I had planned to write a blog about how the fish is dying and wtf, but it has magically perked back up! So spoiler alert: not dead… yet. But let’s talk about it anyway.
So you all remember that this is the situation in my house:
Not only does my kid love the fish, my kid LOOOOOVES that freaking fish. And because Kamel has washed his hands of all of my pet adventures since in his words, “everything dies,” I am the one left to care for, feed, clean, and stress over the goddamn Beta. Which we bought a tank for and a filter. Which I know virtually nothing about. Which I am mildly terrified of because of my certainty that any contact with the fish tank will immediately breed some sort of salmonella and give us all the unforgiving squirts.
So after tending to the tank water and cleaning it and feeding it almost regularly, I noticed that the pretty flowing fish fins were all sucked into each other and sad. And that the fish kept hiding behind the filter, staying very still, making me think it was dead many many times. I’d shake the tank and it would come out of its stupor and swim around for a second.
At first I thought: Oh, it’s sleeping. Ok.
Then I thought: Oh, this is not good.
Then I googled and realized that my fish had a lot of those characteristics – the fin thing and the hiding in small places thing. So I figured, well shit my fish is sick… must be water quality. And even though the last time I cleaned the fish tank I did add the water cleaning pellet in and followed all of the (VERY BRIEF AND SPARSE) directions, maybe something was amiss! So I decided to do an emergency clean immediately.
Kamel: You’re doing that RIGHT NOW?
Me: YES. The fish is DYING. I have to FIX IT.
Kamel: So you’re doing that …. right now….?
Me: Look away, pretend you can’t see me.
So I set to the task at hand, dumped out half the water, put the fish in a bowl, probably traumatizing it to an inch of its life, filled up the bowl with lukewarm water as they are tropical fish, and plopped in my water cleaning pellet. Which made the water SUPER blue. Bluer than I had ever seen ever. But wtf? Maybe that meant something about the water, maybe that meant that it was fixing something, maybe the blue would be good for the fish? Worst case it would kill it quick and we could get a new one? I am a terrible owner of fish.
After I put our poor Beta back into the now blue water and fretted over it, the fish stopped eating. It also started wiggling around all weird and terrible which, honestly, kind of grossed me out. It stayed in this terrible terrible icky state for over a week. I still tried to feed it once a day, or when I saw it NOT in it’s little corner being perfectly still, but nope. He was uninterested. Every day I’d come home from work and be SURE the sucker was dead, but it never was.
Watching it struggle was nauseating. I even wondered about ending its suffering early, but Kamel kept saying, “Hey, maybe it will get better.” My response to that was, “What fish have you ever known to GET BETTER.”
But then! One day it’s fins were less tight and mangled. One day I noticed it was not hiding in its little nook, it was swimming around the bowl. One day it actually started eating like a normal fish!
Holy shit the fish got better. The fish didn’t die… yet.
Kamel’s response to this whole thing: That’s why we can’t have a dog.