I really wanted to get back into fishkeeping. It was a hobby that I loved (and obviously still do) and I've had many misses until recently. I set up my 10 gallon again, and had nothing in particular in mind to fill it. A large school of Mollies in a relative's tank was dying out slowly and painfully due to ammonia spikes, so I decided to take home three of them. One had been separated from the whole and he wasn't doing very well at all. He was floating around with the current of the air stone and laying at the bottom of the tank he was in. Soon another smaller one joined him as bad as he was. But both healed. I made sure of that. I named the older brother Civi, my shortening of survivor. The younger one I named Predom for his ability to predominate his ailment. I bagged those two and my choice of the healthier fish in the tank, the one I chose was awarded the most normal of fish names: Fin.
The three lived in a smaller tank while the larger was being cycled, and they did well. This was still during the summer so I left for a few days, worried out of my mind, to come back to healthy fish. But sadly, it seemed that my two survivors had been too damaged to stay healthy much longer. A few days after my vacation, Fin was left alone. I decided to do research for fish compatible with my poor little Fin. Once I had felt that I had gathered enough information, I went to the pet store, and that's where I found Ray and Mickey/Rickey.
Fin was let into the 10g first, because he was the smallest. The two new females were let in and shortly after, all three of them were a school. Ray, a Sunburst Wag Platy, and Mickey/Rickey, a Mickey Mouse Platy, accepted their little friend as much as he had them. But it wasn't a relationship of just love, it was more a familial love. But then I discovered another reason all of Fin's brothers and sisters had all died.
I came to the tank one day and noticed a distressing sight; Fin was shaped like an s. I took to the internet and found misleading information which I took as right. I saw this as TB, not as it was, Scoliosis as I later found out. I quarantined Fin in the only vessel I could place him as the filter in the tank he once inhabited had broken and the bottom had cracked. Painful weeks, as I'm sure they had been, had passed and the thing I could never do happened. Mickey/Rickey and Ray were alone. But they weren't.
I was as excited as I had been when I found the Mollies. Ray had looked fat to me, and she was
until she gave me twenty-five tiny fry. I made my mom buy a breeding net and I separated all but two of the babies from the main tank. A few died and most had survived. They made me want to set up my second 10g again just for them. I did so and I bought two Mystery Snails, Bluey and Snellie. They crawled happily around while the babies grew larger. Eventually, I moved the fry from their net and into their new home. There were only about seven left by now.
See, I had noticed another trend starting in the babies. Like Fin, most of them began to curve. Mysteriously, only the Mickey Mouse fry held the odd shape that caused me to buy a 5 gallon for a quarantine. Those afflicted with scoliosis didn't survive sadly. I was down to a few fry and the adults. I didn't name them for fear of the same fate for them. One of them, however, I couldn't help but nickname. Finicky, I called him, for the way he swam. One day I found him laying on his side and Ray had been in poor health as well. I had the two snails in the fry tank so I couldn't add salt, so I decided to move Finicky to his mother's tank. And it broke my heart.
Ray immediately swam to her son and both laid next to each other. When Mickey/Rickey swam near them, Ray would go after her, as if she was protecting her son. In the morning, I lost two fish. Ray and her son died next to each other. She waited for him so she could let go.
I had stopped being very sad when I would lose a fish because of my previously stated mistakes in undertaking this hobby. Fish died left and right in the Molly's tank too. But this event really saddened me. A mother waited for her sick son so they could die together.
I had to eventually move Bluey from the fry tank and into the quarantine. She had laid eggs that had not hatched and she had been picked on by the two remaining fry. I returned those to the main tank. Bluey ended up dying after I had gotten Yana, my Betta. He had another snail with him, Scrimshaw. I moved Snellie to live with them.
Mickey/Rickey had become ill as well. But she made a turn for the worse. She developed a curve in her spine as well. My new filter's intake fell off and took one of the remaining two fry as victim. I was left with one of my two adults and one of my twenty-five fry, who as it turns out, was the only curved Mickey Mouse fry to survive. My last adult fell, leaving a six-month-old to himself in a large, empty tank.
Scrim died as well, I'm believing because of some chemical imbalance that Yana and Snellie survived. I had gotten another Betta to live in the baby's old tank, but he shortly died due to an unseen case of septicemia. And then Snellie died too, leaving Yana depressed without the snail he and I had grown attached to.
This is for the dead fish swimming, the poor curved fish, the snails whom moved from their shells, the diseased, and the mother who loved her son, the ray of light joined back with the sun over the horizon.