Disclaimer: This post is not about the fictional character Glen Coco from everyone's favorite comedy Mean Girls. It is about my beta fish who I named after the legendary Glen Coco from Mean Girls.
Living things do not stand a chance in my home. People give me plants for gifts and inevitably they die. It isn't that I neglect it. I actually try really hard to keep it alive, maybe too hard. I check on it daily, water it if the soil is dry, give it sun light and it still will not live. Please do not gift me with anything living, it will only end in heartbreak. It is all very much like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. I will let the "love fern" die and it could turn into a metaphor for our friendship, relationship, or frienemyship.
My mom gave me this plant for Valentine's Day. It didn't even last a month.
Knowing that I am just not a life sustaining type of person I am amazed that I thought it would be a good idea to buy a fish. I think the only thought I put into it was "My friend Laura bought one. It is cute. I want one." So off to Petsmart I went. I bought a pretty little guy, a tank, and some water treatment stuff. I set him up and life was good for a few days.
Glen Coco the day I brought him home
The first week of our lives together were rather blissful. He would eat when I fed him once a day, I didn't have to clean his tank, and he would listen to my stories from work. We even bonded while watching a movie about his family, Disney's Oceans and Finding Nemo were his favorites.
Learning about the Ocean
Then something terrible happened. I had to leave for three days to go to a retreat with my school. I researched if Glen would be OK and Wikapedia told me beta fish can go a few days without food and be alright. I left for camp knowing that he would be fine. I was wrong.
I returned and Glen had developed several nerosies. When I fed him he would through it up, yeah I turned my fish bulimic. If he is left alone for too long he gets all jittery and freaks out. Changing the water in his bowl makes him throw up for a week. Somehow I ruined a fish.
I tried for a long time to help the little guy, but eventually I gave up. I actually forgot to feed him for a week and then only remembered because I had a dream where he asked me to feed him. I haven't changed his water since Christmas because he will throw up. Glen Coco should be dead, I am the worst fish keeper ever. Remarkably he is still alive.
My students know about my woes with Glen Coco and they will occasionally remind me to feed him when I get home. I keep expecting to see him dead and send him down the toilet, but he is hanging on.
When I think about it I am amazed that I have been able to keep this girl alive as long as I have. But then again she can tell me when she is hungry and I couldn't flush her down a toilet.
May and Me
If I were to write a manual for beta fish care and treatment I would say that you should feed your fish once and a while, clean the tank every 4 months, and give him an awesome name from a wonderful movie.