Yesterday we lost our giant goldfish. I wish I could say he'd lived a long life, and I suppose he lived a much longer one than many goldfish did, but I still think it was all too short.
I spent a lot of time researching goldfish and their diseases online yesterday, and I learned just how ignorant we were as fish caretakers. I didn't know just how scientific you had to be about everything, testing the water for just the right chemical balance. I know now, but I so wish I hadn't learned about too high nitrate levels the hard way.
The other thing I noticed yesterday and didn't read because I was hoping all the while for a good outcome was an article about euthanizing your fish! I'm wondering what the emergency vet would think about my coming in with the mini tank and gasping fish.
We spent a lot of time yesterday trying to save our fish. Yes, he probably only cost us about 20 cents when I bought him a couple of years ago. You wouldn't know that by the amount of money and time we spent trying to fix the problem. On Saturday we saw him sitting on the bottom of the tank gasping, so Keith ran out and bought a new aerator. We changed part of the water. He seemed to perk up some, but by yesterday morning, he was looking really bad. That's when Keith started searching goldfish diseases online while I went out to buy a second tank so we could move him while we found what was wrong with the first tank. I also bought that water test kit and discovered what the problem was. We moved him to a smaller tank, changed more water, treated it, tested it again. I went back to Petsmart to get something to treat the nitrate levels to help bring them down because we were afraid that changing out all the water would kill him if the nitrate levels didn't.
It's a very strange feeling to be in the parking lot of the petstore when your phone rings, and you're thinking it must be the news that your fish has died.
Unfortunately, our attempts to save him were futile. I'm sorry he suffered from our ignorance. With all the research I've done on cats and dogs, I never really thought to do much on fish. It seems I was much mistaken there.
Perhaps it seems silly to mourn a fish, but he'd been part of our lives for several years now. He'd gotten so big that we had started looking at larger tanks so he could continue to grow. He seemed to be thriving.
Keith had to measure and weigh him last night. We'd gotten him as a tiny little comet, and he'd grown to be almost 9" long and weighed 8.25 ounces!
The tank is in our front room. It's one of the first things we see when we come into the house. I keep looking at the empy tank. I plan to empy it out, start with fresh water, let it cycle with the plants and the good bacteria, then get another fish or two, along with a fancy water testing kit. In the meantime, I'm going to keep missing our fish.