Thinking about it, it is a long time since I purchased a whole tank of fish from the deputy headmaster (now retired). I didn’t have a fucking clue when I bought them. I still don’t, but most of the fish are still alive.
The angel fish were the first to go, followed by the solitary goldfish. The rest of them though – they were all robust, and all varying types of loach. Bottom feeders. Catfish.
Knowing how fish work, I allowed them to clag up and for the level to drop. Catfish want it sludgy. That’s their happy place. Still, I was aware that they also might want the option of SKY. But I knew that it takes time to clean them up. And recently I haven’t had the time.
This morning I set it aside before work. I scraped them and I squeezed out their sponges and jiggled their medium and generally reset things. Then I put the Fluval U4 back together. That’s the aerator.
For context, I inherited the aerator from the previous owner. “I’ve had it a while,” he told me. I felt flush. I bought one the same, brand new. I put it in and literally the first time I changed the medium, it packed up. Dead. Not the fuse. Just dead. Thankfully I had the old one which still worked. That has been my workhorse. I never bothered to contact Fluval and tell them my then brand new filter broke almost immediately. I did notice that there is something of a monopoly with the big pet stores regarding that brand. I’m happy to buy a filter if it doesn’t suddenly arbitrarily stop working, particularly if I’ve had it for less than a month. But this morning I was in a hurry to get to work. I suddenly had a tank full of fish that were gonna die if I didn’t get air to them, and half an hour. Option 1: Try and fix one of the two filters that have identically packed up. Option 2: Drive to the pet shop and buy a third.
I had time pressure. Had I tried to fix it and failed, dead fish. I spun to Pets at Home Battersea where the staff couldn’t find me by post code but flogged me another sodding Fluval and honestly I hate that brand they are fucking awful, somebody please disrupt the fish tank filter industry as they don’t appear to give any fucks.
I made it to work with a minute to spare. The fish are happy with me and I’m happy with them. The only asshole here is the monopolising faulty filter company. If I hadn’t lived ten minutes drive from a pet shop, I would have a stinky tank and dead fish. The last thing I want to have to do is to replace another fucking Fluval product with more of the same. There must be another way to stop our fish from running out of oxygen… Or is this just prefiguring what is going to happen to all of us, via water and air. The capitalisation of ALL. The Truss Funders. Fuck you, human. We like money. Buy my water.
I promised my captive fishes that I would make it nice for them this morning. In so doing I almost killed them. I had to go out of my way and spend to prevent their death. Now, looking at them, knowing that they are tiny little lives, I am so happy I went for it. Despite the expense, and the fact I gave more of my money to those idiots who make faulty filters.