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The Duty of Care of a fish is not transferred in total to the Show organisers when the fish is entered into a Show.
The Owner has a Duty of Care to ensure that the fish is in good health, is free from disease and damage, that the fish is not in a stressed condition, that the Show container is suitable for the fish and that he/she will be available should the fish require attention.
Show Organisers have a Duty of Care to the fish entered in their Shows. Initially, that the fish is fit to be shown and that it is free of disease and damage. That the Show tank is suitable for the fish and that whilst the fish is in their care it will receive the best treatment possible.
Tropical fish are best transported in the Show tanks in which they are to be exhibited and packed in a polystyrene container box. The boxes that fish are sent to the importers are quite suitable and are readily available.
Pack pieces of polystyrene between the Show tanks to hold them in place.
A thermos flask of hot water (of the same makeup the fish is accustomed to) should be carried to slowly raise the temperature of any container that may have suffered a heat loss as a result of transportation.
Many of the so-called coldwater fish can also be transported as above but not in the same box as the tropical fish. Goldfish and similar sized fish are best transported in fish buckets, of a type similar to the five litre tubs in which paint or emulsion is sold. These must have a tight fitting lid and, as they are often made of a white polyurethane material, the outside and the lid are best painted black or the bucket carried in a black plastic bag, so that the fish is not stressed.
Unless one is fully competent in handling fish then a suitable size net should be used to transfer the fish from the bucket to the Show tank, and visa versa.
Arrive in plenty of time to bench your fish, giving them time to settle down. It is a fact that some fish are natural Show specimens, always showing off to their best advantage, whilst other do not. However these more reluctant fish can be trained to ‘show’ by putting them in Show tanks of an evening at home so that they get used to the decanting and Show tank.
All fish shall be shown in flat-sided rectangular Show tanks.
It is recommended that all Show tanks be fitted with clear loose fitting cover glasses. Unless square, the largest viewing area will always be deemed to be the front. Only the container base may be coloured black at the discretion of the exhibitor. Commercial framed tanks are acceptable. It is strongly suggested that unframed glass tanks be framed with black ‘electrician’s tape’ as it is known, as this gives a fish a somewhat better feeling of security.
A Show Tank will be large enough to allow the fish freedom of movement to be able to display to its full advantage. Show Tanks may have raised bases. If, in the opinion of the Show Organiser, the container is considered too small for the fish, it will not be allowed entry into the Show.
It is the responsibility of the exhibitor to ensure that the water, in which their fish are exhibited, is suitable for the fish. The Show Organisers will not be responsible for any loss of, or adverse effect on any fish, caused by the quality or composition of the local or introduced water supply, which may contain chemicals or differ in any way from that to which the fish is normally accustomed.
All Show Tanks shall be adequately filled with water.
Battery powered aeration may be used but shall be removed or turned off during judging. If the fish requires constant aeration, then either the container is too small or the fish is not suitable for exhibiting.
At an exhibition, fishes larger than 200mm Standard Length may, if their show tanks are larger than 450mm x 250mm x 250mm, have them sectioned off internally to contain a sponge filter or an internal filter no larger than a ‘Fluval 1’ or similar.
The fish is housed in the main area of the tank with the filter in the smaller area. The filtration is to be turned off during judging. (See FBAS J&S Information Sheet No: 1/04 on Pages 3-15 and 3-16 of the Show Rules).
Fish should not be fed 48 hours before a Show and they will not be fed on the Show bench. Feeding them on returning them to their aquarium or pond will allow them to quickly settle down.
Heavily gravid livebearers will not be allowed to be exhibited.
All Balloon fish irrespective of species will not be allowed to be exhibited.
Any fish which appears to have been subjected to colour-enhancement, or has its natural colouration altered by dye, injection or by any other means will not be allowed to be exhibited.
Where any fish appears distressed it will be removed from the benching area to a treatment area where it can be dealt with and, if necessary, given emergency treatment.
Administration of any treatment, with the exception of aeration,
Organisers of Open Shows will make available an Emergency Treatment Area. This must be away from the benching area.
All disqualified fish should be transferred there. If this is not possible then the fish must be covered up.
The Emergency Treatment Area must have available as a minimum the following:
Means of changing and raising or lowering the temperature of water.
Other treatments can be made available at the discretion of the Show organisers.
Administration of any treatment, with the exception of aeration,
The Treatment Area is to be under the supervision of a Show Steward who is an experienced fishkeeper.
Certain Federation Show Rules have been selected herein to emphasise a point. However, those wishing to exhibit their fish at Fish Shows are strongly advised to obtain a copy of the Federation’s Constitution which contains the complete FBAS Show Rules.
A list of all known Open Shows and Aquatic Events are published in the quarterly FBAS Events Catalogue and are also available on the FBAS Website.
If you consider there are any improvements that can be made to these Codes Of Practice (or there are other issues that should be introduced into them to improve the manner in which Fish are kept, exhibited, auctioned or sold), please put them in writing to the Secretary of the FBAS Judges & Standards Committee whose address can be found on the Federation’s website.
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