Saturday, April 07, 2007


Today's procrastination exercise is taking the form of a cleaning spree. I've done laundry, cleaned the litter boxes, and as a coup de grace, I cleaned the fish tank.

The dirty, filthy, hadn't-been-cleaned-in-over-6-months aquarium. Poor fish.

I haven't been taking very good care of them lately. I forget to feed them (luckily they can go safely without food for several days), ignore them, and don't clean their home as often as I should. The cats can at least remind me of their presence by yowling, tipping their water over, and peeing on things; the fish have no such recourse.

Several fish have "disappeared" I'm down to three, total) over the last few months. I'm guessing that the culprit is the huge sucker-mouth catfish in there. He either got hungry and decided on a little snack or someone died and he took care of the remains. Hey, he's actually a scavenger fish, so at least he's doing what nature intended. Unless he's hunting down fishies in cold(er) blood; then it's my fault for not keeping him fed.

In my hallway I have an extra, empty 35 gallon tank with a smaller 2 gallon tank inside of it. Kind of zen, actually. But it's also sitting there and reminding me that I need to decide what to do. Should I get rid of the fish and all the accouterments I've collected over the years? That's hundreds of dollars of equipment and years of effort. Should I switch the tank's denizens to the tank with the smaller footprint and relocate my little underwater world out of the living room and the sunlight (which isn't really good for aquariums), like I planned to do last year? Would that actually address the problem or exacerbate it, taking the fish out of my immediate view and leading to even less frequent care? Do I even want to have fish any longer? Should I sell them? I absolutely hate moving them from one residence to another; it is truly a pain in the ass and takes a lot of preparation to do it right (set up the main tank, let it condition for a few weeks, move the fish from their old home, etc.). I am moving in another year, come hell or high (aquarium?) water. Is there another option that I haven't thought of?

Either way that I decide (and if you have any advice, I will willingly hear it), I rolled up my sleeves and cleaned the damn thing today. The bathtub now needs a really good scrubbing and at one point I slopped half a bucket of thankfully clean water over the living room floor, but I did my much belated duty as a pet-owner.

And now the tank is clean. The fish are able to filter oxygen out of the water without sucking in mass quantities of sludge and are swimming around happily, thinking little fishy thoughts. Now if only the light worked so that I could actually see the little buggers.

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