Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bionic Fish

Two years ago at Kimberton Fair Paul spent a significant about of time and effort and $1 bills to win us 2 tiny little fishies. Despite the fact that we knew they would die in the first week we ran to Giant with our little plastic bag and purchased a one gallon starter tank. We set it up in our living room and joyfully sprinkled a few flakes in twice a day.

I am a HORRIBLE fish parent. Cleaning the tank was would induce mini panic attacks when I had to remove the fish from the tank. We paid little attention to what we put into the tank using tap water, not regulating the temp and never cleaned the gravel. There were weeks when you couldn't even see the fish, which is pathetic in a one gallon tank.

This was probably our first mistake. Since not being able to see them half the time hindered our ability to see how big they were getting. I finally went to PetSmart to discuss why the water was getting so dingy so quickly and they explained that the tank was way to small for the size of the fish. They need approximately one gallon per inch of fish. They said most fish would not have survived our cleaning tactics let alone the size of the tank. We had 2 two inch fish. Since Paul has always wanted a fish tank anyway, we upgraded to a 2o gallon and got two more fish. Reassured by PetSmart that they would have plenty of room, we were not concerned.

The fish were a year old at this point so we didn't really think they had much life left. What fair prize lasts 6 months let alone a year!! Anyway, we set the tank up in the basement and our 4 goldfish and 2 catfish (to clean the gravel) swam happily about. We have paid them very little attention over the last few months but making sure the tank was clean, water level high and feeding 2x/day.

Last week I took a good look at the fish and realized our 2 two inch goldfish and now grown to a massive 6+ inches a piece. We had outgrown yet another tank. I also noticed that one of the fish looked bulbous. I mentioned it to Paul but we blew it off.

Fast forward to this past Friday. I thought we lost of the other fish and called Paul to check him out (of course he was fine) but while watching his behavior we noticed that the bulbous fish was even more portly. Not knowing the reproductive cycle of a fish we ran to Google, which confirmed our fears of pregnancy.

Female goldfish hold their eggs in their belly, which expands, then when ready lays them for the male to fertilize. This was not OK, not one bit. We had no idea if the other was a male and honestly could not take the risk! It was time for a relocation. Pauls parents had just put in a pond and it was moving day. They didn't fit in the net we had but Paul managed. They were transported via trash bag as we had nothing else large enough.

I am slightly concerned as to how large they will get with this new massive space. I'm also blaming it on the close proximity to the nuclear power plant.

Also, the decision has been made that little Miss Riley will not be aware that you can win animals at fairs. Her daddy can win her as many horribly rough polyester stuffed things as her little heart desires but there will be no more living prizes.


  1. oh my gosh that is insane! i have never had a pet fish last more than 2 or 3 weeks!

  2. I won a gold fish at a school fair when I was in junior high. I would forget to feed him at times, forget to change the water, had a brother who would sprinkle pepper into his tank (helllo Danny) and Sipowicz (yes, that's right. That was his name) lasted for over 2 years.
    In college I set up a 5 gallon tank, bought aquariums for dummies, bought the right fish, regulated temp, cleaned tank in the proper way- all the fish would die within two weeks. This happened to me at least 5 times. That thank is now sitting snugly in my parent's shed and is refereed to as "The Village of the Dammed"

    Cats are much easier to take care of, and much harder to kill- which I appreciate.