How do I rehome these fish?

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What do you recommend as a good way to rehome fish that you no longer have space for?

Q) I am updating my fish room, but the process is going to take a few months and I have five tanks of fish I can’t fit elsewhere in the house. I’ve given some away to friends and family, and by posting on social media, but my local fish shops won’t take any (I’m not selling them, just giving them away) so I’m stuck with loads of Guppies, tetras, gouramis and barbs. Any advice would really help, as I’m unable to start renovating until I can safely pass them on.

 

SAM HEATH, VIA EMAIL

 

A) Bob says: As you are discovering, it can be extremely difficult to find new homes for unwanted fish. Not every shop is willing to take them, even for free, as there is an element of risk to their stock from fish from an unknown source, especially if they have centralised systems or no quarantine facility. It sounds like you have covered most of the usual outlets, which doesn’t leave you many options to be honest. This must be extremely frustrating but does come back to the ‘duty of care’ we legally have to our aquatic pets to give them a suitable environment to live in, “protected from pain, injury, suffering or disease”. This is the unwritten contract we as fishkeepers sign up to when we buy any fish. Sadly, not everyone is as diligent as you, which is often reflected in the regional news items on ‘piranha’ in local ponds, or dead plecs washing up in the canal after being dumped.

All I can suggest is that you spread your search for shops that may take your fish wider if possible, try using online ads such as Gumtree, or see if there are any fishkeeping clubs or societies that may help. While fishkeeping clubs are themselves an endangered breed, the hardy few that remain are usually populated by fishkeeping fanatics who may well have space to even ‘board’ your fish temporarily while you upgrade, or know other fishkeepers who would be interested in offering them a permanent home.