Wednesday, November 2, 2005

And They Swam Through The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Last week Jason took Juliana to the pet store to buy some goldfish. My brother had given her his old (and very tiny) fish tank and she had been talking about it nonstop ever since. They came home with three fish named Alex, Alice and Julia (the baby.) Ava especially loved them and would go downstairs where the tank is calling, "Jooooo-ah!" I was going to post photos but as it turns out ALL THREE OF THEM have already died. We went to feed them yesterday and there was Alex lying on the rocks belly up with the other two sniffing his dead fishy body. Let's just say that Juliana was less that thrilled about this development and though I was fully prepared to launch into my little speech about life and death and the universe, all she wanted to know was when we could go back to Petco and get a replacement for poor dead Alex. I scooped the little guy out of there and later that evening Jason changed the water in the tank and scrubbed it out for the remaining to fish.

Not an hour later and Alice and Julia had kicked the bucket too and were stuck to the filter. Such is the short, sad life of a goldfish.

Juliana is fine now but this morning the tears were flowing when we told her the news. I don't think we're going to replace them until we can get a bigger and better fish tank. I feel really bad that we couldn't even keep them alive for a week. I don't want anything to die while under my care-- even a fish. It takes me back the the time when my brother's hamster craweld into the furnace vent that lead to his (very stinky) demise or when my own hamster ate the plastic grocery bag lining in his cage and bloated up like a tomato and met his maker. They were just rodents but even so, it's sad to go out that way.


  1. Do you have a good filter? Also, did you condition the water before putting the fish in there? I've had aquariums for years, and before you put the fish in the tank, you need to set the bag in there so the water temps level out to around 74 (I think). Just get a stick on thermometer. The water conditioner is a plus too, b/c if it's new water, it most likely has some chemicals in it that aren't neutralized.
    Next time, try getting some neon tetras, or black mollys. Those are pretty hardy cheap little fish that can last forever, and they don't usually get bigger. I sound like a total geek now. Good luck!

  2. Ummmm.. conditioner? Filter type? You can tell I've never had fish before right? Basically we filled up the tank my brother gave me, turned the filter on and dumped the fish in. I suppose we should have asked more questions at the pet store. We're definitely going to put more thought into it the next time around because I can't take breaking the news of more dead fish to Juliana!

  3. It sounds as if the water was too cold. I remember my dad cleaning the fish tank, filter, etc. when I was a kid. It's more complicated than it should be to have a fish. lol

  4. It's actually easier than it sounds. Just get a stick on thermometer, and make sure the temp isn't too cold. Put in some drops of conditioner. I think the tank just has to sit for a day before buying the fish. Then, when you get the fish, stick the bag they come in(with the fish still tied up in it) into the water for 20 minutes or so, just so the temp gradually evens and they aren't shocked.
    Then you should be good to go! Three easy steps to a happy fish owning child! Trust me, if I can keep something alive, you should be able to!