oil lyfe


This is Charlotte. She is 8 years old, 30cm long, and healthy as fuck.

6 hours ago, however, she was not. I was summoned to her pond. She was floating on her side, barely ‘breathing’.
“She’s dead” I said, feeling furious. “I think it was ammonia poisoning. I told you not to scrub away that algae, it contained the mirco bacteria. She needs to get out straight away”

On closer inspection, Charlotte was still alive, but only just. The other fish in the pond were a swimming at the surface, gasping. That was when I noticed the oil slick on the surface.
And that was when I was told that the toddlers who’s garden houses the fish pond had been playing with ‘could dough’ ( made from baby oil and flour) that day. And clearly a lot of it had ended up in a the pond.

I thought I was going to lose Charlotte and all the other, much younger fish that afternoon. I took them out of the pond into tubs, and dribbled fresh, de-chlorinated water in at 20 minute intervals. Within the hour, the other fish were swimming freely in their tubs, and ready to be transferred into a temporary filtered (and cycled of course!!) tank. Charlotte was visibly brighter and seemed to be recovering fast. There was no room for her in any tanks around the nursery as she is so large, so she is now freely swimming, eating, and doing well in my biggest tank at home. Tomorrow I will set her up a new pond, away from tiny fingers as this tank barely fits her!! I’m beyond happy that this rescue mission went to plan and I didn’t lose a single fish, despite never having treated goldfish for oil spills before and not being able to find any info or help online at the time.