The Capital Region’s Luckiest Fish

Fidel and Armando were dead.

Nobody was surprised. Figuring the way they lived, the odds were stacked against them from day one.

They fell victim to whatever it is that kills a carnival goldfish. Water too cold, not cold enough, overfeeding, underfeeding. Or maybe in the end they just gave up.

Bottom line is they were dead, and that’s when I decided it was my responsibility to save Fonz, the blue beta.

The three fish came home with my son last May. I can’t say I was happy to see them, but when the goldfish died it brought back memories of the tiny heartbreak you feel when minor pets go to the great hereafter. It’s nothing compared to losing a dog or cat, but it stings.

So, it was off to Petco.

A $30 tank, gravel, plastic plant, net. The fish that was probably worth $.25 now had $45 worth of stuff, which for a fish is living large.

Now, Fonz comes to the top when he (she?) sees me outside, waiting to be fed. I’m the big blurry thing with fish food. No, that’s not much to bond over, but these days, a friend’s a friend.

8 thoughts on “The Capital Region’s Luckiest Fish

  1. I was going to give you a useful tip about tetras, but instead, I believe I will launch into a Times Union style personal attack:

    Mr. Madeo: perhaps you should spend a little less time tending to your fish and more time doing something useful. I hope that fish jumps out of the tank, bounces off the counter, and lands in your mouth. Then, as you choke on it, you will fall to the floor, and as you go down you will spill a pot of hot oil on your stove, setting off a raging inferno that consumes you, the fish, and your house.

    I’m just kidding of course, but the sick thing is that over at the TU they would think NOTHING of publishing something like that.

  2. We had a ten gallon aquarium upstairs that we got for my daughter when she was, I dunno, maybe 10 years old or so, at her request. For the first couple of years, she was into the fish, but then she moved on to be interested in other things, and, in time, both she and my wife came to regard the aquarium as something of a stinky, noisy, messy nuisance. We agreed at some point to not purchasing any more fish, assuming that, sooner rather than later, we’d have an empty aquarium that could be drained and moved to the basement.

    But, as it turned out, apparently we had unwittingly purchased a motley assortment of nearly indestructible fish, all of different species. I would forget to feed them for a week, and then go upstairs, scrape the algae off the front of the tank, and there they’d be, happy as clams, ready for chow. Filters would get clogged, thermostats/heaters would break, chemical treatments would be forgotten, and yet, still, they thrived.

    Until the ice storm a couple of Decembers ago . . . when the power went out, and stayed out for a week. We had to abandon ship after a couple of days, and when we returned, well, I discovered that my tough little guys weren’t COMPLETELY indestructible . . .

    Snnf. Snffff. What? No, no, nothing’s wrong . . . just a little hay fever . . . excuse me . . . . I got something stuck in my eye . . . . I’ll be back later . . . . snffff . . . .

  3. Um… Rob? Fonz may need Fish Counselling so it can learn how to live comfortably as a beta after being told he’s a tetra. That’s a japanese fighting fish who does not like to live with other fish, even ones like him.

    Those things don’t need very much space at all…they can live in a jar with nothing… no plants, no treasure chest, no gravel. (Ever notice the little cups they have ’em in at the pet store??) Perhaps the Trump-like digs are helping offset any behavioral issues!

    1. As stated, I don’t know sh*t about fish! I’ve corrected the post — and Fonz keeps his watery palace. He seems to enjoy lurking near the plastic plant, actually. He’s heading for the fish EAP today…

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