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Palm Tree
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Recent Entries to this Blog Red-faced and ashamed
Posted: 19 Nov 2010
ROCK STAR - that is what I was
Posted: 29 Apr 2009
Weekend happy time
Posted: 17 Apr 2009
Hectic, happy times
Posted: 10 Feb 2009
Something smells FISHY
Posted: 15 Jul 2008

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Happy Times

Something smells FISHY

Category: Happy Times | Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:24 pm

Whenever I visit this particular friend, I am always confronted with noise. Now let me explain - the noise is the type of noise one can expect in any house that has 8 year olds. This noise is either the roar of racing car engines, the thud of mortars or the rat-tat-tat of some machinegun that is used to shoot an opponent to a pulp. (On the PC of course) However, about two months ago I was pleasantly surprised. The PC was forgotten and in its place (the place that was attracting the most attention) was a hefty box of WATER. This hefty box of water filled to the brim by the hosepipe snaking in through the window. The new sounds/noise that hit me now was the sea of calm, the whisper of bubbles and the filter humming ever so softly.

Look, make no mistake - there is a part of me that believes that the fish on planet earth should be either preserved in their natural state, surrounded by seaweed and rice and a little wasabi, ginger and soy on the side, or just wrapped in paper with some fried chips like in fish and chips. Then again I have read somewhere that some people claim that gazing at pretty fish in an aquarium can lower your pulse rate and stress levels. I found this to be true, as long as you are looking at someone ELSE's fish tank. Now let me explain why.

In this hefty box of water there are some water plants (my guess - probably Elodea - I was not quite sure) waving their fronds in the gentle current - so Zen-like on a bed of white and yellow gravel. A very soothing site I must admit. But that was before we go and get the fish.

The stressful thing about getting fish, is paying for the fish. (I do believe that the home aquarium business is run on the same principles as the home printing business.) You end up paying what seems a reasonable sum for the hardware, but it is the renewable/consumable materials that really set you back.

Just look at that little black and silver number darting around - R34,95 each
Just look at that beautifully spotted job slinking around at the bottom - R55, 95 each

It is unbelievable how expensive these fish get. In fact they are so expensive that I believe were they anywhere on a menu; they'd have an SQ after their name.

Then comes the looking after the fish - regulating the water temperature, switching the neon lamp off at night, sprinkling the surface with flakes of fish-food (reminds me of confetti and tasting like fish). About one week after the initial fish-tank visit - I look at the fish only to find that I cannot see the fish. The water resembled a swimming pool that was overgrown with algae. The fish-tank looked like pea soup with a distinct FISHY smell. - OK a fishier smell.

Off to the pet shop we go, the man at the counter tells us that it could be a result of overfeeding, or too much ammonia, or not enough friendly bacteria clinging to the filter. Here, try this...The cash register rings again!

We then throw a sachet of something into the water after we have replaced half of it with new water. Miracle of miracles - the water clears so much that we saw for the first time - a strange fringe of white on the fins of that small orange fish.

Back to the pet shop - to the man behind the counter it sounds like the poor fish is suffering from some fungal infection. - I have learnt a lot about caring for fish, aside from the cost of keeping fish, and that fish are a lot easier to deal with when they keep to themselves, lurking below the surface of rivers, and ponds and rock pools. BUT when they are just a pane of glass away from your eyes, it is hard not to take a personal interest in their welfare and health.

Every time I visit and sit and watch those fish darting and diving around, the more I think that if it carries on, sooner rather than later I will be left with no option - I will have to give up eating sushi and fish and chips. That is the most stressful thought of all.

Last edited: Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:18 pm

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