Help me get rid of my aquarium!
March 19, 2010 8:54 AM   Subscribe

I'm moving apartments and I have an aquarium of fish I am growing to hate.

I have had the fish for 3 years, the last year and a half I have not enojyed them. At all. I do not want to move with them, partly because moving my large aquarium (~12 gallons) is a real hassle (I did it before, so I know), but mostly because I am no longer interested in owning fish. None of my friends are willing to take the aquarium, and as yet my daily glarings and wishing ill upon hasn't caused them to do the right thing and just die already so I'm stuck with these stupid fish I hate that, swear to god, are spiting me by living for so damned long.

Now, as much as I hate and resent these fish, I am not totally heartless and cruel. It isn't their fault that I don't want them anymore, so just murdering them/flushing them/accidentily leaving the lid open all day so that my cat can eat them seems screwed up and inhumane.

I want to know of suggestions for how to rid myself of them prior to the move. What do people do when they can't/would prefer not to own a large aquarium any longer?
posted by gwenlister to Pets & Animals (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When I moved to college I gave my fish to a pet store. It was "locally owned" not a huge chain.

They were happy to take the fish.
posted by morganannie at 8:56 AM on March 19, 2010

Craigslist? Offer fish + aquarium for a small fee, or even free. They haul.
posted by fermezporte at 8:57 AM on March 19, 2010
posted by bondcliff at 8:58 AM on March 19, 2010

Call locally owned pet stores, and see if they want them, or if they'll buy them.

Or yes - freecycle or craigslist. You can either give to the first person who expresses interest, or wait for someone who knows fish and will care for them well.
posted by barnone at 9:02 AM on March 19, 2010

Other ideas: schools, senior centers, community centers...
posted by barnone at 9:03 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Petfinder classifieds

A lot of freecycle/realcycle/etc groups won't allow you to post pets, so check the rules for your local group before posting.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 9:05 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

You could donate the fish and tank set up to a local school.
posted by ljesse at 9:06 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Does anyone you know own a business that might like them in the office? For some reason, every dentist office I go to has fish.
posted by questionsandanchors at 9:10 AM on March 19, 2010

Check with your neighbours - they might want them, especially if they only have to move the tank from next door.
posted by zamboni at 9:33 AM on March 19, 2010

Nthing the suggestion to call up local pet shops - they probably won't take the aquarium itself, but an empty aquarium will be a lot easier to sell on Craiglist or somewhere. Also, you could try posting on a hobbyist forum (FishForums, Tropical Fishkeeping) to see if anyone local will take them - I've seen that happen quite often.
posted by Catseye at 9:44 AM on March 19, 2010

I've had to move a 50 gallon recently, and it was a pain. I can definitely understand not wanting to set up a tank again and deal with the maintenance - I was just too attached to my gourami to let it go completely.

When I was thinking it over, Craigslist always ended up as my #1 choice. Hell, I looked at Craigslist to buy my current setup. (Didn't end up getting it there, but it was close.) Besides that, donating to a school is an awesome idea, and you could try posting local notices as well.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 10:08 AM on March 19, 2010

Give it away to a friend. I hated my fish tank; owning a cat is less hassle and more rewarding.
posted by rhymer at 11:11 AM on March 19, 2010

is there a zero missing after the 12? 12 gallons is on the small size for aquariums. but yes, if you were in the same country as me and within driving distance, I'd take them off your hands :)
posted by jrishel at 11:14 AM on March 19, 2010

I had a friend sell his aquarium for quite a bit of money, fish included. So I would imagine someone would take your fish for free...
posted by shownomercy at 11:54 AM on March 19, 2010

I work at a Petco.

We will take fish in to be adopted out to others. (So, we won't pay you for them, but we also won't be making anything off of them.) And, at least at my store, we'd take the tank, if you wanted, and probably use it for store-use stuff.
If you decide to go with this option, please call your local store first.
posted by Silly Ashles at 12:37 PM on March 19, 2010

As many noted, there might be stores that will take the fish if you bag them up and bring them in, so check. The aquarium... honestly, I'd just pitch a 12 gallon (especially a glass one) because it has so little value to anyone. I have 29 and 20 glass aquariums sitting in my garage right now that I haven't been able to give away after years of trying, and that's even with stands and equipment included.

Then again, the only residents in my aquarium for the last few years have been/are refugees from folks who moved, so maybe it's hard to get a store to take them in some areas...
posted by Pufferish at 12:57 PM on March 19, 2010

People to ask to take them:

vet (our vet has on occasion taken fish)
doctor/dentist's office
school (including daycare or preschool)
library (our college library has fish)
pet store (many will take fish back)

I was in your situation once. I kept an aquarium going for one elderly guppy (feeder fish) who lived for 6 years AND REFUSED TO DIE. But please do not flush them down the toilet or neglect them, that is just not right. I would first go with the pet store, but don't expect to get paid for them unless they are large and unusual. (Our pet store will pay for a large angel fish, but will only take back small ones)
posted by fifilaru at 3:24 PM on March 19, 2010

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