Thursday, April 8, 2010

Midnight Fishbowl Cleanings

--no fish were harmed in the making of this post--

image found here

I have this fear that my fish will die when their bowls are dirty.

This doesn't necessarily mean that I keep their bowls really clean.

Quite the contrary.

One reason I love bettas is that they can survive me.

I really feel like I need to give them credit for that.

However, one of my bettas' bowls gets dirty a lot faster than the other one, and he'll start looking lethargic. I feel like if he dies before I clean out the bowl then it's my fault he died.

I also have a small two-gallon aquarium that I put three tetras in. Two black neon tetras, and one black skirt tetra.

This past Friday, the bigger of the neons was at the bottom of the aquarium kind of spazzing around. It was like he (she? it?) wanted to swim, but couldn't. Almost like some kind of seizure. I felt bad because there's really nothing you can do for a dying fish, and I thought about just flushing it to get it out of it's misery. But I don't feel good about flushing a living fish, even if it is spazzing (I just tried to link to a story that I thought my sister put on her blog about flushing a fish, but maybe she never put it there. Either way, she knows who she is... :). Rather than flushing it I decided it would be worth it to clean out the whole tank and put in new treated water. Just in case. I did that sometime between 11:30 and midnight.

Saturday it was sitting at the bottom of the tank with it's mouth moving constantly - open, close, open, close - but nothing else was really moving. Again, I was wondering if I should flush it. Again, I didn't.

Sunday, I checked on the fish. I was looking for it somewhere on the bottom, or on the top (floating belly up), and when my eyes were in the middle of the tank, it swam right past my line of sight. I quickly did a count to make sure it wasn't the small neon, and it wasn't. All three fish were swimming around just fine.

This as-of-yet unnamed fish has earned itself the name of "Easter" or "Miracle." Or maybe perhaps "Easter Miracle." Not sure yet...

Back to the bettas - last night (after I got home at 11:30) I saw that Gilbert (yes, I named my betta Gilbert - and sometimes I call him Gil) was looking pretty lethargic. His bowl was filthy. I couldn't go another day without cleaning out his bowl, so I cleaned it. At midnight. I also cleaned the other one out while I was at it since it really doesn't take that long.

As expected, Gilbert perked right up. I've had him for close to two years I think. Maybe even more than two years. I can't remember when I got him...

I think I do my best fish-habitat cleaning at midnight.
This could be a problem.

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