The Fish Mafia: Something’s Fishy Here

I wrote about our newly acquired Fish Mafia a little while ago—including cannibalism and a war for leadership. At the time of that writing, we had 4 surviving fish. The most aggressive fish was Sparkleshine, the one who we believed cannibalized his tankmate on his first night (Jan 7th). But no other fish had mysteriously vanished, so we hoped things would settle down.

Then two things happened:

RIP SPARKLESHINE. Sometime between 10 PM Monday (Jan 16th) and 1 AM Tuesday (Jan 17th), the guppy Sparkleshine passed away in his tank. He was a pioneer, first populating this tank with Seashell. He ate his first tankmate in the dead of night, and waged a constant battle for dominance with his 3 new tankmates. An unexplained midnight leap from his tank left him mostly dead, and he survived only a couple of days thereafter. His young owner found him expired half-hidden under a seashell decoration this morning, and he has received the proper burial at sea. Young owner has agreed to stick with the three surviving fish for the time being, as they seem to get along without the fights and harassment seen with cannibal fish Sparkleshine.

Sparkleshine of the Fish Mafia

RIP Sparkleshine

We closed off the 1/8th inch gap around the top of the aquarium with some mesh. The remaining 3 fish—Seashell 2, Flower, and Gem—live peaceably together under the leadership of Seashell 2.

And then this happened:

FISH NEWS FLASH: SPARKLESHINE EXONERATED! Yesterday (Jan 21st), Young Owner’s Father noticed something by the back leg of the aquarium table. Further investigation found it to be the remains of Seashell 1, who vanished under mysterious circumstances on his first night in the aquarium. Young Owner’s Parents feel bad they did not discover this earlier, because immediate anti-leaping deterrents would have saved Sparkleshine, who leapt to his own death just last weekend. This discovery clears Sparkleshine of the suspicion of cannibalism which had clouded his short life since Seashell 1’s unexplained disappearance. While this clears Sparkelshine’s name and puts Seashell 1 to rest, the mystery of how both these fish managed to leap through a 1/8th inch opening in the top of the aquarium in almost total darkness in the middle of the night remains open. RIP Seashell 1. RIP Sparkleshine–no longer known as the cannibal fish.

The mystery of Seashell 1’s disappearance is solved, Sparkleshine’s name is cleared, and peace reigns in the Fish Mafia. But for how long? The aquarium experiment continues.

Seashell 1 of the Fish Mafia

RIP Seashell 1

**Seashell 2 and Flower died within 2 days of each other in December 2017.

***Gem died May 12th, 2018.




  1. Love this post. I used to like fish when I was a kid. Now, I have my balloons, and happily, my balloons respect each others’ boundaries. Look forward to reading more.
    Barbara of the Balloons


  1. […] ***Sparkleshine leaped out of the tank and died about a week after this posting. […]

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