Monday, August 31, 2009

Our Day Out With the Fish

If you own fish I’ll bet that there are times you have felt guilty about not giving them enough mental stimulation. Round and round in the tank they swim, passing the same peeling pagoda and deep-sea diver year-in, year-out. Meanwhile your four-legged friends are playing fetch, catching mice and generally living it up. We had these very same thoughts and boy did we ever do something about it ! We loaded our guppies, danios, tetra, raspora, algae eater and catfish into the van and took them for a ride in the country. Oh what a romp ! Oh what a madcap afternoon ! Oh what a stupid thing to do !

The idea was that our friends would look after the fish while we are in Italy. Since we have kept this fish tank for five years or so, the water has just the right biochemistry. I really don’t know what that means exactly but it has something to do with the balance of well water, microbes and fish waste. Our finned friends seem quite content and are generally long-lived. So were we just going to throw all that water down the sink ? Of course not. This was Gray Gold ! We poured about half of it into milk jugs. Then, we thought we could just carry the twenty-gallon fish tank with half its water to the car, keeping the fish undisturbed. Well it turns out that water is really really heavy. And then there’s the ten pounds of gravel . So the gravel had to go, and we had to empty out still more water. By the time we could actually move the tank (and by “we” I mean that Bill carried the fish tank and I held the door) those poor fish were swimming in about two inches of water, now an inky blue black. Our son Boris sat in the back of the van peering into the murky depths of our fishes’ depleted habitat. Every once in awhile he would call out,”I see a guppy !” or “I see a fin !” This gave us a small degree of hope as we drove down winding country roads. Maybe the fish would survive and not hate us. Every so often we would hear a splash when Bill rounded a curve. He assured me that fresh-water tropical fish are accustomed to heavy storms that roil their waters. I think he meant the ones that live in the Amazon, not the ones that were born and raised at Pet Forum.

Finally we reached our friends’ farm. I told the fish to run and play in the verdant fields but they were having none of it. We reconstituted our fish tank and by the time we left the water was regaining some of its transparency and the fish were looking reasonably mobile. I hope they enjoy their months in a foreign land. So far reports of their well-being have been positive. I understand they’re planning to start a blog.

1 comment:

MKR said...

Okay, you are too funny with you fish transporting, globetrotting self. Yesterday, I was in the used book store next to Whole Foods and they had this fish tank in the back with to ginormous fish. The blue one seemed to be looking right at me and mouthing some important message that I didn't get. I promised him I would never eat any fish, a hollow promise as would rather eat worms than fish! You know, I really would.

Hope Bologna is all that and a bag of calamari. Get posting girl, your public is waiting!