Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 02/01/2012

A Fish Out Of Water^

I’m scared now… very scared… I’ve just realised how much work I need to do this month ready for course later in the month, not only do I have to prepare the course notes, but I need to research the animals to ensure that if I’m asked any searching questions I’m not caught out. Of course there is always the “make it up as I go along” approach but that is rather short term and I’m hoping that this will be the start of something big – you never know, there may be a TV executive on the course (or even a Hollywood director – such as, erm.. Cameron Crowe*) who will force me to be Sir David Attenborough’s protege.

I’ve mentioned how we’ve bought an aquarium and up to now it’s been populated by three fish, two plants and a rock; we’ve not being going for the minimalist look within the tank.. Kevin McCloud wasn’t brought on site to witness the Grand Design, the mini ecosystem has to have time for all the nutrients, bacteria and chemical composition to settle. Well, today was the day and we made our way over to the shop (store, if you prefer) where we made our previous purchases. Up until now the plan was to have just one type of fish in the aquarium, Neon Tetra; these are small colourful shoaling fish, the staple of any tropical display but not one that’s the primary focus – they lack the pizazz of Siamese Fighting FIsh, or the shimmering style of Guppies but they are still an attractive little fish. As with any plans, things changed and we ended up have two other species coming home with us – an Endler’s Guppy (these must have been designed in the 80’s by the Age of Chance**) and three Cherry Shrimp. The first of these was a whim purchase but fits in perfectly, whilst I had been contemplating adding some shrimp into the tank to help keep algae levels at a minimum. The new additions seem to have settled in well, of course the Tetra are a communal fish so immediately integrated into the already established clan (they’ve not chosen a tartan yet) but the shrimp have been highly active exploring the tank and the Guppy looks like it’s been in the tank longer than any of the fish. It’s not quite a zoo, but it is a start!

* Crowe has just directed the movie “We Bought A Zoo” which I’ve been banging on about for the last few months – all about Dartmoor Zoo.
** Fantastic band, championed by John Peel, very discordant (the band, not John Peel) and probably best known for wearing cycling gear.
^ Setting up this aquarium malarkey has come with a huge learning curve, let’s hope with my notice knowledge doesn’t allow the fish to jump out of the tank!


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