Fishy tales… more questions…

My fish have arrived… we went to the pet shop last week – although it had a much fancier name, aquatics centre or some such I asked the person working there for advice before just randomly buying them. She told me that some fish keep on growing and will grow to the size the tanks allow… so that was a consideration, and that some fish like to be in shoals, so I could get a dozen or so ‘shoal’ fish, but I thought I would prefer about four individuals. She showed me the tanks where the type of fish I wanted were.

In one tank all the fish were swimming in the same direction, but she assured me they could swim in a different direction, it was just what they were doing at that moment.

There are some fish which are mainly pale colours and have a blob on their heads – my daughter thought it looked like a squashed raspberry, I thought it looked like a beret, and I decided to have one of them. I saw one who was very engaging and the fish person scooped him out with a little net. My daughter said ‘oh, he looks just like Beaker from the Muppets’  so my thoughts of naming him Marcel because of his French beret vanished and he is now Beaker.

I wanted one of the the blue/grey fishes with googly eyes, and as I was looking in the tank, one flashed past who had a silvery pewtery goldy shimmer – he was the one! he’s Prospero.

I brought them home in their plastic bag and put them into the tank according to instructions, and here we are. The tank is right next to where I write so I can twiddle round on my twiddly chair and commune with them.

I’ve had them now for four days and all seems well, but I do have some questions which I will ask next time we go to the pet place:

  • how do I know if they are boys or girls?
  • the feeding instructions say, feed them as much as they will eat in 2 minutes… I put in the pelleted fish food and it drifts to the bottom, and after a while they saunter over and eventually eat some… so the 2 minutes goes out of the window – or should I say out of the tank! At the moment I am giving them two pinches of food three times a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Is that enough? They look very healthy, and if when I come to fed them there is still a few pellets lying around then I delay… But how do I know if I’m giving too much or not enough?
  • is there enough in the tank to interest them? It’s  not a huge tank, but it’s not small either, about sixty litres for two small fish (who will grow bigger) and there are four plants, three moss balls, a bit of rock with holes in to swim through, a Buddha head, pebbles… do I need another rocky bit? Will they get bored? I’m hoping to get two more fish so I don’t want the tank to be crowded…
  • do fish prefer to be in less light? There’s a light on the tank but is that for me to see them, or for them because they like it?

I must make a list so I remember what to ask!


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