Don’t f**k with tropical fish

I started watching “Don’t f**k with cats” this evening just as a thing to pass my eyes over while I changed the filter on the fishtank and now I’ve got totally sucked in and I thought I’d pause it and write this before I got too tired. I’m back in the flat, surrounded by all the distractions that have done very well at shaking off my focus over the years. This huge TV is playing Netflix through the PlayStation while an Oculus Quest charges nearby. Next to that there’s a bucket full of filthy pond water…

Some sort of algae has started to accumulate in the tank. It had clogged up the filter to the extent that it was struggling to circulate the water, so I made it my priority this evening to get things cleaned up a bit. Considering I’m watching a documentary dealing very closely with animal cruelty I didn’t want to feel responsible for forcing all those unusual little creatures to live in a suboptimal environment. It’s a balance though with captive fish. I expect the fish are happier if they aren’t visible at all, but we keep them so we can observe them. They’ve still got plenty of places to hide in there, but the water itself was beginning to fill with algal bloom and darkening. I think I might invest in a kickass filter, as the one I inherited from the headmaster is old and cheap – he was economising on everything. It makes a hell of a lot of noise and doesn’t really do very much.

Anyway – it’s now making all that noise again, which is a good sign. The water is once more being aerated. I’ve still only lost one fish, which frankly is nothing short of a miracle. The longer I can keep them all alive the happier I’ll be. And I think making sure the filter isn’t on the edge of packing in – that’s a good way of extending their little fishy existences. Tom’s girlfriend is a writer and found them helpful when she was writing. I like them as a calming influence in here and something to look at that isn’t digital. That fucking filter though! I have to sleep in this room and it is endlessly chuntering along like the engine of a fucked old car. There has to be a better way than this.

I’m letting it settle tonight. I’ve got the filter clean and I’ve scooped out buckets of algae. I need time to work now to clear the water, and then tomorrow I might cause more disruption by trying to suck out the remaining algae with a syphon and then refilling. We were never allowed tropical fish when we were kids. “Too much maintenance”. It’s not all that bad in reality. I find it restful. Zen and the art of fishtank maintenance. Right there, that’ll be my bestseller.

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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