What Happens when you buy a Fish on a whim


On the last day of Thanksgiving break, I was in PetCo buying dog food.  As I went to pay, the fish isle caught my eye.   I decided to take a look.  Five minutes later I walked out of the store with my 30 pound bag of dog food, a 2 gallon plastic tank, a half pound of black rocks, fish food and a beautiful reddish coral beta fish.

When I got back to my dorm later that day, I cleaned out the tank and the rocks before putting them together, filtered some water using my Brita, and waited for the fish’s new home to turn room temperature.  I named him Steve.

Steve seemed pretty happy to be in a larger tank than just that small little bowl they had him in at PetCo.  Actually, he started doing flips and following me around the room.  As I walked around, he would swim to the side of his tank that was closest to me.  As a dog owner, this made me happy because I was so used to my dog following me around my house.  Steve was a nice little addition to life on campus.

But owning a fish is bigger responsibility than people think  Did you know that fish can get sick?  Because eventually, something happened with Steve; he became static.  He stopped doing his flips and ate less and less.  It got to the point where he would just lay at the bottom of the tank all day and not really move.

Winter break came around and my friend offered to watch him while I was away.  But I didn’t want to make my friend babysit my dying fish.  So I transferred Steve into his small PetCo container and strapped him into my car seat for the ride home.  

Apparently, according to my dad (self proclaimed fish expert), Steve looked constipated.  And naturally when fish are constipated, you’re supposed to feed them peas.  So, for the two and a half weeks that were winter break, Steve was put on an all pea diet.

At this point in my story I would just like to point put that when I stopped to buy this fish, I could have never predicted having to cut up peas to help its digestive system.  But a few weeks later and this is how I am spending my time.

Anyways, Steve improved a tad over break, but not much.  When I got back to school, I put him back in his bigger tank without filtering the water, and added some Beta Water Conditioning drops.  I made sure to switch out a cup of water every day to keep the tank clean.  And slowly but surely, Steve is making his comeback.

He still hasn’t done a flip in a while, but he’s swimming around the tank more often and eating regularly!