So last week I mentioned that our power was out for 36+ hours and that I completely forgot about my son's tropical fish.
There is a bit of history here that I have to share. My son loves to accumulate things. If you look up the phrase "pack rat" in the dictionary, you will find his picture. That said, last year he decided he wanted an aquarium with tropical fish. This means having a heater so the water will stay at a certain WARM temperature. In the 70s, I think.
When he came home from college last summer, he brought the aquarium with him. When he went back in the fall, he asked if we could look after the fish for a few weeks until he got settled, and then he'd come back for them.
He never came back. Not for the fish, anyway.
He came back for Christmas, and by then, we were tired of feeding the fish... mainly we were tired of feeling guilty about FORGETTING to feed the fish. He still didn't want to take them back and I threatened to flush them all, but I guess he wasn't worried because he left without them anyway. Thankfully, however, since the tank is heated, we can close off his room while he's gone. No sense wasting precious heat in a room that isn't being used.
Fast forward to the power outage last weekend. Amidst lighting candles, keeping the wood stove going, having internet withdrawals, and babysitting the neighbor's gerbil (don't ask), I forgot about the fish. Totally. Until Tuesday morning at 5 a.m., when the power had been out for 36 hours.
It was one of those panicky moments. I awakened and sat up in bed and actually said out loud, "Oh crap!" I ran to my son's room expecting to see the fish floating belly-up. Instead, they were still alive. The room was about 50 degrees, as was the water. They were moving slowly and didn't look right. I quickly scooped all eight of them into a bowl of their own water, and I moved the bowl to the basement so it could warm up near the wood stove.
At the end of the day, they had a bit more spunk, and miracle of miracles, they were still alive. All eight of them. Even the teeny, tiny tetras who shouldn't have lived through that trauma.
Later that day the power came back on. We let the tank warm up and put the fish back in on Wednesday. All eight are still alive, which makes me wonder if they even need that warm water at all.
Ok, they probably do, but I'm still annoyed that my son won't just COME AND GET HIS FISH!
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