Cutting the cheese since 1996

Not so fishy after all

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Our fish died a couple weeks back. And by fish I don't be a fish, I mean all the fish.

First of all, the tank was getting pretty nasty. We're talking murky depths where even Jaws won't, er, tread for fear of running into something really nasty. So of course, yours truly got the brilliant idea to clean out the tank. And not one to leave well enough alone, it was the entire tank. Big mistake.

In case you're not aware, fish are pretty picky. You wouldn't think it to watch them suck up rocks and poop before deciding, "nope, not food." But fish fear change. They loathe change. Change to them is anathema to their very existence. Except for the fact that they'll put almost anything you drop into the tank into their mouths, they're extremely fickle.

Sadly, then, it wasn't a great surprise when they started dropping even before the scrubbing was complete. They apparently decided the water in the bowl wasn't to their liking, and rather than waiting to be dumped back into the tank, just kicked off instead. I don't know about you, but that's not the kind of pet I want anyway. (Still, one wonders of the ethical implications engendered in a debate of the better method of disposal: toilet or, um, disposal. I will concede that those who weren't dead yet and still suffering stopped doing so very quickly.)

At this point we still had several of our fish, including the placo, the goldfish, and a couple guppies. Having finished cleaning and refilling the tank, our remaining finned friends were dropped back home. But again, being the picky creatures they are, decided the cleanliness of the water was not to their liking, and started kicking off. Plus we noticed a new twist in the saga: Ich. If you've never had to deal with this, consider yourself lucky. This shit is very difficult to remove, and at this point we figured things were near to hopeless.

My wife, having run out to the store for a new filter and some ich treatment, came home to find the goldfish swimming in that big fish bowl in the sky, leaving only the placo as the sole survivor (which he probably revelled in — he was a mean son of a bitch). By morning, he too bit it.

The tank has been sitting there since, pondering its fate. Thus far, consensus has eluded us. My brother wants to turn it into a terrarium and grow herbs and spices. My wife, having grown up with a ball python, wants another scaly creepy-crawly (over my dead body, I told her). I'd prefer something small and fuzzy, but then I'd probably wouldn't stop with a wheel and a chew block and would end up with a convoluted maze of plastic tubes. (My wife offered the compromise of feeding something small and fuzzy to the scaly creepy-crawly. Um... no.)

At any rate, it looks like our fish adventures may be over. (For the most part. I still have my small tank where I'd like to put another betta.) From now on, I'll stick to the fish that's fileted, breaded and deep fried. Mmm, Long John Silvers...