppies or kittens, but it still took me a while to get are applied to spending the first 15 minutes of every day killing pets.

First, you catch their own problems fish in a little net — which is not hard if it’s on its last( metaphorical) legs. Then, one good hard swing at the wall and it’s dead. It doesn’t suffer, and the method doesn’t take a long time or cost any money. But smashing a fish against a wall is still a brutal departure from flushing it down the lavatory.( Don’t do that, by the way. If you’re going to kill a fish, at least make it fast .)


No one deserves that shit .

But within a few days, it was normality. Get into work at 8: 45, put the kettle on, search for succumbing fish while chatting to your colleagues, smash the fish against the wall and hurl the corpses in the Dead Fish Bag, hurl the Dead Fish Bag in the bin, make a cup of tea, then open the shop for customers.

For larger fish, such as carp, we need to resort to different means. For a start, the force required to kill a big carp would probably break the net you use to kill it, and nets are expensive. For most fish over about 10 -1 5 centimeters, the preferred method is to set them in a sturdy plastic container and then hit them on the head with a half-brick. Make them too softly, and they won’t be quite dead — not good. Hit too hard, and the pouches breaking, and you literally end up with blood on your hands.


If you don’t think a fish can hold that much blood, I envy you .

With armored fish, like sterlets, that’s still not enough force, so we stomp on them. It feels similar to stepping on a snail. There’s the crunch, followed by the gooey center. And no matter how many times you do it, you always construct the mistake of looking in the bag afterwards. You can scarcely consider the pulped remains of the fish for all the blood.

Sometimes, you have to kill lots at once, chemically, leaving you with 100 fish in a 20 -pound bag. The odd thing is that it doesn’t feel as bad as killing a single fish — at least , not to me personally. Likewise, the guy I do these culls with is too squeamish to kill individuals, but he’s fine with mass kills. When it’s not a violent and bloody technique of euthanasia, it feels all right; like we’re not actually killing them. It’s like that old saying runs — “Kill one fish and you’re a assassin. Kill a million and you’re a conqueror.” Well, that or a cook at Long John Silver’s. But you can tell people you’re a conqueror if you want.

# 5. Selective Breeding Creates Abominations

Most selective breed is pretty harmless. It’s a matter of get the right specimens romantically concerned in order to make offspring with sharper colours and longer tails. But sometimes, we wind up deforming an animal to the point that they cannot even move around or find food. Take the following monstrosities :P TAGEND


Lack of lungs and vocal cords are the only reason they’re not constantly gargling “Killlll meee.”

These are all variants of goldfish — the bubble eye, the ranchu, and the telescope — and they’re the end results of Man playing God without an instruction manual, missing like half of the pieces, and with the wrong game committee. None would last five minutes in the wild. In the case of the bubble fish, those sacs are easily quadruple the size of its head and make it very difficult to swim. And their eyes pop when they rub against something sharp. Pop like a balloon. Naturally, this leaves the fisheries sector blind in that eye, with a gaping pit on the side of its head.

Then there’s the blood parrot :P TAGEND


“With a name like that, I must be bred for exhilaration and fun! ”

You know these rascals must be happy, because they’re smiling at you! But that adorable artificially-bred mouth maintains its jaws from moving, so it’s forced to try to chewing with its throat muscles. If it shares a tank with other fish, the others will always bully it and take its food.

And buyers love the expensive two-headed arowana, because at a certain phase, we stop pretending and admit that we’re spawning monsters :P TAGEND

It( they ?) can’t swimming properly, and often get sucked into the tank pump. For which it is probably thankful.

# 4. Fish Will Bite You In The Damn Face

People expressed the view that the only dangerous fish are piranha, but piranha are absolute pushovers. We stocked redbelly piranhas — the standard cinema flesh-devouring demon-fish — and yes, when I cleaned their tank out, it was a bit scary. Scary because I was worried that they were going to kill themselves by jumping out of the tank and succumbing on the floor. Piranha are expensive but not dangerous; at the least , not in the smaller sums we maintained them in.


“Who’s a cute little suicider? You are! YOU are! ”

No, the fish that go out of their route to bite you are cichlids, and they’re real bastards. Once they’ve decided that an area is theirs, they will guard it. They have teeth, and woe betide anyone who goes anywhere near a breeding pair of them. During the first few weeks I ran in an aquarium, a client brought in a breeding pair of Midas Cichlids that they couldn’t look after any more. The other staff told me I needed to clean the glass of their tank. The next thing I knew, both highly angry fish were mauling my hand. Now, this was my first job( I was 15 ), and I did not want to lose it, so I did what I was told and continued to clean the tank. I eventually realise why everyone was laughter, and never trusted again. By the end of it, my hand was nicely decked out in blood and cuts.


I then sat for an hour by the tank, eating fish and chips as cichlids watched .

When they’re startled, fish will sometimes jump out of the water. I’m sure this is a good notion in nature, as bodies of water in the wild tend not to have sheer sides. Aquaria do. Part of the job is finding the desiccated corpses of fish that decided to make a bid for freedom weeks, if not months, ago. I maintained my pet jaguar cichlid in a large open-top tank from which he could see the entire store. One hour, I was leaning over his tank, and he jumped out and bit me square on the nose. Curiously, clients tend not to believe it when you’re holding a bloody tissue and you tell them it’s because a fish bit you.

Other fish are venomous, like lionfish and foxfaces. If you ever run diving, everyone will warn you to stay the fuck away from lionfish, but we stock them anyway. If you’re allergic to bee stingings, you’re likely also allergic to lionfish, and an untreated sting will kill you. One of my co-workers was indeed allergic to bee stingings, so my boss, ever the jokester, assigned him to clean the lionfish tanks every day. I guess he’d grown jaded by all the fish killings and wanted to try his hand at offing a human.

# 3. You Will Swallow The Worst Things In The World

Anemones are also venomous. A girl I worked with finished in the hospital for a few days after get sting prying one off a tank wall. They’re also … just weird as hell.


Never trust an animal that looks like a hentai character .

They don’t leave a corpse when they die. They liquefy, forming a thick, white oozing with flecks of red go through it, like someone dumped a ladle full of bloodied semen in the tank. The stench is worse than the sight. Worse still is the process of removing it.

Because they’re a liquid, you can’t scoop it out with a net. Instead, you have to siphon it out with a duration of hose. In order to start the siphoning, you need to put one objective of the hose in the tank and suck on the other objective. When one coworker tried this, he objective up with a mouthful of rank jizz ogre corpse goo. And then he accidentally swallowed. He hurled up, naturally. Supposing about it, perhaps you will as well.

Another part of the job involves siphoning the crap out of the gravel in the bottom of the tank. This works in the same style, and sometimes has the same outcomes: a mouthful of a liquid you’d instead not experience( in this case, fish effluence ). Surprisingly, it doesn’t savour that bad — kind of earthy. Don’t get me wrong; you don’t want to drink it. But after a while, a mouth full of fish shit becomes another part of the job.


Comes in smooth and extra chunky .

The drainages are another issue. Aquarium drainages vary from “merely unpleasant” to “the devil’s burrito farts.” All the fisheries sector trash you’re siphoning out of the tanks ends up going down the drains, along with the occasional dead fish, and there they rot and rotting and rotting. The tubes swell with the crap of the dead.

# 2. Everyone’s Mistreating Their Fish Without Knowing It

Cracked previously covered that time when people went crazy for clownfish after Finding Nemo , and how they then chucked the fisheries sector in goldfish bowls instead of the carefully-controlled saline environments they need. But in truth , no fish should go in a goldfish bowl — least of all goldfish themselves.


It’s entailed to be a snack bowl .

Goldfish are supposed to grow to more than a foot long, which means they should live somewhere much larger than a foot, like a 40-gallon tank. Unscrupulous pet stores tell purchasers that the fish will never grow larger than their bowl or tank can accommodate, and that’s technically true, because they’ll die first.

Go into any pet store and you’ll consider a load of small inexpensive plastic aquariums for sale, usually with colorful pictures of cartoon fish on the box. They’re advertised as goldfish tanks for kids, and they sell like hotcakes. And they’re absolute wank. If you’re luck, they’ll come with a small, inefficient filter which may keep the water clean for a few tiny fish, like guppies or minnows, but which is in no way suitable for goldfish. Think of goldfish as disposable pets that soon die, get flushed, and are then replaced? In the wild, they have an average lifespan of more than 10 years.


There’s also a draw 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 have contributed 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 garbage due to overfeeding.


If it appears and savors like Coors Light, you’re doing it incorrect .

But sometimes, fish calamities go a little beyond benevolent ignorance. Let me introduce you to a little something called …

# 1. Battle Tanks

A battle tank is( as the name suggests) a tank full of fish that fight amongst one another for the pet owner’s amusement. We don’t sell them as pre-made alternatives 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 options in these tanks are large cichlids and catfish — big, territory fish with big mouths. The idea is that the fisheries sector in the tank are evenly matched in their capacity for destruction.

The alternative ends rapidly .

Now, fish fight. That goes without saying. They’re animals, and that’s what animals do. And in any tank containing such larger territorial fish, there will be the odd disagreement. But there’s enough space in the tank, it’ll be over soon. The weaker fish will almost always back down.

A normal cichlid battle goes something like this :P TAGEND

— Cichlids square off
— Cichlids flare their gills up and generally try to look big
— Cichlids push one another 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 unavoidably end up with battered, cut-up fish. Cuts lead to infections. Infections lead to deaths. The people who set up these tanks don’t inevitably want the fisheries sector to kill each other. They simply want the tank to be chaotic as is practicable. But you don’t throw people in the Thunderdome expecting it to aim 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 fund, or simply because I was told to. But I’m glad that I drew the line at “because I like to watch them die.”

Read more: www.cracked.com

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