Twelve years ago a very good friend who happened to be a marine biologist had to leave town for an extended fisheries program a few states away. She asked if I could "fish sit" her 20 gallon tank with a mere two gold fish in it...to do so would require that I keep the tank at my home set up in the basement. No problem I replied...how much trouble can two goldfish be? right? Well I should have know it wasn't going to be as simple as throw some food in the tank and ignore them because she happens to be one of my more "high maintenace friends" . She showed up to my doorstep 40 minutes late, frazzeled as always, sorry I'm late I had to do.....(fill in the blank)...same as always. She hands me a 5 gallon bucket and a medium size brown box full of supplies. Oh my gosh, how much stuff do these things need. As I am setting the items down she walks into the room wher I have set up for the fish," no they can't go there its to sunny." She sets out to reorganize my room to fit the needs of the fish tank all the while I am just thinking what the @#$% was I thinking. She walks me thru the four page list of how to care for the water conditions, cleaning, checking the PH levels, balancing the PH levels, cleaning the tank via a long hose , water conditioners, ammonia problems in case I have failed to properly clean said tank...the list went on.
Fast forward two months.......... after checking the water conditions I find the water needs to be adjusted, after e-mailing my friend I discover in the box of goodies crushed coral that if put into the tank will help balance the needs of the tank...all you are supose to do is place the coral in a mesh bag and let it sink to the bottom of the tank. I went to the pet store and purchased a mesh bag for such purpose and set out to put the rocks in, tied it with the enclosed string similar to a shoestring and since I didn't have sissors handy wrapped the string around a couple more times and placed the bag string side down so they wouldn't sway about. Now the next morning I go about the fish feeding buisness , but something looks very strange. I can see the strings are no longer tucked under the bag but swaying above it, then to my horror I see that one of the fish is actually attached to the end of the string
he darts about when he sees me look in and starts to swim, but then like a dog on a short leash he is jerked back once he has gone as far as the string will allow. I am FREAKING out, how can I tell my friend that I may have killed her fish, I realize I might have to lie. I decide to try and push the fish off the string but he get so spooked that I am afraid he might have a heart attack...I scramble for those scissors that I was to lazy to find the day befor and manage to cut the string loose four inches from the fishes mouth, finally free from his fish leash he swim about like nothing is wrong all the while he looks like a fish tampoon. The other fish is now chasing after the loose end and all I can think about is two dead fish attached to this string and how am I going to lie about this. Finally I decide to scoop the fish up in the net that was provided in the box of plenty and put him in a mason jar and rush to the nearest pet store....Off I go fish, string, and mason jar.....I walk in looking like some crazed fool and find that the store owner is talking to a vendor...waiting..waiting..finally she looks over, "Can I help you?"..I set my fish in a jar on the counter, I am on the verge of a nervious breakdown and these two gals burst out laughing...What did you do? I tell them my story. Jonnie (the manager) without saying a word reaches in and grabs the end of the string and pulls the fish clear out of the water but still hovering above the jar puts her thumb and index fingers over the string and runs them down the string until she reaches the fish which pops off the end and plops back into the water...now this sends them into a fit of laughter and I am just so thankful that I am practically hugging her...the fish didn't die and I waited a full two weeks befor fessing up to my friend what happened she thought the story was so funny she circulated the email among her fisheries friends who all got a laugh...Now to this day when I go into the pet store Jonnie stops what she is doing and if somone happens to be around she says do you want to know how I met this gal and tells the story all over again. True story Brandy