A eulogy for Mr. Fishie, that big jerk. - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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A eulogy for Mr. Fishie, that big jerk.

Please take a moment for Mr. Fishie.

Mr. Fishie was a lovely blue veiltail, purchased from the local PetCo on February 5th, 2012. Going out shopping before my first date ever was exciting, and I decided to go visit the betta section in PetCo while I was out, just for fun. I had a 2.5 gallon I had bought a few weeks before that, attempting to raise Triops, but they all died in that tall, expansive tank because they couldn't find any food.

And there I saw him. Mr. Fishie. He was this lovely shade of slate blue I'd never seen in a betta before. I grabbed him up, swept him home, and threw him in his little 2.5 gallon tank. While I was getting ready for my date, I talked to him nervously. "Do you think it will go well? Will everything be fine?" He just kind of swam around, fluttering his long, beautiful tail as if to say, "I'm hungry. Feed me."

The date went well, and my new boyfriend made friends with Mr. Fishie as well, admiring the jungle of plants in his tiny tank. I began doing more research on how to keep my new friend happy. Heater? Filter? Okay, $26 and a trip to the pet store later I was equipped to keep his new home clean and warm. Jumps out? I made a makeshift lid out of a microwave meal box and taped it to the top of his tank. It was rough, but it did what it needed to. With some nutrition, Mr. Fishie went from that unusual slate blue to a rather typical royal blue. I was a little disappointed, but it was such a beautiful shade I couldn't complain much.

I experimented with a couple of ghost shrimp at the time, too. Results of experiment: One snack, one suicide. I was half expecting them to be eaten, so I wasn't too disappointed, though I was hoping they'd stay around longer than a week. I thought I had found a good solution for all those pellets Mr. Fishie was too dumb to chase after.

He kept me sane through finals week, watching my graceful little swimmer flit back and forth in his little tank. I found myself growing more and more attached to the little guy.

That summer I got a job and some extra income, and I knew what I was going to do: I was going to give my little buddy the best little betta condo ever. So I did.

I sucked it up and dropped around $200 on an Aqueon Evolve 8, a heater, some gravel, a piece of driftwood, and buttloads of plants, and marveled at its beauty when it was all set up. I bought some more ghost shrimp, too, hoping these would make it longer with more cover - of course, I was wrong. He downed all 5 of them in a period of days.

Sometime after my birthday in October, I got another betta, a little baby female, and put her in a 5 gallon Aqueon Minibow. I had been bitten by the betta bug. I also had a good amount of "bonus bucks" left from the earlier tank purchase, so I brought home four cute little false Julii cories.

About two weeks after I put the cories in there, I came back to two dead cories, one limping cory, and one cowering cory, and one very pissed off looking Mr. Fishie. Horrified that he just killed $10 worth of fish ($15 actually; the wounded one didn't survive), I moved the survivors over to the 5 gallon and decided to never let him have roommates again. Not long after that, I brought my tanks from college back home for Christmas, leaving them in my Mom's trust. I decided to switch him over to my 5 gallon tank, and put the female and the sole surviving cory in the 8 gallon, where they still peacefully reside. My mom noted that while my female would zoom up to the corner of the tank to eat, she almost had to drop food on the head of my male until he would cooperate. Unfortunately, she also killed all but one of my plants because she didn't turn the light on. A short moment for my plants, please.

I found the 5 gallon tank to be rather bland, so when I got back to school, I spent some of my Christmas money on pimping his new bachelor pad.

I took to calling him Fred Fishstone for a while. He really loved that little faux rock cave. He developed the habit of biting me whenever I would go to clean his tank, but I didn't mind, it didn't hurt.

Sometime in March, I noticed he was getting a little bloated. "Don't feed him for a week and it should clear out," said my LFS owner. I was going on spring break anyway, so it was a perfect opportunity to let him fast. But when I came back, he was more bloated than ever.

About three weeks after I got back from spring break, he started having buoyancy issues, and he just kept getting more bloated. He could hardly get himself off of the ground. I looked around, desperate for solutions. "Feed him a frozen pea." After much difficulty, I did. I waited and waited, but nothing happened. I kept his water pristine, I made sure the water was warm, I tried to do everything I could to make him happy and healthy again. He sadly limped along the bottom instead, and I started wishing he would just be taken out of his misery soon and seriously considered euthanasia. But I didn't know if it was serious swim bladder disease or just constipation still.

"Add some aquarium salt and feed him some frozen food for a change." I went to the pet store to get some about a week after I started feeding him peas, seeing no results. When I came back from the store, he was gone, finally out of his pain and suffering, and I felt more of a feeling of relief than a feeling of sadness.

So you ate everything I ever put in your tank and attacked my hand when I tried to clean it. So you weren't very bright. But you were a good fish, you kept me lots of company, and you kindled my interest as a fish keeper, even if I'm just dealing in mini tanks right now. Here's to you, Mr. Fishie: May you eat all the ghost shrimp you can fit in your tummy up there in that big rice paddy in the sky.

Last edited by leafythegreat; 04-24-2013 at 09:33 AM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 09:42 AM
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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I'm pretty okay about it. He brought me a long way in the 14 months I owned him. I learned how to take care of him, and now I have a little doubletail turquoise female who's fat and sassy and beautiful that I know how to take care of well.

Plus, he was suffering a lot in his final days. It wasn't a surprise tank jumper or sudden heart attack or something; I was expecting and almost anticipating it. It was good to see him go.

His 5 gallon tank is probably going to my cousin this summer to take care of for his 5-year-old daughter who wants a fish more than anything in the world. I'll be close by to advise and monitor, and hopefully get a little fish enthusiast started off right

Last edited by leafythegreat; 04-24-2013 at 10:00 AM.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 10:10 AM
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Thanks for sharing Fred's story. You did what you could. It is the cycle of life.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 10:14 AM
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I posted before seeing your addition. Yes, Fred's passing made room for a new one to live.
The little girl will now learn and enjoy. :)
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 02:45 PM
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Sorry for your loss! It's great you learned so much in the time you had him, and that he had such a personality to him. Make sure you have some Epsom Salts on hand for any future time a betta gets SBD! Works wonders a lot of the time.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by XxxXnoodleXxxX View Post
Make sure you have some Epsom Salts on hand for any future time a betta gets SBD!
Once I get some money, I'm going to assemble a little first aid kit. I've already got aquarium salt on hand, which I've been using semi-regularly during water changes, and frozen brine shrimp, which I feed two or three times a week.

All in all, keeping Mr. Fishie was a learning experience. I've kept (and killed ) many betta before, first keeping them in those terrible dual betta hex things, then in a one gallon aquarium, and they never lasted more than a few months, but he was my first experience caring for a fish like a pet instead of like a decoration, and he lasted me a little over a year. (To justify myself, I was in middle school the last time I had a betta.)

I learned that those shriveled little cheap fish I'd been buying all these years are just flowers waiting to bloom, and once you nourish them with a warm, clean tank and some good food, they burst into beautiful shapes and colors and take on their own personalities. Sure, the veiltail is a vulgar variety to most keepers, but for the first time in my life I saw a healthy betta swimming happily, his fins undulating like waves, and I knew I'd love these beautiful little fish.

So he paved the way for me to be a better fish keeper, and for that, I'm very grateful.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 11:49 PM
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I'm sorry for your loss, he sounds like he was a great pet.

Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I found. I found that it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay- small acts of friendship and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Because I am afraid and he gives me courage.
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