The fish are in

If you haven’t heard from me recently it’s because I haven’t stopped. Partly work, partly life admin and partly sheer mischievous joy. I went to Greenwich and rescued a fish tank. A full fish tank. I am not the best taxonomist, so I can only name the angel fish, and maybe guess at some of the loaches. I have much to learn. There are some lovely big long ones and some little and swift ones.

It’s an involved process, moving a fish tank. I had five huge buckets with lids on them from Halfords, with loads of special fishy bags and polystyrene fish carriers. The owner was moving house, and was worried they’d end up dying. He had been losing sleep about the fish, but didn’t want to take them into his retirement in Tunbridge. They’re nervous little creatures, fishies. It’s very easy to give them a heart attack. Not only did I have to move this huge aquarium without killing the contents – I also had to put the mind of the previous owner at rest. I did my research. Here are some pro-tips!

Don’t feed them the night before the move. They’ll be in little bags for ages. It’s less fun if there’s poo in there as well. And less healthy. I messaged him on eBay and asked him to avoid it.

Catching the buggers? Syphon half the tank water first. Less room to escape. Two nets. Herd them. Then bag them with more air in the bag than water, only one or two fish per bag. Put the bags into polystyrene boxes to keep temperature from changing too much. Once the lid is on your box full of fish in bags, leave it on. Hopefully they’ll go to sleep while you move around doing the rest.

Syphon loads of the tank water into buckets with lids. I managed to take about 100 litres. Heavy as heck, but it’s their immune system. Speaking of which, put the filter unit in a fish bag with water too in order to keep the bacteria alive. It’s good for the fish. I can’t work out how to use the bloody tank heater yet so no pro tips. It works but I think it’s pretty cheap. Max helped me quickly raise the temperature by topping up with buckets full of warm water which then had to be treated and conditioned to make it safe for the little buggers. Sensitive flowers, fish.

I think I’m going to invest in a better heater that lets me see the temperature properly. I’m also going to invest in an automatic barrel feeder with a timer on it for when I go away. Another thing pulling on my time, as if I didn’t have enough already. But one of them has already won a bit of my heart, the cheeky little blighter. He’s incredibly friendly.

I think I’m going to enjoy keeping fish… One thing I’m going to do very soon is improve the decor in there. Right now they live in plastic and filthy sand. I reckon there are considerably better options out there…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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