One of the first gifts my husband bought me (I think it was for a birthday) was an aquarium set up. It was a great gift– I had wanted one for a long time, but with college and moving around it didn’t seem practical. And on our young-married budget (we had a mattress but no bed to put it on at that point, I think. We didn’t have a pot… you know how that ends.) And one day, there it was. We filled it with water and gravel and plants and then fish, and except for an unexplained death every once in a while, I enjoyed it very much. (Hatchet fish– shaped somewhat like a hatchet if you don’t think about it too much– like to take a leap out of the water from time to time, and if they have misjudged their position in the tank, they sometimes end up on the floor. Which is OK if they do it in the daytime when you are there to pick them up, give them a good talking to, and put them back in. But if they do it when there is no one around to rescue them they get a little stiff and… well… dead.)
When our boys came along, the fish and the boys peacefully co-existed most of the time. If you don’t mention the unfortunate experience of one of them (neither ever admitted it) turning up the heater and cooking their little finny fannies but good. We replaced the fish, and kept the boys.
Angel fish have always been my favorite fish. But they are somewhat more agressive than a community tank can really adapt to. I also liked guppies (the ones with the fancy tails) mostly, I think, because they were live bearers, and would breed prolifically. (I’ve always like the idea of getting something for nothing, and this breeding pace gave me lots of free fish.) Well, one of the favorite foods of angel fish, unfortunately, is just-born guppies. After the angel fish had had his fill of this bounty, also the free fish bounty I had been waiting on for weeks, I, in a fit of pique, flushed him. Of course I cried all afternoon, because, as I said, he was my favorite fish. He was just too much of a bully to keep.
After a while, the aquarium became too much to handle and was packed away and later sold to someone in the family. My younger son kept asking, Mom, when are you going to get another aquarium? And I just never got around to it.
Anyhow, the point of this story is to tell you that I finally have another aquarium, with fish, but no angel fish this time. I’m trying to stick with community-friendly fish so we have no conflicts. It sits to the left of my desk (where I can see it as I write, like now) and gives me pleasure with the sound of the water and the fluid motion of the fish. I bought it for myself as a non-food reward for losing an amount of weight that I’m not going to share with you, and now I wonder what took me so long to decide to do it?
My favorite fish so far are three green glo danios, a type of zebra fish which I also have, but they are a bright day-glo yellowish green. Quite unusual. (Note: In trying just now to find a photo of one to link to, I found out that the green glo is a genetically modified fish. I’m not sure how I feel about that…)
Written by Lynn on the slope of Teasel Hill where I am still trying to beat a bout of pneumonia.