Fish are a great responsibility

Karena Ozier, Staff Reporter

Growing up, my family had a wide variety of pets, especially fish. Between the ages of 9 to 17, my parents had me convinced that fish were impossible to have for longer than a few weeks. 

We had our share of fish funerals by way of the toilet and my parents, I’m sure, were tired of explaining to three rambunctious kids, who didn’t know better, that fish don’t eat human food.

I had gotten accustomed to being without a fishy friend until I got to high school. It was early August my senior year I decided to try my hand at fish parenting. 

I thought, “How hard could it be?” The only reason that I couldn’t keep fish alive when I was younger was because I wasn’t responsible enough. 

After thinking about it through for a few seconds, I went to the pet store. My boyfriend went with me and when we arrived we went straight to the fish tanks.

I saw the bright, colorful glow fish. I noticed a sign that advertised that if I were to get 4 fish, I could get 2 more fish for free. It was deal I couldn’t pass up. 

I was there to get fish anyway, right? We purchased 4 glow fish and decided that I should get some fish to clean the tank. Since I had a few more fish than expected, we got two cleaner fish to ensure my fish would have an extra clean tank!

The employee informed me that if any of my fish died within the first month, that I would be able to bring them back to get exchanged. I would just have to freeze them to show evidence. 

I knew that I wouldn’t have to do that because my fish would surely live longer than a month. It was a good few days after getting the fish into the tank before thing started to go downhill. 

Three of the glow fish died within days of each other. One of the cleaner fish was next to go. 

As I went to put the last cleaner fish in a bag, which had also died, the last glow fish swam pull force into one of the sides of the tank and died on impact. That was it.

They were all dead. I took my bag full of broken dreams and death back to the pet store. At the end of this visit, I left with 2 black fish. 

Within 2 weeks, both died. I returned again but this time prepared to leave empty handed. I returned the fish and started to leave when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a beta fish. 

I figured I might as well try one last time. I took Huevó (what I named the beta fish) home. After 11 months and planning to take him to college, he died. That was it. I grew from my experience as a fish parent and now I know that my parents were right. I’m still not responsible enough.

Karena Ozier is a freshman elementary education major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].