I Know Why the Tanked Fish Drowns

I have met my match.

I’ve successfully owned cats and birds, taken care of ladybugs and butterflies, and volunteered as a dog walker at an animal shelter.

But, our fish are making me question my pet-owning abilities.

In college, my roommates and I had a Beta fish. Three girls were never more likely to kill a fish, with our irresponsibility and penchant for cheap wine. And, yet, Scoopy lived on, unfazed that we had no idea what we were doing.

And, so, when I got the big idea that owning fish would be good for the kids, I thought back to those days of wine and laughter and figured, “eh, how hard can it be?” Someone should have warned me. I now feel like I should have taken a course in Chemistry 101, bought stock in a pet store and hired a part-time fish-ologist to take care of our three Molly fish (named Molly (natch), Speedy and Orange-y).

After a dizzying few weeks of water changes and testing, I finally got the tank ‘in balance’ with the perfect blend of bacteria. Then, even though all three fish were supposed to be girls, babies were born. We got excited until the next morning when the babies were gone, probably now in the bellies of the fish.

The first to die (after the babies) were Molly and Orange-y. I scooped them out of the tank and buried them under the bird feeder.

Speedy is still hanging in there although she doesn’t look good. I continue to retest the water, making changes and cleaning when needed, but my heart is no longer into it. “Speedy”, I think, “just give up so I can put this whole failed experiment behind me”.

Who knew that it would be fish (fish!) that would be my most difficult pet.


  1. Traceytreasure says

    Oy! Don’t even get me started on fish! We bought our turtle, Princess Zelda, a 55 gallon tank, it just happened to be on Mother’s Day weekend. The tank came with 45 tropical fish. I change the filter twice a week and the water still looks like lake water! Do you want a turtle?
    I could never hate you but if the house was quiet, every noise would wake baby and I didn’t get anything done. We should have gone with Metallica because that would have sounded much better coming out of the Sheriff’s mouth!! Good luck and hugs!!

  2. Traceytreasure says

    I just read your comment on Blogs Are Stupid, you hungry? LOL!! =)

  3. Alpha DogMa says

    The smaller the pet the quicker the death. Honest. It’s been 9 years and the 80 lb rottweiler lives on. On the sofa, that is.

    Well, at least the kids are learning about the cycle of life.


    PS-thanks for the email. I’m not ignoring you. Promise: I’ll respond just as soon as I have an original thought. Or something of significance to say. Or open another bottle of wine. Or all of the above.

  4. AnotherMomCreation says

    IF I remember correctly putting more than one Molly’s in a tank together is recipe for disaster. I also seem to recall that when they are pregnant they need to be separated…. now I recall why.

    Fish are really hard pets to own. But teach the kids some very valuable life lessons.

  5. Mary Alice says

    There is really no accounting for fish….we had a goldfish that lived for EIGHT years in a gallon size mayonnaise jar. Either they die as soon as you get home or they live forever.

  6. SabrinaT says

    OH, I hope our fish survive for a while. At least until the kids forget about them!

  7. My brother’s fish lives in a bowl, on the kitchen counter, totally neglected. Our fish, in a fancy tank, with the right PH levels and air bubble machine, die every other week. After the first week, the one Abs chose died so we tried to discreetly replace it. The next morning she was SCREAMING at the top of her lungs, “Mommmmmmmy. Look at my fish. She grew and her forehead is biggger!!” Didn’t do such a good job matching the original.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge