Well I'm over at Simone Sinna's blog as well today, but to keep my blog from feeling left out, I figured I should do something here, too.
My new book, Landing the Big Ones, is about a mom who gets some fish for her son, and in the process lands herself a couple of fine fellows. The book is based loosely around the trouble my family had setting up an aquarium this summer. We inherited the tank and then still spent over $100 to get everything we needed to set it up. We had to wait a week to buy fish, so we did, and then came home with 3 little guys.
That night, one of the fish gave birth and died. So we took the dead fish (which was not floating) back to the store and got a new fish. That night, another of the first fish died, but we were up and about, so we noticed it right away, therefore it did not have time to float. Back to the store we went, only this time we didn't bother bringing a new one home, thinking it would be better to wait and see.
Two days later, the third of the original fish was dead. Not floating. Now we're down to one fish. We treat the tank for fungus and parasites, then buy two more fish.
Fish four dies the next day and sinks to the bottom.
Now by this point, I'm getting a little hysterical over the damn things. It's not so much that I was attached to them, but more the whole inability to keep them alive. Very frustrating. But the remaining two fish survive a week and I figure we're okay. So we get two more.
Next day, one of the surviving fish looks like it's not feeling so well. It's swimming upside down (no, not floating - it was actually swimming). Desperate to keep this one from dying, I go to the pet store to explain the problem and the guy looks at me and says, "Ma'am, I think you just need to let the guppy go."
Sure enough, the guppy went. Without floating. After that, the tank seemed to settle down. We had three fish and though the kidlets begged to add more, I steadfastly refused, thinking that three was our lucky number.
Those three fish managed to do fairly well until recently. One of them was a pleco. You know, one of those sucker fish that sticks to the glass. They're nocturnal and very good at hiding, so we rarely saw him and the joke got to be that he ran away.
Shortly before Christmas, hubby tells me he hasn't seen Al (the pleco) in a while and I insist he's just hiding. But I start to check more often and I can't find him. The tank is not that big and we are around it at some point every day. You would think we'd have noticed a dead fish right? Hold that thought.
Over the holidays, my son noticed that one of the other two fish was behaving oddly and it reminded us of the guppy that died. We didn't know what to do about it. The next day, the odd fish had disappeared.
I mean, totally disappeared. I didn't think fish could decompose that quickly, but we couldn't see it anywhere.
We are now down to one fish.
So I'm standing in the kitchen doing the dishes one day last week, and I glance at the tank to see Red (the sole survivor) attacking a white object. Puzzled, I approach the tank for a better look.
It was a fish skeleton.
Apparently, Red is a cannibal. I'm guessing that he and Speckles (the other one) had eaten Al when Al died. And when Speckles kicked the bucket, Red said, "Excellent! A feast and the tank to myself!"
Through all of these wonderful fish adventures, not once did we see a floating fish.