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Always sad when you start to know they have only a short time left and you never get used to it. The best you can do is to know that they lived a full life span under your care. I have been weepy over several and Neal pointed out that I had to accept the fact that they live short lives or not keep them. Sometimes I think about just keeping fish that live so much longer but the empty octo tank changes my mind. I cannot envision fish or other critters in those tanks.
I'm with you on that one. John and the girls ask me why I don't just put fish in the octo tank when it's only had corals in it for months at a time, but I just can't seem to ever do it. The minute I put a fish in that tank, an octo becomes available and I'm stuck with a fish to re-home!