Emergency Fish Vet

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know (or might be peripherally aware) that we’ve got a small variety of pets.  Three cats, a lizard, a 55 gallon tank of assorted freshwater little fish, and one betta, or Siamese Fighting Fish.

The betta belongs to Alex, and there have been a succession of bettas over the years….

His first fish was Reddy who was (surprise, surprise), red.  I think we got Reddy when Alex was five.  Or six.  I’ve lost track.  Anyway, Reddy lived for a while, and then, for whatever reason, Reddy died.  While Alex was at school.  So I called Bill at work that day and he stopped at a pet store and got another red betta.  Reddy II.  We didn’t tell Alex.  But then, within a relatively short time (maybe a month?), Reddy II died, and Alex found him. 

So, after a brief period of mourning, we replaced Reddy with Bluey.  And Bluey lived quite a long time (in our betta experience), and (you can guess where this is going) – Bluey passed away on Saturday.

Alex took it better this time.  He’s older, he knows that pets die.  The circle of life, etc.

He also knows that there are more bettas in the pet stores, so Bluey was mourned very briefly, then buried on the compost pile (so he could do good as he decomposed), and then, after a trip to the pet store and a cleaning out of the betta tank, the newest fish, a very pretty reddish-orange fish, was installed.

His name is Fire.

And this morning, Alex turned on Fire’s light and fed him, and noticed some white areas on Fire’s tiny little body.

My first thought was Ick, but since I don’t really know a whole lot of fish diseases, I emailed my husband at work to ask for advice.  Alex was worried, but realistic.  He knows fish are very sensitive, and that Fire could die.  I told him we would do what we could to get him better.

Anyway, I’d barely hit “send” when the phone rang.  It was Bill.  He’d just read the email (and emailing him was a long shot – he usually only has time to check email once before the day starts and I didn’t know if he’d already checked it) and immediately asked me if the white was spots or fuzzy.  It was fuzzy.  So Fire has a fungus. 

And – miracle of miracles – we have the medicine for fuzzy fish fungus.

So he told me what to do, which was to fill a five gallon bucket with water (same temp as in Fire’s tank), add stuff to de-chlorinate it, add other stuff to lower the pH, and then add the medicine.

This I did, and then, after bringing the kids to school, I changed most of the water in Fire’s little domicile.  And in another 24 hours I’ll do it again.

So that was our little drama here this morning.

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