After grieving over this guy for an appropriate period of time, we felt like we were ready to give it another go … so, on Sunday, I took the kids to the pet store to get some new aquatic friends. And what I learned while we were there was that, in order to place in our tank the aquatic friends that my children wished to befriend, we needed to first place in the tank a heater, and allow said heater to warm up the tank for 24 hours.
You know what’s awesome? Standing with your children in front of a wall of fish tanks filled with colorful, swimming fish, some of which your children had spent the day believing they’d be bringing home that afternoon, and having to tell them that they instead will be bringing home a fish-tank heater. You can imagine their excitement.
Which explains why there’s a tiki hut and a pink castle in our tank; those were the “I’m sorry we can’t get fish today even though I told you we’d get fish today” consolation prizes I came up with in order to defuse the enormous crying-and-whining bomb that, if detonated, would have taken out the entire Philadelphia area.
Of course, the next night, when we brought home the fish and the thermometer that I had so moronically forgotten to purchase the previous evening, I discovered that I had overheated the water … which meant, “Sorry, kids, but we can’t put the fish in the tank until it cools down, which it won’t do until well after you’re asleep.”
Anybody need a heaping helping of disappointment? Because I know how to dish it out, people.
In order to expedite the cooling process, I, being the genius that I am, unplugged the heater … and, when the tank reached the appropriate temperature a couple of hours later, I released the fish into their new home. It took me 36 hours to realize that I never plugged the heater back in.
Miraculously, the fish withstood the climatic rollercoaster ride I sent them on, and they appear to be doing fine.
Of course, that’s what I said about the goldfish.
Stay tuned for a body-count update … and feel free to leave a comment with your over/under prediction for the number of days left until our six new residents (three neon tetras and three reddish-pinkish-something-or-others) begin their mass exodus to that great fish tank in the sky.
Let the bodies hit the floor. Let the bodies hit the floor.
I say they’re all going to survive. Because I like to bet against the odds.
PJ Mullen says
I’m not gonna bet against you, especially since all my son talks about is wanting a fish after my mom took him to a pet store the other night. This will be me in a few months.
Didactic Pirate says
You just described exactly we don’t have fish.
It would be a freaking underwater graveyard.
Speaking from personal experience, remembering when I was a kid and had a fishtank full of rather boring guppies and feeder fish (to this day, my dad will never admit it’s because he didn’t actually know much about fish so he got the easy and cheap ones), I suggest buying them a male betta fish. They’re colorful, they have long flowing tails, and best of all, they’re very hardy fish. They’re not as simple as some people want to believe, you can’t just leave them in a tiny filthy tank and expect them to be happy, but they’re more forgiving about things like temperature changes than say, a goldfish. The kids’ll enjoy a pretty fish, and you’ll enjoy not having to clean a tank quite as often.
I’m sending up prayers for the fish as I type….
Just wait until the fish–should you keep them alive long enough, ha– decide to perform Harakiri via objects outside the fish tank. As a kid I went through a stretch of time where I’d wake up, run to the tank, and find my beloveds all over the floor. The HATED us enough to kill themselves in all sorts of dramatic fashion.
The lesson here? Those little guys can jump amazing distances to make you a bad parent. My father finally gave up and we ran an empty tank for over a year.
This brings back two nightmares from my childhood. First the yearly spring fair at our elementary school, where each year my mother threatened to flush us down the toilet if we brought home any of the damn goldfish- which we always did… Although luckily only the soon- dead fish got flushed. And second, the time, my fish tank’s heater malfunctioned and cooked all the poor little fishies… thanks for the memories…
Jon Zal says
My pleasure. I’m here to help. 🙂
I think Karen meant to say …tanks for the memories…
Jen Tullis says
Interesting, we bought our children a 5 gallon tank after we decided that the 29 gallon tank was too big for us. I have never had a heater in either tank. During the winter, we keep the house in the low 70s and the fish seem to do fine. We have had one tetra for 4 years, and the other two fish have been with us almost a year. We do seem to go through algae eaters though.
Good luck with this. We also have a fish tank aka tank of death in my 6 yr old’s room. In the beginning we used to lie when he discovered the fish missing from the tank and said maybe they were hiding under the rocks…but now he just accepts they are dead and we move on to the next victim.
In a pinch we have found that we can cool down an over heated tank with a little cool water. Oh keep and eye on that heater for the first little bit, we had a new one go bezerk in the night and woke up to a poached fish.
The Domestic Goddess says
Damn, you’re doing a good job.
How about getting one of these:
I don’t think you can kill those.
Sara Plays House says
Tetras and Danios (Those pink things) are pretty hardy. Hopefully that will prove to be the case for you.
Do expect your danios to lose their pink color–it’s an artificial dye and will slowly wear off.
Oooh! You have the same fish we have. Only you have more colourful decorations.
I’m thinking they’ll all survive at least a week.
I like the nail in front of the tiki house.
I’m not betting for or against…even though whenever I buy fish, or hell, even point out which fish I think are nifty, they die. Me picking out fish = CERTAIN DEATH.
Swim on little fishies, swim on.
I’ve got three thousand gallons of fish in half my garage – any questions just ask! 😀
My kids came home with 2 fish from the carnival once. My husband went out and bought a little tank to put them in and we put it on top of the stereo speaker in the living room so they would be at eye level for the kids to see. We named them Fred and Alice. That night we were in the kitchen and the kids went and said good night to Fred and Alice in the living room on their way to bed. When I followed 5 minutes later to tuck them in I saw the tank, water, rocks, decorative items and one of the fish spread across the carpet. We put the one fish back in the tank in hopes it would survive… it did not but remained in the tank for a week. We finally found the other fish smashed between the mesh and wood frame of the speaker front that had also come off in the crash. My kids never said a word. We now have 3 miniature shrimp from HI that come in a sealed tank that does not require food or cleaning. My daughter loves them.
Kari Anne says
LOL…we have had our share of fish over the past 5 years… I used to buy the pretty and expensive one’s from PetCo or PetSmart…and put them in the big tank…now we have a glass bowl with only one fish at a time…a Beta…and thisis our second Beta in a year…LOL…
BTW – we have had SEVERAL of the little “glowing/see-through” fish (that’s what Karson called them at the age of 5…LOL) and you have to be careful that they DON’T GET SUCKED TO THE SIDE OF THE FILTER… NOT a good thing for your 5 year old to find it stuck there!!!
Oh and we also had a small fish that was bug-eyed…yep…you guessed it…her (because Karson thinks all her fish are girls…except the Beta’s…they are marked…LMAO…) eye got sucked into the filter… SO…be careful!! LOL…
Kernut the Blond says
Guppies. Next time, get guppies. (Well, let’s first hope there won’t be a next time.)
Guppies are cheap, and very durable… and they breed! They’re always making more FREE guppies, but only breed as much as the size of the tank and food supply allow. They’re perfect, always replacing the dead ones with itty bitty baby guppies.
Sara - The Football Wife says
My dad was always buying replacement fish for my little brother growing up. Who’s fish actually live five years? He thought his did!
Wombat Central says
That’s why we have one of these:
The bonus? One of them looks like Nemo, and with a little imagination, the other one kinda sorta (with both eyes squinted) looks like Dori. And no fish poops to clean.
May I suggest a pet rock?
Kelly, The Glass Dragonfly says
Thanks for the reminder….time to feed the fish! Apparently this fish only needs to be fed every other day. I just forget…Did I feed him yesterday? This morning??
Catherine McP says
I was told as a kid that once the “deadish, comatose?” fish hit the flusher, they get well again and swim to the sea, and become all those colorful fish in the ocean I saw in books. This was from Minnesota and my little mind saw them all the way to Hawaii!
Paula Clark says
My son had an aquarium in his room when he left for the Navy. He mentioned that he thought he had a neon tetra still alive in the swamp so I, being the good mother, took it out and placed it in a gold fish bowl to live out it’s last days without a heater and all the stuff he needed. He didn’t die so we started including him in the family videos that we made at holidays to send to the Navy son. After 4 years of me feeding and changing water( a process that involved a strainer and a glass of water) he finally died. We were all sad. The son came home from the Navy after 6 years and never got another fish. I wish you many years with your new children.
Little Miss Sunshine State says
Maybe the Tiki hut is really a Tiki hut Bar and serves yummy drinks to the fish and they’ll decide it’s a good place to live.
If you decided to get Betas, don’t put two males in the same tank….unless you want to watch the fishy version of Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The title sounds like it should be a Misfits song haha.
At least you didn’t think the fish were thirsty and try to share your milk…
There’s always one survivor, and only one, that lives for like 10 years longer than any fish should.