Sunday, February 1, 2009

Minor Tragedy

Recently Eliana decided she wanted to do a living biology experiment. With her allowance one week she bought a small female betta fish and put it in the vase with her large male crown betta fish, Ringo (our spazzy fast swimmer). Her hope was that maybe baby fish would eventually be the result of this pairing. We cautioned her that Scarlet may not survive the experiment, but that we thought the aggression usually happened between two males with their fancy fins to intimidate one another, so sweet, teeny little Scarlet might be okay.

Well, Ringo was about 5 times the size of little Scarlet, and swam after her in such a way that made her feel pursued and frightened with it. To escape from the monster, she buried herself under the glass marbles at the base of their environment, and got trapped. Several times. We put her back in her original container until we could get her set up in her own little home, thinking she would be much happier without feeling like prey.

Before we could get her settled, to welcome Elli and her friends home from school the next day, Scarlet started to emit a cloudy white substance all around her head. And very soon after, died :(. The girls prayed about it, and felt very sad that she didn't survive. The next morning the kids held a funeral for Scarlet and though there was discussion about cryogenically freezing the dearly departed until spring when she could be placed in her final resting place, she was instead sent to a watery grave. Sadly, after a few days Ringo got the white fuzzy stuff too, which after researching I now believe was flexibacter infection. He died too.

The sad part is, Elli is the one who was so excited to bring fish to live with us, and she is the one who feeds them and spurs us to change their water. She even sometimes just sits with the vase watching the movements and speaking to the fish. Initially she said she didn't want a replacement, but now she is ready to get a new one.

Ah, the ebb and flow of life is a mysterious thing, and difficult to come to terms with.