Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Join Date: May 2020
Start of a hobby death of a fish (Experiences to now)
Story time. Getting it all off my chest.
Every single time I lose fish I'm so heartbroken. So many of my friends don't understand how or why I get so attached to my fish. There are a lot of people I know that have fish but don't look at them as pets, don't look and love them as they do with dogs, cats, bunnies, hamsters, etc. I feel that so many of you would understand how I feel, especially if you have a couple fish or a lot that are all unique in their own way.
That have been times where I have been more heart broken and cry over certain fish, but I'm sad whenever I lose one.
Before I started my fish hobby, six years ago, I cried over one fish so hard it took me almost 10 years before I got a new one. He was my first betta, his name was Dylan (named after my crush). That fish was with me in some of the hardest times in my life. Looking back, I wish I knew then, what I know now about taking care of them. He stayed in a typical betta tank, less than 1 gallon, I forgot to change his water or feed him sometimes, but he was the oldest fish I have ever had. He was a hardly little guy. When I went to foster care, I took him with me, when my foster woman went mental on him, I took a 1lt bottle put him in it and took him with me. The reason he died, was my parents bought me a betta tank that had two halves but shared the same water, the second betta I got killed Dylan, I cried so hard. I had Dylan for about 5 years. I still think about him to this day.
The tried two more times, but still with no proper knowledge, but both times each betta jumped out of their tanks. So I laid off for a while.
I finally moved into my own place six years ago. No pets allowed, but people don't consider fish pets. So I thought to get another betta, dark blue, his name was was Poseidon. I first went for a 1 gallon tank, then in a week switched to a 1.5 gallon tank, filter and light came with it. I thought I was spoiling him. I never had a filter before so I thought it meant I didn't have to change the water too often, so I would change it about once a month. This was a bittersweet moment. He got fin rot, that's when I started researching and started my official fish hobby. Put him in a 10 gallon, got a heater, changed food, got a water cycle going. Fin rot gone! Sadly within the year, he got a tumor. All I could do was make his last days comfortable. Cried when that day came.
The only reason I kept going on and got more fish, in Poseidon's tank I had 5 otos, if it wasn't for them, I probably would have hung up on fish. I waited a few months before I added more. This is how I discovered mollies had live babies. I overfilled my tank, got a 35 gallon tank.
All was doing well. I added real plants and had a happy tank. One day when I wasn't home, the lid fell in, which had a bag of food...killed my two main mama mollies and half my fish. I got really sad, but the worst had yet to come. With having babies born in the tank, it was a little easier to handle the deaths. But about 7 months later, Feb 2019, there was a cold snap, I wasn't home for 3 days. When I finally came home. I broke down hard. My house was cold and all my fish were dead. I had no idea what happened until I felt the water. The furnace, which was in an empty suite below mine, stopped working. My house got so cold, all my fish went to sleep and never woke up. It crushed me so much. I cried on for 3 days.
I defiantly would have given up fish then. The only reason I didn't was because my live plants. It took over 3 years to finally get them growing. So I was still changing and adding water, but there was this 35 gallon tank in the corner of my room with no one in it.
Finally I decided that I would do full research, go to the store and talk to them about what fish I wanted and what would be good for them. The fish I wanted, that I always wanted since I knew they existed was a freshwater black angelfish. I got one, with a marble one, a rainbow shark, tetras, loache kuhli, and a pleco. Within a week the black angel died. I went got her replaced with another one. Her name was Lilithe and the marble, Gabriel. Even though I loved them both, I loved Lilithe a bit more, since I had always wanted a black angel. Bought them April 2019.
This is the most recent death and I'm not over it yet. I moved homes, fish were the last I moved. I first grabbed Lilthe, but she jumped out of the net onto the carpet. I panicked, but was able to get her into the water. I got the rest out and moved them to their new home.
That was the start of everything going wrong. I got them settled. Three days later I allowed my boyfriend to add some blood worms, he went to add one, two popped out. Since everyone was eating them, I was going to the remaining out later. Never did. The next morning the filter was clogged and overflowing. Needed my bf's help to move the tank so I could clean the floor, we have to take out so much water from the tank. With my bf working from home, I had to wait til his first break. 2 hours. During that time, Gabriel was bullying Lilthe, she went and laid flat under the filter, I tried to get her out. She lost some scales, not sure from me, Gabe or the filter. Once I was able to move the tank and fill it everyone seemed okay. A few days later I saw that Lilithe wasn't eating, I thought maybe it was from all the stress. I started seeing her eat a pellet here are there and thought she was fine. It wasn't until a week after the overflow that I saw that Lilithe was swimming strangely, laying flat, and had a fat belly. She was constipated, the reason she wasn't eating. I tried to do peas, garlic, we got Epsom salt. We had her in a hospital tank but she was just laying on the bottom, not moving. So my bf suggested that we should put her to sleep to take away and pain left. We did, she was flinching. I was crying and panicking, I wanted to put her back into the tank. So I did. Bf left room for a second and I watched her sink to the bottom. I thought she was finally eating...But she was spasming as her last bit of life left. I cried while I took her out.
Out of all the deaths I've cried over, hers it me so hard. I don't know if it was because I always wanted a black angel, that months before I was in the room while my bf's family's cat was being put down or because I was there for her final moment. While typing about her, I'm crying. She was too big for the toilet, so my bf suggested he bury her. When we go for walks, bf brings me there to see her. It will be a long while before I can even bring myself to get a new black angel, if Dylan took me almost 10 years before I could even think of another betta. It may take that long before I feel comfortable about getting another black angel.
I didn't even want to get a new angelfish, but for about week Gabriel was looking depressed, was staring into a corner and not doing anything. I was worried about him. I knew that some angels can live without other angels especially in a community tank, but Gabe had a friend for a the whole year. So with us worried about losing him, we went to the store to get a new angel friend. The store was worried that with the babies they had were so small that Gabe might kill it while dominating pecking order. So I got two baby koi angels so that there was a chance for them.
I added them, Gabe didn't show much interest, probably cause he's so much bigger that he knows hes top. But even without really schooling with them (they following him though), we noticed a big change in Gabe, he started swimming around, started eating. He was back to his old self. The two baby koi were the only two in their tank at the store so they get along with each other and they love following Gabriel around.
This all happened first week of May. I'm glad Gabe is back to normal, I don't think I am mental stable right now to lose another angel or another fish in general.