‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Don't Laugh

Zolishka has been very sick. She is Dasha's goldfish. She and Nastia got their fish the first week she was here. By some obvious miracle, they have both survived these last two months.  Nastia is very attached to (obsessed with?) Zolishka. She dotes on her with the level of attention and care of a Jewish mother ( I know lots of them, so I can say that...lol). Nastia adores this fish, and I expect that some of this attachment has to do with the absence of Dasha herself.

Anyway, Zolishka has had 'swim bladder' issues from day one. We rectify it in all the recommended ways - we stagger her feedings, we give her mushed peas when things get really bad, we cycle her water more often...we basically cater to this fish more than anyone else in the house! Lately, Zolishka has been lying on her side in a corner of the tank. Bailey, the other fish, has been keeping a close (and very moving) vigil by her side. It's been days now. Every morning we expect to see her floating at the top of the tank, and every day she surprises us with her endurance skills. She's a survivor. Or, as my dad would say, she has moxie.

Nastia has already cried about Zolishka's current status a few times this week. "Why does she have to suffer like this?" Nastia laments "It's not fair, she's so little..." And then, the inevitable, "DO something, mom!"

I've done everything within my human power to help, and so I resort to praying the rosary for her. Don't laugh. I know some of you might be thinking I'm completely nuts, but I'm sure you've done crazier things for your children, when push comes to shove. And  so I prayed, and I asked God, if it was His will, that he would give me Z's sickness instead. And then I went to work and forgot about it.

Lunchtime rolls around. Heading home, I feel nauseous. I get home and climb into bed. I start feeling worse. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I have a temperature. I feel positively wretched by 4pm. I sleep and sleep...

Nastia wakes me up, "Mom! Zolishka is still alive and she's doing a little swimming again!" 

She's right. I check. The little lazarus fish is foraging the bottom of the tank looking for dinner. She's still a little sideways, but she's made a remarkable recovery once again. The rosary? My offer to take on her little fishy suffering myself? coincidence? Who knows, but right now I have to go upstairs to puke. But I do it for Z, and for Nastia, so it's not for naught.


  1. Oh now that is GREAT! :) LOL (sorry not laughing)

    It is amazing how our smallest requests He hears! :)
    Just next time give the sickness to say, Osama Bin Laden..... :)

  2. I did laugh, but only because it sounds like something I would do. Tell Nastia I have dozens of fish in two tanks (I have 4, but only two have fish at the moment), I worry about each and every one of them when they don't look right to me, and I mourn each of them when my efforts are not enough to save them. I'm lucky, I haven't lost a fish in over a year, but I think my luck is about to run out with one of my red-eye tetras.

  3. I can't laugh because I think you are so sweet. I'm not sure I know anyone else with your sincerity of caring for others. Bless you, Keri! I hope this passes quickly! <3 Allyson

  4. Hi Keri,

    Sometimes over-cycling (by which, I assume you mean more frequent, greater volume, water changes) can cause the ammonia levels to build up to toxic levels. Not sure how big the tank is, but I'd also look for any spots, red streaks, fuzzy patches or shredding fins/tail. If any of these are present, a broad-spectrum medication like Tetra Lifeguard can really bring them back from the brink! Good luck!!

  5. Thank you Susan! I'm hoping I'll feel well enough to stop by the pet store later tonight. Can Tetra Lifeguard be used with goldfish? Also, the tank is only 5 gallons.

  6. reminds me of our guinea pig who "rose from the dead" last october!

  7. You should be able to use Tetra Lifeguard with goldfish if there are signs of infection (the symptoms Susan listed all indicate infection or susceptibility to it), but unless you have a filter on the tank, or you're washing the gravel every time you change the water, the ammonia shouldn't be an issue. Without a filter there really is no cycle, other than what bacteria are living on the gravel and other surfaces. With a filter most of the bacteria live in/on the filter media, but enough is in the gravel that you could disrupt it by washing either the gravel or the media too often. I'd suggest picking up ammonia test strips if you're concerned about that. Swim bladder problems are hard to deal with, and they don't seem to ever really go away.

  8. This is one of the craziest things I've heard the rosary said for, but by God it worked! If either of my frogs, Fred & Ethel, get sick I'll give it a try. Hope you feel better soon (and Dasha's fish too).

  9. Fish stress me out. We had a big tank with half a dozen and I couldn't stand the thought of waking up to dead fish in the morning.

  10. Poor fishy...and poor you. I hope you are swimming upright again too! "Moxie"...I havent heard that in a loooong time, lol.


What do you have to say? Leave a comment!