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Fish Out of Water

Jason and I have accumulated a reasonable bank of knowledge about caring for horses over the years. However we are re-visiting the beginner experience these days, athough with a fish and not a horse. We acquired a new family member over the weekend, a still unnamed Betta fish.

It is a freaking miracle that this poor fish is still alive. The fish was a birthday present to Carter from his Aunt and Uncle. Since Carter already lives with a menagerie they thought a fish might be a nice addition to the farm and also make a nice birthday present for Carter.

We almost managed to kill the fish in our first five minutes of fish ownership. We needed to transfer the Betta fish from the travel cup he arrived in into his fish bowl. We tried pouring him into the bowl but he refused to be poured and managed to stay in the travel cup. No problem, Jason just picked him up with his hand, except then Mr. Fish decided he didn’t like that either. So he jumped into the kitchen sink and landed on a bag of ice. He proceeded to flop around like . . . well like a fish out of water.

I was shrieking at Jason “get him, get him, he is going to suffocate or freeze to death on the ice!” as Jason kept trying to scoop up this frantically flopping fish. He finally got him in the nick of time and we deposited our poor fish into his bowl. He was looking a little shell shocked but he survived.

Then we realized we could not put the fish in chlorinated water, that the fish needed to be in spring water. Conveniently we happen to have our very own spring on the farm, in fact it even originates on the farm. We can’t get springier water than that, right? No need to purchase bottled water at the store when you have your very own spring. Jason went off to the spring and collected some water.

This time we managed to move the poor fish to his travel container without almost killing him first. We then dumped the chlorinated water out of his fish bowl, rinsed it with spring water, refilled it with spring water and had him all set up. Jason went to dump him back in his fish bowl and I protested. “Doesn’t the water need to be room temperature? That water is straight out of the ground and it isn’t room temperature.”

Jason declared it would be fine and dumped the fish in. Within seconds this poor fish, who was probably wondering where he was and what he was doing in this handbasket, wasn’t looking so good. The water was definitely too cold. We put the fish bowl next to the stove to help warm the water up. Thankfully we were smart enough not to put the fish bowl on the stove! After about an hour the fish was looking perkier and the water was much warmer.

After consulting with Google about caring for betta fish we have read that his water should be changed every three days, that we need to be careful not to overfeed him, that he should have at least five gallons of water and that his water should be heated. Well, I’m thinking his water isn’t going to be changed every three days, Jason dumps more betta food in the bowl every time he walks past it (he claims the fish is bored and needs to have something to do so he feeds it constantly), his fishbowl only holds a half gallon of water and it is not heated. We are striking out everywhere. We are the newbie horse owner that feeds the horse a bag of sweet feed and wonders why the horse got sick. I give this poor fish a week.

I think we need to stick to horses.


the view yesterday morning

MyLight napping in the hay with Cinnamon, Calimba and Maisie munching

O’Reilly on the run

Tony and Baby

Lighty, Darby, Johnny and Alex

Bruno on the run

Hemi and Elfin

Faune and George

Norman and Cuffie helping each other do some shedding

Moe found a mud puddle; Moe is a gray, not a bucksin

Donovan also took a mud bath

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