Big fish in a small tank

I have fish.

They are in the new fish tank at my home merely by coincidence. One day on a daily walk to the neighbor shop, I noticed the small pond at its entrance was no longer maintained and the water in it was very dirty. The four fish inside were obviously in the ‘troubled water’ and on the verge of dying. Then I asked a shop assistant why the shop didn’t change water and perhaps feed the fish. He replied “We don’t want them anymore. Anyone can take them home”.

I had no plan at all to feed a few fish at home, but I didn’t want them to be left to die like that. So I used plastic bags and carried them home — not without a price — I helped empty the pond water for the shop. I was thinking returning them to nature and putting them into a pond next day. But next morning we changed the mind and bought a tank for them.

The tank is certainly small for these pond fish, but they look happy living inside. They should be happy and even celebrate. I saved their lives, I feed them daily and I change water and clean their droppings regularly. What else can they even demand?

Preparing a minnow for fishhood from the Baird School 😉

My son and I used our prerogative as their owner and named them. They are:

  • Fashion girl: the white one with red spots and stripes. It is the most beautiful one
  • Fatty: it is the fattest of the four
  • Long tail: it has the longest tail which dog-eared a little at the end
  • PLA: it is the acronym of People’s Liberation Army of China. My son was reciting his nursery songs about the brave PLA soldiers. Naturally, a name readily on his mind was PLA. It is the smallest in the pack.

Yesterday I introduced two more fish into the tank. They are called ‘cleaner’  and they feed on the microorganisms grown on the glass surface of the tank. Biofouling is the technical term for the entropy of a fish tank surface. These cleaners do the dirty job by razing the tank surface with their mouths and they can hang on the glass with their powerful vacuum-cleaner mouth. They are very cheap to get. The ones I have are small and they fear to be eaten live by the four ‘aristocratic’ fish with titles. As a result, they hide behind the water pump and only perform their duty in that safe zone mostly. They will acclimate to this new fish world and forget all the fear and injustice.

The "Immortal Fish" called by the vendor. Do you happen to know its real name?

Gazing the fish make my mind calm and peaceful. This is the best reward for my remarkable manifestation of humanity toward these water creatures 😉

It may even be a good sign of abundance for the New Year. Because ‘fish’ is pronounced the same as ‘surplus’ in Chinese, and the phrase ‘I have fish’ can be conveniently romanticized into ‘I have surplus’. Chinese have a custom of eating fish on the New Year Eve for the same reason.

7 Replies to “Big fish in a small tank”

  1. Lucky fish, but I would strongly recommend you to think of buying a bigger fish tank for them. If you feed them, they are going to grow and before long, that small fish tank is going to run out of room.

    1. I have been rationing their food in case they get overweight. I was told fish is more likely to die for overeating than starving. They just don’t know how to control their appetite.

      Maybe in a year or two, I’ll order a bigger tank for them.

      By the way, one of the cleaners died and was eaten by one of the barbaric ‘aristocrat’, because I forgot to power up the air pumper one night.

  2. Unfortunately, today Long Tail is found dead. It is found clamped between the narrow spaces between the pump pipe and the glass. I have no idea how it ended up there. Maybe to get some food bits floated in the space?

  3. Sorry to say…but that tank is way too small for even one of those fish. It was a great thing you did by taking them in a wanting to care for them. However these type of fish create a ton of waste and the ammonia levels would spike incredibly high. Not to mention the fact that they can’t even swim very much. Not sure if you still have these fish…but the best thing for them would be a much larger tank. The rule goes one inch of fish per gallon. It may seem extreme but that’s the price you pay for healthy fish/ aquarium. I have one goldfish which is about seven inches now living in a 30 gallon and you can tell he is already getting claustrophobic in there.

    1. Indeed it is very small and I should have released these fish to the lake or a ground pond. All the four fish died within a year or two, and now I have smaller gold fish in that tank. Having been busy and lazy recently and the tank is getting dirty. I should do something today…

      Do you have a picture of your fish? I’d like to see it.

    2. I just googled it and learned what harm ammonia can cause. Now I really need to get some cleaning job done for my tank.

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