The killer fish legacy

This post is mainly for the benefit of my friend from the rabbit patch.

That said,I also hope this will be the last of the series as the circumstances that inspired it ,are not the happiest.If you followed the killer fish saga ,you know we had a break out of “fungus bacteria disease” that infested our aquarium and we got two new fishes.Unfortunately Dot and Annabelle lasted not even a week.We knew something was wrong since the beginning but refuse to acknowledge the fact that we were going to loose more of our little aquatic friends.They were definitely acting weirdly but at that point I couldn’t say were their abnormal behaviour finished and my paranoia started.I couldn’t trust my eldest daughter( who is in charge of feeding them) judgement either as she is a worrier by nature and got basically obsessed with those fishes.First thing she was checking in the morning and last one before going to bed.During the day then,she kept watching them and kept updating me every ten minutes about their movements.Very few movements actually.They in fact left the bottom of the tank only this morning to float dead .A quite macabre image,I know.That is the scene my poor child saw when up this morning.Not a surprise,I am afraid ,but really a disappointment.We were hoping in a new start and in a longer life.Of course with the girls I played cool but these last two deaths bothered me.How did we come from having perfectly healthy fishes for years to not even being able to make them last a week?In fairness Dot and Annabelle looked suffering since the beginning.Their death surprised nobody.My guess is that, despite the anti bacteria treatment ,the water was still contaminated.They were showing the same symptoms of Patricia . Only explanation was that the water left in the thank and the ornaments were still infected.Bacteria were probably trapped in the stones at the bottom of the tank and inside the shells.Once home after school drop and walking the dogs,I emptied the tank completely.I did throw away every ornaments and started to scrub it(the tank)like a mad woman.Then I filled it and emptied 3 times.Just to be sure! I changed the filter .The tank was as clean as new.The water clearer then mountain spring water. I would have had a swim myself in there.For sure there was no bacteria left.We could really start over this time.I collected the girls from school and drove straight to the pet shop.The usual guy was not there.I was relieved I didn’t have to tell him that the two fishes I only bought the last Sunday,died too.On the other side he already knew our story.We created a bond over time and …..over death.He was kind of betraying me not being there……when I needed him the most!Not to mention I now had to explain everything from the start to the new guy.What a pain and waist of time.Once I explained everything happened with the aquarium in the last year and the big cleaning I did in the morning,he agreed there should be no trace of bacteria left.He actually laughed when I said I filled and rinsed and emptied and refilled the tank three times:”psycho” woman”,he was sure thinking.Ok I was quite agitated while explaining to him the whole story.May be I also indulged in too many details but it was absolutely understandable considering what me and my daughters have been going through.I needed support there not a patronising cocky attitude.The worst came when I asked if the bacteria could be trapped in the shells .He asked if they were real shells from the sea.Of course they were.”And you cleaned them before putting them in,did u?” ,he said.”Of course I cleaned them.”,I replayed.What am I,an idiot?Yes! It turned out I am! Apparently,in fact,before using seashells to decorate a fish tank you are supposed to boil them.How could I know????!!!???We had them in the house and thought it was nice for the fish to have the real thing in their aquarium.Wrong,very wrong.He suggested that may be the disease developed from the shells over time.I wanted to cry…..may be not even Robert was a bad fish by nature but went mad because of the bacteria that for a year were poisoning the tank……because I didn’t boil them!I am going to have this big chip on my shoulder for the rest of my life.The pet shop boy must have noticed my sad mortified face and hurried to say,”or the bacteria just happened to come for no reason,you know”.How sweet!He tried to make me feel better.We eventually picked the new fishes.This time we didn’t get gold fish kind.We decided to change type hoping to be luckier and,determined to not leave anything to the chance,we also bought a Leoprican rainbow and gold pot little sculpture to place in the aquarium.Not that I am a superstitious person but as they say every little helps!The new fishes are small and with cute popping eyes.We bought three of them,one for me and one for each of the girls.So far Lulu,Smarty and Ozzie are active, eat well and none of them shows any sign of being a bully.Water is still as clear as ever.For the rest of the afternoon and early evening my daughter provided me with a behavioural report every 30 minutes.I just checked them myself and I have faith we are back on track.May be this time we will have a happy ever after ending.

The killer fish: a great ending and a new start

By now you all know that Robert,the killer fish,died.His last victim,Patricia,survived.Robert was found dead on Monday .The week has been very busy and unpleasantly eventful.My talented daughters managed to bring home,on the second week of school,the classic vomiting bug.Then,the dogs decided to be supportive and getting sick all over the house for two days.Friday was eventually a nice quite day(puke free and bleach smell free).We went to buy a new fish to keep company to poor Patricia hoping she eventually would come out of her misery.Unfortunately,the psychological damage Patricia suffered,because of the bullying,was far more serious then we thought.Not only she kept hiding behind the water filter but she also started to show physical signs of abuse.She started to loose pieces of skins and her tail was falling apart,it was shredding.She died this morning.We like to remember her like a brave girl who fought hard and managed to survive her abuser….for a while.Not even a day after he arrived Dott(the new fish)lost his companion already.Sad to say but may be this loss was for the best: we could now start from the beginning with a fresh new line of strong friendly and sociable fishes .The girls left early this morning to go to the lake with their father and the dogs.I reassured them I would take care of Patricia’s body and buy company for Dott.An other trip to the pet shop.This time I definitely passed myself:two fishes in two days­čś▒.I explained to the guy what happened to Patricia and he confirmed she was showing all the symptoms of anxiety due to bullying to a point that she fell physically ill.He showed me pictures of fishes with her same injuries on the tail and body.Her immune system was very low due to stress and she fell victim of a fatal bacteria infection.O dear,it really looks like this fish saga would never end.I left the pet shop with a new fish,an antibacterial treatment for the aquarium and a big supportive smile and pat on my shoulder from the pet shop boy.I came home ,cleaned the tank,poured the magic antibacterial drops,poured Dott back in and added Annabelle(the just bought fish).I am mentally exhausted .This business with the bully killer fish left scars on me too.I keep going to check on them and whatever they do it doesn’t look right.I can’t stop worrying the water to be contaminated from bacteria .I can’t stop watching them closely to see if one of the two shows some aggressive behaviour.Paranoia is kicking in.Even after he is dead Robert is still bullying……me!

The death of the killer fish

The killer fish died.

For those of you who didn’t read my previous post,here there is a brief recap:Robert,is our psycho fish.He is living with us for over a year now .Over this period of time he managed to eliminate all his fellow fishes,one after the other.Few weeks ago we got Robert back from our friend’s house where, he and his then companion Freeda ,were staying while we were on holidays.During this time Freeda died.An other victim of Robert. We were positive about it.The pet shop boy diagnosed Robert as chronically hungry and a bully who probably was better off on his own.We simply think Robert is a sociopath but,we also believe in therapy and rehabilitation and we tried to give him an other partner:Patricia.Patricia seemed to be the right one for him : big enough to stand up for herself and not being bullied.Here they are both home,in their tank.Since the beginning something was off.They were both very quiet.They were staying mainly at the bottom of the tank.Robert was not chasing Patricia or trying to bite her tail,like he used to do with every other fish he lived with.That,at least,it looked like a good sign.He was not bullying her.What was more worrying,was that they seemed not much interested in food either.Stillness was a perpetual condition of them.Very weird.Nearly two weeks pass and then, last week end ,Robert was barely breathing.He was lying still,(very still),at the bottom of the aquarium.The girls were upset and wanted me to check him,do something.Truth is: we all knew there was not much left to do.We saw the same behaviour with other fishes before they died.We let him rest.In the meanwhile,sweet hearted Patricia stayed beside him all time.She was accompanying him through his moving to a better life.I have never seen something like that!!!!Monday morning we found Robert dead,floating in the tank.Patricia alive and kicking but hiding herself behind the water filter.She only comes out of there at feeding time.Is she a disturbed fish as much as Robert was?Is she feeling lonely and depressed?Is she nothing less then a black widow who bullied Robert to death?Sure thing she is a weird fish.I am curious to see how she react when we will get her a new mate.Hopefully,we didn’t lose a killer fish for an other!I haven’t said anything to the girls but ,thinking over at what could have happened to Robert(a perfectly healthy fish ),I suddenly remembered something.When I refilled the tank,after the holidays,there was no old water left and concerned to not shock him with too cold water,I added some hot water too.Just to mix it up a little.Well…..when I fished the poor late Robert out,the other day,the water was still mildly warm. I am afraid I boiled psycho Robert­čś▒

The killer fish

I am a dog and a cat person, basically I like fury pets I can interact with but I have to say I started to warm up to this fish business too. I bought my first 2 fishes when my eldest daughter graduated from Montessori and they lasted forever!!!!I had these memories of when I was a child that gold fishes never lasted long and they were constantly flashed down the toilet so I didn’t have big expectations.Horace and Jasper instead,lived with us for 4 years and one of them also lied eggs.I didn’t even know it was possible.Eggs didn’t survive !Horace ate them all and from that day Jasper became Jaspera!After they died,we didn’t replace them,busy moving house but soon after settling in the new house the request arrived and I immediately said yes. I think I missed to see the bowl in my kitchen and the dogs looking curiously through it.We went to the pet shop and got 2 gold fishes.When back home I went straight into the shed to get the old fish bowl.I was sure it moved with us.It didn’t. I looked everywhere but no sign of the fish bowl and still I can’t remember to throw it away but there was no way I could find it.It was not at home.By the time I finished the search it was 6 o’clock in the evening that means the shops were closed ,it was too late to buy a new one.For the night, we had to improvise and left the fishes in a kitchen bowl.When we got up in the morning,one of the two was lying dead on my kitchen counter. It jumped out.

Not much for a good start I thought. Girls of course were disappointed and fighting over whose fish died .I didn’t want to risk the remaining fish to jump out as well so I covered the bowl with some foil and pierced it for air.After dropping the girls at school and walking the dogs I went back to the pet shop to buy an other fish and a new fish bowl. I bought a little aquarium instead,that, I discovered it is much less work then the common fish bowl we had before.The trick is in in the filter that keeps the water recirculating so that it is sufficient to clean it every 3/4 weeks. Fantastic.

I went home set it up and decorated with coloured stones ,shells and a couple of little statues and put the fishes in. When the girls came back from school,they were delighted.Looking after the fishes is now their job,I only help with cleaning the tank.Robert and Apollo seemed doing fine until one morning we found Apollo dead.

When we went to the shop to get a new fish and told what happened they said that probably Robert bullied Apollo being considerably bigger.The pet shop boy made sure to give us a fish at least same size of Robert.Frederick arrived home.

Things were good for a while until one day ,Frederick was floating dead too.

Here we are at the pet shop again.I was nearly ashamed to ask for an other fish.

They must think we are eating them or smuggling them or,even worse,using them for illegal experiments. The pet shop boy this time made us lots of questions about the water ,may be Frederick died because of a lack of oxygen.He suggested to keep an eye if they were mainly staying in the upper part of the tank(apparently it is not a good thing as it means they are looking for oxygen). We went home with a very nice fish,red and white,big size to confidently fight Robert back.Freeda we called it.It had to be a female fish,she had lipstick.Yes lipstick!It had in fact this little red stripe just above her lips that really looks like lipstick.Freeda turned out to be a tough girl: so far she was the one surviving Robert the longest ,despite the fact we noticed few time Robert snipping at her and chasing her tail.During the holidays ,we left our fishes with some friends.We have the agreement to mind each other’s aquatic little friends whenever we are away and thankfully so far it never happened we were away at the same time.Back home from summer holidays,we went to collect Robert and Freeda and we received the bad news: Freeda died few days before our return,they haven’t said anything to us to not ruin our holidays.My friend was mortified but I knew it was not her fault.It was Robert who killed her.Three fishes over one year dead in the same tank with him it is not a coincident:he is a bully and a murderer.We are now convinced that also the first fish didn’t jump out from the bowl but it was probably pushed out. So here we are at the pet shop again.Explaining to the pet shop boy we had an other loss.He gave us the biggest gold fish he had,but also told us to keep an eye on them .He also asked us if we notice little bites on the other fishes tail but we didn’t,we actually didn’t check but we saw Robert chasing them we said and he promptly replied that most probably Robert is a pathological hungry fish(we now have to feed them every day rather then every second day)that bullied his companions for food ,he told us to check on how it behaves with Patricia (the new fish)but if she doesn’t make it either then Robert must stay on his own in the tank.It must stay in a “isolation tank”.Obviously “sharing is caring” means nothing to Robert.We have a murderous ,sociopathic fish!