Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Adventures in the aquarium

Number 7 has an aquarium that contains, in theory, three fish.

I say "in theory" because, to the best of anyone's knowledge, the algae eater has been MIA for several weeks, possibly months. The aquarium doesn't have any algae growing in it, but neither have we seen the two inch algae eater anywhere. We've looked high and low, inside the tunnel, underneath the dead man's chest, inside the plants.  Nada. And no body has surfaced, either. Where did he go?

This is a mystery to me.

In addition to the MIA AE, the aquarium is home to an elderly parrot fish and an agoraphobic catfish.

Every evening I sit in front of the aquarium for a few minutes because I find it calming. A few nights ago I flipped on the light in the room and went to sit in my usual spot. Couldn't find the parrot fish at first -- and usually he is right up front because he has something of a human being fixation and he likes it when we are nearby.

I looked more closely and saw that he was standing on his head in the back behind a tube. Not so much as the tip of a fin was moving.  "Oh my gosh!" I'm thinking. "He's dead!"

This is not good. The parrot fish is nearly a decade old and was handed down to Number 7 by one of his older brothers. He's also entertaining, in a fishy way. If you put your face up to the glass, he will quickly swim over to you and "kiss" the glass. If you move to another spot, he will follow you.

I didn't want the parrot fish to be dead. But there he was, standing on his head at the back of the aquarium, with nothing moving.

So, I jiggled the tube a little bit, and he backed up.  Under his own steam. Fins and all.  I learned later that he was probably sleeping.

I didn't know that fish sleep.

The agoraphobic catfish swims to the end of the tunnel, takes one look at me sitting there outside the glass, and swims back into the tunnel. He does this repeatedly, over and over and over and over -- the entire time I am watching.  I don't know when he eats or how, because he doesn't leave the tunnel.

He's neurotic, that one. 

If I found him standing on his head in the back, I don't think I'd be so concerned.

- Catherine


Joyce said...

We used to have a 55 gallon saltwater aquarium. I loved to sit and watch the fish...there is a lot more to their little existence than it would seem. It was a lot of work (for hubs) but we miss it.

bensrib said...

Maybe MIA AE went to the land of missing socks.