Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mommy v. The Tank

Back at Thanksgiving, everyone wanted to know what to get the boys for Christmas. I really didn’t have many ideas, but I did have one.

I knew one thing that would thrill Barrett, and I decided to reserve it for Uncle Ray.

Uncle Ray and Almost-Aunt Kristin, gave Barrett his first pets, two goldfish.

Before I continue the story, let me be sure you understand that the fish were my idea. I harbor no hard feelings towards Ray and Kristin. They only did what I told them to do.

The first week with Bubbles and Fishy was great. Barrett was overly responsible, and it was all perfect. After all, the fish were my idea, and I am so smart.

By week two, the pump on the aquarium died.

The boy and I ran to the pet store, and they were great about replacing the messed up pump.

Later that same week, I noticed the water was nasty again. Since they are Barrett’s pets, I had him help me replace the water in the tank.

All was good. Bubbles and Fishy were happily swimming in clean water, and I am still brilliant for the fish idea.

Two days later, the water was nasty again. Barrett and I did another water change. I begin to think I am not as smart as I thought.

We decide to head the pet store and discuss our issues. We leave with some new, special food and drops for the water.

Within another couple days, they need another water change, and Bubbles isn’t acting like she feels good.

I told Barrett not to help this time because secretly I know that he must be doing something wrong. After all, I had two fish growing up, and they lived a long time.

While I was moving the tank, somehow I broke it. Water was flying everywhere, and Bubbles and Fishy weren’t too thrilled that the water level was dropping at a ridiculous rate.

Here’s a little fact for you: Goldfish can breathe sideways if there is only a centimeter of water in their tank.

We move the fish into a bowl of water, throw in a few drops of the stuff that apparently make the tap water safe, and we load up to head to the pet store.

I learn a few new things on trip number three.

1. Goldfish are the dirtiest fish in the world. They poop more than any others which makes lots of ammonia.

2. Ammonia is bad for fish.

3. Ammonia makes water nasty.

4. A two gallon tank is WAY too small for 2 goldfish.

5. Fish are not an easy, cheap pet.

When we leave the store, we now have with us a new 10 gallon tank, ammonia drops, ammonia test strips, and a new tree thing for the tank.

We get home, set up everything, and wait for Daddy to get home and roll his eyes at the amount of money two goldfish have cost.

All is good until I find Bubbles floating in the tank.

Barrett and Daddy bury her in the back yard. Barrett is not happy that Fishy is all alone which leads to trip number 5.

We leave the store with Bubbles II and a new sucker fish that Barrett names Dorothy after his Nana. Apparently, we joke about her being a sucker too often. The fish guy assures me that Bubbles probably died as a result of the trauma of all the water changes. The only good part of the trip was when fish guy thanked me for being honest with Barrett about Bubbles death.

We bring Bubbles II and Dorothy home, and they seem happy in their new home, the ammonia test is good, and for a brief moment I think to myself that this was still a good idea.

A few days later, Dorothy is not right. (The fish, not the mother-in-law.) She is swimming weird, and Barrett tells me he doesn’t want her to die. We pray for Dorothy’s health. I even overhear Barrett praying for her on his own. Dorothy still dies the next day.

Daddy and Barrett bury Dorothy next to Bubbles I, and we head out for trip number 6. This time, we take in a water sample.

The fish guy informs me that our water is toxic. He then asks where I live. He informs me that the tap water in my neighborhood is almost impossible to make safe for fish, and that I need to buy Spring water. I put bottled water for my family on my mental grocery list, and decide that I am done.

I ask if there are other fish we can get that aren’t toxic poopers, and after much discussion with Barrett, we agree on what has to be done.

We go home and load Bubbles II and Fishy into a jar, and drive to Nana and Paw’s house. We put them in the cow trough, and they swim with all the other happy goldfish.

We clean out the tank at home and start all over again. We now have clean water in our ten gallon tank and just yesterday, on our 7th pet store trip, we bought 4 new, tiny guppies.

Fish Guy assures me they are hard to kill…

So, if you are wondering why I haven’t blogged in a month, it’s because I have been dealing with fish every free moment. Sounds fun, huh?


Laura Neal said...

Ah, you learned about how our water has high alkalinity. It took me a year to get my swimming pool stabilized without knowing about that information until Dave, old neighbor, mentioned it to me one day!
I will never own fish again, I used to have a 55 gallon tank and a 20 gallon tank.
Oh, did you know that fish poo makes wonderful fertilizer?

Jami said...

I feel like a stalker. I am glad you are back. My top seven comments about your story.

1). I am thankful Dorthy the fish died and not Dorthy my friend.

2). I think it is sweet that Barrett knows how to pray on his own.

3). I am thankful I have well water

4). I am thankful we only tried fish twice. Both times to the demise of the fish.

5). I think dead goldfish make good fertilizer as well as their poop.

6). I am thankful you have blogged once again! Your mishaps and life challenges allow me some of my favorite laughs.

7). I am sorry I find humor in your sort of makes me feel like a bad person.

Welcome back Brigitte, we missed you!

Kris said...

You have NO IDEA how bad I needed a laugh this morning. You never let me down!!

Kris said...

You have NO IDEA how bad I needed a laugh this morning. You never let me down!!

Christina said...

I LOVE you and I LOVE your blog and I am so, so glad you are back making everyone laugh again!