Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Tale of Angelfishes

When I decided to take care of a silver angelfish that no one wanted, I never realized I was up for a sibling drama that would rival the longest of telenovelas.

Clow Reed the silver angelfish used to have a white angelfish as a companion but sadly died of unknown causes. Clow became depressed and was almost koi food when I decided to take him out of that tank and into a 2.5 gallon one. Smaller than his usual 75 gallon, but big enough for him to swim about while he recovered from his wounds.

While I tried to figure out a way to buy him a new tank, filter, air pumps, and maybe a few more angelfishes, he was introduced to a gray and white feeder named Suicidal. Suicidal was the last of his batch of feeders who were all killed by the White Spot disease. I named him Suicidal because while I was cleaning their tank, Suicidal jumped out of the pail that was on a chair and landed on the cemented floor. He’s thankfully still alive until now, with no signs of ever giving up on eating every food pellet he could lay his eyes on.

Although Suicidal and Clow seemed to get along, I had to separate them when I bought two new angelfishes. A pure black one I named Yuuko, and a small white one named Sakura. The three were moved into a 20 gallon tank against my wishes as my sister favored the 15 gallon one I wanted. The ordeal upset me a lot, because having a 20 gallon tank in my room is 5 gallon harder to maintain than a 15 gallon one. Heck, my brother-in-law’s uncle takes care of 7 fully grown angels in a 10 gallon tank. Why I couldn’t buy my own 10 or 15 gallon, I do not know.

I was too bitter to really tell my older siblings off, but decided not to bring the tank home as I originally planned. A bad decision for my part, because my tank was moved to the lowest shelf of the aquarium stand. My sister has a bad back and had trouble seeing her fish if they were on the top shelf as my brother-in-law suggested. Why she didn’t consider my own difficulty in seeing my fishes if they were closer to the ground like my brother-in-law, I do not know.

I was mostly angry at this point because I had to give way to my older siblings wishes; first for the home I wanted for my fish, then the placement of the tanks… the last straw was when my sister decided to take the toys I had bought for my fish and returned the ones I had given her because she wanted the colors I picked. It wasn’t even my decision to buy the colors she had, because she and her husband chose them. I had no intentions of buying orange or yellow plants, but now I’m stuck with them.

What kind of a person returns gifts to their senders anyway?

Unfortunately, Yuuko and Sakura probably felt my anger and went on a hunger strike. Yuuko died only 2 days after I brought her home and Sakura died a few days later. I didn’t want anything to do with fishes any more, but I remembered I still had Clow Reed, who was also beginning to show signs of a hunger strike.

He reminded me of myself. Someone no one wanted and desperately wanted to care for someone, but ended up being alone all over again. My mother told me that grandfather also took care of angels before, and that made me want to try one more time.

With a last act of determination, I went to another fish store to look for angelfishes. A store called “Heavenly Fish” carried a small selection of angels, but they were having a sale at P100 (US$2.25) for ever large angelfish. That was where I saw Doumeki (the black angel with a golden head) and Watanuki (another pure black angel). Doumeki was larger than Clow and Watanuki reminded me of Yuuko a lot, so I had to bring them home.

angelfishes - black, silver, gold - clow reed, watanuki, and doumeki

So far, the three of them are getting along… Clow Reed started eating again, but tends to chase after Watanuki at random. I’m hoping he and Doumeki don’t die like Yuuko and Sakura did, but it’s only been 3 days so it’s hard to tell. I’m trying to keep myself positive and let go of my frustrations so that they won’t feel my hostility.

Needless to say, I’m happy that I have 3 angels now. If I can afford it, I will buy a few more and have 5 or seven large angels in that tank. I mean hey, if my grandfather could take care of angels, so can I.

…on a last note, why do angelfishes like biting and chasing after one another anyway? I noticed that with my own tank and the tanks in fish stores. They should have called them “Vampire Fishes” instead of angels. =_=;;;

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