When fish fake their own death

While visiting my friends one day, I found myself alone in their kitchen in a quandary. One of their goldfish was floating upside down in the tank. It didn’t look good. Manny and Trot, beautiful, bug-eyed hoovers who devour anything in their path, always seemed happy enough, but on this particular day, Manny was looking less than athletic (see photo below).

My friends came in the kitchen and I broke the news gently. “Manny’s dead!” I blurted.

They looked in the tank, unfazed. “That’s just Manny being Manny,” my friend said. “He does that all the time.”

Assured, kind of, I left him to bob about, looking dead. Faker.

After months of this, my friend decided to Google her fish’s strange symptom to see if there was hope for a cure. Google, of course, knows everything. Turns out some goldfish suffer from digestion issues that cause their gaseous selves to float to the surface; the website even suggested a cure: peas. Her husband, who is allergic to all other animals, is attached to the fish—enough apparently, to personally puree organic peas and hand feed them to the pair. OK, that last part may be an exaggeration, but he does squish out the flesh of a pea or two into the tank as directed, much to the gastric delight of Manny and Trot who having been floating upright ever since.

Manny being Manny

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One thought on “When fish fake their own death

  1. Pingback: The loss of a reader « Musings at a picnic

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