Fish stories

I never thought having a fish would be such hard work.

As you might remember, back in the beginning of the school year we promised Dylan we’d buy him a fish if he learned his ABCs. Well, the boy immediately opened his mouth and recited the whole alphabet, so we went to PetSmart and bought two little guppies.

The fish did great for a few months, until I had the bright idea to introduce a third one into the tank. The third one lasted less than two days. The other two suddenly started acting all weird. They were dead a week or two later.

We took a little break from the fish, but I actually missed them. I liked having a “pet” in the house (as good a pet as fish can be). So about three weeks ago I decided to put the fish tank up again. I cleaned everything up really well, no soap, and took the water to get tested at PetSmart before purchasing two new guppies.

Three days later, they were dead.

Figuring there was some kind of disease in our decorations, we threw everything out and started again from scratch – new gravel, new decorations, new everything. Once again, we had the water tested and got the OK to get two new guppies.

One of them didn’t do so great from the start. He just kind of hung out at the top of the tank in one spot, barely moving. I worried about him every day, but every time I thought about returning him, he would somehow rally for a little while. Last Friday, he really did not look good, so I decided to take him back to PetSmart. As you might remember from last week’s post, I slipped on the stairs that day and ended up at the urgent care unit instead.

By Saturday morning, the fish was dead.

The other one seemed fine, though, so I took the dead one back to the store and exchanged him for another one. When I got home and put him in the tank, I noticed the one that was already there was swimming kind of funny. I kept an eye on him throughout the day and, sure enough, he kept getting worse and worse. Back we went to PetSmart to return him. Since I didn’t know if there was some sort of disease in the tank again, I decided against getting a companion fish for the one I’d purchased that morning.

So far, this latest one is still alive, but I can’t help but wonder, for how long? Everyday, I wake up with a feeling of fear and foreboding and have to hype myself up before looking in the tank to make sure if the fish survived the night.

My friend Maria – who is going through a similar situation with her guppies – and I constantly check in with each other and too see how the fish are doing and to stress over strange guppy behavior. I swear all we talk about lately is the fish.

Here, verbatim, are some of the texts we have exchanged in the last few days: “They were kind of just laying there at the bottom of the tank, but now they seem fine,” “They are swimming and hitting themselves against the glass – I think they’re trying to commit suicide!” “One of my fishes doesn’t look right, he is swimming around strangely.”

I tell you, they are constant stress. We should have gotten a dog instead!



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