“Beeps, you’re supposed to tell me when things are going wrong. You need to do your job.” My husband to my pug, about the water chemical balances in the completed, yes, completed fish tank.
80 some hours earlier…
It’s been days since we’ve had a death in our house. A fish death, that is. You see, my husband’s fish tank actually arrived. It did sit empty in our office for a few weeks. In that time I would catch him just sitting in front of it, staring at it and talking to Beeps (not Mabel … she’s too little, she wouldn’t understand. Obviously.) about how awesome shit will be once it’s all done.
A few days/weeks passed, and rocks and branches that he foraged for at “the river” (I’m not sure where this is or if it’s even a river per say, but the day he came back, he was covered in mud) entered the mix. Next came the water. Oh my god, the water. SO MUCH WATER. Did I mention the filtration system and the pipes leading from the top tank to the bottom tank he made himself? Yeah, hello, flooded office in my future.
Below are a few fun facts about my husbands 90-gallon fish tank (I know, right! 90 gallons. Good Lord) for y’all:
- One night last week, my husband once again was talking to Beeps (He does this a lot. They are best friends. Sorry, Ian.) while sitting on the couch watching fish videos on YouTube. That’s when I heard it. “Beeps, how excited are you for TOAD TOWN TWO!” I’m sorry, say what? My husband repeated himself, to me this time: “Oh, I’m getting small little toads for the fish tank. Toad Town will be revived!” I sat there, silent, while I assume he kept talking about how he was going to go and buy all these small frogs for the tank and how Beeps will have to control himself and not eat them. I sternly came back from the small disbelief coma I had fallen into and simply said, “No.” Toad Towns One and Two cease to exist at this moment.
- I’m worried about the smell. It doesn’t smell. YET. My husband keeps saying he’s going to put clams and shrimp into the bottom tank. Oh, did I mention this is a two-tank situation? Oh yes, the tank on top filters to the tiny tank underneath, then back to the large, then to the small, and so on. In this bottom tank you can apparently grow shit. Like tomatoes. Or you can make an ocean and fill it with clams and shrimp. There was one bottom dweller of a fish that lived in the bottom tank for two days. Then he died. Anyway, can you imagine the smell of a tank with tomatoes, shrimp and clams? I can, and it’s disgusting! Also, the scavenger known as Beeps Baum has no fear and will stick his smelly pug head down in that tank and bob for shrimp in a hot minute. He has no shame.
- Feeding time, which is twice a day, isn’t just putting in a pinch of fish food. Oh no, I was instructed to feed them with a fucking turkey baster, you guys! Thankfully, after a week of fish feeding, my husband decided I no longer have to use such an instrument. I can now take some filtered water (My dogs don’t even drink filtered water. These fish are such snobs.) and mix the food in, then pour it into said tank.
- Last Saturday my husband bought six small fish and introduced them into the tank world. By Saturday night, we were down to five fish. By Sunday morning: four. We didn’t even make it 24 hours before we suffered a loss. Reason number 29,384 that we should never have kids.
As I write this, there is a long, clear tube hooked up from the tank in our office to our bathroom sink. My husband is doing a water exchange. He is pumping out the old dirty water and putting in some new clean water that he filtered into a giant garbage can in our basement last night. Yes, that did result in flooding, but hey, it went down the drain in our laundry room, so no biggie (ahem, yes biggie). This tank is a process. Every day is another trip to Fish Freaks, every night my husband is calling me into the office to see what color or setting his new LED tank light can do (There is one that mimics a lightning storm. I feel like it’s more a strobe light in a club than a storm, but what do I know?), and it seems like twice a week he’s testing chemical levels or something related to science. It’s way too complicated. Remember the days when you could win a goldfish at a school fair and then come home and throw it in a bowl? Yeah, that kind of fish is more my jam.
Kacie Baum is a professional partier, mother of two pugs, and the wife of Matt Baum. She tolerates the constant presence of the Two-Headed Nerd in her home each week. She did not write this bio. Pre-THN entries of Girl Meets Nerd can be found here.