In fifth grade, I realized I had a strange and mighty power. I stared at my hands, awed and a little afraid of what they had done. But, sadly, for years I neglected it, until I realized I must use this power for good. I needed to train and control this power that was gifted to me. Through experimentation and casual Internet research, I am slowly on the path to absolute mastery over life and death.
I have a gift for killing fish.
Someday, I'm sure of it, I will be called upon to save the world from an evil, mutated fish mastermind, and I must be prepared. But if budgetary concerns keep me from traveling to the throne of this forthcoming piscean dread, I want to spread the word so that you, too, may combat evil in all its finny, blank-eyed forms.
In the last year, I have begun experimenting with pet fish to study and refine my own destructive power. It's not enough to simply kill a fish; I need to learn precisely how and why it died. Since it can get expensive to be continually replacing fish, I had to learn to restrain myself and keep my series of cold-blooded guinea pigs, Fish, Fish Mark II and Aristarchus, alive. And what if I needed to keep the fish mastermind alive to diffuse whatever evil plans it had? Always have a Plan B.
Here below are the three most basic aspects to consider when plotting to kill a mutated fish mastermind.
The most obvious way of killing a fish is to not feed it, but if this fish has gained sentience, chances are that it will catch on. Plus, even ordinary fish will last for a few days without food. A better way is to get it the wrong kind of food. Goldfish are mostly plant-eaters, while bettas (Siamese fighting fish) are carnivorous.
In my opinion, an evil mastermind fish is more likely to be a betta, since they are aggressive as well as meat-eating. Also, judging by my last goldfish, Fish Mark II, goldfish are much stupider and lazier.
However, an even subtler way of killing a fish by food is to feed them live food such as brine shrimp or bloodworms (mosquito larvae). These can carry diseases, but make sure none of it was sold in a pet shop, where they have quality control. Freeze-dried brine shrimp or bloodworms can be less hassle and less messy, but there is still the quality control issue. Also, I have found that for some reason my betta, Aristarchus, prefers flakes over bloodworms, so that may throw a wrench in this plot.
For a simpler plan, overfeeding may be easily mistaken as enthusiastic service to your overlord, but beyond health issue, there are subtler dangers such as ammonia buildup, which will be detailed later on.
I can guarantee the effectiveness of abuse of temperature, because this is the way I killed my very first fish and realized my powers.
In fifth grade, we had a pair of goldfish living in a bowl. One day, I and a classmate went to clean the bowl and fill it with fresh water. The next day, one of the fish was dead. We had refilled the bowl with water that was too cold; they had been acclimated to room-temperature water.
Goldfish are one of the colder-water fish, but these fish were acclimated to room-temperature, making cold water an effective choice. Bettas, on the other hand, are considered tropical. Aristarchus was still alive after about a month at living at room temperature (at this time of year, about 72 degrees Fahrenheit), but he had been acting sluggish, so I obtained an aquarium heater and a thermometer to study the intricacies of temperature. Now Aristarchus lives happily at 78 degrees.
I suggest getting an adjustable heater, though they are difficult to find for smaller aquariums such as mine. I keep my room at a colder temperature in the winter, so the aquarium will need a further boost from the heater. Also, this brings the possibility of experimenting with overheating, because even tropical fish can become too hot. Keeping the tank in direct sunlight is also a good tactic for fish-killing, because the temperature may flux too much between night and day. Fish like stable temperatures.
Water quality is the subtlest and, counter-intuitively, the easiest way to kill a fish.
My destructive power was too uncontrolled for my first experimental fish, a goldfish named Fish (it was only until Aristarchus that I really bothered with names), and he died within three days. What had happened was that I had changed his water directly from the tap, and the chlorination had killed him within hours. This necessitated the procurement of my next goldfish, Fish Mark II.
To properly keep your experimental fish, the water must be "aged" at least 24 hours so that the chlorination evaporates out, and it also helps with regulating the temperature. Pet stores sell water conditioners to treat tap water, which can be substituted for aging, but there still remains the issue of proper temperature. However, straight-up tap water makes evil-fish-genius-killing simple, or if overkill is more your style, I suggest pool chemicals.
To expand upon the overfeeding mentioned earlier, overfeeding leads to excess food waste rotting and producing ammonia. Ammonia and its counterpart, nitrates, are the natural way to kill a fish, which are both cheaper and less incriminating than pool chemicals. Filtration is recommended for keeping your experimental fish alive, but even filtered aquariums need water changes. I change the water in my little 1.5-gallon tank once or twice a week, which seemed to work with Fish Mark II and is currently working with Aristarchus.
And so I hope these tips are useful in making your anti-fish-mastermind plans, or less importantly, maintaining your experimental pet fish should you choose that path. When the day comes, the true of heart and ham-fisted in pet care must rise and go forth to vouchsafe justice and freedom for all in spite of the cold-blooded dictators that may arise. Keep the faith, brothers and sisters.