Friday, September 14, 2012

Pet owners!

Well, the Runchey’s have finally succumbed to our children’s pleas for a pet.  Only, not quite what they expected.  Well, maybe just not what Riley expected.  That girl would LOVE a dog.  She got a fish.  We all did.

I had an aquarium or two in my room growing up.  The length of time I had said aquarium is fuzzy but it was at least 5 years.  I remember it being fairly easy.  Feed them, turn on/off the light, clean the tank out once a month or so.  Nothing to it!

I set up a 5 gallon aquarium.  Kind of small, but it’s what we had room for.  I talked to the pet store people and they said I could put 5 guppies in the aquarium.  I thought that was perfect; each person in our family could have their own fish!

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So, we all went to the pet store and each picked out a male “fancy tail” guppy.  All males because apparently guppies are like rabbits.  From left to right you see Ariel (Ellie’s – orange), Snake Eyes (Austin’s – black tail – ala G.I. Joe), Flounder (Riley’s – yellow), Freckles (mine), and Big Poppa (Rob’s –orange/blue tail).  Everyone picked their own names.  Yes, even Big Poppa’s owner.

Well, I’m finding this endeavor to be completely stressful.  I mean, they’re fish, it should be easy.  It certainly never stressed me out growing up.  I just went to the pet store, found fish I thought were pretty or interesting and threw them in the tank.  That was all before the internet so there was no one to tell me any different.  Now it’s a whole gaggle of experts stating certain fish can’t be with others, how many fish can be in a tank, the best foods, best medications, what the ammonium, nitrate, and nitrite levels should be, etc.  The solution would be to stay off the internet regarding our fish and just see what happens, only Ellie’s fish is mean so I turned to google to see what I could do.

Ariel, the orange one, picks on Flounder to no end.  All the live long day Ariel nips at Flounders belly (and I’ve doubled checked and Flounder and Ariel are both males).  It’s to the point now that Flounder just retreats to the bottom of the tank and breaths 10x faster than any of the other fish.  Clearly he is stressed. 

If it were just me and my fish, I’d just kick Ariel out of the tank.  Find a good home for him (or toilet) and carry on.  Only, it’s Ellie’s fish and I can’t just tell her “Sorry Ellie, your fish is a jerk so it needs to go!”.  In the meantime, I’ve told all the kids that if any of the fish should die, they can have Freckles.

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I’m hoping that their just establishing a dominance or something and things will calm down.  In the meantime, I’m thanking God we didn’t buy a “real” pet because this fish thing is stressful enough.

1 comment:

Sheri said...

Oh man Tracy, you have only just begun. I should give you Andrew's phone number, although, all you would have to do is grab him on Facebook. He had a 55 gallon fish tank for years, and left us with it when he went to college. He also had a smaller tank with small fish and plants. We had some pretty freaky experiences with "nasty" fish. :(