Hutch has a tumor.
I can’t believe that I’d feel so sad over a fish. I have had fish die before, but for some reason, knowing there is nothing I can do to save Hutch is making it really hard to let her go.
After the passing of Maynard (way back at the beginning of my fish keeping career), I sent Jacob out to the local fish store to buy a new male betta for me. When he came to pick me up from school after getting the fish, I took one look and said “Um, are you sure this is a boy?”
"I don’t know, you just told me to get a betta, so I got one."
"Yeah, but where did you get it from? They have all the bettas either in a tank with other types of fish, or in their betta display"
"I don’t know, I saw a tank that said ‘betta’ on it, and I told they guy I wanted one of those."
"Were there more in the tank that looked like this one?"
"GAH! This is a female!!"
"Well I didn’t know!"
"You know what? I’m naming it Hutch, because you picked her out, now you have to live with the name."
So I took her home and put her in a bowl (this is before I upgraded) and just stared at her, pissed that she was not a boy. Soon after getting Hutch, I purchased a 10 gallon tank that I was going to turn into a sorority. Since I already had Dolly, Shirley, and now Hutch, I figured there’s no sense in wasting space having them all separated. So I bought two more females and put them all in the community tank….
This was not a good idea.
The way that Hutch acted in the tank made us all wonder: is she really a girl? She’s bigger than the rest of them, she’s way more aggressive. And I didn’t pick her out at the store… How can we know for sure? Meanwhile, the first night I tried to keep the girls together, Hutch got the snot kicked out of her.
So she remained separated until I moved and got my 55 gallon sorority/community. I was still weary of her but decided to try and put her in a sorority already. I even told her if this didn’t work out, she was done for. I have no use for a female that won’t play nice in the sorority. And of course, she didn’t listen. She would not leave anyone alone and her and Shirley were constantly going at it trying to obtain dominance. So she went in a split tank with three of the boys… that is until she somehow go into the other sections of the tank and beat up the boys.
She won’t be nice in a sorority, she’s beating up my boys, what the hell am I going to do with her? Finally got another 10 gallon tank and split that in two so it was her and Absolem on opposite sides. I was so ready to get rid of this fish especially when I got the opportunity to buy a Cambodian red crowntail breeding pair. I gave her one last shot in the sorority otherwise she was out because I would not have the room for her anymore.
This time, she seemed to get the message because all she could do was hide from the others. She never became the alpha female, but that was okay because she wouldn’t have been able to be nice enough for it. She had been doing just hunky dory, and you know what, I was beginning to like her!
I had an internal parasite outbreak in the sorority and lost half of my females back in March. Hutch was one of the few that survived along with Dolly and Thelma, making her that much more precious to me.
Having survived all that, it makes me sad to see her in such a good mood when she’s never going to get better from this tumor.
She is floating in a container within the sorority and is still staying pretty social with the rest of the girls.
You can see how the lump isn’t symmetrical. It makes me sad when I clean her water every day she still is very active begging for food just like nothing is wrong even though she clearly can’t swim right. I’m waiting for the right time properly end it for her, but for now, she’s hanging on.
Here’s a sneak preview to my new NPT, or Natural Planted Tank. I will post about this next time.
"I’ll follow you into the dark"