Our Organic Fish, Couple 3: Zusammen and Entgegen

Entgegen (the small, dark fish) and Zusammen (the big, white and orange fish) . photo taken by my roommate, Danielle

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y.—The weekend Danielle and I returned to St. Bonaventure from winter recess, we headed over to the same Wal-Mart to buy some more scaly unpettable pets—for the third time.

I found an employee a couple of aisles away from the fish section and asked him to help us. Danielle and I each pointed to the exact fish we wanted in a tank of probably 50 fish that looked exactly the same, plus or minus a spot or two.

Following the fish with our fingers, the Wal-Mart worker scooped out the two fish we wanted with his net, plopped them into a plastic bag and tied it tight.

Danielle picked out a plastic, green, seaweed-looking plant for our fish tank, and we walked to the checkout.

Entering our dorm room, we left the plastic bag of fish on our rug as we unloaded the rest of our groceries. Then, we were ready for the transfer.

Using the fish net my mom thankfully bought me for Christmas, we scooped out Zusammen and Entgegen and introduced them to their new home. Forgetting that we had to put our new plant in the tank before we filled it to the top with water, I unwrapped the fake seaweed and let it float on top. If Avitar can have floating mountains, we can have floating plants!

We put some salt and 10 drop of a special Wal-Mart-bought solution in the water to keep our freshwater fish healthy.

Zusammen, Petri and the floating plant . photo taken by roommate Danielle

I gave the couple a pinch of goldfish flakes and watched for them to eat it. (This is my favorite time to watch fish.) Nothing. They would not eat. The food started to get heavy with water and drift to the bottom of the tank.

Maybe they weren’t hungry, so I left them alone.

Zusammen and Entgegen were sculptures suspended in water. Neither of them moved. At all. For a really long time.

“Don’t tell me they’re dead already,” I thought to myself. Or perhaps they’re just shell-shocked from all the transportation.

Every morning, I fed our pets, and every morning for about a week, the fish neither swam nor ate.

Finally, one morning the bashful, probably starving, little fish wiggled their fins to the corner where the food was.

Ever since the day of the first feast, they now wait in the food corner of the tank, waiting for more flakes to drop and voraciously trying to find particles of food leftover from last feeding.

Now, I feed them twice a day.

For an explanation of the names of these organic fish… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cis–trans_isomerism

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