Thursday, March 18, 2010

fish beware

Dear little fishies.....if you see my family coming near your tank at the store, go hide in the corner and look slightly sick. If we choose you and bring you home, you will surely die.

I mentioned before that Dan found a fish tank on the side of the road. We cleaned it up, filled it with water and bought 2 calico fantail gold fish. It probably would have been a good idea to do a little research on keeping a fish tank, but since I have never really had interest in fish, and Dan was pretty sure he knew what he was doing....we didn't do any research. One fish is already dead and the other has tail rot and is slowly but surely losing his fins.

Who would have thought having fish in a tank of water in our kitchen would be so complicated! We have learned a few things along the fish only digest 25% of what they eat which means the other 75% turns into waste which pollutes their tank. In the amount of water that you can house 1 goldfish, you can have 10-12 non goldfish because almost all other types of tank fish digest 90% of their food. Less waste equals a happier ph in your tank. Fish tanks have to cycle before they function properly and have happy and helpful bacteria levels. Gold fish are not good for cycling fish tanks because of the mass amount of waste they produce.

So, the game plan now is to flush the rotting gold fish we currently have, wash everything in the tank with warm water, install the water heater we bought, refill the tank, clear the chlorine out of the water with a conditioner and after a couple days go back to the fish store and get 8 tetra fish and let them start cycling our tank. I've been slow to flush our current fish because I feel pretty bad about killing it. I know it's JUST a gold fish, but it's alive and I don't like killing things. When we had sickly baby chicks we did have to kill a couple, but I always made Dan do it, and I felt really horrible. It is necessary sometimes, but that doesn't mean that I have to like it. Plus, my kids are very happy about having fish.....they've moved a chair in front of the tank and they stand there and watch the fishy all throughout the day. I don't relish having talks about death with them....I don't want to make a big deal about it, but I also don't want to brush it off like it's nothing. Bleh.

Wish us luck!


Becky said...

Oh dear! Fish!! We tried that once. We inherited a tank from a friend and went to the pet store to get fish. Our "research" consisted of asking the pet store employee what we should do. We were really bummed when he said we needed a filter and that it had to be running 24 hours before fish were added, and we needed a light, and a temp guage. Our "cheap" pets were becoming more of an investment! I forgot all the different fish we got, but we got 6 and none were goldfish. One by one, they passed on, but not before our tank got NASTY! Um, we didn't know how much clean up was involved!! The last two did hang on for almost 6 months though. Near the end we were sooooo ready for them to go, but, like you, didn't want to just kill them. We ended up putting them in a open bowl....while we still had a cat! :) One day after the other we found them on the floor, dead of course, but untouched by the cat. She just liked jumping up on the counter and batting them out of the bowl. Probably not the best idea on our part, but we were soooo over fish! If we ever get fish again, it will be when we're rich enough to pay someone else to take care of them! :)

Enjoy! :)

book said...

More haste, less speed.........................................

County McCounterson