Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Survivor!

Our family loves fish. Not just the kind you eat, although we love that too. Otis is an avid fisherman, obsessed really. And we've always had lots of fish tanks. Back in Florida, we have a massive tank, maybe 100 gallons? It's about 5 feet long. In addition to that one, all 4 bedrooms had a tank, and there was a big one in the kitchen, and even one in the kids' bathroom! We scaled down a bit when we moved to Japan. We had to leave the mega-tank in storage, so we just have the semi-big one now, plus 3 tanks in the bedrooms. Fish make great pets, so easy to take care of, and there's nothing more relaxing than watching the fish as they swim and swish around.


So we're all big fish lovers, but the tanks are really Otis' thing. He's always had a big tank, he chooses the decor carefully, wanting it to look as natural as possible, no sunken, bubbling pirate ships or rainbow castles in his tanks! He's very knowledgeable about fish, knowing which ones live best together, which fish you need for a balanced tank, he know all about pH and chemical levels for the water. For a while he even had a "sick" tank where he would keep fish that weren't doing so well, and nurse them back to health! He's the fish-meister around here, and is responsible for caring for all the fish and tanks, mainly because he loves it.

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*Sigh* then there's me. Since coming to Japan, Otis has gone back to the States several times for various training, etc, which is something new for us. We've never been apart like this before. More importantly, I've never had to be responsible for the fish.......you can probably guess where this post is going.

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Otis went to Texas at the begining of April, he was gone for just about 3 weeks. Between teaching, attending all my clubs and meetings, Gabi's track meets, taking care of 3 kids and the house, the fish just kind of.....slipped off my radar. I forgot to feed them. I forgot every single day. They didn't eat for 3 weeks. Well, technically it was only about 2 weeks, because one brave fishy-soul decided to sacrifice himself for the good of the tank. Eventually we got down to only one fish in the big tank. Then finally, he too swam off to that big koi pond in the sky.

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Since then, the tank has just been sitting, for nearly 3 months. The water has been evaporating and it was finally starting to smell just a bit, so today I decided to give it a good cleaning and get it back in shape, so O could enjoy himself re-stocking it when he gets home. I reached in to pull out a big rock, and nearly pee'd myself when a big fish darted out!!!! That last survivor, the one we thought had died weeks ago, was not only still alive, but thriving! We haven't put food or new water in that tank in almost 3 months!!!!!! But he's in great shape! What a surprise! He's one plucky guppy! (He's actually an African cichlid, O's fave)

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I went ahead with the cleaning, vacuumed the gravel, scrubbed the walls, put all the big rocks and wood out for a good sun bleaching, put in new filters and cleaned the filter system. Hopefully all that clean won't do him in!


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3 comments:

gigihawaii said...

Don't the tanks make a lot of noise, though? How are you able to sleep?

Brenda said...

We have Whisper filters and pumps on all the tanks, so they don't make any noise at all. The only issue I ever have is when the water levels get low, then you have the sound of running water as is flows from the filter into the tank. Most people enjoy the sound, but it drives me bonkers! So O makes sure to keep the water levels up.

thefukases said...

yeah little fish!

That would have freaked me out, too! Come to think of it, did you try touching fish? Maybe you can see dead fish? ;P

Now you just have to keep him happy until O comes back. :)