The Story of an Elevator Fish: My Kid Picked the Weird Fish
As I mentioned several weeks ago, my daughters each received fish tanks for Christmas. You can read about my oldest daughter's ultra romantic fish couple here. I've held off blogging about my youngest daughter's three fish because, well, they're ... kinda odd. Weird, actually.
It all started at the fish store. My youngest picked out three fish, two of the same breed and one that is different. She was very specific with the fish store guy as to exactly which fish swimming in the tank she bonded with and wanted to take home. Fish store guy was extremely patient and scooped up precisely the fish with which my kid had bonded.
After bringing home the fish, we put them in their tank and watched as the fish checked out their new digs. One fish quickly swam from side to side and top to bottom. Then he sort of lost his ever lovin' mind and started pinging from one side of the tank to the other. It was almost like he ricocheted around the tank. In short, he was acting like a complete spazz.
Guess what his name is? That's right. Spazz.
Spazz has a twin fish who looks just like him, but is opposite in terms of personality. Whereas Spazz is bat crap crazy, this fish is very chill. He's just about the most mellow fish I've ever seen. Seriously. I've never seen a fish just sit back and take it easy like this one. After a brief moment of thought, my kid named the fish after the most chill person she knows: Ferris Bueller.
Which brings us to fish number three, the oddball. This fish spent the first six hours in the tank doing nothing but going up to the surface of the water, then plunging down to the rocky bottom. Up to the surface, plunge to the bottom. Up, down. Up, down. For at least six hours. I thought the fish looked like an elevator and suggested naming the fish Otis after elevator brake pioneer Elisha Otis. I thought Otis was the perfect name for this fish. (Again, I am the master at naming stuff.) Naturally my daughter poo-pooed me and named him "Vator" as in ele-vator (not to be confused with "Vader" as in Darth Vader).
Vator's activities boil down to two things: doing the up, down cycle for hours or standing straight up on his back fins, completely vertical. At first, I didn't notice Vator in the tank and I got a little panicked. I started looking closely in the tank and I found him, hiding in a bush.
Does this look normal to you?
How about this?
I don't think it's normal for a fish to be standing up in a bush and I mentioned it to a friend of mine who has had fish for years. His response? "Oh, that's a female fish. She's pregnant and is laying her eggs in the bush."
Wait ... what? A pregnant fish? Laying eggs? Oh geez, don't fish lay like a million eggs? This tank isn't big enough to hold Spazz, Ferris, Vator, and a million baby fish. I said as much to my friend.
He said there was no need to worry or buy a bigger tank or list baby fish free to a good home on Craigslist because this type of fish lays her eggs and then eat them.
I am equal parts relieved and horrified.
The good news is that it has been several weeks since the egg laying incident and there are no baby fish swimming in the tank. The bad news is that this past Saturday was my daughter's birthday and she wanted an aquatic frog for her birthday. This frog (named Steve) has spent about half of its time in the tank hiding in the fake bush, just like Vator did.
I sincerely hope that the frog isn't laying eggs in there. Oy vey.