And Then There Were None…RIP MiniSeashell

It’s been a while since we checked in with the adventures of our fish. Unfortunately, our fish tank sits empty at the moment, the last of its denizens having expired Dec 1st.

When last we left our intrepid adventurers, Glimmer and MiniSeashell were together in their tank, having dispatched their tank mate Seashell3 after just a few days.

Glimmer did not have much time to enjoy life in our house. We bought him and Mini in March 2018, and Glimmer died on November 27, 2018, while we were in North Carolina (our apologies to our fish-sitter, who had to endure the trauma of finding him dead and give him the appropriate funeral). Before we’d left for North Carolina, he had taken to hanging more vertically than horizontally. Young Owner said Glimmer “wants to be a mermaid.” Unfortunately, this was the same sort of bizarre behavior the two fish that died of tumors exhibited prior to their tumors becoming obvious, so I suspect he was ill with something similar. It was not a large surprise that he expired when he did.

So that left MiniSeashell. You may remember that he was called Mini because he was not much larger than the top part of my pinkie when we bought him. I tried my hardest to get Young Owner to pick a different fish, because I was sure he would die on the ride home. He didn’t, and eventually grew to normal guppy size, even though his tail fins remained so translucent that I often had to check very closely to make sure his tail was not succumbing to the fin rot that claimed another of our fish.

Mini was an odd fish from the start. Most fish, when you drop food in the tank, swarm it like they haven’t eaten in years, and hoover it up like a vacuum. Not Mini. He apparently thought he was a shark, because he stalked his food. He would hide under the plant leaves, then dart to the top and snag a piece, pulling it under like Jaws. Alternatively, he would wait for the flakes to drop lower and lower and grab the pieces when they fell to his level. Perhaps this odd way of eating (he did this even with tank mates present) explains why he was so small in the main fish tank at the pet store. There probably wasn’t much that escaped the school and got to him.

He was also an introvert. I know, I know, guppies are social fish, they like to have a school. And all our other ones did. When we got down to a single fish, that fish would sulk, not swimming around, just hanging out, clearly distressed. Not so with Mini. He seemed to enjoy having the tank to himself, swimming around happily, coming to the front of the tank to see what we were up to, and stalking his food with no competition. We decided that as long as he was acting happy, we would not get new tank mates for him, because we were afraid that new fish might bring a disease, which is what we think killed Seashell3 when we introduced Glimmer and Mini into the tank with him.

So he lived a happy life alone in his tank. The morning of December 1st, I noticed him acting odd. When I dropped in the food, he didn’t come out of hiding to take up his usual stalking positions. I wiggle the plant he had hidden in, and he popped out for a moment, then went right back in. My heart dropped, because his bright orange scales looked dimmer to me—which often happens right before a fish expires. Later that night, we went to get the Christmas decorations down, and I went to check on him. I couldn’t find him. We ended up taking most of the plants out before we found him, dead.

Young Owner cried a lot, which surprised me, as she took most of the other fish deaths (his was #8) in stride. But she said he was special, and she loved him, and that she would watch him in the morning and it would make her late for school. And that he was the only one who understood her. So I guess MiniSeashell had meant more to her than I had thought. Still, the guppy lifespan is about 18 months, and he lived with us for 19 months, so he had a full life, and a tranquil one.

MiniSeashell in September

RIP Glimmer and Mini.

Their story is ended, but I am sure the fish saga will continue…

Comments

  1. Carolee Pastorius says:

    Awww, so sorry about miniseashell! Hugs to Young One!

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