Monday, March 1, 2010

Fish Crazy

They didn’t even all make it through the wedding reception. That’s why Petsmart doesn’t sell goldfish to you if they know you’re going to use them as a centerpiece. What does it say about the newly formed union if the decorations can’t even survive the evening?

My sister’s colors were purple and orange, and she wanted goldfish. So we made it happen. My husband and I had a 10 gallon tank left over from a fiasco involving raising turtles (I really must include that story some time). We agreed to provide the goldfish with a long term home after the wedding. I was really trying to ease my conscience after asking these goldfish to spend an evening in a hurricane vase to satisfy my sister’s whim.

The ten gallon goldfish tank lasted six months. We didn’t even like it, but the fish were obviously too big, so we began our search for a larger tank for the four fish - appropriately, all named Gill (my sister’s new last name).

Somehow, we came home with a tank, filter, heater, hood, live plants and ten other fish. Our shopping trip awakened a passion in my husband for fish keeping. who knew?

Tim became consumed with fish keeping. Every date night involved a trip to Aquarium, a wonderful locally-owned fish shop in Knoxville. They knew us by name, even knew our daughter’s due date, after a few short months of fish keeping. Our very random mix of tropical fish blossomed into a 30-gallon Asian freshwater tank, a 50-gallon South American freshwater tank, a 50-gallon cichlid tank and a 72-gallon bow front saltwater tank that someone gave us because they were sick of it. Think we went overboard?!

By this point in our fish keeping experience, I began hating fish. Too bad -we had a tank in every room. Our house sounded like a waterfall running through the stairwell, which really didn’t help my first trimester bladder. I lost it over the salt water tank, and my husband graciously reined in his passion. That, and we were moving. Four tanks was a lot to pack.

We now have just the large tank which is converted to freshwater (we’ve sworn off saltwater indefinitely). A few angels swim lazily around several schools of happy tetra. It’s a peaceful tank that I can enjoy now.

The aquarium’s real value was recognized about 3 months ago when it first caught our daughter’s eye. At one month, she was hooked, sitting mesmerized for up to an hour at a time. We’ve taken her to fish shops, and she practically pulls out of our arms trying to get closer to the tanks. She loves fish. Great news when she’s screaming, but I fear that I am now outnumbered by the fish-obsessed in our house.

Funny how “hobbies” can take over your life and become a chore if you let them. Hopefully, the fish collecting will remain in check.

Did I mention that Daddy already gave Gwennan her first fish tank? Since she’s four months old, something tells me that this fish tank is for G to enjoy and Mommy to clean. :)

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