I siphoned a fish tank

There comes a time in everybody’s life when they accomplish something that had previously bothered the hell out of them. When it happens, you feel an extreme sense of pride and self-worth.

The late Jimmy Valvano famously said, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” Well, unfortunately, 99% of Americans give up. Usually after one try. In fact, usually we don’t even try at all. So in the extremely rare occasions when we actually stick with something, and then do it, it feels good.

One would think that the sense of accomplishment would be contagious, and that we’d want to accomplish more things, but the typical American will just say, “Okay, I’m done accomplishing things for the next six months now. Time to watch TV.”

So what did I accomplish? I siphoned a fish tank. Any retard can probably do it, but it took me a while so BACK OFF.

My dad has been ill as of late, and has not been able to perform the household chores that he normally does. He typically cleans the fish tank in my room about once every month or two. Since he’s been unable to, the tank was becoming algae-ridden and you can tell that the fish were not looking too hot.

So I had no choice but to clean it. It was either that or let them die. And sorry, but nothing is dying on my watch. Ever.

But I didn’t even know the first thing about cleaning a fish tank. I know you have to replace a good percentage of the water, but how do you go about doing that? So I took to the Internet. After several minutes, I learned the equipment that I would need. A scrubber, a siphon and a bucket.

I then proceeded to scour my house looking for these objects, and were finally able to locate them. But then I had to learn when and how to use them. So that is when I took to YouTube. You can pretty much learn how to do anything on YouTube these days. A quick search of “cleaning a fish tank” yielded several hundred results, and I started skimming.

To subtract the majority of the water, the easiest way was to create a siphon. A siphon is simply a long tube. However, after inserting the tube into the water, and the other half into the bucket, nothing was happening. I kept looking on YouTube for tips, tried them out, but nothing worked. I finally had no choice but to do it manually. I scooped the tube in, secured a fraction of water, and dumped it into the bucket. It took me about 30 minutes just to even get 10% of the water out. I decided that was enough.

Also, when you create a siphon, it allows you to put the tube to the bottom of the tank, where it sucks out all of the leftover food and whatever other residue is there, cleaning the tank even more. I couldn’t do that since I hadn’t created a successful siphon. But I did the best I could do.

After a couple of hours of hard work, I cleaned the tank the best I could, and it looked better and the fish were looking more lively. I had prolonged their life.

Well, flash forward three weeks later, and the tank was looking scuzzy again and the fish were looking lethargic. I rounded up the equipment, and I decided that this time, I was going to create a siphon no matter what it takes.

I should add that in between these two incidents, I asked somebody how to do it. They told me that you had to suck on one end of the tube. I immediately became repulsed, and shook off the idea that I would ever allow dirty fish tank water to get into my mouth.

So I went back to YouTube, and tried to find anything, anything, that would help me siphon this damn tank without having to use my mouth. After a few minutes, I realized there would probably be nothing. I had no choice.

I reluctantly put one tube in the water, and the other end towards my mouth, and all the while I was thinking, “There is no way in hell this works.”

Well, I put my mouth on the tube, sucked in, and within not even two seconds — smelly, disgusting, filthy, unsanitary, god awful fish water jetted into my mouth. I immediately withdrew the tube, spit out, and watched as more water splashed through the tube into my face. I quickly put it into the bucket, and watched in awe as water freely flowed, uninterrupted from the tank to the bucket.

I had just gotten a taste of dirty fish tank water. But I wasn’t even mad — quite the contrary. I felt like I had just climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. I felt like I just threw a perfect game in the major leagues. I felt like I just won a Grammy.

I felt like I was Tom Hanks in Cast Away, when he begins hollering and yelling after he finally creates fire.

Basically this was me:

Except replace “I have made fire” with “I have siphoned a fish tank.” Also, instead of being on a deserted island with no food or shelter, I was in my room surrounded by my flat-screen TV and laptop. A little different, I guess.

Anyway, I ended up replacing about 60% of the water, and was able to clean the tank infinitely better than I did the first time. And it took  me about a quarter of the time. But most importantly, I learned how to siphon. It goes back to that whole “teach a man to fish…” saying, meaning that I now have the knowledge to clean fish tanks that will last me a lifetime. Also, the use of that saying is wildly inappropriate given the context.

Will this knowledge help get me girls? Probably not.

But I did it, SO BACK OFF.

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