In search of ponies: Only the fish die young

Sharna Johnson

The first one to go was the algae eater — initially construed as a bittersweet sign that at least the tank was clean.

But by that night the second one flopped on its side, gills flaring for the last time.

Then a third died — the one that lived under a rock, which I, even to this day, have never seen.

The fourth and largest fish fought for two days — long enough that we thought he would make it — then he finally succumbed.

And that was it… An entire world wiped out.

With all the dry heat of late, the tank was evaporating rapidly and in need of frequent refills.

And those frequent refills led to the use of all the water conditioning drops — You know, the ones that neutralize the chlorine and make water fish friendly.

But as I stood at the store preparing to buy more, the heavens opened and the angels sang and a little voice whispered to me, “Derrrr… well water doesn’t have chlorine dummy…”

Eureka! We had been unnecessarily treating the water to neutralize nonexistent water treatment. Of course, just to be sure, I asked a fish expert and they said it should be fine to just use water from the tap.

Several days later, here we are with an apparently uninhabitable ecosystem in the living room.

Fish die. That’s just something I have learned over the years.

It started when I was 3-ish and dumped a whole bag of wheat flour in my gold fish’s bowl because he looked hungry.

Who knew wheat wasn’t healthy for fish, or for that matter, that they don’t swim well in dough?

But battered fish aside, I can’t remember ever owning a fish into its geriatric days. And I’m sure I’m not alone —