My son, we’ll call him Jacques. He loves anything that lives in water. You name the water dwelling creature and he’ll ask if he can keep it or bring one home.
His dream is to go to the Amazon and fish. Seriously, this kid is going to be an extreme fisherman and have his own show on a cable channel. You think I’m kidding?
He has a collection…or, in aquarium lingo, a school…of Fancy Goldfish. He had 6. We now have 5. But the fact that they’ve lived for 2 months is a miracle. Especially due to the fact that we are finding it impossible to keep the water any other color except different shades of murky and green.
His favorite fish out of the school…his big fancy named Goldie 2. Goldie 1 died back in December. We’re onto a whole new school. Don’t judge.
Goldie 2, we know for a fact, is a girl. We also know that the other fancy named Tiger is a boy. We watched them do this funky dance that I googled. Turns out Tiger was trying to get some from Goldie 2. She was snubbing him though.
The last couple of days, Goldie 2 has been acting strange. Translation for strange in aquarium lingo…dying.
Or so we thought.
Jacques has been a wreck. Somehow the kid gets emotionally attached to his fish. So, he does what any kid who is emotionally attached to his pet that may or may not be dying does…he begged me to try to save it. And I, being the Mommy, tried my hardest to save this fish.
Last evening, around dinner time, I was watching the fish float around the water belly up. It kept trying to right itself, which it would. Briefly. And then, it would flip over and float to the top. Belly up, fins flapping.
I decided to call Pet Smart, where we bought this bundle of joy.
First of all, on a side note, while iPhones are awesome, for some reason the connection is never crystal clear. So, I have a hard time understanding what people are saying to me. My side of any conversation is usually including a lot of “Huh’s” and “What’s”.
With that being said, I spoke with the girl in charge of the fish.
I explained to her the problem and I tried to tell her what I was seeing as far as the behavior that Goldie 2 was displaying.
“Oh.” She says to me.
“Huh?” I ask.
“I said Oh.”
“OH!” I respond.
“Your fish has a water bladder infection, it sounds like.”
“A what?” I respond.
“A WATER BLADDER INFECTION!”
“How can a fish, who lives in the water, have a bladder infection?” I wonder. “Fish have bladders?”
“Yes, and they get infections.” She says, like I’m dense. Which…I am.
“So, is the fish gonna die?” That’s my biggest concern, you know. Because, I’m NOT flushing that thing down my toilet. It’ll get backed up for days.
“It needs pee.” she said. Or…so I thought she said.
“PEE? Like…I have to pee in the water?”
I swear, she rolled her eyes. I heard them roll over my lousy connection.
“NO. NOT PEE. FROZEN PEAS.”
“NOT PEE. PEAS. The little, round, green vegetables that kids don’t like.” I swear, this is almost verbatim.
“OH, PEAS! Why? Won’t it choke on it?”
She ignored me.
“Put 2 or 3 frozen peas in the water. The fish will all enjoy it. And the one with the bladder infection will get better. Is there anything else I can help you with?”
“So, not pee. Frozen peas. OK. Nope. I’m good. Thanks for your help.”
“Ma’am. Just making sure. The fish need frozen peas, the vegetable. Not pee. OK?”
“Yep, got it! Thanks so much.”
I asked my husband to buy peas. Frozen. Not pee.
Last night, we put 3 peas in the aquarium.
And to make a long story short…
Which is good. I’m glad about that.
No more upside flapping.
No more worried son.
Now we just need to figure out how to get the water from murky and green to clear.
And just to recap: To save a seemingly dying goldfish, put a couple frozen peas in the water. NOT PEE.
UPDATE: Silly me, it’s called SWIM BLADDER. So, the story remains the same, just the one word has changed. 🙂