Something’s Fishy Around Here!

So we had a nice Christmas–if a bit lonely! Three of our children couldn’t make it back this year. And that’s a first! Still we visited with family and had our own cozy Christmas morning with our son.

While my wife and I often talk of getting a dog or two, our impulsive “let’s go” lifestyle really precludes having dogs. So instead we have fish. African cichlids as a matter of fact. Well with a coupe of deaths to deal with in the fall and an unusually busy time at work, I allowed myself to slack when it can to cleaning the tank. So on Sunday I finally got around to it. Everything went smoothly and there seemed nothing wrong. But Monday when I woke up one of my larger fish was dead. At a value of $100, that was annoying. Considering I haven’t seen this type of fish in any of the stores I frequent in at least two years, it is doubly troubling. At any rate looking at my others, I decided to do a water change again. Then I tested the water. Almost everything was good except the nitrate (a toxin) levels. They were through the roof! So I changed the water again. (Changing the water means removing some of water and then replacing it.) After each change the fish looked better but that wasn’t lasting. We went out for a bit and when we returned, all the fish seemed stressed with my two largest fish distinctly unhappy. I changed the water again. Unfortunately one of my largest fish (the biggest) died as this process was going on, and the other seemed to be deteriorating rapidly. Nonetheless I finished the change and again all the fish seemed much better. An hour later the biggest fish died. I did another water change. I’m now down three fish and $450. The toxin levels are much better, but the fish aren’t handling it well. The next morning (Christmas) my favourite fish and another were dead. $670 gone. I did another water change and we had our Christmas! In the afternoon we left to visit with family and when we returned no dead fish! another water change and then sleep. This morning no more dead fish. My wife suggested we go out to the fish store and get restocked. So we did. I actually purchased 24 new fish. None are near the size of the fish that died, but they will grow. My toxin levels are very close to acceptable now so I’m hopeful I won’t loose any more. Tomorrow I will clean the filter and do one final water change. Then I should be good to go back onto the weekly cleaning schedule!

But there was a wrinkle! Our clothes washer broke down on Saturday the 22nd. The repair guy who was to come on the 24th got held up and rebooked for the 27th. Today as I was removing water from the fish tank (by means of a suction device that works on water pressure), something fell into the laundry sink and plugged the drain. Before we knew it, we had a flood. I have to throw out some carpet remnants from my workroom in the basement and we had a major cleanup upstairs (on the main floor). Had to move the fridge and stove out from the wall. Had to move the washer and dryer out too. Went through 30-40 towels. Thank goodness we had that many and also a shop vacuum. The good thing is no water got to our good carpet. But it made for several hours of work for all three of us. Afterwards, I took all the towels to a local laundromat to wash! We’re drying them at home.

So an eventful day! On the chastity front, I’ve now gone 38 days since my last orgasm. But don’t expect to be allowed one till At least January and maybe not until February. My Queen indicated that 12 orgasms a year is ample! Since I had 13 this year, she may decide to limit me to 11 or fewer next year. I’m not sure if she considers ruined orgasms as part of this number or not… Time will tell! Happy New Year everyone!

22 comments

  1. Yikes! I’ve only owned one fish at a time and it was a fighting fish and that was stressful enough! I had no idea the toxin levels can be that difficult to get right after cleaning. Poor fish!

    And I’m glad your good carpet didn’t get flooded. Whew! I got tired just reading all that. You were busy!

    Merry Christmas, Michael!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh dear, I couldn’t deal with that. Aquatic creatures freak me out. I find them fascinating, kind of, but… ultimately terrified. LOL Sounds like you had a full on Christmas break. We had out fair share of shit, too, interesting and adventuresome but really costly to fix up.
    Nitrate… that’s really interesting… I was looking stuff up about the periodic table and acids and alkali yesterday… LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not sure, but I thought I had the problem solved and yesterday purchased 24 new fish to add to my survivors. This morning, all were dead except for my pleca’s (they eat algae—I lost one but the rest survived). So now I will keep the tank virtually empty for a while and slowly add fish

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      • Hi Michael:
        Shoot, what a bummer.
        I know nothing about fish but my career was in part in the waste water industry and water analysis. There must be a technical white paper or something stating the water characteristics and their margins for fish tanks, available on line, and a lab near you that can analyze? I don’t know just thinking about it.
        D

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have a water testing kit. I know my nitrates were high, but I reduced the concentrations and treated the water and the fish recovered and were looking good. The water tests good today, but only algae eaters left.

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  3. Your Africans will survive anything but those nasty ammonia spikes. Sounds like you killed off your tank’s biofiltration (rock, sand,…). You can remove a dead fish, change the water and leftover ammonia goes back into solution. Do a thorough cleansing of substrate & fill tank again and borrow some biofilter from a friend’s tank. Put a couple of fish you don’t care about and cycle the tank. These fish will die in 10-12 years.

    Liked by 1 person

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