So, I know you’re all tired of my saying I’m late because of a cat or another. That’s okay. These last two days it was the fish’s turn. The fish is a red and blue (with tiny little bit of white on the necktie fins) betta, whose full name is Agile Antelope Betta Version, but whose calling name is Derp, also Derpfish and Derpsardine.
He’s about one and a half years old, his main hobby is building magnificent bubble palaces, in hopes I’ll relent and getting him a bride. But for the last two weeks not only hasn’t he building a bubble palace, he’s not been eating as usual. Normally he devours his pellets, and I only clean the product of the other end from the tank.
I’ll start by saying I’m an obsessive aquarium keeper. This is my first fish, and I feel obligated to him — since he’s alive and I got him (mostly to rescue him from the Petsmart, I’ll admit, but also because of his color) I don’t want to make him suffer, so I try to keep the tank spotless. It’s five gallons, with lots of places to hide, in two seashells and behind silk plants.
I change the water a little bit every day, when I clean it with the pipette, and before I feed him for the night. I give him the recommended food. I warm his water before adding to the tank. I put in conditioning and aquarium salt.
I read all the books of things that could happen to aquariums and bettas when I got him, of course, but I always KNEW the cotton wool-like fungus that takes over aquaria and kills bettas wouldn’t happen to me. Mostly because I’m a good aquarium keeper.
I was wrong. On Tuesday older son who is back for the holidays remarked derpsardine wasn’t moving much from behind his thermometer. I told him I’d noticed, and also that yeah, he’s not been eating much.
Son’s eyes are better than mine and noticed the swelling below the eye, which after a day was a little cotton-wool like puff.
We spent much of yesterday looking for an open place that carried the spring water we put Derpy in, with no success.
At any rate, I used my last gallon in the secondary tank, (a one gallon) with drops of antifungal medicine. He seems more animated, but before I return him to the main tank, I had to break it down and soak it in baking soda solution, because (again, son’s eyes are better than mine) son pointed out that there were little white bits in the water. This morning, when I broke down the aquarium, filters, aerator and all the toys, I noted that there were actual rings of fungal stuff floating in the water.
It is all now in its second rinse, and yes, I do realize I’m going to need to re-cycle the aquarium when all this is done to reestablish the good bacteria that keep ammonia down, but there was no other choice as I must get rid of the fungus.
And yes, I know, all of that sounds incredibly boring and somehow a lot of work. I agree. It’s likely when we do lose Derpy we’ll have no other fish ever, because I don’t have time for that kind of hobby, and I’m not even sure what possessed me to pick up Derpy in the first plce. However, now I have him, and he’s my responsibility.
Oh, and the answer to “how did things get this far he got fungus” is “Because all the time I have I’m not working or cleaning or doing other such things, we’re looking at house.” I’ve had a lot of nights where I simply lack the steam/spoons to do anything but crash at around 10:00 pm, which means no extra things (like cleaning Derpsardine’s home) happen. I’ve done the little bit of water replacement I do every day, but instead of replacing all the water and wiping down the toys, etc, once a week, I haven’t done it in a month and a half.
And yes, I feel horribly guilty because a living thing shouldn’t suffer through my being too busy.
I’m trying to edit two very short collections for ya’ll for the holidays, but it will be probably another day, what will all the excitement. Ditto with Witch’s Daughter and a bunch of the newly-reverted books.
Anyway, this must be the longest excuse note I ever wrote, so I’ll let you discuss fish and stuff, while I go finish cleaning the aquarium.