Life List: Get a Fish Tank

All it took was one afternoon out with Alden, sans Damon’s supervision.

When I was a little girl my dad put a huge saltwater fish tank in my room. It sat up on high wrought iron legs and had to hold at least 75 gallons. We had seahorses and starfish, along with clown fish and angel fish and other fish I could never identify.

Now I do know the difference between my dad’s skill level and my own. He had a deft touch with living things. All his plants were lush and happy. Sometimes my coworkers come take my office plants away to give them a break from me.

So the other day Alden and I went out to pick him up some new winter pants. We went to Once Upon a Child and snapped up a ton of cords (There are always lots of cords. I am the only one who wants them.) but were still feeling frisky. So on the way home I was looking around for something interesting and then up on our right came Fins and Skins. One hour later we drove off with a 10-gallon tank, some pretty rocks, a fake ship wreck and one goldfish.

So far little White Orange (as Alden insists this is his name) seems content, although I fear he’s lonely. If he continues to not die I will get him a goldfish companion.

Although, when I fed him today he was kind of… non-responsive. Maybe he was sleeping?

Also, having a goldfish is a pain in the ass when you’re going out of town.

Advertisements

19 responses to this post.

  1. I happen to be very good at keeping fish alive. But not anything else.
    What do you mean by unresponsive?
    And you get what you pay for when it comes to fish, so don’t get the ten-cent one.
    Goldfish poop a lot. A really lot.

    Reply

  2. I happen to be very good at keeping fish alive. But not anything else.
    What do you mean by unresponsive?
    And you get what you pay for when it comes to fish, so don’t get the ten-cent one.
    Goldfish poop a lot. A really lot.

    Reply

    • I think it is too late for little White Orange.
      He was sort of floating around near a rock, kind perpendicular rather than parallel to the floor.
      Now I would normally have assumed he was a goner, but a guy at the fish store told me his fish slept that way. But now he’s been there for 24 hours.
      I think he was a $6 goldfish.

      Reply

  3. There’s an LJ group called goldfish_bowl you can join for goldfish-specific advice. If you are going out of town you can buy “weekend feeders” which goldfish like just fine.
    You have three possibilities for an unresponsive fish. First is he is sick and not long for this world. Second is he’s adjusting to the new tank – something about it is radically different from the water that he was in before. Unfortunately, this usually also ends in sick. Third is he can’t find the food – goldfish aren’t the swiftest creatures in the tank.

    Reply

  4. There’s an LJ group called goldfish_bowl you can join for goldfish-specific advice. If you are going out of town you can buy “weekend feeders” which goldfish like just fine.
    You have three possibilities for an unresponsive fish. First is he is sick and not long for this world. Second is he’s adjusting to the new tank – something about it is radically different from the water that he was in before. Unfortunately, this usually also ends in sick. Third is he can’t find the food – goldfish aren’t the swiftest creatures in the tank.

    Reply

    • Oh, and – he might also be lonely. But that will not interfere with his eating. I would recommend sticking to one fish at a time for at least a month. Goldfish really are very dirty fish, and your tank will need time to adjust.

      Reply

      • Wow, you know a lot about goldfish!
        I think… he has died. I’m not 100% sure. See above for his situation.
        He was with us and seemingly happy for just about a month. Not sure what went hinky.
        I had no idea goldfish were so dirty. Are there clean and easy aquarium fish? The guys at the one store told me I was a fool not to go directly to salt water.

      • I’m sorry about your fish. He has some sort of internal damage that is causing him to to be able to regulate his flotation, and he will die soon if he is not dead already.
        If he was happy for a month, you’re doing something right. It’s probably a water quality issue. For goldfish, it’s a good idea to change the water (siphoning out the gravel as you do so) once a week, about 2 gallons for your tank, more if there’s a water quality problem. Do you have a test kit you can use to measure the water quality? I will guess you have high nitrates.
        If you do not want to get another goldfish, you might try corydoras – they are fun little fish. Get six. You will need a tank heater to make sure the temp never drops below 70 degrees. They’ll eat flake food, your goldfish food, whatever. It’s really fun to feed them frozen bloodworms.

      • Let me make sure I understand. I would scoop out two gallons and replace it with fresh? Changing the water never means taking out all the water, right?
        How does on siphon gravel?
        I feel like the fish store guy gave me tons of information, but clearly I need a lot more.
        I think, considering all the travel on our agendas, that we’ll likely wait until after Christmas to get some new life for the tank. Maybe I will go saltwater. Is that crazy?

      • I don’t know anything about saltwater tanks but if you want a saltwater tank, you might as well just do it. What kind of fish would you put in it? My kids would go crazy for a clownfish.
        I don’t know if you have to change water in a saltwater tank but if so, here goes.
        A siphon aka a gravel vacuum is just a tube of plastic with a bigger tube at the end. You insert the big tube into the tank and the other end into a bucket. Once you get the siphon going (I sort of slosh the water around to do this – it’s hard to explain – but you could also suck on the other end of the tube) you can let gravity do the rest.
        You would never want to take all the water out of a tank at once. You’d take two gallons out, and put back two gallons (treated for chlorine, same temp as tank water).

      • Here is a link on the nitrogen cycle for fish tanks:
        http://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm
        I’m pretty sure this applies to saltwater tanks as well; I can’t see why it wouldn’t.

  5. Oh, and – he might also be lonely. But that will not interfere with his eating. I would recommend sticking to one fish at a time for at least a month. Goldfish really are very dirty fish, and your tank will need time to adjust.

    Reply

  6. I think it is too late for little White Orange.
    He was sort of floating around near a rock, kind perpendicular rather than parallel to the floor.
    Now I would normally have assumed he was a goner, but a guy at the fish store told me his fish slept that way. But now he’s been there for 24 hours.
    I think he was a $6 goldfish.

    Reply

  7. Wow, you know a lot about goldfish!
    I think… he has died. I’m not 100% sure. See above for his situation.
    He was with us and seemingly happy for just about a month. Not sure what went hinky.
    I had no idea goldfish were so dirty. Are there clean and easy aquarium fish? The guys at the one store told me I was a fool not to go directly to salt water.

    Reply

  8. I’m sorry about your fish. He has some sort of internal damage that is causing him to to be able to regulate his flotation, and he will die soon if he is not dead already.
    If he was happy for a month, you’re doing something right. It’s probably a water quality issue. For goldfish, it’s a good idea to change the water (siphoning out the gravel as you do so) once a week, about 2 gallons for your tank, more if there’s a water quality problem. Do you have a test kit you can use to measure the water quality? I will guess you have high nitrates.
    If you do not want to get another goldfish, you might try corydoras – they are fun little fish. Get six. You will need a tank heater to make sure the temp never drops below 70 degrees. They’ll eat flake food, your goldfish food, whatever. It’s really fun to feed them frozen bloodworms.

    Reply

  9. Let me make sure I understand. I would scoop out two gallons and replace it with fresh? Changing the water never means taking out all the water, right?
    How does on siphon gravel?
    I feel like the fish store guy gave me tons of information, but clearly I need a lot more.
    I think, considering all the travel on our agendas, that we’ll likely wait until after Christmas to get some new life for the tank. Maybe I will go saltwater. Is that crazy?

    Reply

  10. I don’t know anything about saltwater tanks but if you want a saltwater tank, you might as well just do it. What kind of fish would you put in it? My kids would go crazy for a clownfish.
    I don’t know if you have to change water in a saltwater tank but if so, here goes.
    A siphon aka a gravel vacuum is just a tube of plastic with a bigger tube at the end. You insert the big tube into the tank and the other end into a bucket. Once you get the siphon going (I sort of slosh the water around to do this – it’s hard to explain – but you could also suck on the other end of the tube) you can let gravity do the rest.
    You would never want to take all the water out of a tank at once. You’d take two gallons out, and put back two gallons (treated for chlorine, same temp as tank water).

    Reply

  11. Here is a link on the nitrogen cycle for fish tanks:
    http://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm
    I’m pretty sure this applies to saltwater tanks as well; I can’t see why it wouldn’t.

    Reply

  12. […] Get SCUBA Certified Try 100 Cheeses Buy Fresh Flowers Every Week for a Year Visit Every Continent Get a Fish Tank Stay In a Monastery Send Damon and His Mom On a Cruise Ride the Maid of the Mists Skinny Dip at a […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: