Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ministering to the sick

In preparation for the big introduction on Ella's birthday, we brought home our newest family members last Wednesday. They turned out to be one goldfish named Violet and two (is it guppies or gumpies?) friends called Timmy and Bluebell. Thursday morning, when Ella met them for the first time, all three were swimming around having a terrific time. Friday early evening when I got home from work there was kind of a fine web of something slimy in the bowl but nothing visibly wrong with the fish. Saturday morning Timmy was dead. Saturday night Bluebell was dead. By this stage I was freaking out, although Ella was remarkably okay, despite a few tears. Late Saturday evening I was changing water, readjusting, cleaning the gravel etc, hoping that Violet would be spared.

By yesterday Violet was on the decline. Having had such a huge day Sunday they both napped for over 3 hours in the afternoon. Normally I'd be revelling in the quiet, but after having called the fish shop and explaining what was going on I'd been told it sounded like they'd shed their slime coat which they only did when extremely stressed! My first thought was "how can I kill them in less than a week?", I followed the instructions, how could I get it so wrong?

Girls awoke and we raced to the fish shop - the nice guy tested the water's PH and it was far too low, which meant I was basically poisoning Ella's fish. Apparently my tap water had killed Timmy and Bluebell, even though we're in the same suburb as the fish shop. So, we walked out of the shop with a PH testing kit, a powder for adjusting the PH up, another for adusting it down, together with the neturaliser, all in the hope of saving Violet. I came, did my testing, changed a third of the water, tested again and again and again and now she's slowly coming good.

Can I just tell you that we chose a goldfish because we thought it was stress free - how wrong I was!


cindy said...

Oh I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Elmo has been lying to us, goldfish in a bowl with no filter - HARD WORK!!!
We even had goldfish with a filter, still hard work, the easiest ones are heated water ones, which are ezpensive.

Christie said...

we have lost so many goldfish over the past year, now we have given up!! We have a tank full of non-goldfish now & they are EASY :-)

Kym said...

Thank you for reminding me that fish aren't easy pets. I was admiring my parents-in-law's fish tank on the weekend. Then I briefly entertained the notion of getting fish of our own. You brought me back to my senses!

Sarah said...

OH man you make it sound so complicated! We have had fish and fishy for four years now.

I only do my fish once a week or a fortnight. When I clean them I only remove about 1/3 - 1/4 of the water with one of those symphon thingos which also sucks the crap from the bottom. I then wipe the inside of the tank with a cloth that is soaked in the water that was syphoned out. I then pull apart the filter and clean the filter under tap water (I know it should be the syphoned water) and replace the carbon every six weeks. Then I pour enough water to reach the tank (this water had been sitting out the night before to dechlorinate).

EASY. No chemicals.

If you need any ideas etc - just ask me. The tank I can see you have there really is only big enough for one - two if you have too...

I would get a filter - much easier and simplier. Oh and dont let the tank sit right in a sunny spot...