Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wong-Foo Fighter

Well I promised you I would try to have something bad happen to me this week, and now I'm going to deliver.

Do you remember Wong-Foo? Wong-Foo was the bestest fishy ever. He had fu, foo.

I got Wong-Foo back in the summer of '07. He lived in a pretty little aquarium on my desk in Bristol and kept me company. He was far more social even than the Nazi Death Hamster. (Hard to imagine, I know.)

So last Saturday we bought some more fish. Our 80-L tank has been up and running for months, and has had no problems. Introducing a few more fish shouldn't have been an issue. We followed all the correct protocols.

Nevertheless, on Sunday morning when we inspected the fish we noticed that one of the tiny guppies (an unusual variety that were only about 2 cm long each but cost 4 quid apiece) had ick. There was a white fluffy spot on one side and it's dorsal fin was missing. I treated the tank and hoped for the best. Later that evening it died.

It died well within the pet store's 48-hour guarantee, so I bagged the fish, put it in the freezer, and made sure I had the receipt. We noticed Wong-Foo following the guppy around in it's death throes. This is not unusual behavior. The very instant the guppy went belly-up, Wong-Foo took a bite out of him. This, too, is not unusual for fish, especially bettas.

The next day Wong-Foo died.

I am both gutted* and furious.

Clearly the guppy was diseased when we bought it, despite appearing healthy. Most likely the stress of the transition was too much for it, and whatever infection it had (probably ick) it was unable to fend off. The pet store acknowledges this with their 48 hour guarantee. If the guppy had contracted the disease in our tank, it wouldn't have died so quickly.

The fact that my betta, who had been healthy for a year and a half, died within hours of taking a bite of a diseased fish is NO COINCIDENCE. I'm hoping I can get the pet store to admit this and replace the betta as well as the guppy. It's a long shot, but I have logic and truth on my side.

Meanwhile I'm mourning. Wong-Foo was an awesome fishy. His hobbies included begging for blood worms and eating baby guppies snacks. He had loads of personality and always acknowledged my presence when I entered the room. That's more than I can say for a lot of people. Wong-Foo was more than a fish in a tank; he was a genuine pet.

Now he's gone to sleep with the people. *sniff* RIP, little buddy.

*Geddit? Gutted? We're talking about fish and I'M gutted! Even in the face of tragedy I maintain my sense of humor


Valerie said...

Dang that sucks! Farewell Wong-Foo. Nothing about your good days should cause you to deserve a day like this. :-P

FirstNations said...

RIP wong fu. julie newmar misses you, and I miss you. poor fishie.

YOU'RE BACK!!!!! by the way. in case you didn't notice. yeah. huh.

*slinks out in embarrassment*

its been rather BATSHIT INSANE here lately. thats my only excuse, lovey.


Timorous Beastie said...

Maybe there's a lesson about pet shops/breeders in this? That said, I have no clue as to where else you'd buy a fish.

Dave said...

All my fish have died, following the move and various other traumas. I have no pets in the house at all.

Very quiet.

Mrs. Chaucer's Pirate said...

Dave, I recommend a hamster. They are cute and easy to care for, something soft and fluffy to hold when you are lonely. They can easily be left for a weekend when you want to travel, and they make lots of noise at night so you don't feel lonely.

My hamster is nearing the end of his life. He has a very nice, spacious cage that I will send to you when it becomes available if you are interested.

Homo Escapeons said...

I "got" sleeping with the people too.

I feel so sorry for those poor they just try and kill each other in the wild too? If that's true then they would have never survived this long. What the hell is wrong with them? Why can't they learn to get along?

Mr Farty said...

You do not want a hamster.

Trust me on this.

Mrs. Chaucer's Pirate said...

Homo: in the wild males fight for dominance to hold territory for the priveledge of mating, just like many mammals. It's a misconception that they always fight to the death. Most often one of the males submits by lying on his side on the bottom of the rice paddy, then he is allowed to leave unmolested. Problem is, in an aquarium, there's no place to leave to. So Fish A submits, Fish B lets him leave, but Fish A doesn't leave: he's still there, the cheeky bastard! So Fish B needs to teach him a lesson, and on and on it goes until someone no longer has any gill action going on.

Farty: Ha!