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Old 03-01-2012, 06:16 PM
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Grete_J Grete_J is offline
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Re: Aquariums for veterans

Awesome idea FM!!! I've wanted to help setup an axolotl tank at a school, but haven't gotten off my butt to offer. I'd say a 25G is a good size. Big enough that water parameters won't fluctuate too much, plus the footprint won't take up alot of space.

Alot of people seem to have problems keeping GBR's alive, why not kribs? They're hardy dwarf cichlids, or cockatoo cichlids mixed with a small shoal of corydora's or oto's? For dither fish why not danio's or whitecloud minnows? Alot of tetra's can get pretty big if properly cared for and a school of 5 - 10 may outgrow a 25G if they don't go towards the light at the end of the tunnel.
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:40 PM
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frogmom frogmom is offline
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Re: Aquariums for veterans

Thank you Grete ! wow, I have SO much to learn about fish !

I SO appreciate all of this current input from members. I have it all in safe keeping for future use....

You are all giving me added inspiration. I suppose I should make it mandatory for all my veteran recipients to join RTB too.... haha

( I am on a mission to overtake this website... )

**** get your butt over to that school ****
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:05 PM
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Dayswalters Dayswalters is offline
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Re: Aquariums for veterans

I just came across your post today and I love your idea! My family is almost all military. My father is retired, my 2 brothers and one of my sisters were military and one of my sisters and myself were married to military men. My dad is a veteran of Vietnam and even though he is reaching the end of his life, he has always struggled with depression day to day. We have always had animals and my dad actually loves fish Also, I don't know about the possibility but there are also some really cute aquatic frogs and salamanders that are hearty and fun to watch. Lastly, there may be some private aquarium providers that would be willing to donate as well as Petco or PetSmart.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:37 PM
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Eclectix Eclectix is offline
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Re: Aquariums for veterans

Hi FM, my wife is a disabled veteran and I happen to run an aquarium maintenance business on the side. I read a number of responses but then skipped to the end to add my advice, so some of what I have to say has probably already been said!

I would avoid used tanks. They frequently spring leaks. The industry standard suggests that you replace your aquarium after ten years because at this age they become much more likely to leak. Also, they often have scratches from being improperly cleaned, and algae will grow in these scratches and it is almost impossible to keep it clean.

I would see if your local VA clinic would be open to the idea of you setting up and maintaining the tank; a lot of veterans with PTSD have to regularly visit their local VA hospital or clinic, and having a nice tank there would benefit them without the added stress of having to maintain the tank themselves. I have done something similar for schools and children's hospitals and they are usually very happy to have someone set up and maintain an aquarium in their waiting room or office, but they may need to be persuaded that you are up to the task of keeping it looking good.

I also want to chime in that the advice given earlier that a large tank can be easier to maintain than a small one is good advice (up to a point, of course) because they are more stable and less prone to fluctuations of temperature and chemistry. Probably the easiest to maintain would be a 20 or 30 gallon; anything smaller can go south fast, and anything larger becomes a chore to do cleanings on.

Oh, and if you do want to set up a tank in a clinic or office, make sure that they have a good supply of hot and cold running water nearby as well as a place to pour out old water during water changes. Nothing will make you wish you'd never thought of the idea faster than lugging buckets of water up and down a long hallway.
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:02 AM
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frogmom frogmom is offline
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Re: Aquariums for veterans

Thanks Ec ! Both for the advice & for your personal community service !

I have spent MANY HOURS of my life in hospitals.

I never considered your idea and I know for a fact our VA doesnot have a community aquarium.

I shall ponder this tonite in my dreams.

Please thank your wife for me too.....
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:22 AM
tylociraptor tylociraptor is offline
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Re: Aquariums for veterans

In regards to what HH and Tammy have said; I suffer from very severe depression, and have for many, many years. While it is fairly well balanced these days through medication(s) and meditation, I have been in situations many times in my life when I considered taking my own life. My pets were the only thing that kept me from it... HOWEVER... my pets also could be the catalyst. When my first pair of rats died, I sunk into a deep depression, and could barely stand it. Mind you, this was before I was on medication, but the point still stands.

If you want to start up a 'pets for vets' program, I would take a few points in hand:

-Make sure the veteran in question wants this animal, is capable of caring for it, and is aware that this is going to be given to them.

-Be aware that not every pet fits every lifestyle. A fish MAY be easy to care for, but not everyone likes fish. I think you should consider working with your local animal shelter to help find shelter animals homes in situations like this... It's a great idea and a great opportunity for not only dogs and cats, but homeless reptiles and other pets to find a good home with someone who needs a companion.

-Make sure that someone is going to take financial responsibility for that animal. Just like a cellphone, an animal makes a terrible gift, because that's a great big monetary commitment! Being Canadian, I only know what I read or see on the news in regards to veterans in the states, but from what I hear many of them are living in poverty. If they can't afford to take care of the pet, and someone else is going to front the cost, awesome! If not, don't put the animal in that situation.

-Consider not actually giving out animals, but having visits from therapy animals coordinated by a third party.

Again, this is a really nice idea, but a potentially bad one, depending on a few factors. Hopefully it all works out though.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:05 PM
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frogmom frogmom is offline
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Re: Aquariums for veterans

I started this post in order to receive comments from amy one who would take time to answer....
at first it started to sound like a far- fetched idea.
then I got comments like #11. 12. 14. 19 that renewed my interest.
of course it will be a joint effort between my self and veterans I meet. If it doesn't work for some one I can easily move or take home such a small tank.
dealing with mental health issues are always a mixed bag of emotions. But if no one tries for fear of failure, I figure we will never know.
PS : I already bring companion dogs to a nursing home...
PSS : the " VA " is a nursing home for veterans . ( Veterans Administration is Federal. This is a state of Minnesota VA ) they have small 2 person rooms. I don't think they are a facility that allows cats or dogs to live there. ( haven't seen any )

Last edited by frogmom; 05-10-2012 at 11:08 PM.
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