Stop the deaths of the Garra Rufa
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The latest health craze of fish foot spa's is costing the lives of hundreds if not thousands of Garra Rufa fish.
These fish are dying a slow and painful deaths through ammonia or nitrate poisoning and overfeeding, caused by insufficient knowledge of fish keeping.
What is worse the companies supplying the tanks and fish are fully aware of this. The following are direct from companies supplying tanks and fish.
“We purchased a fish spa for our Health salon who said they were industry leaders in fish spars. Unit arrived then installed and 125 fish introduced and given instruction on how to look after. Fish started dying soon after, they were replaced, but over the following 6 weeks had to purchase approx 300 more fish at £2.50 each and during that period only averaged 25 fish alive and working in spa and you need 100 to 125 to give an effective treatment.” Rookery Manor and Health Spar
"The Killing Factor High Ammonia & Nitrate levels are the Number 1 KILLERS of Garra Rufa. Ammonia Spikes can kill very large amounts or all the Garra Rufas in a matter of minutes. This is where the tank’s filtration system comes into helping our little Garra Rufa fishes. The right filtration setup will help reduce & balance the amount of Ammonia and Nitrate levels. In the Filtration System's Box or Compartments, there should be Filtration Medias to help produce and maintain the ideal living conditions of the water which will be safe for both fishes and users. *Do note that filtration medias must be changed from time to time so that water quality is maintained at all times."
*Changing filter media will not maintain water quality, it will destroy water quality by removing the beneficial bacteria in the media needed to remove ammonia, more poor information direct from the suppliers of the tanks and fish. Poisoning and killing the fish so more have to be purchased.
Overfeeding aquarium fish is very bad for their health, as well as increasing the amount of waste produced and ammonia it can lead to bacterial infections, bloat and death.
Nevertheless, the number of fish and the amount of food given to those fish is an important factor in contributing the amount of ammonia in a system. Too much food will be a problem for you fish.
There are many diseases specific to fish that can occur from chronic overfeeding. The most common fish diseases seen in over-fed fish are fin rot, fatty liver and improper digestion. In general, it is recommended that you keep a close eye on your fish’s general health.
Any changes in the behavior or appearance of your fish are always cause for concern. After you have identified the overfeeding problem, you may also have to look into adding medication to help your fish to become healthy.
There has been a ripple of concern about whether the fish can pass on health risks to humans, but no-one seems to care about the welfare of the fish. If these fish had fur or feathers the whole world would be up in arms at their treatment. Because they are cold blooded, no one seems to care that they are being badly treated and dying needlessly, only about the possible risks of transferring a verucca to another customer! As long as the cash registers of all the companies involved keep ringing these fish will keep being abused.
Note these studies do not indicate what affect this has on the fish. The same information regarding the habitat of the garra rufa is copied all across the internet.
Habitat: According to Krupp and Schneider, most Garra rufa are found in small muddy streams, rivers and lakes.
However, the fish is also found in hot pools and locals bathe there in an attempt to get the fish to remove scales from their skin caused by a range of dermatological conditions.
Water: Temperatures in the natural habitat are said to range from 15-28C. In hot pools, the fish is said to live at a temperature around the 37C mark.
There is no study as to why some inhabit the hot pools when the majority are found in muddy streams. Those that inhabit the hot pools have little to eat due to the high mineral content and warmth of the water and will eat anything that drops into the hot pool. Hence the foot nibbling, being a survival habit rather than natural. This is survival technique being exploited. Surviving is not thriving.
Defra states in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 Not only is it against the law to be cruel to an animal, you must also ensure that all the welfare needs of your animals are met. What does the Animal Welfare Act do? It makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met.
These include the needs:
For a suitable environment (place to live)
A tank where the fish are disturbed constantly is not suitable
For a suitable diet
Dead skin is not a suitable diet for fish, over feeding is bad for their health
To exhibit normal behaviour patterns
Spar fish do not exhibit normal behaviour, this behaviour is a survival technique due to hot temperatures and lack of mineral content, which is being exploited to line peoples pockets
To be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable)
Massive overcrowding, there are far too many fish kept in these foot spas.
To be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease
Suffering from poor living conditions overfeeding leading to disease.
Anyone who is cruel to an animal, or does not provide for its welfare needs, may be banned from owning animals, fined up to £20,000 and/or sent to prison.
Section 1 of the animal welfare act 2006 states:
Animals to which the Act applies
(1)In this Act, except subsections (4) and (5), “animal” means a vertebrate other than man.
(2)Nothing in this Act applies to an animal while it is in its foetal or embryonic form.
(3)The appropriate national authority may by regulations for all or any of the purposes of this Act— (a)extend the definition of “animal” so as to include invertebrates of any description; (b)make provision in lieu of subsection (2) as respects any invertebrates included in the definition of “animal”; (c)amend subsection (2) to extend the application of this Act to an animal from such earlier stage of its development as may be specified in the regulations.
Please sign our petition, all the guidelines in the Animal Welfare Act are being broken and hundreds of fish are suffering and dying needlessly right now, please help put a stop to this abuse.