bad fish mom

So, did I ever tell you about the time I was bad fish mom?  Several years ago when I was living in St. Paul, Abby and I decided that it would be a good idea for us to get some fish.  We had some friends who were into them who hooked us up with a tank and the joys of the A World of Fish store. It was awesome and the fish were cool.  We kept them fed and happy... until we cleaned the tank. 

We were pretty confident we were doing things right - we read up on the types of fish we had, talked to the people at the fish shop, and talked to our friends who knew fish stuff. 

The first time I cleaned the tank, I drained the water to the level I was supposed to, added the cleaning liquid/neutralizer/etc... whatever it is that you're supposed to put in the water each time.  And then I filled it up.  And then our fish started swimming funny.  And then some of them died.  We couldn't figure out what the problem was!  But convinced I must have done something wrong in the cleaning process, we went back to world of fish, got some new ones, and tried again. 

Rinse and repeat two more times. At this point we are thoroughly confused. Every time I refilled the tank, we had casualties.  But we were doing everything right!? 

We were perplexed, until Abby said: Are you filling it with the bucket in the closet?

Me: Yeah... why?

Abby:  The one we clean the floors with?

Me: Umm... yeah, it's the only bucket we have... .... .... oh, %&#*!

Abby: hahahahahahaha

It turns out that fish don't deal well with traces of Mr. Clean.  We'll add this to the list of bonehead moves I have made.  We then tested our hypothesis that if we buy a new bucket, and use it only to clean the tank, that the fish will live. Our results showed that it is much more likely that your fish will live if you don't clean their tank with the Mr. Clean bucket.

I was a bad fish mom... but once we figured out the problem, I redeemed myself and we lost very few fish after that and I was promoted to acceptable fish mom. Good thing I don't have kids yet, huh?  They'd be in serious trouble.


  1. this one made me laugh. Keep 'em coming...

  2. Well, at least you didn't clean the tank with bleach :)

  3. Laura, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Re:cleaning with bleach, I'm I didn't do that either! But pouring Mr. Clean traces into the water certainly wasn't helpful.


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