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Where fish go when they die

The great guppy debacle reached a climax over the weekend.  As you recall when we last left off, Lucky was the lone guppy occupying the Fluval 6 gallon aquarium.  We tried to bring home 3 more guppies.  This included a male and 2 female  guppies (one was an expectant mother).  Alas, one of the females (not the expectant mother) died in transit.  I suspected that there was an issue before we even left the store, as she was standing straight up in the bag.  A position not usually assumed by fish in general.  I brought this to the fish department manager’s attention, and he said that it was normal and happened because of the plastic bag.

Had he some ocean front property to sell me in Arizona, I likely would have bought that as well.  I later learned that a friend had attempted to return a dead fish to a local pet store and was told that the fish simply was “playing dead” and no refund would be given.  Allrightythen.

I left the dead fish in the bag by the side of the aquarium, alongside the remains of the other hapless fish who perished the day before.

The next morning, the other male died (not Lucky).  Another baggie was dispensed.  My counter was beginning to resemble a fish graveyard.  And it was beginning to stink.

In my defense, the aquarium occupies a small portion of the counter that is nowhere near the food prep area.


I fully intended to return all dead fish for a store credit.

By the end of the day the pregnant fish had joined her mates in yet another snack baggy.  As I looked closely, I noticed that her fins were rather frayed.  Like someone had been dining on her.  I stared into the tank at Lucky.  He stared back.

I put 2 and 2 together.

Lucky was a murderer.

So I did what any self respecting fish enthusiast would do.

I bought a new fish tank.

Allow me to explain my neurosis.  The 6 gallon Fluval was beautiful, and for 2 years I tried to love it.  Really, I did.  Alas, I deemed it a bit too small for my fish needs, and too hard to clean because of the small opening at the top.  I looked at 10 gallon aquariums at Petco, and found a nice set-up on sale for $49.99.  After discussing my plight with Fiddledaddy over the phone while I was shopping at nearby Wal-Mart, he suggested that I look in the aquarium supply aisle right there.  I found a 10 gallon tank for $13.00, and the flat LED-lighted lid which I really wanted for $20.00.  I had no need for the filter or heater that came with the Petco set-up.  So I spent only $33.00.

Of course I justified purchasing the cute little aquatic beach house with the difference.

I came home and set up the new tank and fell immediately in love with it.  It should be noted that Lucky was relegated to death row in a Ball canning jar on the counter.  I’ve sworn off of guppies, as I’ve since learned that they are mean, spiteful, and don’t share well.   Not unlike toddlers.

Then I flushed all the corpses.  Time to move on.  (Petco gave me credit for 2 fish when I brought back the receipt, and they don’t require a dead body to approve the transaction.)

There are now two perfectly healthy and happy black skirted Tetras inhabiting the beach house.

As for Lucky?  He’s dead.  And no, I didn’t allow my son to execute him, as he wished.  I think Lucky died of remorse and shame, and all the stink eyes inflicted upon him as we all sauntered by his prison cell.

I now have a happy and peaceful fish tank in my kitchen to enjoy.  When all about me is falling to pieces, I can at least count on one corner of my universe to be serene.



5 Responses to Where fish go when they die

  • John laughed hysterically. It brings back a TON of the Fish Tank Era of the Bach Family Lives.

    And yes, guppies do. not. play well. As we learned the hard way.

    You make me sade and wanting another tank setup. But John, though he loves fish more than I do even, cannot bear one more thing on his plate.

    Well, other than that little squalling bundle of flesh expectant in 10 weeks and counting.

    • Okay, “But John, though he loves fish more than I do even, cannot bear one more thing on his plate.” BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

      And I seriously cannot wait to cyber meet your little bundle of joy. 🙂

  • Your fish tank looks beautiful!

  • Oh my, this post literally had me laughing out loud multiple times. I’m pretty sure stink eyes aren’t fatal or my children would have killed each other by now. Thanks for sharing your humor and brightening my day!!

  • Love the new set up! Very pretty. I have a 35 gallon tank with gold fish in it. Love how relaxing it is to watch.