Thursday, January 9, 2014

Men Who Love Too Much

Welp, two of our fish are dead.  Flit and Rosie.  May you rest in peace, guys.

And we were flabbergasted.  Because Ben was the best Fish Daddy EVER.  He cleaned their bowls, like, every three days.  He was worried our soft water would somehow get into their water and kill them, so he'd put cold water in the bowls and then microwave it to make it come to room temperature.  He cleaned the rocks and bowls thoroughly.  He got shrimp to clean Flit's bowl.  He got a little moss ball for Flit's bowl.  He had these drops to balance the water's Ph, or something.  Not sure what it was balancing, but it was balancing something.  He was so worried about the soft water thing that he started having me buy spring water!  And then microwaving that.  He wouldn't let anyone else feed them.  He had it down to a very precise time and amount,

And every time he passed by each of their bowls, he was like, "Hi, Rosie, how is my favorite girl?  Who's a good girl?  Who's a good girl???"  "Flit, you are so beautiful, you know that?  You know that??  Muah muah muah."  "Blue Star, you are so cool and manly.  Look at you.  Who's a big boy?  Who's a big boy??"

He loved these fish.

Probably more than the children loved them.

But despite all of his care, two of them kicked the bucket.  We weren't too surprised about Flit.  The boy wouldn't eat.  Just wouldn't eat.  But Rosie!  She was so healthy.  So happy.  So social.  Following us around as we moved around...  She ate happily one morning, and then that afternoon, dead as a doornail.

My sister, Beads, has a theory that Ben tried too hard.  And maybe there's something to that.  Because we've had several people who have owned bettas who are like, "Oh, I only fed my fish, like, maybe once a week, if I remembered at all!!"  Or "I only cleaned their bowls, like, once every two weeks!  And he lived for three years!"

My kids were pretty traumatized by the whole flushing-down-the-toilet thing.  Sadie did that thing that Buster from Arrested Development does, where he cups his hands on the tops of his ears and stares in terror.

My mom did some online research (she's so funny) about this.  She thinks that maybe the water wasn't warm enough.  She says that bettas prefer mid- to upper-70s in water temperature.  The highest that our thermostat is ever set to is 72.  So I'm thinking they died because they were cold.  And I'm thinking that what has saved Blue Star is Micah's lava lamp, which is right next to Blue Star's bowl.  Those things can emit some powerful heat.  And Micah keeps his lamp on all night.  And his room is south-facing, so then Blue Star gets the warmth from the sun when the lava lamp isn't on.

So Mom's all, "Maybe you should get heating pads and put them under the bowls next time.... and I'm like, "Ahhhhhhh.....I really don't know if I want to put that much effort into it..."  And then Ben was all, "We should get a bunch of different fish and, like, a 49 gallon tank!"  And I was like, "Ummmmmmm.....that's kind of expensive.  A lot of money to pay for pets that you can't really interact with..."

Mom read up on several hardy freshwater fish that we could get.  But for now I'm taking a thinking and ignoring stance. 

We put Jacques, the shrimp, in with Blue Star.  They seem to be friendly with each other.  And Blue Star inherited the moss ball.  So he's got it pretty good.

So, as it turns out, we are not fish people.


Mindy H. said...

Oh no! I'm sorry your fish didn't make it. I know people say that pets are a great way to teach kids about death, but I think I would rather have live fish and clueless but happy children. I hope the other little guy keeps going strong!

Megan said...

I was saying to Mark as I was reading the post that I think Ben babied the fish. That's great that he took such good care of them, but Beta fish are VERY low maintenance. The pet store told us to only feed ours once a week. I'm really sorry they died! I know he was really excited about them!

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