12/21/2010

The Wonder Snail and Other Fish Stories

I mentioned, briefly, that we had purchased a snail for our aquarium. He (and no, I don't know for sure that he was a he, but well, that's what we went with) was the very coolest thing to watch scoot about, chewing algae happily. Until last week. Tim went up north a bit for a business trip and the wonder snail decided to eat lunch on the filter intake. He'd done that before, so I didn't think anything of it when I saw him there.

Until I saw him still there five or so hours later.

But that's not too, too unusual - because when he's done eating he just pulls himself into his shell and dozes for a bit. We'd often see him hanging out in one spot on the walls for up to around a day. I just worried a bit because the filter intake has a very slight suction to it and I couldn't decide if he was stuck or just resting.

He wasn't resting. He was pining.

I consulted with Tim on the phone briefly and he said no, no, he's just resting. Give him a bit. So I did.

The next day he hadn't moved. And the day after that.

So finally I decided that yes, he had passed on, and scooped him off the intake with the net and discovered that the filter had, in fact, sucked off a bit of his head and thus he was now an ex-snail. He did not get the watery burial that fish get (I really didn't want an overflowing toilet due to corpse disposal while Tim was out of town too), instead I just wrapped him in paper towels and a ziplock bag and set him out with the other kitchen trash.

Tim hadn't been home a day when one of the zebra fish started acting funny. (Note: fish are not meant to sit on the bottom of the tank. Unless they're bottom sitting fish, I guess. Which zebra fish aren't.) I kept an eye on it but had the dread forming at the pit of my stomach because this is the same behavior exhibited by our last zebra fish (who is no longer with us). Tim was all for scooping him and being done, but he wasn't dead yet, so I didn't figure he deserved a ride on the cart just then.

The little one thought it was fascinating to watch and would sit and try to make eye contact with him, all the while chattering about how he was dying and would go to heaven with the other fish and the snail and we'd get to flush it. He doesn't actually seem phased by the aquarium deaths, so that's something I guess.

Anyway, Sunday morning we woke to find that the fish had, in fact, finally passed on. So we had a short service before leaving for church and I'm sure the nursery workers appreciate us providing such exciting conversation topics.

Today we came home with a new snail. I wasn't going to rush out for another one, but gosh I missed the wonder snail. So now we have a blue mystery snail, yet to be named. (Though the kiddo has suggested Scar - not sure where he got that as we haven't watched The Lion King with him yet, but I have to say I would enjoy telling people to look at Scar go as he ate his way about the tank, so I'm pulling for that. I swear it was not my suggestion - but I'm also sure Tim won't believe me.)

All that said, I can deal with fish deaths, but when it's Cassi's time, all I can say is Tim better be at home to deal with it.

3 comments:

Lynellen said...

GREAT snail name!

Jen said...

Has he seen Finding Nemo? Isn't Scar the leader fish in the tank?

beth said...

He has seen Nemo -- but I think that's Gil? I'll have to look, but if it is scar then that would make sense.