Around 15 years ago, I killed my best friend's fishies. He had asked me to feed them while he and his family were out of town for a week. Being the irresponsible guy I was then, I completely neglected it, remembering about it only 3 days later, going to his house to find his two black goldfishes floating dead in his aquarium. I still remember the sight and the sinking feeling deep inside, knowing that I was responsible for their death, that it was my neglect that starved them to death. No amount of regret would bring them back. My buddy forgave me but I don't think he ever forgot about it. I don't think he ever kept any fishies ever since.
Fast forward 15 years, we had two fishies that I got as a birthday present for our son in December of 2007. "Daddy fish" and "Baby fish" is what he called them. I have been taking care of them pretty decently. I have put off cleaning the tank for almost a month a few times but never have starved them.
This weekend, it had been almost 4 weeks since the last time I cleaned the tank. I also wanted to give the tank decor a complete overhaul. I siphoned out half the water from the 10 gallon tank into a bucket and put the two fishies in it. I had bought some new gravel to add to the existing one. So I took the tank and gave it a nice scrub, cleaned the gravel, added some plants, replaced the lights and the filters and setup the tank with fresh water.
I had checked the fishies in the bucket a couple of times. It had been over an hour since I last checked them and almost 4 hours since I put them in the bucket. My plan was to let them stay in the bucket overnight and put them back into the tank around midday tomorrow.
I grossly overestimated the amount of air they needed. I had put them in the bucket a few months back for around 3 hours and they had done pretty well then.
They were half dead, floating on the top of the bucket, upside down. They will still breathing, trying to get any oxygen they could from the water that probably was devoid of any. The aquarium was probably dangerously high in chlorine but I had no option. I thought it definitely had more oxygen than the water in the bucket.
So I transferred them back into the tank. The "baby fish" tried swimming around, upside down at times, right side up at times but then after a few minutes went floating upside down, still breathing, but upside down, with it's gills moving where the water met the air outside. Same was the fate with the "daddy fish".
Now, they are both upside down, like they were an hour back. I'm scared to check on them, lest I find they have stopped breathing. What am I hoping for? I'm hoping (and praying) that they live...that they get as much air as they could to make them alive again. Will they make it? Only time will tell...8 hours tops.
Fast forward 15 years, I did it again....almost.