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5 Jul 2009

'Tis All Fishy

Keeping pets at home is not easy but it's so much fun. They are so endearing. After leaving the fish tank lying in the garage for nearly 6 months, I finally decided to revive it.

The first step was cleaning the aquarium and the stand. And then the painting, to give it a new look. I stripped off the algae picture at the back of the tank and decided to leave it transparent from both sides. Once the setup was ready with the new look, it was time to find it a suitable place. Fortunately, that wasn't too hard to decide... found it a place where I could see the fish from both sides.

The second part involved bringing home the fishes. When I walked into Pet Planet, I looked for big fish that would fit into an aquarium the size I had. All the ones I loved were way above my budget, so drawing myself towards the less expensive ones, I ended up with a dozen Guppies. Again! As a treat, I allowed myself the luxury of buying a couple of Black Ghost Knife fish at half a grand apiece, in addition. Since I'd stripped the algae picture off of the background, I needed something to add colour in the tank, so I also bought a couple of green & orange soft rubber plants.

All along the way from the pet shop back to the house, my 4 year old nephew was so excited! He made plans to feed the fish - Day1, boiled rice and chicken; Day 2, fried fish (from the shop, not the tank) and boiled rice; Day 3, cereal made from Ragi... and so on. He couldn't wait to get home and put them into the tank! Kids are so much fun and so supportive when you bring home pets!

We came home, rinsed the tank, soaked the plants to wash off the chemicals, found some marbles to place in the tank, filled it with water and transferred all the fish into their new home! The guppies stuck to each other and swum in a group for a long while. It appears that they were really hungry, rushing to grab the flakes of fish food as they fell into the water. The BGK on the other hand, were busy checking out the new environment, by themselves. Once they were comfortable, they put up a little show for us... oh it was so lovely to watch them!

Unfortunately, one of the little guys couldn't acclamatize to the new place and died on his first night here. I hope the other beauties hang in there for much longer! I looked up the BGK on the internet and found out that they prefer to stay quiet during the daytime and are grateful for any arrangements to hide themselves. That explains why they kept swimming around the bottom of the tank and the dark corners. I've now placed my two plants in there and bro's getting me some pebbles, so that should make them happy soon enough.

Lucky was a little jealous when we got them home. Everyone kept saying 'fish' but she wasn't getting any to eat. Then everyone was getting excited about little things moving in a tank and she couldn't understand what the fuss was all about. She sulked for a bit and has now settled down to ignoring the fishes.

Each of the blackies has settled for one plant as his home. I love the understanding they have between themselves, no fuss about which is who's. The guppies are happy to leave them alone and be playing around, enjoying their swim with the entire tank to themselves.

I never realized when I lived with my parents, the excitement of bringing home pets and caring for them all by myself. It's a fair deal of hard work but brings so much peace and happiness! I hope my kids, when they come along, will love pets too.

Dog, fish, who's next?

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