Monday, 14 July 2008

Keep your pets away from me

The house we're renting/housesitting has one of those ponds-in-a-pot in the backyard. It's kinda cool... a lovely big wide pot filled with water and some reeds and lily pads and three goldfish/koi. The filter creates a constant bubbling and it must be lovely on a hot summers day to have that splashing away under the trees. As it's the middle of winter and rather cold we don't spend much time outside though...

A few weeks ago Milord and I decided that the pond needed a clean because the filter kept clogging and we couldn't see the fish through the murk. That was easier said than done! We caught the fish and put them into a salad bowl filled with stinky pond water. Then we hoiked out the plant pots and tipped the filthy water and heaps of pebbles out onto the floor. By this point I was wet and cold and smelly - whose idea was this anyway? We scrubbed and hosed and rinsed pebbles by hand under freezing water to get the decaying leaves off (did I mention the pond is under trees?). Then we put everything except the fish back in and filled the pot with tap water. We had to leave the water standing for at least a day to dechlorinate or something - Milord knows more about these things than I do!

The following day we floated the salad bowl in the pond to acclimatise the fish to the temperature of the water, eventually releasing them into their pristine pond. It all looked great! For a few weeks anyway, and now it's gone slimy again (oh yeah, turns out you shouldn't feed pond fish in winter because they're not eating and the food rots and it all goes slimy. Who knew?).

Ok, slimy, now what? Snails maybe?

On Sunday Milord and I popped into an aquarium shop and spoke to the strange men there about snails. "Nah" says one, "You need catfish instead." Ok, fine, whatever you say. We bought 4 cute little catfish, all nicely bagged (I kept thinking of Nemo and had to resist shaking the bag shouting "Fishy wake up!")

"How do I go about putting them in my pond?" I asked... "Just float the bag in the water for 20 minutes first" says the man. Easy, I can do that. So we took our lovely little new catfish-in-a-bag from the hot and steamy shop and plonked the bag into our bloody freezing pond. Zap! Four dead catfish. "Maybe they're just playing dead?"

Milord went straight back to the shop to complain and they blamed us! A bit rude - I don't know anything about keeping fish and I just did what the idiotic man told me to do... To add insult to injury they wouldn't sell us any more fish either!


1 comment:

Kat said...

That made me chuckle!! And I needed that.. having a bad day :(