The Honking Goose

something to honk about

our goldfish almost died

It’s not everyday someone gets to say those words. Goldfish are notorious for dying. Am I right? Out of five goldfish we’ve had together as a family, we still have two. Those aren’t great odds. Today one of our goldfish beat the odds and survived a catastrophe.

This morning when I got up, at 7:15 am, to get my kids ready for school, I went into the kitchen. I immediately saw that the smaller of our two goldfish, Maya, was out of the tank on the kitchen counter in a narrow space between the tank and the wall. And covered in ants. We’ve been battling ants all week and they’ve been coming in droves for the tiniest bits of food.

Well, I obviously thought for sure Maya was dead. Somehow she had jumped out of the tank during the night. My natural response was,

“Oh no. Oh no. Oh no.”

And I moved the tank to get her away from the ants. My kids, who were just waking up, came rushing out of the bedroom to see her poor little body covered in swarming ants. I grabbed a paper towel to pick her up and I saw her gills move.

“Oh my god, she’s still alive! She’s trying to breathe!”

I quickly picked her up and dropped her back in the fish tank. She sank to the bottom and landed on her side, ants came off her and floated away, she panted her gills, sucking in water. And she slowly began to recover. After fifteen minutes she was struggling to swim to the top of the tank.

I’m telling you, there were so many ants. Her skin looked dry. She had to have been out for over an hour, possibly much longer. I don’t know.

She is still struggling a bit, but swimming around. It looks like she is going to live. How about that?!

two goldfish

Maya is the smaller orange and white goldfish. This picture was taken just a few minutes ago.

Update: Maya the goldfish died at 4:12 pm today due to the injuries sustained. RIP Maya.

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44 comments on “our goldfish almost died

  1. dbp49
    November 25, 2014

    Sorry to hear about Maya. How is Pac taking it? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) If you are thinking about restocking the tank, you may want to consider a loose piece of very light screen, even just floating on the surface. The fish are easily strong enough to nudge it up when they come to the surface to breath, but when they jump, it will prevent them from exiting the tank. Yes, it could (depending on how light a piece of screen you find) injure the fish somewhat in the process, but not as severely as the fish will be injured if it leaves the water and is attacked by ninja ants.

    Like

  2. J.Gi Federizo
    November 25, 2014

    Oh, dear…And Maya is a special name as it’s one of my fave names and is the name of my main character…RIP Maya the li’l godlfish

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Noelene
    October 14, 2014

    That is so sad.

    Like

  4. Grynnie
    October 9, 2014

    Awww, I was totally rooting for Maya. Especially since I also live in the desert in California and have been dealing with the mysteriously random ant population. There must be ninja ants hiding out someplace just waiting for my dog to wander around with a mouthful of kibble. I do know that when he drops even one morsel they will shortly be swarming over it. I now have to place his food dish on top of a large cooler so the ninja ants can’t find it.

    Anyway, just discovered your blog and no, I am not a creepy stalker……at least I don’t think I am. I actually read stuff. Shh, don’t tell.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 9, 2014

      Thanks for your comment. I forgot all about how much ants like dog food. I haven’t had a dog in years. I want a dog, but right now we have a house rabbit and she would be pretty unhappy if we got a dog.

      Like

  5. Opinionated Man
    October 8, 2014

    RIP MAYA!

    I think I have a habit of inadvertently killing fish myself…

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 9, 2014

      My mom gave up on keeping goldfish when I was a kid. Goldfish are a symbol of good luck in Japanese culture and she couldn’t bear that her good luck symbols kept dying. She was very superstitious.

      Like

  6. Yoshiko
    October 7, 2014

    My condolence to Maya.glad they your other gold fish survives.

    Like

  7. Very Bangled
    October 7, 2014

    The epic tale of ants vs goldfish. I’m glad Maya went down fighting. I wish there were more ant battling gladiators like her out there.

    Like

  8. queenbookworm
    October 7, 2014

    RIP, Maya.

    Like

  9. Hazel
    October 7, 2014

    Aww I’m so sorry about Maya. No matter whether our pets are dogs, cats or fish we still grieve for them. Hope you and your family are okay! I had goldfish growing up but they never seemed to last very long. I didn’t know they could jump out of their bowls… =/

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 7, 2014

      Thank you. I’m not sad so much as feeling guilty. Her well being was my responsibility and I feel like I let her down. I’ll just have to do better next time. C’est la vie.

      Like

  10. katherinejlegry
    October 7, 2014

    That was a great fish story! I love fish stories. 🙂

    Like

  11. Terri Webster Schrandt
    October 7, 2014

    Poor Maya! You gave it a valiant effort. (BTW, your “Honk at me” comment is hilarious). In 6th grade I won two goldfish at a carnival. One died within weeks, but the other one lived quite a while and got bigger with each larger fishbowl he was placed in. This was in San Diego, where I eventually took him to the large Koy pond in Balboa Park.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 7, 2014

      I wonder if we need to do something like that with our other goldfish, Pac. We got a bigger tank last December, but he’s grown so much already, it seems really unfair to keep him in there. And I know they can keep growing if they have more space.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thegoldfishlady
        October 31, 2014

        Hi, I am so sorry about the death of your fish! Craft mesh can make a good cheap lid for jumpers. Aslo, commons need about 100 gallons for the 1st fish and 50 for every after that to not become stunted. I don’t normally deal with commons but that is what my research has said. He looks really healthy so keep up the good work!

        Like

  12. runnershealth
    October 7, 2014

    I’m so sorry your little fish died in the end…You get attached to them, don’t you, even though they don’t communicate much with you.

    Thank you for following my blog.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 7, 2014

      Yeah, it’s funny, but you really do. I felt so bad, because we could have saved her if it had just happened during the day when someone was around.

      Like

    • vvuureoc
      November 21, 2014

      That is what i LOVE about fish they open and shut their mouths without demanding more of / from me.

      Like

  13. uju
    October 7, 2014

    Sorry about Maya. She’s a cute little fish btw.
    And where do all these ants materialize from? One minute they aren’t there, the next there’s just too many of them crawling around!

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 7, 2014

      Thanks. We’re in a drought here in California, so the ants are even more desperate than usual.

      Like

  14. Megan Holt
    October 6, 2014

    I feel like goldfish are notorious for jumping out of their tanks! We’ve had two that have done that as well!! Unfortunately, we didn’t get to them in time… RIP Maya.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 7, 2014

      I would always hear these big splashes, but I never saw either one of them do any more than slap the top of the water with their tails. So I wasn’t sure if they were actually jumping up or not. Such a bummer.

      Like

      • Megan Holt
        October 7, 2014

        We heard a few splashes too, but didn’t think they were really getting THAT much air. Boy were we all wrong huh? After our second jumper we got a lid for the tank. =]

        Like

  15. Felix Bent
    October 6, 2014

    I should buy myself a fish …

    Like

  16. earth2bellas
    October 6, 2014

    Amazing! You really do get attached to the lil guys.

    Like

  17. JakeandCharlie
    October 6, 2014

    whew!!!

    Like

  18. JDo
    October 6, 2014

    When I was about 5 up until 14, I have never been able to keep a goldfish alive for more than a month 😦 I’ve been scared ever since to buy a fish since I always want them to last longer. But now I am rethinking about it hmm.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 6, 2014

      When I was in high school my sister’s cat accidentally got locked in the house and she ate my two goldfish. It’s not fun to lose them. I suggest getting fish from a small reputable pet store. I think the ones from the big-box pet stores are more likely to be stressed or diseased.

      Like

      • JDo
        October 6, 2014

        Hmm, I never thought about where I buy it from. I’ll just have to see when I get one!

        Like

  19. adventurejennie
    October 6, 2014

    Yikes! What a lucky fish!

    Goldfish are resilient little creatures. I’ve had them save my horses in the past after I did something really stupid. I used to put them in the water tanks to eat the bugs mosquito eggs and general water tank gunk.

    A few years ago, I had a huge wasp infestation in a corner awning of my barn. So, I took matters into my own hands and doused the awning with RAID.
    When I did this, I didn’t pay attention to the fact that I was spraying over the water tank. You know the place where the horses were drinking water. *face palm*

    I noticed that the goldfish were starting to go belly up in the water. I was like, what the heck is wrong with the fish? That’s when it dawned on me what I had done. I had just poisoned the water supply. I quickly transported the fish into a bucket and they miraculously came back to life and managed to live quite awhile.

    I am forever indebted to my herd of lucky goldfish! I don’t know what would have happened if the horses and drank the water, I can’t imagine that it would have been good because I used an entire can on those wasps.

    Glad your fishy is okay!!

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 6, 2014

      That’s quite a story, too. Goldfish are considered lucky in Japanese culture I’m feeling like we were pretty lucky today. My kid’s uncle (my brother-in-law) gave us the first three goldfish we started with. At the time, I didn’t realize how much I would come to enjoy them.

      Like

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