The Fish Saga Continues: RIP Gem

We’ve had fish for almost 15 months now. Not the SAME fish, mind you. We started with 2 fish.  We lost our first fish the very first night. We bought 3 more. Then we lost the second fish a few weeks later. Then things quieted down for a bit until we lost 2 more within a couple of days in December 2017. Then there was only one—Gem. We got him a friend in January, and after a fraught beginning the two fish settled in contentedly.

Unfortunately, Gem was not to enjoy tank life for much longer. At 16 months of age, he was getting old for a male guppy, and he succumbed to what I believe was the same type of internal tumor his tank mate Flower had died of in December, although Gem did not suffer and went quickly.

Fish #5


On May 12th, we found Gem hidden under some seashells on the bottom of the tank, prompting the following obituary:

RIP Gem. Sometime overnight, our fish Gem passed away. Gem was the sole survivor of our first batch of 5 fish. He was the smallest, with a distinctive narrow torpedo body. He was also the peacemaker, literally putting himself between the bully fish and the ones being hassled. The Ammonia Scare of 2017 left him listless for several days, and we did not expect him to make it, but then he came roaring back.

He survived the several rounds of fin rot, that eventually took one of his tank mates, with nothing worse than a white streak on his tail. When tank mate Flower slowly succumbed to an internal tumor, Gem could be found at his friend’s side most of the time. When we got Gem a new friend, he was not very friendly at first, but after a few days he calmed down and reverted to his more laid-back personality.

Gem seems to have had the same sort of internal tumor Flower had, but he only had noticeable symptoms for a week, and was active much of the time up until yesterday, when he did not eat and stayed on the tank floor much of the day. Not even his friend Seashell 3 could entice him to chase him. So when Young Owner could not find Gem this morning, we knew what had happened. We found Gem hidden under a seashell in a corner. Young Owner said goodbye to her favorite fish and we sent Gem off to the ocean.

Gem has now joined Seashell 1, Sparkleshine, Seashell 2, and Flower in Fish Heaven, leaving Seashell 3 as sole survivor.


We plan to get Seashell 3 a couple of new friends as soon as time permits a run to the fish store.

The Fish Saga continues…

Fish #6

Seashell 3–the sole survivor

One Fish, Two Fish–We Got a New Fish

We bought our first fish January 7th, 2017. Much drama ensued. (Who knew fish had drama?) A year later, the fish saga continues. We are on fish #6.

For quite some time, we had 3 fish. They periodically battled fin rot, but overall seemed happy. Then December came.

First we lost Seashell 2 on December 6th:

RIP Seashell 2. Overnight, the guppy Seashell 2 passed away. Seashell 2 replaced Seashell 1, who died his first night with us when he jumped out of the tank while we slept.

Seashell 2 was a fighter. He was the aggressive one of our 3 fish, always asserting himself against Flower, with Gem acting as peacemaker. He and the others survived the ammonia scare of January 2017, and led a happy fish life until August of 2017.

In August, we went away for 4 days, and when we came back all the fish were showing signs of fin rot. Seashell had it worst, with a huge red streak down the middle of his tail. Emergency actions stopped the fin rot, leaving the others with ragged-edged but whole tails–however, Seashell was not so lucky. The red stripe developed a tumor of some kind, and slowly the tail behind it fell away. Eventually, he only had a thin strip of tail at the top. He was unable to swim to the top of the tank to feed, and I was certain he would die within a few days.

However, he was a fighter. For weeks I watched him scamper around the bottom of the tank, eating algae off the plants and ornaments, and snagging fish food as it sank to the bottom. I was beginning to think he might make it after all, when he was found laying on his side on the bottom this morning. Grade-Girl said a tearful goodbye as we sent him on his way to the ocean.”

Then we lost Flower on December 8th:

RIP Flower. Flower was the most beautiful fish of the surviving trio. A luxurious orange tail that is probably why my daughter named him Flower. He was gorgeous to watch swim around.

Flower took the brunt of Seashell 2’s aggression, but he was not a pushover. He would fight back until Seashell left him alone. He liked to hang out with his buddy Gem and graze on algae.

He survived the Ammonia Scare of Jan 2017, and was the least affected by the Tail Rot Scourge of Aug 2017. Soon thereafter, he began exhibiting neurotic behavior–hiding a lot, hanging in the water head up-tail down, curving his body into an apostrophe, and sometimes dashing madly around the tank and actually hitting the walls. He eventually started coming back out of hiding, but it became obvious something was wrong–his belly was slowly growing. The tumor finally got him today, sometime this afternoon. When found, his belly had begun to tear, and his tail was blood-red, possibly from an artery bursting. Although sad, he had obviously been in pain from the growing tumor for the last couple of days, and probably far longer, so its better he finally went.

Flower has joined Seashell 2 in Fish Heaven, and his body, with a few words by Grade-Girl, has been sent on its way to the ocean.”

So, Gem reigned supreme. Our smallest, most peaceful fish was the lone survivor. But we felt bad for him, because guppies are social fish.

So after we got back from our Christmas vacation, we decided to get Gem a new friend.

Meet Seashell 3:
New fish, Seashell 3







Gem didn’t like this invasion of his kingdom. Our formerly peacemaking fish (who would literally move between two sparring fish) became a tyrant, harassing Seashell. Now I feel a bit bad about getting them together. Things seem to have calmed down a bit, so maybe it will work out.

A year in, the fish saga continues.

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