Wednesday, July 14, 2010

a fish story

It all started in January.

The fifth grade teachers received the goldfish for the science kits ~ but the rotation of science kits had not been delivered to the school yet. After a couple of days, Stephanie and her classmates each trekked home with a goldfish in a baggie. We had a choice to make. Either we could get a smallish fish bowl, change the water constantly, get annoyed with the whole process and hope someone forgets to feed the fish soon. 

Or, we could go all out and make a nice home for the guy. 

We picked choice number two and bought a five gallon tank ~ and more fish ~ and habitat decorations ~ and a bubble maker ~ testing kits ~ chemical solutions ~ and rocks. We bought another goldfish, a fruit tetra, and five neon tetra (tiny, tiny little guys). Greg set up the tank and we established a feeding schedule. All was right with the fish world. 

A week later the original goldfish got sickly and swam down the porcelain whirlpool into the great unknown. 

Time went on and the new goldfish, named Nemo by the kids, grew and grew and grew. We joked around that he must really be a shark, not a goldfish. He went from being about and inch and a half long to about three inches long. Scary! 

And then the little neons started disappearing. We could only find four. We joked that Nemo must have eaten it. Greg emptied and cleaned the entire tank. Not even a fish carcass was found. Then another disappeared, then another. Huh? Still, we joked about the shark eating the fish since we could never find any remains.

One day we found a floater. As everyone gathered around to witness the circle of life and wonder why the little ones keep dying, Nemo nibbled a chunk of the little fish.! He really was eating the little ones!

Eventually, we were left with the shark and the fruit tetra until one day the kids and I came home from the library to find that there was just a little fishy left. No more Nemo. Hmmm. 

After a good tank cleaning, we went to buy more fish. No more sharks goldfish were allowed! These little bitty fiddler crabs caught our eye. They skittered all over the place and some of them waved their big claws in the air. We found out they are bottom feeders. Excellent! We'll take one. The fish guy asked if we wanted a male or female. 


Then he said the females do all the work and the males like to show off (hmpf, typical). Greg and I looked at each other and both said, "Male!" After all, it was the showing off that got our attention in the first place. 

There is some confusion as to this guy's name. The kids named him Snapper. I named him Crabby Patty. Greg thinks my name is funnier. One problem, he rarely shows off. We think he's lonely, but we didn't want to buy a whole pack of them in case it didn't work out ~ remember the shark?

Now that we've had him a couple of weeks and he's still alive and he hasn't managed to escape ~ he keeps trying ~ we think we'll go get a few more. Maybe one more male so they can have a show-off contest and a couple of females to give them a reason to show off.

We also got another fruit tetra so the other one wouldn't be lonely and five of these little zebra guys. The zebras love to swim fast, chase each other, and weave in and out of the grasses. Since the shark no longer lives in this habitat, they are not in danger of losing life and fin.

All this because of a ten cent goldfish that died within a week.

1 comment:

Carpool Queen said...

My kids begged for the giant tank, and I told them if they wanted to see fish, I'd be glad to schedule more visits to their dentist so they could visit his.