wine by the color

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

About three years ago, I won two fish on the boardwalk. They were promptly named Bruce and Patti and they lived in the tiny, filter-less fishbowl the arcade provided. A short while later, Patti seemingly ate Bruce. But she lived on as a solo act. After about nine months, I decided it was time to get her a proper home. I purchased a 10-gallon fish tank and adorned it with the obligatory gravel, fish castles and plants. Eventually, I got her two tank mates, both of whom were short lived. At some point, she was renamed “Fishy” by the crazy nephews, who are responsible for her care during my travels.

For at least eight months, ‘clean fish tank’ has been on my to-do list. It had gotten completely disgusting. Finally, last week, the filter stopped working and the tank started to turn a murky green shade. I took today off to tackle a bunch of personal administrative tasks, and at last, the fish tank was cleaned. This was no easy undertaking, and required not one but TWO trips to Wal-Mart for supplies. But the tank was cleaned, and Patti was returned to her now-sparkling home. I checked ‘clean fish tank’ off the list with glee.

So I just returned from celebrating my nephew’s fifth birthday, and I immediately looked at the tank to make sure Patti was doing okay.

She was not okay. She was stuck to the now-clean filter. And she is quite, quite dead. I feel awful about this. Because, clearly, I am a fish murderer. Some Pisces I am.

Let that be a lesson. Mess is best.


  • At 11/16/2005 11:24 PM, Blogger freakgirl said…

    Awwwwwww. RIP, Patti.

    So what are you going to tell the crazy nephews?

  • At 11/17/2005 9:12 AM, Blogger jersey girl said…

    Are you insane? There will be a replacement fish in that tank before they're any the wiser.

    And I'm certainly not going to tell the older one I killed Fishy on his birthday.

  • At 11/17/2005 9:22 AM, Blogger freakgirl said…

    ha ha! Good plan.

  • At 11/17/2005 1:36 PM, Blogger Maggie said…

    I got a couple of fish as a housewarming gift and have learned that fish are tricky. They like a clean tank because too much ammonia from their poop will kill them, but if you clean their tank too good after it's been bad for so long...that can kill them too. The shock to such different water is what does it.

    My goldfish are in a 6-gallon tank with no filter, but I have an air pump. So I try to keep up and clean it properly, but I fall behind sometimes and it gets kind of brown.

    If your tank was in that state, it should have taken you a couple of weeks to clean it. Replacing 10-25% of the water each week until it's all clean. Otherwise, your option would have been to remove your fish and some of their water from the tank, clean the whole tank and cycle it again before putting the fish back. This would have taken you about 40 days or so to get nitrate production.

    Fish take more attention than I had originally thought. I want to get my fish a bigger tank, but then I won't be able to carry the tank to the bathroom to clean it. I'll have to siphon everything in and out. Blech.

  • At 11/17/2005 4:01 PM, Blogger jersey girl said…

    Not to sound like Adam Sandler, but this is information that could have been brought to my attention YESTERDAY! I knew I should have polled the readers for advice, because I figured I'd screw it up. I just thought 'screwing it up' would mean dumping water on the floor or some such problem. I didn't think it would end with a flush.

    So can I put new fish in there (way to wait for the body to be through the sewer pipes before I look for replacements) or should I wait a while?

  • At 11/18/2005 12:42 PM, Blogger Maggie said…

    Honestly, it depends on the fish. I didn't cycle my tank when I got the goldfish, and it worked out okay. I just aerated and added a chemical that gets rid of all the other chemicals. Goldfish are hardier than other types...I don't know what Patti is/was/will be again.

    You must ask them at the fish store. My knowledge is limited to what I have already said.

    Don't feel too bad. My sister and I killed a whole bunch of fish when we were younger...we had a fishbowl and we didn't understand why the fish kept dying. No air, teeny bowl, didn't dechlorinate the water...duh.

    I am no fish expert, but I have managed to keep these two goldfishies alive since July 1. WOOOO!


Post a Comment

<< Home