An Aquarius Becomes an Aquarist

For those who need my witty title explained, I was born late in the month of January.

When I find myself daydreaming about fish, I like to think back to the good ‘ol days of owning a small, freshwater tank and having Goldfish or Betta. I loved the instant gratification of dumping “Goldie” into her spherical tomb.

Now, fifteen years later, I’ve once again been drawn back to the hobby.

As I peer into my 3-gallon utopia, I find myself craving more: more corals, more crabs … more life!

I’ve also recently taken on the responsibility of caring for another 1-gallon tank. In the few weeks I’ve had my tank setup, I’ve already experienced two major tragedies.

First, the almost-instantaneous loss of 2 (a Pistol Shrimp) and the funerals of 3 and 6 (Chromis Damsel).*

*I was told it is bad luck to name your fish. If only I had known that when I was younger! I would never have condemned my aquatic friends by naming them. Since then, I’ve devised a simple solution to this problem: I no longer name my fish, I simply assign them a number. This way, “the curse” (as I have come to know it) will not befall upon my fish. It is also a handy way to keep track of how many fish you have sent to a better place.

My favorites these days are 4 and 5 (Cleaner Shrimp). As you gaze into the tank, you really get the sense that each fish has its own personality. In my 3-gallon tank, 4 is the big shot and has claimed dominance over 5.

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I’ve also separated 1 (Devil Damsel) into his own asylum, since he is seemingly unable to play nice with the others.

Owning a saltwater fish tank is quite addicting, and it’s easy to get hooked. I can already picture myself in the not-too-distant future having more undersea life on my desk, and even a few at home.

I think I may finally be responsible enough to take care of my own tank.

And this time, without the fake plastic kelp.