There was another fish kill yesterday, only this time it wasn't at our outdoor pond, but rather in the indoor aquarium at the shop. When my husband went to feed his babies he found most of them floating at the top. Befuddled, as just a couple of hours earlier they were swimming around swimmingly, he looked for the cause. The first thing he noticed was the temperature in the tank was about 125 degrees. The fish had almost boiled.
Anger took hold so he thrust his hand in the burning hot water, snatched the offending killer out, the heater, and threw it against the wall shattering it. This was the third time a heater had killed his fish. The last time it happened was over the winter when it shut down and froze the fish. This time it shot up and baked them. He was at a loss as he looked longingly at the one four year old angel fish he had nursed back to health struggled to stay afloat. "I don't think she's gonna make it," he informed me on the phone.
I felt terrible because I know how much he loves those fish. He would spend a day out of his weekend tenderly cleaning the tank so it glistened without a speck of algae. He'd buy his "babies" special freeze-dried worm treats. He'd show our customers how he could get the angelfish to dance for her dinner. Even though they were in the front waiting room he felt like they kept him company in the shop and he treasured them. Our customers seemed to enjoy them too although the younger ones seemed to have a problem not tapping on the glass.
I asked him how such a thing could happen and he assumed the heater just broke. "Cheap shit from China!" I wondered if it had broken wouldn't it be more likely that it would have shut off instead of shot up? I suggested he check it to make sure some asshole hadn't tampered with it. Once before he suspected foul play when he found someone had dumped some liquid into the tank. He was able to save most of the fish that time and he never found out who did it, although he suspected it was a small kid that was in the waiting room earlier that day. He informed me that he wouldn't be able to check the heater because of his rage it was in a million little pieces, but now that he was looking at the top of the tank he noticed something strange. There was a fresh ring on top from a glass or bottle in the dust as if someone had placed a drink up there. Now he was perplexed, "What asshole would put a drink on top of a fish tank when there's tables everywhere in here?" Good question. Answer: People who are clueless, cruel morons.
A little while ago he went to the shop. He just called to report the angel fish didn't make it. That's it. He's through with fish tanks..."It hurts too much to know how they suffered..."