Don’t Ask Me To Take Care of Your Fish…

Because I will probably kill them.

Actually, on second thought, if they’re your fish, they will probably be fine.  My roommate once had a fish, and I was always the one who fed it (since we basically never cleaned out the tank, feeding was the only upkeep required for this particular pet).  It lived to be like five years old.

You see, it was technically her fish.

And apparently that makes all the difference in the world.  Because when she moved out the house felt weird without a fish.  I kept walking by the shelf in the kitchen and it looked empty.  So I went out and bought the exact same fish tank, the exact same rocks for the bottom, and the exact same kind of fish.

The first one died within a week, after turning a horrible black color and getting itself stuck inside the castle turret (I don’t even know how it managed that, as the space was smaller than the fish, but you know…).

So I went back and got another fish.

It lasted a week and a half.

This morning it was swimming around the tank happily, going on it’s merry fish way – and this evening, when I went to turn on the light, it was lying at the bottom of the tank.

When I was a kid I probably went through 25 goldfish?  Some of them died the day I brought them home.

Seriously, what is going on here?? How is it I can keep someone else’s fish alive, and yet, the second they’re my fish and no one else’s…they’re doomed to die within a month?  All you do is feed them.  Literally!  That’s it!

The poor things, they probably feel like the old people in the nursing center do when they see Oscar the death cat coming, as I walk with their little cups up to the check out counter…

Fish and houseplants.  It’s a conspiracy, I tell you.

Can you keep fish alive?  What is your magical secret??

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27 thoughts on “Don’t Ask Me To Take Care of Your Fish…

    • Haha, yeah, I told myself I was giving up for good when this last one dies! She seems to be hanging in there pretty good for now so, we’ll see… *fingers crossed*

      I have much better luck with cats at least ;)

    • I’ve heard a lot of stories about how the fish are old and unhealthy to start with, so that DOES make me feel a bit better.

      I must have some innate ability to sense the weak ones or something, maybe I would have more luck if someone else bought it! :)

  1. The best way I know to keep a fish alive is to keep them in the lake, other than that, I am like you. I do know, however, that it takes awhile to get the water “balanced” or whatever it is called. You have to fill the tank and leave it for several days or a week before adding fish. I also know that the bigger the tank, the easier it is.

    • Ah yes, balancing the water. That’s my least favorite part, especially since it’s been quite a cold fall and the house is freezing inside – room temperature here is much colder than a fish tank should be! I had a time of it trying to heat it up enough the other day when I was cleaning out the tank.

      I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who’s not successful with fish though. I think you’re right, keeping them in the lake really is the way to go…

    • LOL! I’m definitely staying away from gerbils as well, my brother once had hamsters and one of them got pinched and stuck in the wheel – then the other died of some weird disease and all it’s hair fell out…I think I’ve already been traumatized by enough rodents!

      It looks like I may be stuck being a cat lady…I’ll hold off on the crazy part until I’m older though, just so I have something to look forward to ;)

      • Remember to drink lots of Gin, that’s the key I’m told. Animals getting stuck seems a recurring theme, how strangely and delightfully odd, especially for the animals. Although not the delightful bit.

  2. LOL…How do you guys get stuck taking care of other people’s animales? My sister, who never bothered to have a pet of her own, is now babysetting a cat for her friend, for 6 MONTHS!! The cat’s owner decided to take a missionary job with his church. My dear sister was there to take in the cute black cat (interesting color for this time of year)…BUT, the cat and my daughter’s dog (who both lives with my sister) constantly fights. It gets to be a little hallarious watching it sometimes…I pray that the cat is still alive when its ownner returns.

    • Haha, oh that definitely sounds like it’s going to be an adventure! How nice of your sister to take in the cat though, it’s hard enough leaving your pet behind on vacation, being gone for 6 months would be even more difficult without knowing your pet was in good hands. Hopefully they’ll start getting along after they adjust to each other ;)

      I think I got sucked in because the fish tank was in the kitchen, and because I’m not a very big fan of cleaning bathrooms, and my roommate wasn’t a fan of taking out the trash, we just split the rooms up! After a while it just became automatic for me to take care of the fish when I was cleaning up “my” room. Luckily for the fish though, he was never officially my fish, so he lived through the experience :P

  3. Based on the one time I house sat for someone… nope. Killed them fish dead. Apparently by feeding them. (Who knew fish didn’t like pizza and beer! (j/k))

    At least I didn’t kill either of the cats. Or the dog.

    • I’m beginning to wonder how fish manage to survive on their own in the wild. They all have eating disorders…you feed them…they die. And yet, if you don’t feed them, they die.

      You’d think because cats and dogs are more mobile, and not confined to a tank, and have more needs and demands etc, that they would be more difficult. But really, when you feed them they don’t eat until they’re hungry and then they stop eating when they’re full – they’re good to go!

      • Yes. Although it can depend on the dog (or cat, I suppose). Labs are famous for gorging themselves if allowed (and in fact most people’s Labs are on the heavy side).

        With fish… I have a distant memory of being told (correctly or otherwise) that when you overfeed them, the food decays (isn’t eaten), and it’s the decay products that poison the fish…

      • Haha very true – my Maine Coon is a total glutton and would probably eat anything he could get his paws on :P

        But you’re right, the key really is to keeping fish lean! I have one fish left from the debacle, and she’s hanging in there – only one pellet every few days. The other fish were given the same amount of food, but some refused to eat and another one was swimming oddly…I’m thinking they were probably just sick to begin with. Unfortunately pet stores aren’t always the best environments.

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