The female is breathing fire while also sad. Fish are delicate creatures, and when living in an apartment complex, stuff sometimes happens. This week, the stuff was some chemical or contaminant in the apartment’s water system.
Safe enough for humans, lethal for fish. All of her fish passed away within several days of each other following their last water change. (It was not illness; she immediately started medicinal treatments at the first symptom, which did mimic an actual fish illness. But then the psychological symptoms kicked in, which made it clear it was likely a toxicological reason for their sickness.)
Until she can figure out a solution to the changes in the water supply, which are still toxic for fishies, she will be adding a plant to the team, and we will, moving forward, become the Furred & Frond Management.
We expect the plant to be a mouthy little asshole, although we’e hopeful it won’t rise up from its pot to kill us all.
As someone asked this on facebook, I’d like to take a moment to address how fish, human-potable water, and toxicology works.
What’s safe for humans to drink is often not safe for fish. For example, fish require minerals and nutrients in the water we don’t necessarily require as we can get it from other sources. (This is also why fish in low-water areas may develop a major buildup of mercury! They absorb a lot from the water.)
Chlorine, in particular, is something humans tolerant post treatment but fish absolutely cannot. (Fish keepers have special chemicals we use to keep their water chlorine and heavy metal clean! And yes, they were receiving this at every water change.)
To human eyes, nose, and tongue, there had been no changes to the water.
But something was in the water, something the treatments to clean their water for them didn’t address.
In the fish world, this is also known as a “Well, shit!”
(The female been raising fish since she was old enough to walk, and “Well, shit!” moments have littered her entire life. I’m sad, because these were pets the female was responsible for, but it wasn’t her fault. She changed nothing, and the treatments and conditioners can only do so much. This is life, and life blows sometimes.)
The female is trying to decide what sort of plant she wishes to terrorize now, but she’s considering getting an LED plant light and a bonsai.