I’ve been informed that we have/had other pets that I’ve neglected to talk about. Silly me, somehow I didn’t consider fish as pets. They might respond to your presence next to their tank, especially the greedy goldfish hoping to be fed, but there really isn’t a whole lot of interaction. And they’re decidedly not furry or cuddly. That being said, I’m an equal opportunity blogger, so the fish will get their moment in the spotlight.
If anyone had bothered to ask, my vote would not have been to get fish, but I had no say in the matter. In 2003, I came home from a writing conference to find a fish tank set up in my living room, populated with several fan-tail goldfish. They were pretty enough, just not really my cup of tea.
It was shocking to discover that the goldfish were also mean little buggers. The group of them would prey on the weakest in the tank, literally tormenting it to death before turning on the next weakest. I absolutely hated this behaviour but had no idea how to prevent it. One day I noticed that the majority of the fish were missing from the tank. It was the strangest thing and I called my hubby to ask him what happened. We soon figured out that seven or eight of them were all crammed into a small tunnel. They’d chased their victim into it, and continued to pack in behind until they all became stuck. Hubby had to give it a good shake to knock them all free. That was the end of the tunnel.
This is “Stickboy”, who I believe is a type of catfish.
When the goldfish had all perished, Hubby decided to give tropical fish a try. Not researching his choices ahead of time, he purchased quite a selection of fish. An assortment of tetras, some beautiful Bala Sharks, several corydoras (his favourites) and some Mollies and Platies. Once we realized the Bala Sharks would outgrow the thirty gallon tank, we found them a better home.
We also quickly realized Mollies and Platies are live birthers. And they give birth a lot. If the babies aren’t removed, they get eaten. I couldn’t deal with that, it stressed me right out, so we got quite apt at rescuing the minuscule babies before their predators could have them for a snack.
And there arose the next problem. What to do with all those babies? Especially when they didn’t stay babies for long. Practical person that I am, I advertised and sold them. Responsible person that I am, I made sure each and every person knew the consequences of buying live birthers. Soft hearted sucker that I am, I also had to question every single person who bought them, to try to ensure they went to a ‘good home’. I have no doubt that more than one person thought I might be just a little crazy.
My son and daughter-in-law moved to Novia Scotia four years ago and we inherited their ten gallon tank of feeder goldfish. Hubby decided the tank was too small for seven skinny little fish and proceeded to set up a humongous fifty-five gallon tank for them. The goldfish promptly began to grow, and grow. And grow. Three of them are still alive. They’re definitely no longer skinny. Or small. They’re enormous and share the tank with two equally enormous plecos (plecostomus) and all live in relative harmony.
We recently downsized our other tank from thirty gallons to ten. It only contains three tetras, four cories and Stickboy, our oldest fish, who must be close to ten years old now. I think/hope I have Hubby convinced that once all these old gems go, we will retire the tanks. Although the way they continue to hang on, that might still be several years off.