Apr 26, 2011

Fish Tales

Quite some time ago when Chef was away for the weekend and Busy and I had been flooded in, well,  when the water subsided- and I blame cabin fever with a toddler, I made a big mistake . We got gold fish. I could not have even imagined the emotional roller coaster that would follow this foolish decision.

I reckon now, after about a year, we are probably up to about fish number 12.

Here is a run down of some of the more memorable moments. Stay with me, this post is not as boring as it may sound...

Orangey1 was the first fish we got. He was highly excitable. I mean seriously wired. He raced around the tank in what appeared to be an amphetamine  induced state. He did not stop. I mean he flew around the tank. And he grew. Like this:
He grew so much he was like a huge dog in a tiny back yard, so we transported him - carefully around to a friends' place with  huge fish tank. Orangey is still alive and is now 20cm long. HUGE.

There have been several that have been and gone since this time. At one point Busy would wake up go over to this fish tank and say " are any of you guys dead today?" She has become pretty good at seeing the signs, " this one isn't moving much today'... yes there are tears, big tears whenever one of them dies. But they are ceremoniously put in the worm farm- much excitement on Busy's behalf and then even more excitingly she  loves to go and check the next day to make sure the worms have "gobbled him all up". We have learnt the word funeral.

The last "round' of fish though have seriously demonstrated the complexities of the common goldfish. We got one last week. It was white with a gold triangle on the top of its head. At the same time we got one of those black ones with the bulgy eyes- you know... like this:

We popped them in the tank with the resident algae eater who has lived in there for months quite happily- totally keeps to himeself and keeps the tank clean by sucking algae off the glass, I don't actually know if it is a boy but whatever.... we call him bottom feeder). That night I saw the white fish eat the back one. Yes eat it. Cannibalism in my house, under my roof. Obviously this was both deeply traumatic and yet absolutely fascinating to us.... Busy noticed that bottom feeder was sucking algae off the black fish, Busy telling me he was kissing  the new fish. Thank  god she went to bed after that. The white fish ate the eyes first. It was wrong. We took the black fish to the worm farm as an act of mercy. It was horrific! Busy awoke the next day and saw that it was gone. Devastation followed. Big fat tears and declarations of love for Blacky.

So the white fish was then known as Killer and Chef and I considered getting a Siamese fighting fish and seeing what happened. Perhaps laying wagers. Sense prevailed. There were discussions at the local pet shop and we learnt that there is a pecking order like with chooks, with fish. So we got two more  and we were assured if they were the same size it would all be fine. Well.

Didn't Killer get his comeuppance. Death was almost immediate and rather... savage. The two new ones and bottom feeder just took Killer out. He didn't stand a chance. He is gone now. Gone to the worms.

So I am left with bottom feeder- hiding in his little rock cave and these two others. One of the them, the ring leader in Killers assassination has taken to jumping out of the water so high that he ( ?)  hits the light the sits over the tank!!! Then he dive bombs the pebbles so aggressively you can hear the pebbles move around from across the room with the TV on. I am scared of him.

I wouldn't be surprised if I came out in the morning and they had fashioned pebbles into swords and were battling. Or reciting Shakespeare. Or crocheting granny squares.


  1. I think my previous comment made it to your spam folder... god whats the use of having a profile sometimes if it gets marked as spam, i'm real, dammit :-) now onto the fish, the jumping ones, we used to have them jump out of the bowl, mum would say they were committing Hari kari.

  2. We have had our two goldfish for well over a year... and good lord I am waiting for them to pass on to the next world. THEY ARE MAGICAL FISH, they will NOT DIE. They have been accidentally dropped in their plastic bag, over fed, under fed, tank without filter cleaned only once a month... and they are THRIVING. I have decided that having fish is a lot of work with not enough reward...

  3. We are on the same journey!!
    But I think we have managed to remove the main cannibal and we now have 3 seemingly happy co-habitating fish.
    Now I just have to clean the fucking tank!!!

  4. Hehe - have you seen the cartoon "My Goldfish is evil"?!

  5. I was waiting and waiting for the only remaining fish, Carnivorous Fish, to kark it so that I could move the stick insects into a roomier, more luxurious abode. Then they upped and died. I evil eye Carnivorous and he tries to attack me through the glass. Never. Again.

  6. oh i can't stand fish... nothing but problems! my sister has twice asked me to care for her fish for extended periods of time... the first time they all died... which was awful having to tell her when she came back... the second time (where i had them for almost a year) i kept them alive, but they were high maintenance fish... i didn't enjoy it at all...
    mym mum has guppies and they are disgusting... if you don't separate the mother fish out, the other guppies will sit behind the mother as she is popping out her babies and eat them as they come out... very disturbing...

  7. Crack me up girl!

    I want one of these fish - where do you get them? Is the 'pet shop' a front for something more sinister in the back????

    Our goldies have been ordinary etc and so forth. Nothing as exciting as yours! Though the one we have has been with us for at least seven years!!! He has outlives a few - umm wonder if he is a killer...

  8. I used to have goldfish but events like these have put me off them for life. I hate finding dead things in my lounge room, hate seeing live things EAT dead things, and genuinely have nightmares about fish jumping out of their tanks and swimming through the air. I advise you flush the lot down the loo, get rid of the tank, and get a guinea pig instead. One that's 100% guaranteed male and isn't going to surprise you with a pair of babies after a couple weeks, then have more babies via one of those babies. We had 23 guinea pigs at one stage...

  9. ANd I thought that my kittens were making my life traumatic. At least they haven't eaten any other members of the household yet. Hubby and I as students had fish and a tortoise. You'd think vet students would know better but we found out the hard way- when we came home to find half a fish hanging out of the tortoise's mouth. I never felt the same about him after that and we eventually condemned him to eternal hell and donated him to a kindy. If you go quiet, we'll send in a search party...an armed search party...

  10. Fish sound complicated, that's why we have a dog. But at least your worms are well feed (and hopefully cannibalism is not contagious and you find some supreme-worm eating his mates)!

  11. This post on the tragedies of life and death has given me a good laugh. Thanks so much!

  12. Oh yes, the goldfish debacle is still quite clear in my mind. And lordy don't they poop a lot! We started with goldfish in a small tank, now we have a large tank and 13 fish and one aquatic frog...nary a goldfish in sight.
    She keeps asking for a hamster, I don't think I can go through it.

  13. Ok... say no more. I'm done with the thought of FISH for A's birthday. Em x


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