Monday, January 29, 2007

My Little Fishes

This morning when I came down to go to work, I noticed that my 2 little parrot fishes were swimming about extra-excitedly in their tank upon seeing me. My initial thought of amusement immediately turned to horror as I realized that I haven’t fed them in a week!

The poor babies,.. no wonder they haven’t grown an inch since I bought them 2 years ago!!

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Feeding pet fishes is a very enjoyable experience, at least it is for me. I have always loved seeing my fishes rise to the surface and pick at their food. I can actually spend hours looking at them swimming around happily. In the past, I’ve had many other types of fishes in my tank, oscars, barbs, carps, gouramis, kalois, and many others. I once had a palm size Indonesian kaloi which was a bit on the garang side. Everytime I feed them fishes, the kaloi would chase away all the smaller ones and enjoyed the food all by himself. The others were then left to pick at the leftovers only after he’s finished. What a jerk!

One fine week, I was so busy with other stuff that I forgot to feed the fishes for days. When I came to, I noticed that the ‘ikan bandaran’ were missing and upon further investigation by the CSI team and upon discovering bone fragments at the bottom of the tank, I came to the conclusion that the Indon kaloi must have eaten the unlucky sods!

Even in an enclosed, protected, pollution controlled environment, survival of the fittest is the name of the game. Crocs rules… err… kaloi rules!

And the next day, the kaloi died…….

My friends asked me, “Why did he die? You didn’t feed him meh?”

“No lah…. Dia tercekik tulang …..”

My current pet fishes are parrot cichlid. These are mild mannered cutesy type fishes that can be entertaining but are not dramatic.

I’m all for drama, so I’m thinking of getting some new ones soon, perhaps the interactive and aggressive oscar who would chase everyone who cross his path, or the timorous gouramis who would run away from everything and everyone, or the even little tiger barbs who swim in groups and gossip about the others. This would add a little twist to the current mundane life in aqualand. Perhaps then, I’ll be more rajin to feed them fishes and alleviate the dangers of famine hitting the area.

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- The Oscars -

Speaking of new pets, I have been thinking of getting myself another pet, possibly one of those fluffy furry longhaired type cats. Ever since Jambu, my favourite and most adorable cat died many many years ago, I’ve never really had a replacement till now. Now, obviously the wound has healed, but somehow, having a cat (not owning, nobody owns a cat) is not a simple enough decision for me to make. It’s much like having babies methinks. You have to prepare yourself mentally and physically. Patience, discipline and understanding are key requirements, and which I have nada.

Sad to say, if I can’t even feed my fishes, whose aquarium I pass by everyday at home, and who are the easiest pet to keep, how can I expect to feed the ‘science plan’ to my expensive furry friend, take him for regular medical check-ups and vaccinations, provide enough scratchy posts so he doesn’t scratch my sofa down to the skeleton, take out his crap and clean up the litter box every day?

I shudder to think that my already unkempt house would stink to high heaven if I keep a cat at home. But then again, they are soooo cute, how can I resist?

( this is a post about my fishes, so I'm not putting any pix of any cat out of respect to them)


Mr Hobo said...

May i suggest ikan keli .. they are hardy and kalau mati can makan masak sambal ikan keli

Typhoon Sue said...

excellent idea mr. hobo! only 1 problem though.... i don't eat ikan keli....

but i do agree that some keli species do make fantastic pet fish, especially the cream colored one with brown spots (brazilian species i think). Sadly, the local variety looks a little intimidating and very unattractive for my liking.

the witch's broo said...

i love to watch fishes in an aquarium. Very therapeutic. I can do that for hours. But I cant keep any fish. I did. but didnt work. the fishes died.
now cats.... yes.. i used to have seven beautiful cats when i was single and living withe mom and dad. they were plain tabby and tomcats and mixed breed.They got old and died.

Kak Teh said...

sue, I have pets too and like the witches' broo i have cats. They are just adorable. But these last few weeks have been quite traumatic for us. Jasper , our oldest, is frail and I think his days are near. he used to be the penghulu of our neighbourhood and now he is just a shadow of his former self. I have been crying so much lately at the thought of losing him. I have tabby as well and moaner and kissinger and gizmo and snowbell. I just cant bearthe thought of them being ill.

Manal said...

Hi Typhoon sue,

So kaloi does exist and not just in bawang putih bawang merah story.

Btw, me and family've been having fish for dinner more frequent than ever due to my mum's random bad knees conditions. Somehow, having eating less ayam bandar has proven wonders to her knees recovery.

Manal said...

Sorry...those fish were of recent news ever since my mum got problems with her knees end of last's ok la fish is a good protein source kan...typo error: having eaten

Typhoon Sue said...

the withes' broo:-
fishes die. i normally get over it and buy new one. but they don't have to die so quick if you buy the hardy type. I recommend parrot fish, they're cute and they can go one week without food ..... hehehe..

Typhoon Sue said...

it's tough when your loved one is old and frail. I know exactly how you feel. When my beloved Jambu died, I felt so lost without him. People kept telling me, he's just a cat.... No he wasn't. He was a loved one, just like any other member of the family.

Typhoon Sue said...

it's tough when your loved one is old and frail. I know exactly how you feel. When my beloved Jambu died, I felt so lost without him. People kept telling me, he's just a cat.... No he wasn't. He was a loved one, just like any other member of the family.

Typhoon Sue said...


yes, kaloi does exist, it just doesn't talk.

fish is the best source of protein, i reckon. I'm changing my diet to less ayam and more ikan these days.

The Blueberry said...

Sue, you nie pendera binatanglah. I report you to SPCA baru tau, heheheeeee.

The reason why I don't have and will never have pets:
1. Too much hassle, malas nak mencuci and malas nak train.
2. Don't need additional sadness and stress, like when they die or become ill, I've got people and work to be sad and stressed about already.
3. Malas nak buat care-taker arrangements when I go balik kampung or vacation.
4. I live in an apartment!

Typhoon Sue said...

blueberry dear,

SPCA ada penah rescue ikan ke? I tak penah dengar pon..... hehehe..

Pets, if it's the cuddly furry type, a bit susah la. But fishes are very easy one, so i strongly recommend fishes. My reason, to counter your reasons:-

1. bela ikan dlm aquarium takde hassle lah! Masuk air, taruk ikan, takyah cuci apa2 pon, and most importantly, no potty training!

2. with fish, because i don't cuddle them, i don't normally bond with them on the same level as cats, so if my fishes die, i just throw them in the garbage bin and buy new one. No tears. No stress.

3. No need for such arrangements. If it's just for a few days, my fish can normally puasa ... If it's one week or more, i always use the holiday food block. They'll be full for a 2 weeks.

4. fishes are the only pets suitable for apartment living - they don't bug your neighbours, you don't have to walk them daily, you don't have to scoop their crap out.

The Blueberry said...

Takmau jugak. Takmau bela apa-apa heheheheeee... Don't fancy cleaning out a fish tank either. Maybe when I move into my own condo soon and the interior deco is finally done (after 10 years, maybe, depending on budget), then I'll consider bela kura-kura on the balcony.