In a series of emotionally charged TikTok videos that have collectively garnered over 52 million views, TikTok user Smiley (@santanaaza) shared the heart-wrenching story of her pet fish, Greg. The saga began with a distressing scene of Greg’s water tank frozen solid, capturing Smiley in tears over the dire situation. This initial video sparked a wave of concern and critique from viewers, many of whom questioned Smiley’s pet care skills.
In a subsequent video, Greg is seen swimming around, with Smiley reminiscing about the good times they shared.
R.I.P Greg 💔 2022- 2024 💔♬ the lonely tree (slowed) – ciaffa
This glimmer of hope, however, was short-lived. In a sad update, Smiley informed her followers that Greg had succumbed to his injuries at approximately 4:23 p.m. She said despite bravely fighting for over an hour, circling his tank repeatedly, Greg could not withstand the effects of the incident. Smiley described him as a “WARRIOR,” acknowledging that even the strongest sometimes fall.
The emotional toll on Smiley and her audience was evident, as she expressed understanding of the difficult time this was for everyone involved. She appreciated the wishes of her followers and announced plans for a funeral to honor Greg’s memory. The mention of a funeral for Greg further illustrates the depth of the bond pet owners can develop with their aquatic companions, highlighting the emotional impact pets have on our lives, regardless of their size or species.
@santanaaza Replying to @mar ఌ ♬ original sound – akamarch
Smiley’s experience with Greg has ignited discussions around pet care, particularly for fish, which are often underestimated in their care needs.
One person was suspicious that the water was nearly frozen solid, which would not happen quickly: “Something tells me this was on purpose because there is no way your house is 32 degrees and you are not noticing,” they wrote. “HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?” asked one shocked commenter, along with numerous others asking about the relative temperature in her home.
More to the point, a person wrote: “People admitting to neglecting their animals is always so odd…haha look guys, I just killed my pet, but it’s ok it can be replaced lol xD.”
Another commenter wrote, “Probably because that poor fish was living in a small glass with no heater or plants. Please do research before getting any animal no matter how small.” “That fish does not have a proper setup at all … this was entirely preventable,” said one person.
Pet fish require specific environments and attentive maintenance to thrive, and Greg’s story reminds us of the responsibilities of keeping pet fish. Keeping the water quality and filtration at top-notch levels and a well-insulated tank will help keep fish warm, even in colder-than-usual temperatures inside your home. Betta fish, in particular, need their water temperature maintained at 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Colder water could kill the betta, compromising its immune system.
Depending on the species of fish, because they are cold-blooded, they could survive in near-freezing temperatures via self-regulation, even with low oxygen environments. But because it was frozen solid, recovery for Greg was going to be a tough ask.
All appears well as the TikToker has already replaced Greg with a fish named Fred and states, “I got a heater and a bigger tank.”
and yes i got a heater and a bigger tank . <3♬ original sound – akamarch
While the story of Greg has ended in sorrow, it has also raised awareness about the bond between pet owners and their aquatic friends and the critical importance of responsible fish care. The Daily Dot contacted Smiley for comment.