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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

goodbye...and hello!

a few weeks ago we noticed wiggles not acting like himself.  he was swimming face down in the stones and swimming aimlessly.

we googled around and thought he had swimbladder disease and treated him by cleaning the tank, adding new water and soaking his flake food, and he seemed to be better.  a week later, he was arching and swimming in spirals and he seemed to not be breathing at all.  after more googling, we thought he had ammonia poisoning.  we bought a bigger tank, water treatment solution, food pellets and a new tank decoration to play with.  didn't matter, becos on sunday morning, i found him floating with O face.

poor fishy.  i felt badly that he died, wondering if he suffered.  we had some solace that he lived over 18 months, a good run for a fish considering our previous fish attempts lasted only a couple of days.

after church hubby took the kids to the pet store to get another fish.  hubby talked to a clerk about what we were looking for and she recommended getting a betta fish becos they did well in small tanks.  apparently goldfish require bigger (20+ gallon) tanks becos of ammonia poisoning, and also the fact that goldfish physically grow and require more swim space.  the clerk surmised that our fish survived as long as it did becos we changed the water frequently (weekly).  so not only did wiggles die from ammonia poisoning, but exploded to death becos his innards kept growing when his outer body did not.

meet our new family members, june and margaret!

this is june, or as i nicknamed her, pinkie.  petunia named her june.  i have no idear why, although i think she was influenced by the boy, since he said it's the name of a character from a tv show he likes.

this is margaret.  she got this name as i was throwing out old fashioned girl names and the boy liked this one.  no nickname yet as i'm still thinking of one.  she's really purple - this picture doesn't do justice.

we have two female betta.  i thought we could only have one fish, but the clerk told hubby that only the  males fight and kill each other.  females, on the other hand, can bully each other and be territorial.  supposedly it's best to have more than two females as they can't gang on each other as easily.  more than two fish is called a "sorority".

at first i thought margaret might pick on june, but i saw june give margaret some "bitch face" and charged her a bit, so i think june may be a scrappy fish.  now they swim in opposite corners of the tank.

the kids are fascinated by the fish.  the kiddos pull up their stools and sit and watch the fish.  it's funny, but they never paid this much attention to wiggles, although i know they liked watching him too.

i never imagined myself as a fish owner.  my family always had dachshunds, and hubby's family have cats.  as much as i like dogs and cats, they are a huge responsibility (and in the matter of cats, i am allergic to them).  one thing i learned over the past year and a half of caring for wiggles is that they are very low maintenance pets, yet teach children about responsibility in addition to sheer pleasure in watching them.  i also remember reading that fish are relaxing to watch and help lower blood pressure and stress.  i can't say that watching wiggles ever helped me get off my BP meds, but i can say that a few minutes of watching did make me feel better if i was having a bad day.  

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