Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I’m not a pet person (except for Sea Monkeys, as in “Science” and “Cryptobiosis”). But if I were to attempt to keep pets, I’d try an AquaBabies container.

Unlike a full aquarium, an AquaBabies container is small and requires no air pump to be plugged in and chugging away constantly. Although the container is small, it attempts to create a reasonably complete eco-system inside. There is active gravel, with microbes breaking down waste products. There is a plant adding some oxygen to the water. There is a snail eating away at some of the growth that will form on the inside walls. And, of course, there are a couple of little fish.

There is no filter to maintain. In fact, the only maintenance is to feed the fish every couple of days, change a portion of the water now and then, and once or twice a year clean the inside walls.

The only thing that troubles me is that it is a very small container. Even though the fish are small, too, I wonder what kind of life the fish experience never being able to cut loose and swim a long distance or swim very fast.

I’m giving AquaBabies some thought. If I take the plunge and invest in an AquaBabies container and pets, I’ll post further. I’m thinking of getting an AquaBabies container with a couple of Cherry Barbs or White Clouds.* If I do, they could become this blog’s mascots . . .

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* As I said, I’m not a pet person. When I was in high school, I had a five or ten gallon aquarium with neon tetras and angel fish. One morning getting ready for school I accidentally bumped against the little heater that kept the water warm. (This was in Chicago. Even indoors gets cold in the winter.) So I went off to school without realizing the heater was cranked up and later I got a call to report to the dean’s office. My mom was calling from home. She told me she had to unplug the heater because the aquarium was actually boiling and all the fish were dead. It was a pretty horrible scene when I got home, all those poor fish. (At least with an AquaBabies container if I screw up I won’t be committing mass murder . . .)

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