All we wanted to do was replace the fish in our little 10-gallon, freshly scrubbed with new gravel and plants, aquarium.
Who could have guessed we’d meet…
The Fish Nazi.
Hubby has had aquariums and fish since he was a little boy. We’ve been married 35 yrs. You do the math.
Fish Nazi was all of maybe 25 yrs. old, and yet he knew everything there was to know about fish.
Including how many we were allowed to buy.
Here’s how it went down:
FN: You know the dirty the filter and water, the better right? Yeah, fish just love that gunk. They do better when the water is dirty and the filter is black. In fact, you don’t even need a carbon insert in your filter system. Just the sponge, and you rinse it when it gets clogged.
Me: Huh. Never heard that before.
FN: It’s true. (Pointing to the bank of tanks along the wall) I only change 25% of the water in these tanks every week. And I never use filters, just bubble wands.
Me: Learn something new every day, right honey?
Hubby: (a good ten feet from me and studying the various species he wants to put in our tank) Right.
FN: Ten gallons? Let’s see that’s about 6-7 fish.
Me: Really? I thought it was one fish per gallon.
FN: (rolling eyes in the presence of obviously fish-retarded woman) Right. Then I could put a shark into a ten-gallon tank, couldn’t I?
Me: I see your point.
Hubby: We’ll take two cory cats, two of the aqua guppies, ummm…let’s see one of those dalmation mollies, a mickey mouse platy…
FN: That’s IT!
FN: That’s six fish.
Hubby: (stares at FN for a moment) Oh.
FN: I’m just saying you shouldn’t add any more fish. (he twitches…I’m not kidding, he started twitching a bit)
Hubby: (whispers to me) I am not going to argue with this kid. Let’s get these fish and you can come back in a day or two and get the other four we want.
FN: Do you have an ammonia tester? Some water clarifier? Because you really need those.
Me: But I thought the fish like the dirty water?
FN: (again with the rolling eyes, which stopped mid-roll as hubby stepped a little closer, making FN look like he was mid-seizure or possessed) Uh…well..
Hubby: No. Thank.You.
– At this point, FN backs down. Did I mention hubby is six foot two, eyes of piercing blue and can be extremely intimidating, even when he’s just buying fish? –
So we left with our six fish, and one of them promptly committed suicide. I think it was trying to get inside the filter and block it so they could all make their great escape when we had to empty the tank and clean it. Sadly, he only got as far as half way and got stuck.
Today I trek back to the store and hope the Fish Nazi isn’t working, or if he is I have to tell him I murdered all the fish he sold us on Saturday and am back for more, lest he forbid me from adding any more fish to my aquarium.
I know it’ll traumatize him, but really, it’s the only way.