Thursday, August 03, 2017

#Adulting: Fishy Business.

Hello guys! I'm very sorry that I haven't been posting very regularly but my mother-in-law had come to stay and this severely im...

Hello guys!

I'm very sorry that I haven't been posting very regularly but my mother-in-law had come to stay and this severely impacted my couch and laptop alone time. So you know, instead of my usual antisocial me time on the couch where I pour my frivolous thoughts into a blog, I have to, well be sociable and slightly more coherent than usual. My life is tough. But it's okay. I'm an amazing daughter-in-law.
Kua simi?

Also I was in Malacca, work has been taking up loads of time, and most upsettingly, MY FISH FELL SICK. This is my fish.
His name is Lady Gaga because Lady Gaga has a song called "Hair", and he matched my then-hair colour. But Lady Gaga is quite a mouthful. So these days, he's called "Fish". Or, more accurately, "FEEESH." That's me of course. James, being British and polite, addresses him as Mr. Fish.

So I bought Fish on 21 February this year, and James bet me a pizza dinner that I wouldn't be able to keep him for more than two and a half weeks. I know winning a pizza dinner may not sound like much, since we're married and now both equally broke, but James doesn't worship pizza like I do.

A post shared by Jacqueline (@behindthebasics) on

Oh also if I lost, I would have to accompany James on a 20 km run. So, no shit Sherlock, I was going to make sure this Fish lived. And at that time, it seemed like an impossible task. Because you see, my previous fish, Captain America, lasted me 3 to 5 days. He was a gift from my ex-boss. My ex-boss visited the Captain on Friday and he was fine. But when I came to work on Monday, the Captain was dead. He was a good fish.
So anyway, Fish outlived the two and a half week deadline set by James. And oh my goodness, I had to bring him home in a cab when I changed job, and I had to find people to babysit it when I went to Greece. I have never invested so much in a fish before. Like never have I sat silently in a cab with half a tank of fish water dripping down my thighs. Until this Fish.
So I brought Fish home, and he seemed happy. But James was slightly bemused that Fish was in such a small tank. He kept offering to buy Fish amenities like an aeration system, some fish furniture and the like, although I kept saying that Fish is used to a paddy field environment with still water and nothing much to see.

But eventually I relented and let James buy Fish a tank 5 times the price of Fish himself.
And then we added fish furniture because why not.
Until one day, DISASTER STRUCK.
Fish was alive, but he was swimming on his side and looked like he was on the brink of death. So previously, I wouldn't have cared if my pet fish were dying. I would just accept that life had run its course and it was time for fish to go. But tmd, I had invested so much in Fish. I wasn't ready to let him die. So let me tell you a story of THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA (aka how I saved my Fish). You'll see why later.

So first, because I would have been an experienced medical doctor by now if only I decided to apply for medical school after my A Levels, I was very clear on what I had to do. I first had to diagnose my Fish. Obviously, I turned to the most reliable source of information around - Google.
And from there I found out that my Fish had something known as "Swim Bladder Disease" or SBD.
Swim bladder disease is a common problem in bettas caused most often by overfeeding and constipation. The swim bladder is a gas-filled sac inside your fish. It helps the fish rise and lower in the water much like a buoyancy control device a diver might use.
WTF! And from this I deduced it was not my fault that my Fish was sick. As I tell everyone who looks after my Fish that he is watching his weight, please do not overfeed him. I separately also found out that there are people out there who go WAYYYYYY out for their fish. And there are even people who set up sites just to dispense betta advice. The site I liked best is "Betta Late Than Never". As in, I followed the advice from some forum users on Betta Club (Singapore), but you agree that that name is not going to win any awards like BLTN.

Unlike the title of my guide cure your Betta Fish with SBD which I call...

#1 First you starve your fish.

So SBD is caused by overfeeding. So the first thing you have to do is not feed your fish for about 3 days to allow your fish to clear it's system.

James, "Won't it starve?"
Jac, "No the Betta forum people said that they can live to a week without eating."

#2 Then you prepare a pea for the fish.

So apparently, peas work as laxatives for betta fish. But you're not supposed to use a fresh pea because it may be slathered in pesticides. You're supposed to use frozen peas. Well, just as well I had half a bag of frozen peas in the fridge. Because I decided to make fried rice roughly six months ago.

#3 Douse the pea in boiling water and leave it to stand for 2 minutes.

#4 Cool the pea in ice for another 2 minutes.

#5 Cut it into quarters and remove the outer layer of the pea.

#6 Feed it to your fish.

Apparently peas are high in fibre and work as great laxatives for Bettas. However, no one told you that it is as not as straightforward as just feeding your fish some peas. THIS TAKES BRAIN POWER.

Firstly, bettas like to camp on the surface of the water, which is how the get more oxygen and also where they get their food. But these peas. They don't float ok. They fucking sink straight to the bottom.
So I tried moving Fish into its old tank to increase the pea to water ratio, but my Fish wasn't having that. He still did not eat his pea.
So back Fish went into his larger tank, but as per the advice of Betta Forum users, I reduced the water level to about 2 inches. And still, Fish did not eat his pea. So I just left him to it. I mean, sooner or later, he will either die from starvation or SBD, or you know, give in and eat the bloody pea.
Fish does not give a damn about his peas.

And now my fish is fine again. And you know I used to laugh at my friends for being crazy cat ladies and all but you look at my Fish. He's living in an expensive house which is conditioned with some destressing solution, he has a mirror on the advice of Betta Forum participants, and I am also thinking of getting him this.
(Via Amazon).

It's an organic bed for my Fish made out of handpicked leaves that you can changed every 2 weeks. It a great place for my Fish to rest when it hides out near the surface. And I want it. I am mad.

Anyway, song for you.

And I hope to update on my adventures soon. (I say adventures, but I really mean old people life events).
❤ Jac.

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