Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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MoneyMitch 04-09-2013 08:33 PM

darrell the tiger oscar
so this is the first setup I have had with my daughter fish wise that she has been very involved with. i made it my goal to involve her with as much of the viewing maitence and fish selection as i could. i worked with her on teaching her how to feed the fish how much and how often.

after she got that down we started to teach the fish how to eat from our hands, my daughter LOVED this and the Oscar was the first one bold enough to try it. my daughter couldn't get over how he would take food right from her hand and even jump out of the water if she hovered food over the tank. he was the only fish that would actually leave the water and jump for food.

he was my daughters absolute favorite fish and our ritually as soon as i got hom from work was to feed the fish. she handled all of the feeding i just would supervise. well today when i got home from work we went about our routine as normal, got her stand so she could reach the top of the tank and piushed it up to the aquarium and got the food down for her. as i was getting the food down she screamed and said Darrell is dead... at first i thought made he was stressed and laying at the bottom as i didn't immediately see him (damn green water) well after i looked closely there he was surely dead. well i scopped him out and flushed him and had my daughter help me with this aswell.

well we have lost one other fish but she wasn't too concerned about that one. well i just tucked her into bed and had a hour long conversation of where he is, how he got there and why he isn't going to come back. i couldn't help but shed a few tears myself with her praying asking to have him back in her fish tank. just really touched me how much these fish do mean to her which is even more of a motivating factor to keep them and the system as healthy as possible. i never in a million years would of thought she would have gotten so heartbroken over a fish.

SeaHorse 04-09-2013 09:16 PM

Dear MoneyMitch.
Little girls can just melt your heart can't they. I just want to tell you that you handled it perfectly. Talking about it with her is important. Learning about death is hard, they just aren't coming back. I teared up myself reading your post, just thinking how sad she is tonight. Thank you for being such a great Dad and not just dismissing it as, oh it's just a fish. He was her friend and gave her joy, I'm sure he made her laugh every time he jumped for food and splashed her. Thank you for sharing with us. I'm sure your heart aches for her.

I absolutely LOVE Oscars too, they have so much personality.
There really isn't any set rule for when to get another, that is up to you and how she takes the loss. Kids are resilient tho and express grief very differently than adults. One minute they are laughing, 5 minutes later they are sobbing and then back to laughing. Sometimes they even want to name the new fish the same as the previous one, it's us parents that find that odd. lol. Just follow her lead, see how she is about it in a couple of days.

fish monger 04-10-2013 07:50 AM

Thanks for posting, Mitch. You're a great dad. Hope things work out well for you and your daughter on whatever you decide to do next.

konstargirl 04-10-2013 09:36 PM

I'm so sorry about your Oscar.

Romad 04-11-2013 04:28 AM

That's a great little story about you and your daughter. Next time you lose a fish that she's attached to, why not give it a little buriel and mark the area with a stone. That way she can "visit."

RIP Darrell :(

MoneyMitch 04-11-2013 04:52 PM

was going to do that but we have 2 dogs, was afraid they would dig it up and I could only imagine what that would of put her through.

fish monger 04-12-2013 05:54 AM

Our dogs dug up a parakeet once. Not a pretty sight.

Destinystar 04-19-2013 03:43 PM

Mitch I was touched by your story and so sorry about Darrell as he sounds like he was and awesome fish and you and your daughter loved him so much. RIP Darrell !

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