Thursday, May 15, 2008

Death of a Disco Betta Fish

Our fish Shelley passed over to the big flush yesterday. Here is a link to my only photo of him.

No one liked Shelley and he was regularly ignored at our house. I fed him every day, but his bowl only got cleaned on special occasions. He even spent some time in the wine chiller when I accidentally broke his bowl while cleaning it. But he really most preferred the plastic "O" bowl he started in - the one in the photo. We thought it was too confining for him, but those luxurious glass bowls were too spacious or too exposed or something. He didn't like them. I don't know why. He was a mystery.

So anyway, Doug changed his water and we dropped him off at Aunt Katie's house when we left on Friday. By the afternoon, the phone calls began:

"Shelley isn't looking good - he's just sitting there." He always does that. He doesn't move much.

"He's swimming upside down now." Really? Because his mouth turns up so he can gulp insects from the surface (or beta pellets, but whatever).

And finally, he was just floating. No tapping would rouse him.

He was a good fish and probably just got old. According to the internet, Bettas only live for 2-3 years and let's face it, a fish's life at my house is hard. You will note from my perusal of the blog archives that we have had him for 2 years.

HOWEVER, to further prove that we should not have fish. . .

Doug, Uncle Robbie and the girls caught a bunch of sand fleas, angel wings, what I think was a spindle and various tiny fish at the beach today. Aunt Jennie and I instigated a catch and release program which worked OK when Dagny and Sophie didn't drop the fish into the sand. But Annika wanted to keep the fish in her bucket until we went back outside this evening.

Fine. SIGH.

So, we went down to Jen/Rob's condo for lunch and upon our return tucked our exhausted children into bed for their naps. And went out onto the porch to find a bucketful of dead fish. Oops. So much for catch and release. Doug released them back into the ocean and hopefully we can avoid bringing any more away from the water.

They were really cool to watch, though. The spindle put out his foot and climbed up the top of the bucket and the angelwings opened and put out their stalks while we watched. And those sand fleas were fast! They can burrow into the sand faster than you can blink your eye.


Wes said...

We had a betta that we used to keep in a bowl. We eventually moved him into a fish tank with a bunch of other fish. He would get into the jet stream from the filter and fly across the tank like one of those flags you see at a college football game. All of his colors were brilliant. Even though he was pint sized, he was king of the thank. We kept him all through college, and I gave him to my brother when we moved to Atlanta 17 years ago. I'll have to remind myself to ask him what ever happened to him :-)

Enjoy the beach! I thought you meant "real" sand fleas :-) The little biting kind!!! LOL!!!!!

Lauren said...

We had a fish once. He's been 'on vacation' for a loooooooong time. Occasionally, the boys will randomly ask about the fish coming back. lol.

We've also had a snake. That was creeeeeepy. JB's snake-loving friend called saturday because he caught one and wanted to give it to JB. Eeeew.

I'm much more of a dawg girl, lol

Kevin said...

I remember when I was a kid we had a tank full of fish. When all but one died off we thought ok, we'll let the last one die and no more fish so we stopped feeding it. Darned thing lasted a week or two. It finally died ...after we fed it

Dorothy Gould said...

RIP Shelly, you had a good long Beta terms.

Glad you are having fun at the beach!

JoeVic said...

With food prices they way they are, maybe you shouldn't flushed him. Just a thought. ;)

Charlie said...

It's always fun at the beach!

Have a blast!

Anonymous said...

That plastic "O" looks like it doesn't have much air at the top for the poor betta to breath from...they have labyrinth lungs that enable them to breath air from the surface, like a human. If they are in bowls or any other spacious environment, they need water that doesn't have any turbulence and hiding places to make them feel secure just in case. All this things, if not met, will add stress to your Betta... leading to his preventable death. Just thought I'd share that bit of info with you.

Anonymous said...

My Betta fish Freddie use to live in a small tank. He would swim around and he looked happy. I thought that he needed a bigger tank and he would be happier. The tank had a filter and he got stuck in it and about died. I took the filter out and realized he had an amnesia burn. His fin was red like blood and he swam around at the top of my tank. It looked like he was lonely. His amnesia burn healed and the top turned white and he still looks lonely. I think I might put him back in a smaller tank.He did have a larger bubble farm!!:)