Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Fishie Story

**Disclaimer** this story may involve some details unenjoyable to the standard reader. Nothing too graphic or gross, but I am issuing a warning none-the-less. Please use caution when reading :-)

Well let me start this story about a month or so ago, maybe even up to 6 weeks ago. I don't recall exactly when it was... my mom and I went out to Thousand Oaks and we took my nephews. So once we were there we asked the boys where would they  like to go. My nephew Elijah said "to see the fish". We talked about maybe going to a pet store. At the same time it gave me an idea. I used to have fish tanks in my room. Way back when and I knew that I had my old fish tanks/supplies in a box in the garage. So I told my mom "I do have tanks in the garage, maybe I should get one out again" so then Elijah said "Nay- you have fish in garage?" to which I replied "No I don't sorry" and he said "Nay you tricked me" apparantly he knew what I was talking about when I mentioned the tanks. So need less to say, the idea of putting up a fish tank in my room again so that my nephews could enjoy it (and myself of course) was now in my head again.

So a couple weeks ago I decided to do it. I rearranged my bedroom furniture, found a spot to put up the tank and got it cleaned up and ready to go. knowing the water temperature is supposed to be stable and at room temperature at least I set it up about a day before I knew I would be able to get fish. I had my old 10 gal tank and a 1 gal tank. I set up the 1 gal. The next day I decided since I had enough room on the shelf I was going to use I wanted to use the bigger tank. So I switched it all out and set up the 10 gal tank. I left it for another day so the water could stabilize. We went the next day to buy fish.

We are at the pet store and I was showing Elijah the fish. I was showing him the tropical fish because that was what I had always gotten in the past and I love the variety of colors and looks of the fish. They're easy to maintain and really cool. Then the lady told me without a heater in the tank I'd have to get goldfish. But I knew I never had a heater before and my fish weren't cold! But we looked at the goldfish anyway. Elijah decided he liked the cheap-o 27c feeder goldfish bettter than any other fish I showed him to possibly buy. Including a small red and white Oranda goldfish that looked way cool, that they were discontinuing carrying so they were only $3.50 instead of the normal $13.99. So Elijah picked 4 "feeder" fish and we brought them home.  The lady was really sweet too because she would catch the ones he pointed to even though there were a ton of fish in that tank and he wouldn't have known the difference. They were all slightly different and you could actually tell them apart from one another.  It's not as easy in these pictures to tell,  but one was really dark orange with a whiter belly. One was a lighter orange/yellow and then there is the orange with the dark stripe on it's back, and I don't have a picture of our first casualty but he was a lighter color almost gray with a dark stripe.

Things were going well with our fish. Than about 3 days later we had our first loss. I told Elijah what happened and we flushed the fish to swim with Nemo. The pet store has a 14 day return policy on the fish, but it was 27c and so the gas would cost me more than buying a new fish another day when I am already in that area. So then about 3 days after that we lost our 2nd fish. We flushed him as well. There was a tiny part of me that was secretly hoping that they would all eventually visit Nemo so I could go and pick new fish from the tropical section. I had been watching the temperature on the tank and with the lights it was staying well within the range needed for tropical fish without having a heater. So I knew if they asked again I could tell them I knew the temperature was stable enough without one. So another day or so later (maybe more I don't exactly remember) we lost a 3rd fish. We were down to the last fish. It wasn't even the coolest looking one either. But he looked really lonely in the tank. I was almost wondering if maybe he had picked on the other fish and that's why he was such a survivor after all the time. He seemed way too happy to be alone. Swimming all over and all fast. Ugh...

So last week I needed to go to the bank. I asked Elijah if he wanted to go bye with me. He asked me where I was going and I said the bank. So then he said "to buy fish?" and I said "ok we can get more fish" I was hoping that they would still have the discontinued oranda's. So we got ready and got Isaiah ready too and we went to the bank and back to the fish store. When we got there I noticed signs for some of the tropical fish.  Assorted Molly; Platy; and Guppy fish were 10/$10. Most of the molly, guppy and platy fish are $2.49 -$3.99 each normally. I was kinda happy about this! I was actually really excited because they no longer had the oranda's. So we looked at the sale fish now! I knew I still had the one goldfish at home but I also knew I had a 1 gal tank I could put him in. But I also know technically that tank is too small for him because they say 1 gal tank size per inch of adult size fish. The goldfish can actually get really big! The tropical fish stay small! So even though I wanted to get guppies, mollies, and Mickey Mouse platy fish Elijah didn't seem to want the guppies! So we decided on 2 silver Molly, 2 black Molly, 2 Dalmation Molly and 2 Mickey Mouse Platy fish. (It has a mickey mouse head design on it's tail fin!) We put about 8 inches of fish in a 10gal tank! Perfect it won't be overcrowded  and they all have a friend!

So on the way home both boys fell asleep. Which worked out since I needed to transfer fish and stuff, so I put together the 1gal tank again for our goldfish who is properly named "Fishie" and got the bag into the 10 gal with the new tropical fish. So they were all in their tanks and in their bags so the water could acclimate. Eventually I transferred them in. Later that night or the next day as my mom was looking at the fish I told her that I thought the one Mickey Mouse Platy looked really fat and could maybe be pregnant. But not knowing for sure I left it alone after that. So the next day I noticed  that same platy with a pretty long (**disclaimer** here) poop as it was swimming around. I thought "maybe it was just a little constipated".  So then I think it was yesterday, maybe the day before in the morning when I went to feed the fish one of the dalmation mollies was in the little rock cave thing I have. It didn't seem very eager to swim around or to even eat with the rest of the fish. I thought to myself "maybe that one is sick and going to die" It made me a little nervous and sad because the dalmations are pretty. Elijah's favorites are the silver Mollies. I think if I would've let him he would've chosen all silver mollies! Then last night the dalmation molly was swimming around just fine. Phew what a relief! I didn't want to send any more fish to Nemo.
So this afternoon I was kinda looking in the tank and I noticed something small swimming in the corner! I took a second glance and realized it was a baby fish! Then I was like "Oh my goodness!" and I saw a second one! I hollered for my mom and told her there were 2 babies in the back corner and said I better go get the breeder cage thing from my box of fish stuff. Luckily I had one from before. I was actually supposed to be getting picked up any minute at this point to go to the baseball game tonight! So I was a little panicked. Got the cage thing and rinsed it out. Came in and my mom said she saw 3 babies! So I caught the 3 babies and separated them from the big fish. (They will eat the babies if they are not separated) I wasn't seeing any more but when I had came back with the breeder cage thing the babies were swimming in the same rock cave thing as the dalmation yesterday! Then I realized I thought I saw something that looked like a baby yesterday but it was late and it was after I had fed them so I brushed it off as food and didn't investigate it much! I went to bed instead. So then I thought "well if it was from yesterday these 3 were lucky they survived without the other fish eating them." so I went to the game and was kinda surprised I had baby fish! Except I don't know who the mother is! I don't know if it's the dalmation molly, or the mickey mouse platy!! Or maybe neither!

So tonight after the game I came in and was checking on my fish again, and the babies. While doing so I noticed a dead baby fish in between the rocks and the glass near the front of the tank. So I got out my net to clean it out and saw another baby swimming! So I caught it. Then caught a second baby! So I had 5 babies! Then I noticed a third but it got away by going to the back where the plant was. So I took out the plant and the rock cave and the other rock, not knowing where it was hiding. Then I kinda waved my net around near the bottom so it kind of stirred up the water and found the baby! So I had 6 babies! I was surprised! So then I went to go make some cupcakes I need for church tomorrow and when I got them in the oven and came into my room I did a quick glance to find another baby fish swimming in the tank, caught it and then another! So now I have 8 babies in the cage! 4 of them are kinda white colored, and 4 are mostly gray. Of the 4 gray ones though one is really dark gray, 2 are gray, and the last one is almost invisible he is such a light gray! They all have clear tails and so they're hard to see anyway! Well that and they are barely like a half a centimeter long maybe 3/4 centimeter!

So again I have no idea who is the mother fish! I have no idea how many babies were initially born! But I have 8 now and had 1 casualty! It's incredible, there were at least 9! I was looking online and it said for their first birth they can have anywhere from 12-30 babies and that they can have babies about a month apart for up to 5 or 6 months. But that the number of babies will decrease each time! So we will see if I end up with more! It says to keep the females separate for that time from the males, but I don't even know which are which. Except I think the one MM Platy is a female! This could be a longer-lasting fish story. Oh and in the meanwhile as I was hunting down babies tonight I noticed I lost a black Molly. I sent him out with Nemo. I figured if my babies survive I really don't need a replacement for him because my tank is about to get pretty darn full! Oh and I also noticed tonight after my final round-up that both a dalmation and a MM platy were kinda going at the breeder cage. So I don't know if they were looking to try and eat the babies or if they were trying to get at them because they are possibly both mothers or what but it was interesting to see! In the meanwhile I am leaving the decorations out of the tank for a couple days until I know for sure I have no more babies hiding in the rocks!

I tried to post some more pictures of all the new fish and of the babies but my camera is being lame-o. So check back to this blog later if they are not here yet. I will edit this post and add them asap! I am sure there will be more to come of this fishy tale! Especially if a month from now I end up with more babies!  Oh and in case you're wondering, the goldfish is doing fine! He is the one in the 3rd picture. He is probably not enjoying his smaller home but he hasn't committed suicide because of it.... yet....

Oh and a funny side note: last night as I was lying in bed going to sleep I thought to myself "I wonder if when I turn out the fish tank light if the fish run into the glass of the tank? Or into the other decorations for that matter?" Things that make you go hmmmm