My Thoughts... Exactly!

Hey, you wanna know what I think?

New Front Porch Fish Tank

New Front Porch Fish Tank
Originally uploaded by David Darrow.

Last night I established my Front Porch Fish Tank in a 3.5 gallon Mason Jar. Population 8.

This morning they were all dead.

I have a little investigative work to do.

Current unknowns:

  • Are 28ยข Wal-mart ‘Common Goldfish’ prone to dying quickly?
  • Was the night-time temperature too low?
  • Were they hungry?
  • Was there too much chlorine in the water? (I let it stand for over 24hrs…)
  • Was it just their time to go? All 8 of them?
  • Did they drown?
  • Did I get 8 fish all of the same gender, and nature took its course?
  • Was their new home so unsatisfactory that they formed a suicide pact immediately?
  • Was there foul play involving the Garden Gnome? Perhaps a hex or evil spell…


  1. The gnome did it.

  2. Geez. What do you have against gnomes? So prejudiced, you.

    Mob mentality.

    He does look guilty, though, doesn’t he?

  3. I’ve been responsible for the demise of many a goldfish myself. I have, therefore, learned a great deal about their care and also made a lifetime decision to NEVER own another goldfish. A 3 gallon container cannot support 8 goldfish. Experts say you should allow 10 gallons of water per goldfish. Goldfish put out A LOT of waste which contaminates the water very quickly, especially without a filtration system. Also, your container has very little surface area. Since goldfish get their oxygen from the surface, you want a tank with a big surface area. The number of gallons is not nearly as important as the surface area. For every inch of fish length, you must have 30 sq inches of surface area.

    My recommendation to you would be to purchase one beautiful male betta (Siamese Fighting Fish). He could live happily in a jar like yours. He would need a live plant, a heater (they like warm water, 75-80 degrees) AND frequent water changes. They don’t really require a filter, in fact, they prefer still water over moving water. I found that this site gave very good information on the care of Bettas,

  4. When did Travelocity fire him, anyway? He’s just an angry, little, unemployed garden gnome, and you expect him to just sit by and share the porch, the only thing he has left in the world with a bunch of fish who just stare at him with gaping mouths and googling eyes?? What WERE you thinking? He used to travel the world! Now look at him. Pitiful. Just pitiful.

  5. Robin, I found the jar, cleaned it out, spent ten bucks on food, fake plant, rocks with an epoxy coating and 8 fish. The fish were the least expensive part of the project.

    I am 45 minutes and $10 into it, and debating how much deeper, if at all, I will go.

    While I don’t know the breed, I am somewhat reluctant to introduce “fighting” anything into an otherwise peaceful environment, with no prejudice against the Siamese. (Are these fish joined at the hip?)

    Linda, I guess I just didn’t think it through. This is why I have you.

    Isn’t it nice being had?

  6. The politically correct terminology is “conjoined fighting fish”. Yes, it’s nice being had. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. That’s what you get for patronizing Wal-mart. Take your next $10 and rent the documentary “The High Cost of Low Price”. Sushi anyone?

  8. Darren Maurer

    April 8, 2006 at 8:57 pm

    Mick thinks they all drowned.
    Thank you for the kind words on the 56 Chevy. It was a fun paintring to do. I think I am going to do a few more paintings of old cars.

  9. Seems like some of these people are ignoring you, David, and your sad plight. Bay Area Bev wants to have a party at your expense.
    How do we get to Darren’s paintings?
    Oh, and congratulations on the sale of your melancholy youth painting.
    When are you coming up to see us?
    Bev’s having a party.

  10. Doris: Darren Maurer (a friend of Mick McGinty’s) has a website here, and a blog with daily paintings here.

    As for Bev… If she gets a few laughs over my dead fish, then I don’t feel so bad about my dead fish. Somehow the $10 gets stretched a little further if someone is laughing. Actually, while I feel a little naive about the whole thing, I am already over it, and moving on to the next batch, after conditioning the water with helpful bacteria and countering the chlorine and chloramine with a chemical treatment. Ahhh, life with Chemicals.

    Melancholy Youth. Why didn’t I think of that? I can only think of simple words like “Defeated” ๐Ÿ˜‰


  11. Male Bettas only fight other male Bettas. So you would not want to have two males in the same environment. We have one male Betta that is our family pet. He is very amusing and quite beautiful. Male Bettas have long, flowing fins and come in many brilliant, beautiful colors. You could forgo the live plant (just a suggestion that would make your outdoor tank more “natural”) and simply invest in a aquarium heater ($12.00), betta food ($3.00) and the fish ($2.50). Just my 2 cents worth.

  12. I can simpathize with your plight. I too have flushed many a golfish, much to the pain of my children. Anyway, I finally went overboard and bought about $110.00 worth of equipment, sand, plastic ruins, an aquarium light, plastic plants and a dragon figure for my new 10-gallon tank. I even bought a Whisper filter for a 20-gallon tank to keep it super clean. I also treated the water with “Cycle”, an essential bacteria that helps the tank become seasoned faster, and treated the water with Amonia Choloramine Eliminator. I must say that my three fantail goldfish are happily swimming as I write for going on 7 weeks now. Seriously, try the Cycle and the ACE, put one or two fish in your tank, and change the water every week or two. I bet you will be just fine. I’d get better golfish, not the feeders, if you want them to live longer.

  13. Bev $10 for a video? I think I can get it at Wal-mart for $4.88…

    Robin Bettas or not, I don’t want two males in the same environment. One always wants to watch football, and being the girlie man I am, I’d rather paint.

    Or kill goldfish. <ARRRRrrrrr…grunt, grunt>

    AltaI have since purchased the chemicals you mentioned. I have added them to the tank, and in one day the water became clear again (i clouded up because I didn’t retreive the dead fish within the first 24 hours—I’m always hoping for a miracle.

    And I, too, gave them the traditional home version of the burial at sea, though it was a mass ceremony, and not performed as ceremoniously as perhaps they deserved. Will try again this weekend after the ater has ‘seasoned’ for a week.

    I’m sticking with the cheap ones for now. I don’t have an extra $2.50 just laying around, y’know. I’m an artist!

  14. Awww, they died?

    Sheesh, dad! I didn’t even get to see them!

    I guess it takes a real animal lover… as soon as I get over there and you get new fish… I promise they’ll be “bubbling” with happiness!

    As for the gnome, he’s too busy getting himself out of the cobwebs to kill eight goldfish!

    Give ‘im a break…the most he could get is four…

  15. Lauren: Yeah, well… uh… I wanted to surprise you when you came this weekend, but I thought that leaving them floating would be a little shocking, not surprising. So we’ll get some new ones this Saturday. I’ll have you put them in the big jar, since you’re so good with animals and stuff.


  16. Haha- ok.

    I forgive you =P

    ~looking forward to seeing you~

  17. Sorry your fish had to leave this earth. It’s clear to me that the gnome called them to follow the Hale Bop Comet. Hope all is well. We need to get together to eat some pizza and drink some beer in Cbad.

Leave a Reply