Lessons from the Fish Tank



Who needs that?

Well, if responsibility is your goal…

Then pet fish are definitely not the way to go.

PetSmart’s Black Friday ad, boasting 50% off all small pets, really got me thinking.

It brought back memories of That One Christmas five years ago.

Santa had oh so generously brought my boys a very nice fish tank, filled with cool fish tank ornaments like treasure chests and Sponge Bob Square Pants and his pineapple under the sea…

And Sponge Bob’s bizarre pet meowing snail, Gary.

All that was missing were the fish.

So my husband and I gifted our boys each with a certificate for one Mickey Mouse Platy fish apiece.

Which turned out to be a huge mistake.

Or, rather, a life lesson.

A lesson in The Circle of Life.

The cycle of life.

And death.

And inbreeding.

That’s right.

The whole experience served as a constant lesson in the disturbing never-ending cycle of death in a fish tank plagued by frequent new life, even more frequent death…

And inbreeding of epidemic proportions.

Sure, the kids were excited at first.

We started off with three fish:

Chloe-Dante, Bailey, and…and…

Well, some other fish.

We soon added snails Gary and Larry.

And then a cool sucker fish, creatively named Sucker Pluto.

We would all sit there like scientists, measuring for proper ph levels to keep everything properly in balance for the safety of our beloved new pets.

But after a matter of months, nobody cared enough anymore to clean the algae-filled tank or even be certain if they’d been fed lately.

Before we knew it, there were far too many fish to remember names of or even keep track of.

On that note…

Never name fish after your family members.

The first fish to kick the bucket was a red Platy named after my brother and his dog.

A child showing up to school crying about dead fish named after a family member is bound to be a traumatizing experience.

Chloe-Dante just died!

Um, isn’t that your uncle? And his…dog?

Your uncle and his dog just died…and you’re at school?!?

What is wrong with your family?!?

Oh, you guys name your fish after your family members…???

Seriously, what is wrong with your family?


Not an ideal situation.

Always a new fish.

Always a new one kicking the bucket.

On the bright side, we really got the most bang for our buck with all that inbreeding, which led to our pet count multiplying exponentially.

So I guess in that sense, we got a pretty good deal out of it.

I mean, with the exception of The Missing GloFish.

How can a bright neon green fish go missing?

It’s not like they can jump out of a tank…

Or can they?

We’ll never know for certain.

Maybe he was just trying to escape that horrifying inferno.

I can’t say I would’ve blamed him.

Pet fish?


Never again.

It’s safe to say I’ve learned my lesson.

~Happy Saturday, everyone! Have a fantastic weekend!~

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…


29 thoughts on “Lessons from the Fish Tank

  1. Haha! A fishy tale and a lesson! My only experience with fish was when I volunteered to take care of my neighbor’s fish and it died a mysterious death after a change of water. I was quick to replace it with a similar one but I guess I grieved for a whole fortnight after that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Angelica, I totally loved this! This brought me back to the time when I bought fish for my kids because the dog was not enough pets for them. It’s so true how at first it’s so exciting and new AND how time can change that perspective. You take the everyday experiences and always find the humor in it. KUDOS to you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Time definitely can affect perspective. There’s very little I’d found humorous about the numerous joys of having pet fish at the time. Now I laugh at how delusional we were to think that it was ever a good idea in the first place. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You clearly come from a very intelligent family. In my household, we never knew when the fish died….since we were told they were capable of just floating on their backs. Our fish clearly taught each other how to swim in this fashion. They all learned fast and chose this preferred method of swimming. While other families replaced fish, ours seemed to last FOREVER. The beauty of this swimming technique was the reduced need and desire to eat. Our fish required little to no maintenance at all.

    Apparently my family’s experience with fish differed slightly than yours. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, it sounds like we each have very different experiences, for sure. 😛 Quite clever, convincing kids that those fish are just enjoying perpetual back-floating fun (into oblivion). I almost wish I had thought of that myself. Although that would probably mean we’d still be fish owners, so… no way. But it’s great that you reaped the benefit of years and years full of enjoyment from your eternal tank of fish! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You never need to worry about whether your one cat will eat the other (unless one of them is a lion), or if the atmosphere inside your home will cause your dog’s internal organs to melt (unless you live on Venus). Why people ever think having fish for pets is a good idea is completely lost on me…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha! Maybe it was an intentional act on that fish’s part. Maybe he had had just about enough of his glass-imprisoned existence. I can’t imagine how unfulfilling it must be to just swim around all day while your fishie friends constantly are constantly kicking the bucket left and right. Sigh… Now I feel bad for fish and want to go set them all free into lakes and oceans. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Got our first fish tank at a garage sale–the whole kit and caboodle for $10. Nine cichlids played survival of the fittest for a couple of weeks… then there were two, Goldie and Big Blue. We got a fancy 40 gallon tank. BB got ick and Goldie ate him. Goldie lived for like, 12 years, bumping against the glass like it was a jail cell. I rejoiced when she went belly up. No more fish for me. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ugh. Sounds like you enjoyed having fish as much as I did. 12 years of bumping up against the glass seems like a tortured existence for any poor fishie. Maybe you should’ve given Goldie a peppermint candy or two. I hear that does tends to do the trick… 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Life and death in a big tub of water. I learned my lesson about ten years ago. I had a 55-gallon, fresh tank that after several years of supporting life and staying clear, I made the bad decision to convert it to a salt tank. The first observation was that everything for a salt tank was more expensive. The second observation was that it took more attention to keep balanced than a fresh tank. It is interesting to note that the bigger a tank is, the easier it is to maintain. 55-gallons isn’t big by big tank standards.

    Did I mention expensive? I started off with inexpensive saltwater fish and once the tank got balanced, I decided to go “big time”. If I recall, I spent about $300 in one day for some pretty fancy fish only to learn that a few days later, one of my young daughters thought the fish might like some candy, so she threw a peppermint or three in the tank one night. As you can guess, I awoke to find dollar bills floating on the surface. At the suggestion of my wife, that was my last day with a fish tank.

    The tank was sold and I believe it is the home for some type of snake now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fish can be cool… like in a massive tank in a restaurant filled with an assortment of exotic varieties. Aside from that, I want no part of it anymore.

      Who would’ve thought that fish aren’t fans of peppermint candies? I’d have thought it would’ve done wonders for balancing ph levels…no? On a side note, I’m sure that snake is a more deserving occupant of the repurposed fish tank. He’s probably much less maintenance. Hey, now there’s a great idea for a future pet! 😛


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