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Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Fish Tale

After getting a 55 gallon aquarium donated to me from a wonderful friend and coworker, and my daughter Sarah buying me an expensive aquarium hood and lighting system for me as a belated birthday present; all of this sat forlornly for months in my bedroom as I sought a suitable aquarium stand for it.
I was indignant about the approximate $200 price range for even used aquarium stands (a penny-pinching attitudinal legacy from my German-Scot heritage), and so I dithered and delayed while searching for something much more inexpensive, yet attractively serviceable.
Today at the local Goodwill Industries outlet, I triumphantly discovered a beautiful oak bench that was just the right size and selling for only $15.
Dragging it home (perched precariously on the roof of my battered old automobile), I then decided to move the aquarium to my living room and set it up there on that oak bench.
Phew! Even an empty aquarium is heavy and cumbersome, particularly a large 55 gallon one.
It tuckered me out to do all of this (I keep forgetting that I'm no longer a young man, and not exactly "buff" anymore).
Anyway, it's all moved into what seems a perfect place now in my living room, and, even empty, looks pretty good to me.
Now, I've got to test it for leaks, purchase and put in the gravel and plants, fill the tank completely with water, purchase and set up the water filtration system, and then finally purchase and introduce the fish to their new home.
I plan a community fish tank; with large snails and a few tiny underwater crabs.
The freshwater tropical fish will include a few bottom feeders, swordtails, platys, black & silver mollies, and maybe a few cardinal tetras and kissing gourami. (With the exception of the bottom feeders, tetras, and gourami; all of the fish will be paired live-bearers, who will spawn a new batch of live offspring every month.
There will be no goldfish and no guppies.
It has been many many years since, as a teenager, I raised and bred tropical fish.
When I left home to go to college, I dismantled all of my tropical fish tanks, and went on to other things.
(I don't remember what I did with all of that old equipment and tanks, but there were so many tanks that they covered the entire wall of my parents' dining room)
I suppose it was a nerd's avocation, but I enjoyed it then, and look forward to it now.
But for now, all of rest of these plans can wait for a bit, especially since my finances are stretched thin.
Maybe next month will see the beginning of my new underwater ecosystem.


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