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Farewell, Fish Tank.

You read right. Our beloved fish tank has moved on to greener pastures. Once a staple as the division between the kitchen area and the living area in our main room, we’ve opened up some space, gained some free time and found new homes for our beautiful Discus.

I’ve been keeping tropical fish as long as I’ve lived on my own, so when we bought our place a few years back, I was excited at the possibility of getting back into the hobby after a year off while we lived in our first Chicago apartment. I jumped in full bore, purchased a gorgeous stainless steel show tank from Craigslist and dove head first into the Discus hobby.

They’re a challenging species of fish to keep, requiring an hour or two of weekly maintenance and a monthly cleaning that sometimes took me a few hours. So with spring around the corner, an energetic dog in the house and bicycles begging to be ridden outdoors, I found myself at a point where cleaning a fish tank was no longer at the top of my priority list. I’d been thinking about it all winter, and decided to pull the trigger and list the big honkin’ thing back on Craigs. I found new homes for the fish (at a profit!), sold the tank and never looked back.

I’ll admit, seeing the bare section of wall between the two windows for the first time was a little sad, but I know I made the right decision. I’m also certain that I’m not done with fish. Not by a long shot. They have a calming presence (often Kim would find me perched on a bar stool, totally transfixed by their movement), and no one can doubt the beauty of a gorgeous young pair like this.

In the end, I made a few bucks (some of which will be diverted toward a tiny kitchen table eventually- we’ll keep you posted), lightened my workload around the house a little bit and made a bit of time to keep Jack exhausted (wanna go to the P-A-R-K, anyone?).

With my past time, well, in the past, I’d love to know if there are any fellow fish lovers out there, and if so, do you maintain a tank in your home? Anyone given up the hobby for good, or taken a bit of a break like us? Or maybe you have another favorite distraction? Let’s hear it.

  • Amanda - April 6, 2010 - 12:36 AM

    Man, those ARE couple of beauties. I had a beta once named Willy. That’s probably about as much fish parenting as I’m capable of. Willy’s fate was a bizarre one- I was a Resident Advisor in the dorms, and someone had been watching him for me over a break. We were going to miss each other for some reason, so we arranged to have him leave Willy in the RA-only kitchen for a few hours until I could pick him up. I figured he would be safe! Not so- someone snatched him up, and only a few people had keys to that kitchen. I just tell myself that the thief was a fish lover, and Willy is still alive to this day living it up on someone’s shelf. I hope you enjoyed my novel about my fish Willy. Anyhow, the fish are gorgeous but your dog will be happy that there’s more time for him. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Amie & Abbey Road - April 6, 2010 - 1:43 PM

    We are big fish people – growing up we always had fish tanks: I had a small one in my room, (in high school my boyfriend and the time had our ‘love fish,’ which conveniently died shortly after we broke up) my brother had a 35 gallon saltwater reef tank in his room and my dad had a 65 gallon freshwater downstairs in the living room.

    Since we both moved out, my dad’s gone a little crazy. He sold the 65 gallon tank and got a 120 gallon tank (I’m not kidding)and put a bunch of amazing saltwater fish in it. Also, he’s gotten a 60 gallon (I think) octagonal saltwater reef tank, which I can say is pretty much the coolest looking tank I have ever seen in someone’s home. I can stare at that thing for hours!!

    I do feel your pain though, because nearly every weekend I go home, my dad has to spend at least 3 hours cleaning one of the tanks, changing the water, or fixing things. It’s a hard and expensive hobby and even though it is totally worth it, it’s not for everyone. Since I moved out on my own I haven’t gotten a fish tank…as strange as it sounds it’s just way too big of a responsibility for me, and it seems even harder to manage than a cat! They are 100% dependent on you to feed them and maintain their habitat. If it gets a few degrees too warm they die! That’s just too much pressure for me. But I sure do love going home to Oceanside and losing my thoughts in my parents’ tank.ReplyCancel

  • Scott - April 6, 2010 - 2:06 PM

    Amanda, sorry about Willy. Somebody must have really wanted him! I’ve never heard of betta theft.

    Amie, I’ve seen those octagonal tanks before and they are amazing. I’d love to have one some day, but I’m still nervous to give saltwater a shot! Even more water parameters to monitor = more work!ReplyCancel

  • melle - April 8, 2010 - 4:40 PM

    Beautiful set up, too!

    I used to have three bettas in a split ten gallon, but I got awfully tired of emptying the damn thing every week (it just wouldn’t cycle). It wasn’t like draining the tank with buckets and then filling the tank with more buckets was a lot of work or anything. It only took twenty minutes… but it was twenty minutes too much. I know. Lazy.

    The trio came down with an illness during a move and however sad it was, it was an excuse to put away the tank for good. It still sits on the floor in a corner (I have no idea what to do with it…).

    Now it’s just one betta, in a 2 gallon thing. Takes less than five minutes once a week to clean it up. No problem!ReplyCancel

  • Scott - April 8, 2010 - 6:22 PM

    Hey Melle!
    The most important discovery in my fish-keeping tenure has been that of the Python syphon. That bad boy attaches to your kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor hose faucet in about 2 seconds and then proceeds to suck all the old tank water out for you! Then, when you’re done cleaning, flip a switch, add your water conditioner and you’re filling your tank back up in no time! All for about $30 online! No more bucket brigade!ReplyCancel

  • Jeny - March 15, 2012 - 9:37 AM

    When we moved to Chicago we sold our fish tank too. Having fish was great, but tearing down the tank everytime we moved wasn’t. I miss the sounds and colors of the tank, and I miss watching my cat, Tuco, enjoy it. (He’d sit and watch the fish swim for hours, and for some reason he’d sneeze all over the glass. I don’t know if it was the smell of the sealant or what, but it was so precious.) One thing I don’t miss is the maintenance, but someday, when the time is right, I’d really like to have a tank again.

    Your discus and your tank were beautiful!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - March 15, 2012 - 11:00 AM

      Thank you, Jeny! I know Scott dreams of the day he can have a tank again, too.ReplyCancel

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