Imagine, for a moment, a scenario. You are walking in a small room, with no visible escape. There are so many people in there with you that you cannot see the wall. You feel several vibrations and a giant lifts the ceiling off and uses a net to catch you. As you rise above the top you realize that there is no air. The giant walks across the room and flips the lid off of a massive barrel. The smell of its contents burns your nose. As you gasp for a breath in the vacuum he dunks you into the barrel. You try to scream as most of your skin is burned away, but as you pull in a breath for that scream your lungs fill with the acid. It seems an eternity in fire but finally the giant lifts you from hell. Youre so relieved you dont even notice that there is still no air. Then the giant tosses you onto a cold steel table. It feels good on your tortured skin, until he ties you down. Then you begin to worry once more. Your suffering is far from over. You cant see very well but you can tell that the giant has walked over to a table and has picked something up. He walks towards you and you feel a horrible pain as he places his finger on your tortured flesh, but this is incomparable to the feeling that follows. You feel a needle slide into the base of your spine. Then your skin is filled with fluorescent yellow goo. Your skin is being torn from the meat and both are stretched further than either was ever meant to be (thanks but I like it like this). He pulls the needle out, and shifts his thumb on your ribs. Then he puts it back in again a little higher, and injects the goo. This goes on until there is a solid yellow line running straight down your back. Youd be screaming if you could breathe. The giant then shows some form of mercy as he dips you into a second barrel which soothes and heals your skin, but still no air. You feel as if you are finally going to die when he throws you into a new room and you breathe in deeply, somewhat thankful to have survived the ordeal.

This is one of three processes used to dye fish. Some of the most brilliantly colored fish that we see in the pet stores have been tortured in the way I just described. Others have been dipped in acid then into a bucket of dye and then into the soothing solution. Still others are fed dyed food as fry (which is another word for a young fish) all of these coloration techniques are TEMPORARY, and VERY unhealthy. The colors are very beautiful, but they will fade and then these naturally beautiful fish will have suffered for nothing. Im telling you this because I dont believe that you would want to support such a practice by buying these fish for yourself or for your children.

Painted fish are deceivingly advertised so be cautious when you buy. They have names like: painted glass fish, fruit loop tetra, and Valentines Day Cory. Basically if the fish has any bright colors then ask if it has been dyed. When most people see these fish for the first time they think it is the natural coloration. If the Fish Store employee tells you that its not natural, without you asking, then will he tell you that 80\% of the fish that this is done to die as a result? Not necessarily immediately but when the caustic material removes the fishes stress coat its immune system is compromised. Then the needle leaves an open wound which easily can get infected, causing the fish to die.

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