The crime scene:
I was spared the discovery of the massacre. Shannon came home from work and immediately went to greet his new friends. Thankfully he handled the discovery of the carnage in the kitchen so casually and quietly that I didn't even know anything had happened until he told me after we got Gordon tucked in.
I was in disbelief. What happened? Why, why why? Things were going so...so...swimmingly! They've entertained us for 3 whole days! They became part of our family. They seemed happy here. How could such a thing happen in my kitchen when I was here all day?
In highly technical tank terms Shannon explained that the heater cooked 'em. Apparently the heater didn't shut off the way it is supposed to when the water reaches the desired temperature setting. I do have some questions for the "fish master" (aka Shannon) about this - was it the heater malfunctioning - or the heater operator malfunctioning? Big difference. The answer could avert another massacre of innocent fishies.
CSI will be looking into this further - checking for fingerprints on the heater instruction manual to see if it was ever touched by said fish master, or if he just assumed he knew what he was doing and in his carelessness cost the life of three innocent tetra neons.
Interestingly, the freshwater shrimp, Laurel and Hardy, are doing just marvelous. Apparently they like the warm water. I think the temperature reached 91 F. They seem fine with all the commotion and loss of their tank mates. Time will tell though.
When I told my parents Gordon received an aquarium and fish from Santa, my Dad gave an evil laugh and said "oh, so Gordon is going to learn all about life and death now!" Prophecy fulfilled. I'm left here to explain to Gordon that his fishy friends are no longer with us. He usually says good morning to them by name (and good night - although last night he was really out of sorts with being sick and all so forgot to say good night - thankfully!) Shannon suggested I just not turn on the aquarium light - and not point out that the fish are gone. Yeah. That will work.
A picture from happier days. I've put a circle around the trio - Larry, he's on the left, Moe, to the right, and Curly, obviously the one on the bottom: