and one day, they all died

no humans were harmed in the making of this story

I’ve always wanted a pet, one that could add bit more interaction to my dull life. But I was never a cat person, and I have issues with owning dogs.

My mum always thought that having a turtle is the best choice, but I didn’t want a turtle, not because I don’t like ’em, but because they’ll keep hiding in places that I cannot reach and they’ll keep peeing on my floor, which was not a choice. But in my busy mind, I always thought that “fish” is the best pet to keep, and the easiest to take care of. “totally oblivious of what will come in the future”.

I lived through my 24 years on this earth with no pets, until that day came, the day when I decided I’ll go out and buy my first pet, my first “fish” pet. I drove to the nearest pet store, and picked up a small tank and 3 beautiful goldfishes, named ’em Sam, Moza, and Shalaby.

Sam and Moza were a fantail goldfishes when Shalaby was a common goldfish which is a bit bigger and longer. I got home, filled up the tank, placed my fishes there unaware of how stupid I am of thinking that this is the end of my job. The very next day I noticed that the tank is very very small to hold 3 fishes, but didn’t know if that’s a bad thing for ’em, so I did a bit of research and the whole world of the fishkeeping hobby opened its doors, and here comes the “Shock” I did too many wrong things on my first day of fish keeping, let’s list them:

  1. The tank is very small for even one fish.
  2. Too many fishes at once.
  3. I didn’t get the tank first to allow the nitrogen cycle to get established.
  4. no gravel.
  5. no heater.
  6. no filter media.

I was totally unaware of what I’m doing.


So on the 2nd day of the fishes being in my home, I went out and spent a lot of money to buy a bigger and better tank with new filter, filter media, gravel, and guess what, 3 more fishes ( ´△`)

I got a Pleco and 2 ID sharks, which for those who doesn’t know, ID sharks can get big, and I mean really, reeeeally big! But I didn’t know, and I was already making it harder on myself, filled up the new tank placed 6 of my fishes in there and I watched the bacteria bloom around them, making the water, milky white, sucking the oxygen from around all the fishes, they start gulping at the surface, desperate to find air, so I fired up my car ran to the pet store, and got an air stone turned it on, and prayed until the next morning, and they all survived!

It all went fine for 2 more weeks until I noticed the ID sharks not being happy, swimming against the wall of the tank and being annoyed by the light, so I did more research and “Behold” you cannot even let ID sharks live with goldfishes ( ´△`), I returned the sharks, and continued with my 4 fishes, learning along the way, doing too much research and consuming too much of my time, but It was all for their good.

I purchased a new canister filter, that could filter my tank 6 times in one hour, and got a water testing kit, to test the levels of chemicals in the water, and it all went real good after that! Until! I travelled and left the tank for 6 days, asking some relative to feed the fishes, and taught them how much food to put there, but what I totally forgot about, is topping off the water. I come back to my tank only half full, but all of the 4 fishes are doing well, so I tested the water and topped it off and everything looked fine. Until another bacterial bloom happened, and this time it was intense and took out the life of  “Moza” the beautiful black and gold fantail.

I wasn’t sure what caused the bacterial bloom, but this will be a turning point of our story!

The tank now contains Sam, Shalaby and the always hiding Pleco, I decided to cut on the number of water changes, and do them when only necessary and when only water chemistry is on the line. So I left the tank with its water, only watching the levels of Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrate and all was good, but the water turned green, with a lot of suspended algae, which made the Pleco happy, and the goldfishes didn’t really mind.

So I lived with that green tank for over a month, until I finally got the chance to buy some plants, since I read plants will help adjust the water chemistry and will help to control the algae, so I placed the plants, got them Macro Elements booster, and fertilizer pills, and the tank started to clear up. and for one day before the tragedy, it looked amazing.

But, it didn’t last for much, something was wrong with the last water change, it wiped out my cycle, causing another deadly bacterial bloom, sucking all the oxygen from the tank, leaving my fishes gulping for air, I fired up all my filters, and air stones, went for lunch to come back to find my Sam dead on its side at the bottom of the tank. (︶︹︺)

I was devastated and confused and didn’t know what to do, I got her out, Shalaby was starting to struggle, I got him into a bowl with clean water, but in half an hour he also passed away, the pleco followed the next morning. And I was left with an empty planted tank.

The plants didn’t live long, too. the rot got to them for some reason, only my amazon swords made it, and I still have them planted in my small tank.

The experience was intense, I learned a lot, most important thing is “no pet is easy to keep”. I learned to always to my research before going out and taking actions. It was a hard experience, I lost 4 fishes, but one day I’ll continue the hobby. I cleaned my big tank and started doing the cycle again, once it’s ready i’ll start with only one fish this time, and build my way up from there.


a photo of the tank few days before this all happened


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