Tuesday, March 27, 2007

How King Edward I Killed My Fish

I'm sorry to announce that Sir Robin has gone (bravely) on to his eternal reward. On saturday when I left for the Pirate's he had a touch of clamp, but was basically OK. On monday morning when I returned he was in a bad way: clamp, tail rot, and ich.

Clamp isn't serious; it's usually brought on by stress and will generally clear itself up.

Rot is serious if it reaches the body, but I sterilized some scissors and cut off the blackened bits and removed them from the the water, so that would have cleared up as well. (probably.)

Ich is a different story. It's a parasite that lives under the scales of the fish, and when it matures it forms white bumps on the fish's body. It's very easy to identify, but by the time Bubbles is displaying symptoms it's pretty far on. Antibiotics can help (I've used them before with success), but with no car I was unable to obtain the necessary meds yesterday. The best I could do was to dump some salt in the water. A bit of salt won't bother the fish any (especially bettas, who live in semi-brackish water anyway), but can throw the osmotic balance of the parasite out of whack. That's the idea, anyway. I've never seen it work, but I know people who swear by it. The trick is the salt has to be pure NaCl, without ant-caking agents. In other words, Kosher salt.

Except that the English gave the Jews the boot in 1290 and the result is that you can't buy Kosher salt anywhere to this day.

So I used rock salt, which doesn't have anti-caking agents, but does have other minerals. I had no idea how harmful those minerals would be, but I did know that if I did nothing the fish was doomed. I figured there wasn't much to lose by trying.

Gambled, and lost.

Most likely the ich was just too far gone, because when I woke up this morning he was belly-up. But I'd rather blame the English for exiling the Jews for the death of my fish. That makes for a much better story.

(And just for good measure, my back hurts like a bitch today. Nothing like adding injury to insult, is there? So I'm going to lie on my bed and drink bourbon and cry a bit. I could really do with a good pirate right about nows.)


Just a Girl said...

Poor, poor fishy.
He lived well.

Loganoc said...

Oh, what a shame :( he was so pretty too. For future reference though, both the Union Shop and the Clifton Down Sainsburys have Kosher sections.

llewtrah said...

Hopefully he has found himself in a betta place? I used to lose goldfish (outdoors) regularly to a white-spotting fungal disease. That was back in the 70s. No matter what we did, once the fish got those white bits they were doomed. All we could do was move them to an isolation pond for the sake of the remaining healthy fish.

Dave said...

Aaah. Sympathy.

Cromwell did allow Jews to return to this country, 350ish years ago (lest your foreign readers assume we are an entirely gentile nation). Have they lived here without salt since then?

hendrix said...

I'm sorry CB. Drink your bourbon, have a good cry and I hope the Pirate is around soon.

Timorous Beastie said...

Chopping lumps off the poor bugger seems a bit drastic to me, but I bow before your greater knowledge of fish. Just don't try it with Bluto.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

jag: he did indeed, albeit briefly.

loganoc: ta. good to know.

llewtra: have you been hanging around with murph? i think his case of Terminal Punititis is contagious.

dave: apparently they've been shopping at the Clifton Down Sainsbury's. who knew?
ps: i like the new avatar.

Hendrix: aye aye, captain!

TB: it's worse to let the infection spread, trust me. if your foot rotted and turned black, you'd want it off, wouldn't you? Don't worry, all is well with Bluto.

Hannah said...

That is sad. :( Have fun with the bourbon, though.

Da Nator said...

Sorry to hear about Sir Robin. :o(

Would you like a cat? Say, one from New York who likes to poke you in the eye at 6 in the morning?

Valerie said...

aww. that sux.

GreatSheElephant said...

aww, no. Sorry about the fishy

Warrior Two said...

Dang, and he only got a meager 5 posts.