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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-23-2004, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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The Story of Oscar the Oscar

(blatantly ripped from another website)

Oscar the Oscar
Well a sad and humorous story was related to me this week by a friend and I just had to pass it all on to you, I hope you find it as enlightening as I did. The following is the story about "Oscar" the Oscar.


Oscar was a local icon here where I live, but he did not start out that way, his beginnings were like most Oscars. Oscar came home form a local pet store along with 3 other of his brethren to a then considered huge 29-gallon aquarium. This was back in the spring 1978; Oscar and his brothers quickly grew, and like most brothers would fight from time to time.
The runt of the four was the first to perish from the abuse by its larger kin.

To ease tensions in the family it was decided to move Oscar and the boys to a whopping 55-gallon tank, surely they would never outgrow this huge aquarium and can find peace with one another again. Things did go well, but only for a short time, as the feeders were plentiful Oscar and the two remaining others grew and grew, and fought and fought. By the end of the first year Oscar was the only fish to remain, alone in his 55 gallon tank. Soon after the last of his tank mates was netted from the aquarium, It was discovered that Oscar had quite the attitude and personality.


Oscar could tell every one when he was happy, or when he was upset. Oscar's antics of splashing water from his tank onto unsuspecting passer-bys became a quite mess, in a matter of minutes a 55 gallon tank could have nearly a third of its water splattered about. Oscar began to hate his 55 gallon tank, running headlong back and forth, until Oscar broke his home. The next step was to remove the now broken aquarium and install the next in a series of homes for Oscar.


Next was a new a 125-gallon tank was now set up in place for this comical member of the family. Learning from past experiences with Oscar the tank was decorated with only green gravel, as he would spit out any other color (why? we don't know, he just liked green). Additional panes of tempered glass were custom fitted for both ends of the tank to prevent him from breaking this tank like he did the 55. Dog chew toys were his playthings now, attacking them ferociously, he could tear them up quicker than a 2-month-old puppy could. The water level was kept at only at two thirds full, as his caretakers were running out of mops to clean up after him. The heater and filter were removed from the tank to prevent him from breaking them continuously. A separate sump filter was installed with a heater below the tank with sturdy PVC providing the intake and outflows. Oscar even displayed his budding acting ability at water changes, ever time a water change was done, he would simply flop down on his side, lay on the bottom of the tank, gills pumping with this "poor me, I am dying" routine until it was over, and then he would simply go back to his business. The only problem now was that the new tank was set up where he could watch TV.


Oscar developed a real taste for television, becoming quite annoyed if it was ever turned off, or if his shows were not on. Dog chew toys were forgotten and new toys were introduced to the Oscar in the form of Ping-Pong balls, enough to cover the entire surface of the 125-gallon tank. Oscar developed the ability to pop these Ping-Pong balls at people and objects within the house, whenever he needed attention, which was most of the time, he simply nailed you with a well placed shot. At least the Ping-Pong balls didn't hurt you as the back of your head was pelted.


Oscar soon grew tired of the 125, demolishing it in his usual fashion by ramming the ends at full speed until they cracked. So the move was now made to a 225-gallon tank, engulfing the entire front room of thehouse. Again an additional 2 inches of glass was placed at both ends, a reef style/sump filter system was installed along with more Ping-Pong balls. We don't know if this Oscar had a death wish, or just hated anything additional in his tank, but on more than one occasion, anything foreign to his tank was attacked, destroyed and spit out. Oscar went even as far as to grab a airstone/airline and drag it into his tank, luckily his caretakers caught him just as the electric airpump that the airline was attached to was being pulled over the lip into the tank and saved him from possible electrocution.


Soon the antics of the Ping-Pong ball popping monster reached as far as Hollywood, discussions were underway for Oscar to star in his own commercials, featuring his ability to change channels on the TV from across the room with a single shot of a Ping-Pong ball. Sadly though just this pass week Oscar was left an entire day by himself, something that was rarely if ever done. Mid-afternoon there was a power outage in our area, hence no filtration, but for a 225 gallon tank that's is no big deal, but what the big problem was that there was also no TV to watch.


Oscar's caretakers came home to a room full of Ping-Pong balls surrounding the television, gallons of water sploshed all over the floor and poor Oscar laying on his side, a indentation on his head, due to breaking over 2 inches of glass on both ends of his tank. Oscar was rushed into the tub (the only thing left in the house that could hold water) but alas, Oscar never made it. Oscar never got a chance to make those TV commercials, I think it would have been fitting if he could have.


So now 22 years after he was first brought home, we bid a fond farewell to "Oscar" the Oscar, as we will all miss him and his Ping-Pong tossing antics.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-23-2004, 06:13 PM
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That's funny! The closest experience I have ever had to a ping pong ball, glass breaking, television watching Oscar is a set of two Tinfoil barbs. They were beautiful fish, as shiny as tinfoil, with orange dorsal fins. They became huge, about 9 inches long, and as soon as I put a cube of tubifex in the 55 gallon tank, it was gone in one swallow. So, I had to keep feeding more tubifex, to make sure both barbs had enough to eat, as well as the cichlids and angels. We often heard the barbs hitting the light fixture, and more than once, had to use the big net to move one or the other from the rug to the aquarium.

I just couldn't fill those guys' stomachs, and tubifex was quite expensive. One cube of tubifex would feed an entire 20 gallon tank of fish! So we got a huge picnic cooler, filled it with water, and transferred both to the aquarium store. I felt quite bad about it, but I was spending more to feed those two fish than I was for all the other aquariums combined. And it was inevitable that one of them would die flopping on the carpet.

Fortunately, the owner of the aquarium had a standing offer for large fish from a special customer. My son and I visited them the next day, and of course, the price was three times what the store had paid me. Not funny, but the Oscar story reminded me of the only pets I've had to rehome!




Jeanie

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