You may know—or maybe you are—one of those people who waxes poetic about his or her pet. The pet that is the cuddliest, cutesiest, best friend ever.
Well, that pet has nothing on our fish, Indy.
Understand that Indy is the last remaining survivor in an aquarium that was briefly home to four tropical fish. The initial cycling of our tank has been rough, to say the least. We lost our two zebra danio glo fish days after adopting them, then watched our female platy succumb to toxic ammonia levels.
But Indy has persevered, and we love him for it. As a parent, I love him for surviving and sparing my kids—especially my son, who requested a fish—another loss. And while I know he’s a $2 (if that) fish, as a new pet owner I think I get the pet-person bond.
I’ve been watching Indy closely—after all, I don’t have many other opportunities to interact with him. I began by watching him for the signs of failing health we recognized in the two of our three fish who didn’t make it: no interest in food, erratic swimming, no strength to swim through the mild current from our filter.
Indy has been a champ with a strong appetite. He’s also much more lively than I initially recognized. Either our water quality has drastically improved, or he’s actually enjoying being the king of his aquatic castle. I appreciate his little personality!
At this point, there isn’t a lot we can do to expedite the nitrogen cycle. We’re not completely convinced that additives to colonize “good” bacteria quickly will benefit the long-term stability of the tank. We’re not confident that a massive water change would be good for Indy, either. So we’re letting nature take its course.
We did invest in a water testing kit, and have been monitoring the levels of ammonia. In the past few days, ammonia has decreased but it’s still present.
Next Wednesday marks four weeks since we introduced fish to our aquarium. With Indy doing so swimmingly (I couldn’t resist the pun!), we’re hopeful we’ll be able to introduce a friend soon. But I think it’s safe to say that our interest in cultivating a tank of tropical friends has taken a backseat to whatever is best for Indy.
Honestly, I would cuddle him if I could!
Tags: Fish & Ponds