So I have a couple of things going against me. My last name, not many people with the last name ‘Fish’, so having an aquarium is at least kind of funny with that name. Second is that my Dad had aquariums around our house as a kid. Now, in my adult life, my wife and I have always been 100% against having pets. I already have two kids, they are animals enough for me, so we have shot them down every single time they asked about getting a dog, cat, bird, rat, or anything else. We like going places for weekends and never wanted to have to ask someone to deal with our annoying pets while we were gone.
Well, that changed somehow this summer. I guess it is a tradition at the pool we go to, that on Labor Day they release 1,500 goldfish into the pool and the kids get to jump in and capture them and take them home to rot in a bowl. I’m pretty confident that PETA is not aware of this practice. However, my kids of course went crazy and caught ten of the vermin.
From there I thought I better head to WalMart and get a legitimate tank so I don’t traumatize the impressional kids when their fish start floating upside down after a few hours. I ended up buying a super generic 10 gallon aquarium, some neon gravel, and a couple of fake plants. My boys really loved looking at the fish for at least five minutes, to then moving on to legos or something far more important. I ended up taking care of of those damn fish for a couple of weeks and actually enjoyed working on the aquarium. Of course I decided I should upgrade to a nicer filter, then get rid of the halogen light and get the new “led” lights, etc, etc. My wife thought, well still thinks, that I was a true weirdo, but heck I thought it was fun to mess with.
I do need to stop in the middle of this, and admit to the fact that it is pretty strange for a 36 year old man to be writing about a dumpy aquarium. I will say that my old boss, Jonathan Shapiro, did something similar about five years ago about wood working and I thought it was really funny, so why not.
So after I had my “goldfish” tank with the proper filtration they deserve, I went out and bought some natural looking gravel and tried to start growing some real plants in the tank. I figured it would be interesting to see if I could pull it off. I do need to be clear about goldfish, I don’t have much against them, but I truly fear what they turn into, the big disgusting carp that you see at some lakes (mostly in redneck areas where they let you feed them). I can say that those things are one of my top five fears on this earth. Last summer, we were in West Virginia at a resort and kids were feeding thousands of them. It gave me the creeps so badly that I had to leave the dock. Nicole took this photo just in case she ever wants to freak me out.
So I began to realize after the goldfish had about a month in the tank that they were growing and feeding just like the heinous carp pictured above. At the same time, each morning I would get up and some of the plants would be uprooted around the aquarium which really fired me up. I decided it was time for them to go. My wife was rightfully giving me the business that the whole reason we got the tank was because of the goldfish, but I had to get them out of there. So I netted all ten of them, threw them on the floor stomped on each of them and threw them in the trash. Actually, I was a real wimp and put them all in a giant pitcher and drove them to a pond about five miles from our house, and dumped them on in after saying a tearful goodbye. I sure hope nobody decides to swim in there this summer for fear of being attacked by the giant goldfish and their sadistic offspring.
That left me to finally put some decent fish in the tank. Loaded up with a half dozen shrimp, a cool snail, a cory catfish, some rasboras, and about 15 neon tetras. All of the fish have done well except that I’ve probably killed about 30 neons, but I keep trying. Water changes each week, checking the water make up all the time, everything checked out, but the more I read, it seems that they are hard to maintain in a tank that small since any changes of the parameter of the water gets magnified in such a small space. Here is a look at the tank as of now.
So of course since I can’t master a ten gallon tank, I had to do what any good excuse maker would do. I asked for a big aquarium for Christmas!!
I ended up ordering a 112 gallon custom acrylic aquarium, that for some strange reason my wife has allowed for me to put in our kitchen. As I have gotten older, my only hobby has been golf, so this gives me another opportunity to do something instead of watching Real Housewives of fill in the blank with my wife. Our contractor is building a cool stand for the tank to sit on, and I’ve wasted many hours reading about the best way to set it up, etc. The tank is supposed to arrive around March 1, and I’ll get started with it. I’m moving the little tank up to Carter’s room as he is the only other one in the house who cares one bit. Even though I have another month plus before it is ready to go, that hasn’t stopped me from making sure I am ready for its arrival. My office has turned into a storage area.
Anyway, yes, it may be lame, but I’m going to do some posting over the year as to the status of the tank. I really think it has the potential to take my readers from 9 down to somewhere around 3.