Monday, February 9, 2015

The Fish Saga Continues

Ok people, I am warning you, seriously think before you get fish. Easy pets they are not! So after we killed our first four fish, we waited a few days for our water to settle. We went back to the pet store to have the water tested and bring home more fish, only to have them tell us that our ammonia levels were still too high. We waited another few days, and finally a week after the first fish massacre we brought home three new fish. Lily chose another yellow one and kept the name Banana. Matthew chose a red one with black fins that he named Jet Pack. Caroline got a silver and black speckled one and named it Cootie Car. This time, success! The fish lived through the night, and the next night, and they are still going strong!

One strange thing we have noticed is that Lily's fish pretty consistently chases Matthew's fish around, almost like it's bullying it. Then about a week in, Cootie Car started getting in on the action too, especially when it was time to eat. I kept having visions of waking up to find Jet Pack eaten by the other too, but thankfully that hasn't happened. Well, apparently Brian was intrigued by this and did some research. It turns out that Banana is a boy fish and Jet Pack (much to Matthew's dismay since he loves all things boy) is a girl. We think Cootie Car is a boy too, which is why they were both ganging up on poor Jet Pack. According to what Brian read, one way to help this situation is to introduce more females into the tank. So when they picked me up from the airport yesterday Brian presented me with his research and a plan to get more fish. Back to the pet store again! (Side note - our tank can hold quite a few fish, but you have to introduce them slowly in the beginning until the nitrogen cycle finishes. They actually want you to wait 4-6 weeks, but you know how we like to live on the edge. More fish after 2-3 weeks? We're in. Please don't die!)

The very nice and helpful pet store employee tested our water again and gave us permission to bring home two more fish. I mean, I brought two kids home from the hospital without anyone's permission, but apparently fish are more fragile? Difficult? Important? I don't know. Although with our track record I'm not sure i should complain. So, we chose two female fish to bring home this time. In order to make sure no child ended up without a fish, these two belong to Brian and I. My fish is orange with a pretty long fin on top, and Brian's is white and almost see-through with some orange on it's fins. I know you want to know the amazing names we are adding to our tank with Jet Pack, Cootie Car, and Banana. Well, my fish is named Mandarin and Brian's X-Ray.

We followed the pet store employees recommendations about feeding our existing fish and changing out 40% of the water before adding our new ones. Seriously people, what happened to the whole "I won a goldfish at the fair and it lived for 15 years in a tiny bowl" fish maintenance that I was familiar with? So, we add Mandarin and X-Ray to the mix. Everything seems to be going well, they are swimming around and exploring. No one tries to eat each other. (By the way, did you know that fish food is made out of fish? Eating each other doesn't seem totally unreasonable for them at this point.)

A few minutes pass, and then all of a sudden we notice Banana is again going a little crazy with the chasing. And this time he is very focused on Mandarin. Must be her pretty fin. Next thing we know, he is totally trying to mate with her! And our kids are watching! Please do not ask about the birds and the bees right now children! You are too young! We quickly distract them with the promise of chocolate or candy or something shiny and off they go. Crisis averted. Except that Banana is VERY persistant. He is chasing Mandarin ALL THE TIME and getting all up in her business. If we end up with baby fish I don't even want to think about all the maintenance and rules that are going to come. I mean, I'm pretty sure fish eat their babies! Help! Can we please go back to the little Beta fish in a bowl idea that started this whole thing?

Banana chasing Mandarin up top and Jet Pack hanging out at the bottom

X-Ray swimming around

Apparently Cootie Car doesn't like his picture taken because he kept swimming away from me

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