Nemo’s near death experience

As you may or may not recall- Holden’s 2nd birthday party was a “Finding Nemo” theme. Due to that AND the fact that we’d just gotten rid of the cats and were feeling guilty- his big birthday present was a fish tank. The biggest challenge finding a FRESH water fish that looked like Nemo, who is a salt water fish. Salt water tanks, if you don’t know, are incredibly tedious to maintain. Being huge and pregnant and about to pop out another kid.. I didn’t want that kind of responsibility on top of the more IMPORTANT responsibility I was about to get.. so fresh water it was.

Finding a fish that Holden actually accepted as Nemo was seriously not easy. He was very picky and it took trips to a few stores before we finally found a black and orange striped Barb.
We had a winner.

We brought him home, along with two other Angel fish (one who bore a striking resemblance to “Scar” from Finding Nemo) and all was going just fine. We noticed over a little bit of time that Nemo was very aggressive. Chasing the other fish around, biting at their tails. Soon, one angel fish was dead. Tail all bitten up and looking very weathered.
And recently- the other angel fish bit the dust too. I blame Nemo. Such an angry little thing. Hides behind the little porcelain display we have until another fish comes into his territory and then attacks.

Still, he (or she) was Holden’s fish, and his favorite at that, so we kept him.. and over the weekend went and bought five more little fish. During that time, the sales person told us that Barbs are “tail biters” and putting certain other fish in the tank could be dangerous for their health. Why the FIRST salesperson didn’t tell us that is beyond me.. but whatever, we got the fish and took them home.

Immediately Nemo let them know what the deal was. That tank was HIS. He would chase them around and bite at them to the point where all the new fish were hiding at the top back right corner of the tank, scared to go anywhere else.
The next morning? One fish was dead. Or dying anyways. Floating belly up, hanging on to life with one fin.. and eventually got sucked into the filter. That damn Nemo.

It was time to be punished. Fearing for the other fish’s lives, we pulled Nemo out of the tank and put him in a tupperware of tank water. We even put in fake seaweed to make him feel more at home.
Hours go by, I go and get into bed, and Thomas goes into the kitchen to do the dishes.

As soon as I got comfortable, Thomas comes bellowing into the room “YOU HAVE TO COME AND SEE THIS!”
I moan and groan but he insists.. so into the kitchen I walk.. only to find Nemo, dead on the floor. The little bastard had committed suicide! Managed to get about FIVE feet from the counter, too.

We were both saddened a little bit by it. Never had we intended to kill the evil little thing.. just to put him in a separate tank (probably on Thomas’ desk at work). As we’re talking about how depressing the whole situation is..
FLOP! Nemo flips over.

Holy shit, he’s alive!

Thomas snatches him back up and plops him back into the tupperware. He didn’t move. We watch as a few minutes go by and slowly Nemo comes back to life.. but it appears we didn’t catch him in time. Only one side of his body worked, and he couldn’t seem to flip himself right side up. A sure sign a fish is a goner.

Being sure that this is the end of poor, evil little Nemo.. I go back to bed. It’s at that point Thomas pities him and sticks him back in the tank with the other fish, thinking maybe that will rejuvenate him. I am sure it won’t.

Sure enough, the next morning I awoke to Nemo.. healthy as can be and swimming around the tank. Not himself at ALL. Not behind behind the porcelain coral.. and no longer biting at the other fish either. He is a totally new fish!
I’m not sure if his near death experience changed his evil tail biting mindset.. or if he’s just a moron and thinks he’s in a totally new tank, therefore no longer being “his” territory to defend.

Either way, I am pleased! I don’t have to tell Holden that yet ANOTHER one of his fish is dead …even though he fully understood that Nemo was being “mean” and had to go to “time out.”

Posted on July 21, 2010 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment
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1 Comment

  • my beta fish did this too. he went belly up one night, and i said i would take care of it in the morning, and in the morning, swimming around like he hadn’t a care in the world. he lived for like two years after that!