Fish Are Friends, Not Flushed

An ecocolumn is a model of an ecosystem on a smaller scale, with a terrestrial chamber, compost chamber, and finally an aquatic chamber. In October we created our own in AP Environmental Science, since we were learning about the inner workings of ecosystems. Our terrestrial chamber had worms, and our aquatic chamber had a fish. I was really against this experiment, making a fish live in a portion of a water bottle for a week just so we can take notes on it is just cruel.


 One of my group members bought the fish, I wanted no part in this fish’s potential death. Since I’ve had fish and my brother has had a saltwater fish tank for a couple years now I took responsibility for the little guy. His living conditions were nothing short of awful. The group had accidentally replaced the lid with holes in it for the terrestrial chamber, so the worms wouldn’t suffocate, with a lid with no holes. So the worms did just that, suffocated. It was disgusting, the smell was horrid and the effect it had on our fish’s water was equally as bad. 


I had to change his water everyday, and our teacher hadn’t even given us the right food so he wasn’t eating. I felt so bad for the guy. On our last day I was measuring the oxygen levels, looking at him and becoming a bit emotional, I decided I needed to take him home and give him a better life. I knew the girl who was going to take him wouldn’t care and he would probably be flushed, like a majority of the fish. It’s safe to say that every group didn’t take the fish home and set up a tank, it costs money and they can’t just forget about it, there’s constant upkeep. Which is another problem with this experiment, we know half of the fish are going to be flushed, but it’s still approved.


On October ninth I brought him home. I had a small tank I had set up the previous night waiting for him. I got some wood and a live plant to give him something to interact with, I just wanted to make his life better. The tank was pretty small, but I had plans to upgrade once I knew he would survive; he wasn’t in the best shape. His face was basically entirely white and he was aqua and red. After a day or two I figured out he would only eat the frozen brine shrimp my brother fed his fish, soon after that his face started to gain more color. He’s even changed colors, he’s now purple and blue. I decided on the name Stewie because I love Stewie from Family Guy, a pretty silly guy. 


When I upgraded his tank I got him more plants, some worked and some didn’t. I’m at the point where I know what survives in the tank and what doesn’t. I even got him a snail named Brian, Stewie’s best friend in the show, to keep him company and clean up algae. It’s safe to say I’ve grown an unhealthy attachment to Stewie, it feels good to give someone a better life, even if it is just a cheap betta fish. Every living thing deserves love, and we shouldn’t disregard that. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *