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Old 01/08/2008, 08:16 AM
vanwassup vanwassup is offline
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Question Is it bad to...

buy a fish that you know is going to outgrow your tank if the petstore says they will take it back in a few years when it is bigger? I am expecting my RedSea Max in a few days and I found a cool aquarium/reef store. They had lots of hippo tangs that were quite tiny. My daughter is four years old and she really wants one in the tank. I'd like to humor her, but I know hippo tangs get very large... so I guess my question has two parts

1. Is it unethical to knowingly get a fish that will outgrow your tank - with the intentions of returning it to the store (they'd give me a credit towards another small one when the baby grew up a little bit)?

2. How long would it take a one inch hippo to outgrow a 37 gallon tank?

Old 01/08/2008, 10:04 AM
Neptune420 Neptune420 is offline
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I don't think there is anything wrong with that if they are going to take it back. I would be more worried about becoming attatched to the fish. You could keep a tiny hippo tank in a 37 for maybe a couple of years tops. Thats my guesstimation.
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Old 01/08/2008, 10:30 AM
chrissreef chrissreef is offline
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" I would be more worried about becoming attatched to the fish"


1. honestly, it's probably unethical to keep any animal caged or confined. the fish is small now so I don't see an issue IF you really intend and DO bring her/him back when they get larger.

2. probably 18 months
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Old 01/08/2008, 10:59 PM
Kemo484 Kemo484 is offline
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I agree with both posts above. Anyhow come a year or two I bet you'll probably be looking at a bigger tank, haha, this hoby is addicting. Also just as an advisory, the Red Sea Max is only 34 gallons and about 5 gallons are in the back filter area so your looking at around 29 gallons of open tank area.
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Old 01/08/2008, 11:08 PM
vanwassup vanwassup is offline
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I wondered about if I remember the calcs on fish length per gallon in the tank, I can only have seven inches of fish in the tank, correct?

BTW: I won't be getting a bigger tank. I had a 150 gallon years ago and I didn't want the hassle of dealing with the RO water - lugging bucket after bucket around town. Water changes were awful with that tank and expensive. There was a tank failure (major leak) while I was away on business and I lost the whole tank. I vowed never to do that again. I miss the tank/fish though. I just got back from Hawaii - going there always inspires me to pick the hobby back up again.

Old 01/09/2008, 09:18 AM
Wolverine Wolverine is offline
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I've seen a lot of people get burned doing this. Sure, the store is willing to say now that they'll take it back. However, two years down the line (or however long it ends up being), it's very easy for them to say, "no thanks, our tanks are full." Or, "Joe used to let people do that, but we don't anymore". Or something else along those lines. Then you're stuck with a fish that's too big for your tank.

And yes, I've seen this happen even with small LFS where people feel they have a good relation with the people working there.

If you're not modest, you're probably overestimating yourself. -Tim Cordes
Old 01/10/2008, 11:46 AM
RumLad RumLad is offline
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provided that the fish actually lives to get that big, I would think you could find a suitable home for it.
Try to get the LFS to put it in writing and start looking for your local reef club in case you need another source.
"It is never too late to give up your prejudices" H. D. Thoreau
Old 01/11/2008, 01:15 PM
rwbogard rwbogard is offline
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Has anyone ever heard of a local public aquarium taking marine livestock that has outgrown its tank? I doubt they would pay for it, but at least it would be a good home. I have been pondering this for a while as I have a gigas clam which will definitely outgrow my tank in a few years.

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