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2017-10-21 12:42:22 (UTC)


October 21, 2017 Saturday 12:43 PM

Today is not good.

A couple days ago, I noticed my fish, Mharty, had some discoloration around the gills and mouth but I wasn't sure if I was just seeing things or if it was actually there, so I let it go. I changed 25% of the water yesterday and then noticed the whiteness on the gills was more prominent than before, so I got worried and went to Petco and bought, like, a shitload of stuff. When I got back, I tested the pH (and levels of nitrite, nitrate, and chlorine), which was all normal, so instead I put some antifungal medicine in the tank and he seemed a little better, a little more active.

But when I woke up this morning, he was lying on his side at the bottom of the tank, his whole body covered in the white fungus. At first, I just stared. And then I turned off the tank light. And then I sat on my bed and cried.

And that's kind of where I am so far. I have to dispose of the body. I don't like this. I liked Mharty. Mharty was a nice companion. He swam up to my finger when I pressed it against the tank. Generally, he just liked to swim.

I can't help but feel like his death is my fault. I want him to get up right now, swim around, but he won't. I don't know how long he has been dead, but probably a couple hours. I was asleep.

I don't know. My dad was really nice about it. He said it might've been a spore the fish carried in him since I bought him a little less than two weeks ago. But if that's the case, I can't help but feel like my own neglect is what precipitated the growth of the sickness. Like, the tank was starting to get a little cloudy, but I waited a couple days before changing it. Maybe I should've done it earlier, I dunno.

I just feel terrible for causing a tiny death. Wait, no. A regular-sized death in a tiny body. Ugh.

Practicality says I should get another fish. I have blood worms and betta food, I have bottles of liquids to maintain the water, I have filter changes—in other words, I invested as if Mharty would live a long time. And I don't particularly want to get another fish, only because it feels a bit like a betrayal, but I also don't want to waste money.

That's like the first thing my parents thought of too. "Are you gonna get another fish?" And, like, I get the question, but why is it with pets that everyone immediately asks if you're gonna replace it. Maybe I'm just feeling self-righteous 'cause my fish died, but I'm mad. It was a tiny friend and you can't just... get a new one. Out of the blue. Something about it is a little fucked up. Like the life was only there to supplement yours. Like now its an empty bottle that you've gotta get refilled. I don't know.

But I will abide, because I am human and if I can buy friendship I will. And also because some of the fish stuff was expensive and it is against my very nature to waste it.

I don't think I am illustrating the depth of my grief here. I was literally sobbing a few seconds ago. I grew attached to that fish, just as the fungus did (now I'm laughing and also crying).

I don't know. I guess time to clean up.