October 29th, 2008

planet solaris

End of fish era

Since the early 90's I've had a 75-gallon freshwater aquarium. I've always really loved Black Ghost Knife fishes, since I find their movement really graceful and I'm fascinated by their weak electrical activity. Normally they don't get along so well together since they are aggressive feeders and fight, but the very smart pet store owner in town suggested that if I added a LOT of young ones to the tank at the same time, that they would school instead of fighting, and he turned out to be right about that.

So in addition to the first ghost knife that we got in about 1992 or so, we had seven more from about 1993-4. They all survived a move to the current house in 1995 and while I would lose one from time to time since then, they proved remarkably hardy and long-lived.

The last two died within hours of each other, while I am out of town all week no less. sudbla buried them both in the garden, which is a tradition I have for all dead fish so they can do one last good for me as fertilizer.

So now the big tank is empty, and I think I will drain it, clean it up, and sell it. I don't really want to move it to the new place. I have a smaller 25-gallon tank which I will move, though.

Normally the death of pets really upsets me, but these guys were SO OLD (the big one that just died was nearly 17 years old) that I really can't blame myself for it. They just died of old age. Also, unlike a mammilian pet, it's hard or impossible to get an emotional bond with a fish, and that too limits the sense of loss. The worst part will be the end of the nightly ritual of feeding them, which I've done countless thousands of times.

Rest in peace, guys. You were great pets for a HUGE chunk of my life.

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