Sunday, 29 December 2013

Do fish make good pets?

G
reat excitement in our household recently since we acquired some new pets – fish! The old man and I have been lusting after an aquarium for years.
We knew nothing about them, but then again we knew nothing about children until we had them and that hasn’t worked out so badly!

In fact, there are some similarities: they are expensive (well initially in the case of the fish while as we all know kids are an on-going financial, bottomless money pit), and you can’t help but look at them with love and admiration. And that, my friends, is where the likeness ends.
Anyway, we are now the owners of a 90 litre tropical aquarium, four fish called Tim, nice but dim (but aren’t all fish?), Gary, Dave and Phil, all named so by the kids after various ‘minions’ from the film Despicable me.
No doubt when we start populating the tank with more fish – you can’t add them all at once because they might fight, apparently – they’ll add to the minion roll call so there’s sure to be a Kevin in due course.
We are rapidly learning about nitrate, nitrogen and ammonia levels plus bacteria levels, too. I thought you just shoved the water in, turn the heater on and dump the fish straight in.
Amazingly, if you do that you’ll end up with floaters cos there’s something called “new tank syndrome” which is deadly.
Basically, that means all those plebs out there who don’t do their homework will commit manslaughter by plunging their new pets into the water before it is ready. We had to wait over a week looking at a fishless tank.
Talk about excitement in this family. We must have visited every aquarium in the district over this Christmas holiday. We’ve chosen our tank ornaments and plants and even rashly allowed the kids to choose their own ornaments, then thought better of it when we got them home.
Our six-year-old chose a miniature skull of a croc, we chose a ship wreck and our daughter chose a tacky mermaid in garish colours. Very girly but we quickly realised it had no place in the tank. It’s now sitting on the tank’s lid as a pretty ‘ornament’.
Tomorrow I need to ring the aquarium where we bought our four ‘platys’ for advice since Tim, the blue platy, keeps attacking the two tuxedo platys. Very naughty. For the first 12 hours it looked like Gary, the other blue platy, was Dave and Phil’s protector, since he kept chasing Tim away when he attacked.
Now though, it looks as if he’s lost interest and he’s turning the other cheek. How disloyal. Meanwhile, Brian the orange poso rabbit snail (very expensive at £5, we bought the four platys for £5 in total) is minding his own business grazing the bottom of the tank and occasionally sliding up the glass.
By the way, I know this is my first post since July – d-isgusting. Why? Cos’ I’VE GOT A JOB!
Hey prestopeople.

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