Ok, I feel compelled to grumble here...
I signed onto the idea of having more fish tanks because it has always been my husband's area of expertise. He's done it for years and years and has always been good about the maintenance. Until this go round, that is... somehow, all of it has slowly been shifting to... me. It started with the feedings. Harry, our large Severum is imprinted on me now, and gets very excited if he sees me nearby. Fine, I don't mind doing the feedings, I've got to feed everyone else in the morning anyway. Then, water changes started getting less and less frequent. Seemed benign until Gilbert got sick. So here's how that has gone-
Gilbert was moved into his own tank. Odd behaviors continued, he still refused to eat. I did some research, decided he probably had a parasite. Got some meds for that. Two doses later, no change. Ok, 10% water change, try a different med. Two doses, no change again. Try yet another anti-parasitic. Two doses, with a water change in between, still zip. I did a lot more reading during this time and just ended up confused. I even pulled him out of the tank and peered into his mouth to see if he had an obstruction. Today, noticed a new problem, difficulty staying upright while swimming. Great. In desperation, I went to the aquarium store and asked for help. The fellow that manages this store isn't the friendliest guy (in his defense, I'm sure he encounters a lot of really stupid people in his line of work) but he knows his stuff. So I left that conversation with-
1. Check the water from the tank he came out of. A dramatic difference between the two could be exacerbating the problem. Also, poor water quality in the original tank would make him susceptible to illness.
2. Stop the drugs, put the filters back in.
3. Don't feed unless he really looks like he's hungry.
4. Here's the fun one- Epsom salt baths for 15 minutes. So, basically I'm supposed to put him in a bucket of salt water for 15 minutes, as strong as he can tolerate.
So, I came home and tested the water in the other tank Gilbert was in... well there's the problem right there. The nitrates in that tank are OFF THE CHARTS. I don't know why the other fish aren't dead. Which means that THE PERSON WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO BE CHANGING THE WATER EVERY WEEK HASN'T BEEN DOING IT. So I did it. And, I'll have to do it again tomorrow, and maybe the next day, until the level comes down. Ohh... I was so annoyed. I mean, they might be 'just fish' to some, but they are our pets. We are responsible for their care. Some of the fish are now suffering because of the water conditions. I am feeling a little resentful that this is sort of silently being passed on to me because apparently I'm the only one who feels any sense of responsibility, and is detail oriented enough to recognize abnormal tank conditions.
Oookaay... getting off my soapbox now...
Hey, today was the last day of school! Hooray! I took the kids out to dinner, and Coralie had a giant meltdown at home because I sternly told her it was not acceptable to pick up the cat by the scruff and chuck him because he was 'in the way'. Let the summer fun begin!