You will notice that there is a recurring theme in my stories – fish! In this family we catch fish, release fish, lie about fish, kill fish and now apparently breed fish!
About a month ago we decided to replace the fish Lizzie (my granddaughter) had killed with love. She decided that her goldfish needed more food — they were STARVING and she loved them so much she wanted them to be healthy – so she fed them an entire container of food. Needless to say, the fish succumbed to this deep love and gave up the ghost.
Lizzie was heartbroken and so we had a long talk about feeding the fish (and also scolded her mother for leaving the food within reach of a 4-year-old!) – and then went in search of some new fish.
We found some orange and black fish called red mollies. We specifically asked the lady at the fish store for fish which would not breed since we didn’t want to have to subject Lizzie to the horrors of fish eating their babies! She assured us that the red mollies were not breeders and they would great pets for Lizzie. We bought two.
Three days later, Lizzie’s mom called to tell us that the pet store was full of liars. The non-breeding fish had produced six baby fish (or guppies as most people call them). The guppies were hiding in the plastic plants to avoid becoming fish food for their parents. This was extremely hard to explain to Lizzie who wanted to see them. By the next morning, we were down to four guppies.
But all was not lost – about two weeks later (I’m not sure of the time frame, just remember getting a call from my daughter) – there were eight more guppies! Two of previous guppies were getting bigger and could be seen swimming around the very, very small tank.
This past weekend, Lizzie’s dad decided it was time to get the 10 gallon fish tank out and move the non-breeding fish and their offspring to a bigger tank. He thought he would only have move about eight fish – because that’s all he saw. Imagine his surprise when he finally lost count of how many of the little buggers there really were! He thinks there are about 20 fish of various sizes in the tank.
So, now thanks to a couple of non-breeding red mollies, Lizzie will probably be able to sell fish to the neighbors and most of the city and fully fund her college savings account. She still loves her fish and wants them to be happy so they have been joined by SpongeBob Squarepants (or is that SquareBob Spongepants, I can never get it right!) and his friends.
If her non-breeders don’t quit making guppies, we might have to encourage Lizzie to love her fish a little too much like she did the last ones!