Fish Are Easy Pets

There was a pet store down the street from me and I would often go there to look at all of the freshwater tropical fish.  My parents found out how much I adored the fish and they gave me money so I could purchase a 55 gallon fish tank.  I had to purchase a stand, a hood for the top of the tank that contained a lighting fixture, a thermometer, a heater, a filter, an aerator to keep the oxygen levels up, gravel and plants for the bottom and a test kit to measure water quality.  I picked out a spot in the living room for my tank and my parents were OK with that, but a tank this size when filled with water weighs over 600 pounds, so it was something that could not be moved around once it was filled.  Now all I had to do was to get some fish and some food and then I could watch my fish swimming around in my very own tank.

I bought a bottom feeder to suck up algae buildup and although this fish was useful, it was ugly as sin with the face that only a mother could love.  I was more interested in quality than quantity, so my taste was on the extravagant side.  I got a pair of red tail shark fish, which are not actually sharks, their bodies are black except for the tail, but they have this dorsal fin on top that resembles a shark.  I guess I am kind of like Noah as I liked to purchase my fish in pairs.  My next pair was Elephant Nose fish which were very unique with a body that was mostly black and irregularly shaped with a long narrow tail and a trunk sticking out of what looks to be its nose, however this is actually an extension of the fish’s mouth.  I got some blood fin tetras which have a shining silver body and red fins.  I got a pair of Neon Swordtails which had this showy extension on the lower part of its tail resembling a sword.

My aquarium was all set, but I decided to purchase a Zig Zag Eel, because I thought that it looked cool with its elongated body and that long snout and the way it wiggled around.  It liked to hide in caves or make holes in the gravel, so I did not really get to see it swim around that much.  I probably should have researched this more, because I did not know that these eels were great escape artists, having the ability to wiggle their way through even the smallest hole in any aquarium cover.  Everyone hated my eel and they said it was stupid, because it was always hiding, however it did come out during feeding time, especially when I threw brine into the tank.

My grandmother lived with us and one day when she walked into the living room, she freaked out as she saw the eel squirming around on the rug because it had escaped my tank.  After that my tank was moved into the basement.  My mom always did her ironing down in the basement because it was cooler down there and one day she unplugged my heater to plug her iron in.  She forgot to plug my heater back in after she was finished and the next time I saw my fish they were all floating on the top of the water, except for the bottom feeder which was more hardy than the rest of my tropical fish.  I eventually sold my tank.

Written for Fandango’s FOWC with the prompt “tropical”.

7 thoughts on “Fish Are Easy Pets

  1. I used to have a 55 gallon tropical fish tank. And I had two of those “a bottom feeders.” It’s called “plecostomus” and it is, indeed, ugly. But it does help keep the tank algae free.

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  2. How sad! My mom had a fishtank when I was growing up, but she had plainer fish not the tropical ones because she said they were too complicated. I can see why now. 🙂

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    1. Once you purchase all of the equipment and get your fish, they are easy to care for as you just have to feed them and that is the fun part. However the tank does require some maintenance, ensuring the filter is clean and the temperature is correct and these things can not be neglected or else it is good bye fish.


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