My Fish Jim Stone
by, 05-27-2019 at 01:08 PM (152 Views)
My fish Jim Stone, who I have kept for a year and a half has passed away. He died on my 23rd birthday, and I want to take up some web space to talk about him. Jim was the best fish I've ever owned. For one and a half years, Jim was my faithful best finned.
The day I picked him up at the store, I was looking at the stacks of betta fish in little containers, seeking the most energetic fish. Jim was just a common betta fish, not a fancy breed. He didn't have anything to set him apart except for his radiant blue jewel tone and the fact that he moved three times as much as the other bettas. He was interested in following my finger on his bowl, and he looked like he was ready to go home with me.
When I was getting him acclimated to the temperature of his new (and far too tiny) home, he swam the floating bowl around the tank and tried to swim down through the bowl. He must have watched Finding Nemo! Eventually, I got smart about fish ownership, and he went from a 1.2gal tank to a 10gal tank with live plants. Jim loved his new home, and he would swim so fast. He jumped after fingers and food, and he was so happy. If he could swim in air, he would have enjoyed looking at everything and chasing it.
Jim survived his tank losing all its water. He slithered across the wet gravel and breathed air until he was rescued by my friend. He moved with me to my new apartment, where he received a new 10gal tank and his first tankmates. Two mystery snails, Stripe and Gizmo were added to help clean the tank. Gizmo died (or so I thought...), and soon it was only Stripe and Jim. I was glad they had each other since I didn't have much free time to spend with Jim anymore.
Jim followed Stripe around as he cleaned, or when Stripe was just resting. I think Jim was attached to Stripe, and even liked him. They were together most of the time. Stripe was active, like Jim, and slithered all over the tank. Stripe would climb on plants that looked too small to hold his weight, and he would crawl on top of the marimo moss balls until he rolled off.
In the last week before his death, I was completing my last week of my job. I hadn't focused enough on keeping the tank clean. I didn't realize that Stripe had died until I went to clean the tank. Jim was very lethargic as a result. Dead snails smell really bad, so I can only imagine what toxins were released in the water. I knew Jim had really cared about Stripe, so we had a small ceremony and I buried him in my plant outside.
I did water treatments and changed out a lot of the water, but it didn't seem to help much. Jim wasn't eating, and he wasn't able to float. He would cling to the side of tank structures or lie at the bottom of the tank. My last day with him was tender. He was so skinny and weak, and I really wanted to help him eat something. I was able to coax him into my hand to take him to the surface to eat. He tried to eat a food pellet, but it kept falling out of his mouth.
He didn't try to swim away from my hand. He was never afraid of things that entered his tank. He always investigated or attacked intruders. His fins were so light and delicate that I could barely feel them brush my skin. At one point, he rested in the palm of my hand. I knew he wasn't going to live for much longer unless there was a miracle. I stopped trying to feed him and let him drift to the bottom of the tank again. I was glad that we could have a last moment together.
When I took him outside to bury him, his scales shimmered in the sun like they used to when he was healthy. I dug a small hole for him and put him in the same plant that I buried Stripe. They weren't just expendable aquarium pets to me. They taught me so much, and I wish I had cared for them better. I will wait a couple of months before I own more aquarium pets. I'm going to be moving again, and I want be able to take good care of them.