Small Talk


February 22nd, 2012

Sad news to report: the gallon tank of opae ula had a system crash. I transferred them from their flower vase to the new tank, and they died a few at a time, over three days. I tried to stop it but nothing I did worked.

Dead now

Dead now

This served to feed my compulsion as a shrimp owner. I would worry about them at work, talk about them to my friends, and research shrimps for a half hour at night, in my free time, before I went to sleep.

At first, we had a burial in the yard. Olivia and I took the first few shrimp out and had a mini-ceremony. Claus and Jul happened to be home and chose to attend the last rites. It was a decent turnout.

However, over the next couple of days more and more would die. One morning I woke up and six died overnight. I was quite bummed.

Two were left alive; one, barely. One big one was swimming around looking normal, the other was lying on its side, convulsing. (That's how the others looked before they died, too.)

I pulled them out and put them back in the old vase, which I hadn't cleaned out yet. I mixed a fresh batch of brackish water and put them in. To my relief, the sick one rehabilitated! From lying on its side paralyzed, it managed over the hour to stand up and start trying to do normal shrimp things (swim, eat).

When I returned home, it was doing even better. It was swimming more. I've been monitoring him in the days since and I think his nervous system is still (permanently?) impaired, as he swims erratically- jolting, like a stroke victim. To my surprise, he is a fire red and doesn't seem to change color anymore. I wonder if the trauma he suffered affected his ability to camoflauge?

I feel badly about injuring sentient beings. I can't believe I killed 23 shrimp!

The gallon tank sits empty now. I'm sure I'll fill it up again soon, but not immediately. Let me see if Will & Bill make it through the week.

Posted in craft, family, mom | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “Crash!”

  1. galekaminari:

    Diane, please accept my deepest sympathy! That was a horrible thing to happen to all of you, especially for the Wills and Bills! OMG! Could it be that there were toxins in the doodads or the tank itself? So sad! Best wishes to Will and Bill! Aloha

  2. M:

    Let's have a moment of silence please......

  3. Ken Conklin:

    Diane wrote: "I feel badly about injuring sentient beings."

    Yes indeed. And I feel good about Diane because she feels badly about injuring sentient beings. I also feel good about Diane who used the incident as a teachable moment with Olivia, orchestrating a burial service. Congratulations and best wishes to everyone.

    The incident also teaches everyone another concept which usually goes unnoticed and was probably unnoticed this time also. But let's notice it and learn from it. The concept is that there is a hierarchy among sentient beings, and a corresponding hierarchy of rights and responsibilities. Humans have kuleana (dominion, authority) over shrimp, which is justified by our higher level of sentience. We can nurture them as pets, but we also have a perfect right to eat them or to impale them on a hook to use as bait for fishing. They belong to us. The fact that we can recognize them as sentient beings and can take pleasure in their wellbeing and feel pain at the suffering we cause to them is evidence of our own spirituality, and justification for our position at the top of the earthly hierarchy. No shrimp will ever feel distressed by the suffering or death or a human. If anyone wants to think about this topic more deeply, you might want to read my essay "Life and Death -- Moral Shades of Gray" at

  4. Kage:


    I am so sorry....

  5. Manoa_Fisherman:

    Don't get a cat or dog!

  6. Rosette:

    well if you tranfers them you have to have to make sure the ph balance and temperature..salt nned to let the wtwer sit for a day so the chlorine will evaporate etc etc have to make sure you add a bit of shrimp dirt into the big gallon...yes if the new tank is too clean the shrimp goes into husband when he was taking of a fish he killed it..meanwhile when I ignore the fish it lives a long..lomng time so much for my neglect it live I made him donate the one last fish!

  7. Rosette:

    what you bury the can make shrimp soup..omg!

  8. Rosette:

    yes the more you are too caring the more it will die...imagine I on the other hand neglect plants and fish and they live longer....see I got good luck!

  9. Po'ke man.:

    Know the feeling. Sometimes buy fish, and next day they're floating lifeless. Wonder did I cause their murder by putting them with wrong type of fish? Did they suffer horribly by the bullying by the other fish. However, I just toss into my potted plants for fertilizer or down the toilet. One has to draw the line between compassionate and coo-coo.

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