Friday evening I began to worry about my big fish Jocelyn because she was hovering above the rocks at the bottom of the tank. I went over in my head what could possibly be wrong with her. Old age isn’t the problem. Able to live up to 25 years she’s just a youngster at age six. She’s not been over fed, she’s not bloated, her bladder is healthy, what’s wrong? Usually the big fish is graceful and playful as she swims wit her two tank makes, but something has changed, something is off.

I went over in my head everything I did that could have affected her negatively. I changed 10% of her water on the same day as always. I checked the nitrate and nitrite levels. I checked the ammonia levels. I added conditioners to remove harmful minerals from tap water and finished off by checking the temperature. Everything went according to plan; nothing I could think of changed, so why was she at the bottom of the tank for now two days? Again and again I retraced my steps then it hit me, I didn’t check the Ph levels. Turns out, the Ph dropped too low for her but not low enough to cause a noticeable change to the smaller fish. I added 1/4th teaspoon of baking soda and within a few short minutes she was her old self again. What a relief!

 The painting shown is a fun illustration of the above week end. The figure represents me standing on a chair with my head all but in the tank trying to figure out what was going on with dear Jocelyn. You can see the worry around my head as I gently pat her on the back and tell her I’ll fix everything. The other fish are going about their business between the plants and decorations all without a clue that poor Jocelyn may be in serious trouble. To the relief of everyone the entire fish family is once again happy, healthy and swimming about.

A Fish Tale is available in my Etsy shop. Please see the sidebar for the Etsy link.

 On the Rocks: A Fish Tale- Monday, July 25, 2011

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