Eulogizing Fishy: lessons from a goldfish. Part 1

Keeping pets, whether they are of gargantuan size, or are as tiny as an ant, has a huge impact on the owner/keeper in my humble opinion. This, I have learned all on my own. Wonder how? I’ll expound on that. Six and a half years ago, one of the two goldfish we had died. We didn’t know what the cause was; but from recent researches I’ve come to the conclusion that it was septicaemia. Her fins appeared shredded, and she seemed to be bleeding from various parts of the body.

At the time, my sisters and I didn’t know much about rearing fish so we were depending mainly on our aquarist’s advice. He had gifted the aquarium to my small sis, and would come every once in a while to clean it. All he had tasked us with was doing weekly water changes. After a while we parted ways with him, so it was upon us to decide how we were going to keep the aquarium clean.

Personally, I had tried touching the goldfish once, when he was showing us how to clean the aquarium, but I found them too slimy for comfort. That was the first and last time (to date) I attempted to touch a live fish. My small sis on the other hand, didn’t find the sliminess an issue so by default she took over the responsibility of cleaning the aquarium. The only things I helped with were the part water changes and feeding.

As I have pointed out, we didn’t know much about fish so we were nurturing our goldies on a trial and error basis. For starters, we didn’t understand that feeding them too much was an issue. If I knew then, what I know now, those precious goldies might have lasted longer than they did. I remember when one of them (the female) started seeming inactive, we’d throw some pellets in the aquarium, since we’d figured they always seemed psyched up when they were being fed.

Little did we know that she was constipated and the food was only aggravating the situation. Next thing we knew, she was lying upside down, lifeless at the bottom of the aquarium. That was a sad day. Anyhu… I’m digressing…

When the aquarist showed us how to tell the sexes apart, we had named the female Finley, and the male Chibols. These two names were borrowed from a game my big sis had been playing on tagged at the time, and those were her goldfish’s names. Slowly, we got attached to the two. When Finley died, mom replaced her with another female, so Chibols wouldn’t get so bored, and to avoid ‘turf wars’ between males…

This new female that was brought into the aquarium seemed a bit aggressive and she always seemed to be chasing Chibols around. To avoid the emotional attachment, my sisters and I agreed we wouldn’t give her a personalised name, so that when she died we wouldn’t be overcome by grief like we had when Finley passed on. By consensus, we settled on the name ‘Fishy’.

A few months later, Chibols also succumbed to what seemed like Septicaemia. It was heart-wrenching! My sisters and I collectively agreed fish rearing wasn’t our thing. Ergo, we decided that when Fishy died, which we assumed would be sooner rather than later, we wouldn’t be bringing in more replacements. Discouraged, we continued tending to our only surviving goldie.

 

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