Friday, November 18, 2011

Fortuitous Friday: Patience is a Dish Best Served Cold

.... or is it "Revenge is a Virtue?" I may be getting my wizened sayings mixed up here.

Patience is not something I have a lot of. Or ever have it seems. I was clearing out some old boxes and found a report card from when I was in Grade 11 (17 years old) which noted that I "would do better if I was more patient with my work". Twenty-five years later that still holds true.

My problems with patience are not born of laziness. I'm not looking for a short cut, in most cases, to make life easier. I simply want to succeed...quickly, and efficiently, which leads me to cut the odd corner here and there, and that, of course, can come back to haunt me.

I've recently returned to fish keeping after having to re-home the fishy population of our tank when we moved from Ireland to Scotland lo those many years (4) ago. She Who Will Be Named Later was the principal fishy care-taker during those days, but when we decided to set up here in Canada my obsessiveness kicked in and I now find myself as the fish-keeper du-jour. It is yet another engrossing (obsessive) hobby I can throw myself into with wonderfully relaxing rewards.

But Gank, where's the fish? Read on....

I take my morning tea and toast in front of the aquarium and watch the fishes play. Wait, that sounds a bit like I have a maid or something and until I convince She Who Will Be Named Later that we need a pretty, twenty-something Russian/Polish maid who speaks little English and is terribly gullible,  I continue to fix my own breakfast in the mornings. The rapt attention the dogs pay to the falling of the crumbs will, in the meantime, rival that of any servant.

In any case I had a nice little community tank set up with six Clown Loaches as the centerpiece, a Bolivian Ram as my secret favorite, a Plec named Elvis (because he's so fat), three Angel Fish, and six Red-Eyed Tetras. All was well in the fishy land I added some plants without treating them for disease. The Bolivian Ram, Tyson (after Mike Tyson because he used to beat the crap out of the other Ram I had) was the first to die and I couldn't figure out why.... until the Loaches came down with tiny white flecks all over their bodies.

Stolen from

An Ich (known as White Spot in the UK) infestation swept through my tank and by the time it was all over I had lost 5 out of 6 Clown's. A major setback, indeed, losing all your favorite fish. Clown's have a real feisty personality and can live upwards of 30-years so they are a serious commitment (especially since they reach an average of 12" long and need a large tank to comfortably and humanely live in). Mine had only been with me for a couple months but it irks me that I made such a stupid mistake over a rush to get plants into my aquarium. Stupid plants.

The surviving Loach was the runt of the litter and I discovered him stuck in the handle of a amphora ornament I had in the tank. I thought he had died so his discovery was nice, but it means he had likely been stuck there for days. I'm thinking it's kind of like a  28-days later scenario, and that the handle of that ornament was his hospital room. He has awakened to find everyone he knew and loved gone... victims to a virus (parasite)...and now he is alone. I have named him George, after George Romero (the father of the modern zombie film imo).

Poor George. Clowns, unlike me, need the support of their social structure to have happy lives. Being left alone can stress them to the point they become susceptible to disease (whereas I get stressed out ot the point of disease in social settings). A bit ironic, really, when you think about it. Strong enough to fight off the disease only to be killed by the isolation that follows. If he lives I will be truly impressed considering what he's been through. You see, I had removed said ornament from the tank, ran it under the tap, pulled on his tail, and finally banged it against my hand in an effort to dislodge his body... only to find him flopping about, alive! It's alllliiiiiiiveeeee. Maybe I should call him Franken-Clown.

In any case I will, of course, be getting George a new pack to hang with but they will have to be quarantined for a couple weeks, and I still have to wait a few weeks to make sure I have beaten the I mean Ich parasites that killed my fish.  Patience may be a virtue, or it may be a dish best served cold. Either way it is something I need a bit more of..... in addition to new fish.

And for the Friday Video a pack of loaches doing what loaches do.....The Loach Dance! Happy Friday Everyone!

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