Fishie Friends

Exciting news here folks – I finally have a new fish tank!  It all started a couple of weeks ago when my wife and I went to the state fair with a group of friends.  One of the girls with us saw a small child walk by holding a bag of water with a goldfish swimming around.  At that point, she was on a mission.  She was determined to win a goldfish for her husband!  We all walked through the midway of food stands, rides, and games before we came upon the goldfish booth.  You know the game: you stand behind a counter and try to toss ping-pong balls into tiny little vases full of colored water.  Land one in the vase, and you walk away with a new pet…simple as that!  (Yeah, right.)  Fortunately for our friend, it really WAS as simple as that – for the price of a couple measly dollars, her husband walked away with a goldfish that would cost a whopping $0.35 cents from a pet store.

Here’s where everything gets a little more complicated.  Once our friends got home with their new fish, they quickly realized that they didn’t have an aquarium, fish bowl, or even fish food.  They put the fish in a vase overnight, and the next day they sought out to buy a new home for their new friend, Giseppie.  That night, my wife and I strolled through their front door and immediately laid eyes on a great looking 5 gallon tank on an end table in their living room.  I have been wanting a fish tank for a couple of years now, and that was all it took to reignite my spark for fishies.

First, a little back story.  Before I got married, my roommate and I had a house full of fish tanks.  Literally.  I had a 10 gallon, 20 gallon, and not one, but two 55 gallon aquariums.  On top of that, my roommate had a 20 gallon and 125 gallon fish tank (that’s the same size as a full-size bathtub)!  Unfortunately, he moved on (taking his tanks with him), and I sold my fish tanks because they were too difficult to move and/or store.  Since then, I’ve regretted not hanging onto at least a couple of them.

Fast forward to today.  Seeing my friends excited about their new fish renewed my interest that had been nagging at me for almost 3 years now.  My wife and I had discussed it, and were trying to hold off on getting a tank until we had our house a little more organized to see how much room we had to work with.  Unfortunately for her, my patience completely disappeared.  We took a look around and found a nice little spot in the corner of our dining room, just outside of the living room so it could be seen from almost anywhere on the first floor.  I did some measurements and found out that the 29 gallon tank I was hoping to get would be a bit too large for the spot we picked out.  My wife mentioned a 20 gallon, but I wasn’t interested in something that small.  I looked online and found a nice 25 gallon tank that would fit perfectly in the corner. 

We loaded up, went to the pet store, and found the 25 gallon aquarium right next to a beautiful 26 gallon bow-front aquarium.  It didn’t take long for both of us to forget about the 25 gallon we originally had in mind and focus on the shiny, new 26 gallon tank.  My wife picked out a stand, we grabbed all of the accessories needed to keep a tank running and clean (which is a considerable amount), then made our way home.  I spent the next few days building the tank stand, setting up the tank, filling it with water, and letting it cycle to get it ready for the fish.  That’s when I ran into a problem.  The tank was bigger than my wife and I had originally planned for and it didn’t quite fit in the corner that we had picked out very well.  Seeing the tank where it was led to much “discussion.” (Yeah, that’s what we’ll call it.)  After a few days, we decided the tank needed to be tore down, moved across the dining room, and set back up.

Finally, after that fiasco, it was time to populate the tank with some new little fishie friends!  I made up a few lists of tropical fish for ideas of what type of community to go with.  Freshwater was the only thing that we knew right away.  My wife wanted some African dwarf frogs because she had some in college.  I planned on mixing a male pineapple swordtail, a lyretail molly, some neon or cardinal tetras, and a betta for good measure.  (Yes, you can put a betta in a tank with other fish if you know what you’re doing, and it always surprises people which is kind of fun.)  Once the tank was set up though, and we saw how tall it was, I knew the frogs likely wouldn’t survive because it would be too difficult for them to surface for air.  With the frogs out of the picture, that opened up the possibly of some more exotic (but less colorful) types of fish.  Right off the bat, I knew a red-tail shark was a given.  Throw in a small school of tiger barbs, an angelfish, a clown loach (for the Mrs), and top it all off with a baby whale!

Add in to that the theme I went with, and we have one righteous fish tank.  I had to use a motorcycle that hooks up to an airline to make the front wheel spin.  Mix that with a guitar-playing skeleton and a lead-singer skeleton and we have a successful “Day the music died” themed aquarium.  All I need now is a small plane crash for the fish to swim in and out of and the tank will be complete.  Behold, in all of its glory!

“The day the music died”

Thank you, that is all.

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